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How the Psalms are Organized

by on June 05, 2021

As most of us can attest, reading through a Psalm often appeals more to our emotions than to our logic. We read them and truly feel what the writer was going through and relate it to our present circumstances. It is believed that Ezra was likely the one who took the time to gather all of the 150 Psalms collected over a 1000 year period and carefully organized them into five distinct Books. These Books correspond to the Five Books of Moses and have been divided up into collections that celebrate God as King in a similar fashion.

For example, Book 4 includes what are known as "The Royal Psalms"— Psalms 93-99, which unanimously celebrate God as the eternal King over His chosen people, the only Savior of the world, and also the coming final Judge. This collection firmly establishes His justice and righteousness and would've been used in a particular order of worship at a temple service.

The themes found in the Pentateuch are generally the same themes found in the Psalms from the beginning of time in Genesis, culminating with Moses' final teachings on Mt. Sinai—namely, that God is Creator, Protector, Healer, Redeemer and the final Judge of all humanity.

Prayer does not always change our situations as God is sovereign over how life unfolds for each of us, but earnest prayer should change us inwardly, as it is one of the tools to grow us in our relationship with the Lord. Therefore, as you pray the Psalms back to God, the intent is that you will be changed from inside, and that you will know God more fully.

Questions to Consider:

Do you desire to know God more fully? Will you commit to praying through a Psalm each day as a form of worship, knowing that, if done with pure motives and a clean heart, this action will please the Lord?

Prayer Prompts:

  • Father, we know You always answer us when we cry out and You walk beside us in our times of trouble. Give us the wisdom to understand that the specific outcomes we ask for may not be Your will and help us to surrender to Your plans above our own.

  • Please give us strength and confidence in You in times of weakness, accepting that You are strong and give us strength in our weakness.

  • Meditate on 2 Corinthians 12:10 and Psalm 93:1

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