This is a journey through the Book of Psalms. In each episode, we will look at a different Psalm and discuss its background, meaning, and application. Find encouragement and comfort in God’s Word as we study the life of David and his relationship with the Lord.
In this Psalm, David addresses the age old question, “Why do the wicked prosper while the righteous suffer?” He tells us to trust in the Lord and do good. David also encourages the listener to wait on the Lord. He says the wicked will be cut off, but the meek shall inherit the land. The introduction to this episode includes an excerpt from John Quincy Adams’ diary on the topic of Psalm 37.
The Reverend Jacob Duche’ read this Psalm in the First Continental Congress. John Adams was so moved by it and the following prayer that he mentioned it in a letter to his wife, Abigail. In this imprecatory psalm, David prays for God to fight against his enemies and pursue them. David, in the midst of this persecution, finds joy in the Lord and gives Him thanks.
David blesses the Lord for delivering him from trouble. David encourages people to taste and see the goodness of the Lord. David teaches us what he has learned, which includes how to have life and see good days. Finally, David contrasts how the Lord deals with the righteous and the wicked.
This unattributed praise psalm (David probably wrote it) speaks of the importance of praising the Lord through music and singing because of his righteousness, truth, justice, creation, and mercy. It also reminds us to make sure that our trust is in the Lord and not in human strength or military might.
David describes the blessedness of forgiveness that can be ours when we confess our sins to God. God surrounded David with songs of deliverance and mercy. This is one of the seven Penitential Psalms or Psalms of Confession.
David trusts in God and prays for deliverance as he deals with enemies, physical suffering, and slander. He praises God for his goodness and faithfulness. He closes the psalm with an admonition to be of good courage.
David praises God for deliverance from his enemies, for healing, for turning his mourning into dancing, and for taking off his sackcloth and girding him with gladness. David also reminds us that while weeping may endure for the night, joy comes in the morning.
David urges us to worship the Lord and give glory unto Him. The power of the voice of the Lord is discussed in relation to the storms of nature. David concludes this psalm with a precious promise of God’s blessing in the form of strength and peace.
David declares that the Lord is his light and salvation. He expresses confidence in the Lord as his enemies surround him. He tells of his desire to dwell in the house of the Lord, to behold his beauty, and to inquire in his temple. He asks God for mercy and deliverance. He seeks God’s face. He trusts in the goodness of the Lord and urges listeners to wait upon the Lord.
David prays that God would vindicate and examine him in light of unfair treatment by wicked people. David talks about how he has walked in truth and hates evildoers. He tells of his love for God’s house, and he asks for redemption and mercy. He concludes with praise to God.
David lifts up his soul to God in prayer, and he asks for deliverance from his enemies, mercy and pardon for his sins, and guidance and direction in the way he should go. He closes with a plea that integrity and uprightness would preserve him and that God would redeem Israel out of all his troubles.
The last of the Shepherd Psalms, Psalm 24 asks, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?” David also asks, “Who is this King of Glory?” The background of the Psalm is probably when David took the ark of the Lord up to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6). Christians see in this psalm the Ascension of Christ to heaven.
Psalm 23 is one of the most beloved passages in all of the Bible. David, a shepherd himself, describes the Lord as his shepherd. He outlines how the Lord provides, protects, and cares for his sheep. This psalm also describes the Lord as a host at a dinner. It concludes with the twin blessings of goodness and mercy as David says he will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.
The people pray that God would give King David victory in battle, grant his heart’s desires, and make all his plans succeed. We are reminded to put our trust in the name of the Lord our God and not in horses and chariots.
David describes the wicked who live as atheists. After describing these people, David expresses his longing for the Messiah who will deliver Israel. The Apostle Paul quoted this Psalm in Romans 3:10-12 as he described the universal depravity of mankind.
David asks, “How long...” will the Lord hide his face and his enemies be exalted over him? He asks God to hear him and lighten his eyes. Then he trusts in God’s mercy, rejoices in his salvation, and sings to the Lord because God deals bountifully with him.
David asks God for help because the godly seem to have disappeared in his society, and the wicked are oppressing the poor and needy. David falls back upon the pure words of the Lord for a sure foundation.
David trusts in the Lord while he is being persecuted by wicked men. As he laments the fact that the foundations are destroyed, he remembers that the Lord is in his holy temple. David also discusses the judgment of the wicked and the righteousness of God.
The Psalmist wrestles with the problem of the prosperity of the wicked and the oppression of the poor. He concludes that the Lord is king forever and will eventually punish the wicked and hear the cries of the fatherless and oppressed.
David praises God for deliverance and protection from his enemies. God is described as the righteous judge over the whole Earth. David describes God as a refuge for the oppressed. David also asks God for mercy. Finally, he asks God to arise and judge the heathen, or the Gentile nations.
David praises God and reflects upon the wonders of the creation. He then turns to the honor which God bestows upon mankind and describes mankind’s dominion over creation. David concludes by again praising God.
David asks God for mercy and healing, and he describes his suffering and sorrow that were the result of his sin. David expresses confidence that the Lord has heard his prayers and will deliver him from his enemies.
David asks God to hear his prayer in the morning. He contrasts the wicked and the righteous, and he says he will go to the Lord’s house to worship in mercy and fear. David asks for guidance and also for destruction of his enemies. David concludes by talking about the joy, protection, and favor with which God blesses believers.