The Psalms are a collection of songs—God’s people’s hymnbook. They’re a smorgasbord of prayers and praises, the lofty and the common, holiness and humanity. The Psalms capture the intersection of the very high God who loves his very common people.
Psalm 1: The first psalm declares that God makes the righteous like well-watered trees. But dry and deserted are the wicked.
Psalm 2: The earth’s kings are trying to shake off the rule of the mighty God. God scoffs at them. There is a warning: Respect God and his anointed.
Psalm 3: David’s son Absalom is pursuing him, enemies are surrounding him, and he needs God to fight for and vindicate him.
Psalm 4: In the evening, the defamed David calls his accusers to be silent before God on their beds. Because God keeps David safe, he is able to sleep.
Psalm 5: In the morning, the psalmist bows toward God’s temple, laying his cares before him. He asks God to punish the wicked and surround him like a shield.
Psalm 6: David is perhaps ill or deeply grieved. He needs God to restore and heal him—the grief is just too much.
The King’s Heart
Spanning a period of about a thousand years, God sparked the hearts of men to capture the emotion-filled moments of human experience—sob-filled pleas, declarations of love for him, cries for his justice, vengeful requests, joyful celebrations—and then he preserved them in his Word, in the book that tells about him.
The psalmists and their emotions were important to God. The God who created us and who sovereignly reigns over our lives values our lives. Life is not a play he is watching as entertainment. He cares about it because he cares about us—passionately.
God treasures our relationship with him. The shared conversations, when our hearts seek him out, an acknowledgement that we know he’s near and we want to experience life with him—that’s precious to him. Our togetherness is so dear to God that he laid down his very life to bring us into perfect unity with him so we can be the closest of close with him forever. This is what matters to him.
The very existence of the Psalms proves God’s priorities. “Come to me. Let’s walk this road together.”
Several psalms are attributed to David. While David most certainly penned several, some of the psalms attributed to him were psalms written about him or about later kings from his royal line.