- Paperback: 266 pages
- Publisher: JesusWalk Publications (March 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0981972101
- ISBN-13: 978-0981972107
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Experiencing the Psalms: A Bible Study Commentary
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From the Author
FROM THE PREFACE
Narrowing down the psalms for this study to just a few has been difficult. For more than forty years I have been reading the Psalms through at least twice a year. So many of the psalms have become my "friends" and companions. When I come to them once more in my reading, I am delighted to read their faith-filled words again.
As I surveyed the Psalms in preparation for this study, I listed 70 psalms as "favorites," and even that list of nearly half of the total of 150 psalms was trimmed to leave out some that I love. How can I narrow the number without leaving out some of the gems of the Psalter? It's impossible.
But ultimately Experiencing the Psalms focuses on 42 psalms. The 12 lessons in this study serve only as an introduction to the rich collection of psalms that speak to us so profoundly.
My prayer is that you will purpose to grow in your heart even more than you grow in your mind during this study. That you will embrace these psalms and make them your own. That on your travels through this life, you walk with these psalms as your guides and companions on your journey to your final destination -- an eternity in fellowship with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
In encourage you to order the book. It will enrich your thoughts, your prayers, your worship, and your life -- as well as provide a rich study for your class or small group, or the basis of a sermon series.
-- Dr. Ralph F. Wilson
From the Inside Flap
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION TO THE PSALMS
1. MARVELING AT GOD'S MAJESTY IN CREATION (PSALMS 8, 19, AND 139)
These are three psalms that marvel at the wonder of God's creation, but in the meditation go three different directions in applying that knowledge. Full of awe in God's greatness and minuteness of care.
2. THIRSTING FOR GOD (PSALMS 27, 42-43, AND 63)
Some of the psalms are intensely intimate. They express the personal longing of the soul for God. These psalms are models of personal devotion and prayer to God from a hungering heart.
3. CHOOSING THE RIGHT PATH (PSALMS 1, 15, 133)
A theme of several psalms is the blessing of a life well lived, exhortations to faithful and righteous living. These are Wisdom Psalms with similarities to Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. (Psalms 1, 15, and 133)
4. OFFERING HIGH PRAISES TO GOD (PSALMS 95, 98, AND 150)
There's a place for quiet appreciation of God's love. But these psalms shout the praises of God to the highest heavens. "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!"
5. CRYING OUT FOR RESCUE (PSALMS 40, 69, AND 80)
Many of the psalms come out of times of great distress and trouble. They are cries for help, for salvation, for rescue. When we are tested, we come to know and rely on God in ways that we can't experience when all is going well.
6. TRUSTING IN GOD'S PROTECTION (PSALMS 61, 91, AND 121)
When trouble is all around we can either panic or find strength in faith. In these psalms the writer sees God as his ultimate Protector.
7. RESTING IN GOD'S CARE (PSALMS 16, 23, 131, 3, 31, AND 46)
"There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God." These are psalms of abiding, resting in God even though the storms of life are raging outside this quiet place.
8. EXULTING IN GOD (PSALMS 57, 96, 126, AND 24)
Life is difficult during the trial, but even during the test there is a place for praise and exultation in the God who has saves us. These are psalms of confidence
9. REJOICING IN GOD'S CHARACTER (PSALMS 103, 145, AND 117)
One of the joys of the believer is to revel in the strong, solid character of our unchanging Father. These psalms explore the nature and attributes of our God.
10. LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MESSIAH (PSALMS 2, 110, AND 22)
An expectancy of God's deliverance through the coming Messiah is interwoven through a number of psalms. These psalms in particular find their ultimate fulfillment in Christ Jesus our Savior.
11. FINDING FORGIVENESS AND RESTORATION (PSALMS 32 AND 51).
We can come away from the defeat and shame of sin feeling like a prizefighter who has been battered and humiliated. These psalms deal with repentance and God's forgiveness and restoration.
12. GIVING THANKS TO OUR FAITHFUL GOD (PSALMS 100, 107, 118 AND 34)
There is a joy to be found in thanksgiving, offering songs of appreciation to our God who stands by us without wavering.
EPILOGUE (PSALMS 46 AND 199)
APPENDIX 1. EXERCISES TO HELP YOU EXPERIENCE THE PSALMS
To keep this from being a merely academic study, here are some exercises and activities that can personalize and integrate the Psalms into your life.
APPENDIX 2. PSALMS IN WORSHIP THROUGHOUT THE CENTURIES
An historical study of how the Psalms were used in the synagogue, the early church, in the middle ages, as the basis of Protestant hymnody and the Catholic liturgy of the hours as well as in recent times.
APPENDIX 3. THE IMPRECATORY PSALMS
How do we understand the terrible curses that a few psalmists utter against their enemies? This appendix offers one approach.
APPENDIX 4. NEW TESTAMENT QUOTATIONS FROM THE PSALMS
A comprehensive list of the New Testament's use of the Psalms.
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