Monday: Meet the Psalmists

Daily Lesson for Monday 1st of January 2024

King David, whose name appears in the titles of most psalms, was active in organizing the liturgy of Israel’s worship. He is called “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1). The New Testament attests to Davidic authorship of various psalms (Matthew 22:43-45; Acts 2:25-29,34-35; Acts 4:25; Romans 4:6-8). Numerous psalms were composed by the temple musicians who were also Levites: for example, Psalms 50:1-23 and Psalms 73:1-28−83 by Asaph; Psalms 42:1-11, Psalms 44:1-26−47, Psalms 49:1-20, Psalms 84:1-12, Psalms 85:1-13, Psalms 87:1-7−88 by the sons of Korah; Psalms 88:1-18 also by Heman the Ezrahite; and Psalms 89:1-52 by Ethan the Ezrahite. Beyond them, Solomon (Psalms 72:1-20, Psalms 127:1-5) and Moses (Psalms 90:1-17) authored some psalms.

Read Psalms 25:1-5; Psalms 42:1-11:1; Psalms 75:1; Psalms 77:1; Psalms 84:1-12:1, 2; Psalms 88:1-18:1–3; and Psalms 89:1-52:1. What do these psalms reveal about the experiences their authors were going through?

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The Holy Spirit inspired the psalmists and used their talents in service to God and to their community of faith. The psalmists were people of genuine devotion and profound faith and yet prone to discouragements and temptations, as are the rest of us. Though written a long time ago, the Psalms surely reflect some of what we experience today.

“Let my prayer come before You; incline Your ear to my cry. For my soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to the grave” (Psalms 88:2-3, NKJV). This is a cry of the twenty-first-century soul as much as it was of someone 3,000 years ago.

Some psalms mention hardships; some focus on joys. The psalmists cried out to God to save them and experienced His undeserved favor. They glorified God for His faithfulness and love, and they pledged their untiring devotion to Him. The Psalms are, thus, testimonies of divine Redemption and signs of God’s grace and hope. The Psalms convey a divine promise to all who embrace, by faith, God’s gifts of forgiveness and of a new life. Yet, at the same time, they do not try to cover up, hide, or downplay the hardships and suffering prevalent in a fallen world.

How can we draw hope and comfort knowing that even faithful people, such as the psalmists, struggled with some of the same things that we do?


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