3 Reasons Why You Should Study the Psalms

Oct 23, 2023

In Luke 24, Jesus appears to two disciples as they walk along the road to Emmaus discussing His crucifixion. Then, He appears to a group of disciples, including the eleven, and declares concerning His death,

These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.

Luke 24:44

The entire Old Testament—from Genesis to the Psalms to Malachi—foreshadows the person and work of Jesus. If for no other reason, the Psalms deserve our attention and appreciation!

But there are many other reasons the Psalms are worth studying and meditating on. Here are three:

The Psalms inspire us to praise.

While we don’t usually think of the Book of Psalms as being necessarily theological, these prayer-songs are full of rich truths about God! Just consider a few examples:

For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face. (Psalm 11:7)

You are good and do good; teach me Your statutes. (Psalm 119:68)

Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. (Psalm 24:8)

And the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is judge. Selah. (Psalm 50:6)

O Lord God of hosts, who is like You, O mighty Lord? Your faithfulness also surrounds You. (Psalm 89:8)

Just from these few verses, we learn so much about God’s character. For example, He is righteous; He is good; He is glorious; He is faithful; and He is strong and mighty.

These truths don’t just teach us things about God, they inspire us and lead us to praise Him!

The Psalms teach us to lament.

Throughout the Psalms, God’s people cry out to God in pain, confusion, or sorrow—in other words, they lament.

We live in a broken world, a world marred by sin. Our response to the brokenness around us and in our own lives can sometimes be to tune it out—or to get angry and turn away from God.

Psalms teaches us, instead, to bring our grief, our pain, and our questions to God, trusting that He will answer us.

For example, in Psalm 3:1–2, King David cries out to God:

O Lord, how my adversaries have increased!
Many are rising up against me.
Many are saying of my soul,
“There is no deliverance for him in God.”

But in the very next verses, he remembers the character of God and it brings him reassurance:

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
I was crying to the Lord with my voice,
And He answered me from His holy mountain.

Psalm 3:3–4

Often, coming into God’s presence through prayer, expressing our pain honestly, can help us remember God’s faithfulness and bring us comfort.

When we’re tempted to sweep our negative emotions under the rug or vent them in a less-than-helpful way, the Psalms show us how to lament—and find relief at the feet of Jesus.

The Psalms help us grow in our intimacy with God.

Have you ever wished for a mentor, someone who would come alongside you in the Christian life and help guide you as you walk with God? The Psalms can serve as that mentor for us.

In the Psalms, we get to listen in on the earnest, honest prayers of people who walked faithfully with God. As we get to know them, we also get to know the God whom they love—and grow in intimacy with Him. For example, in Psalm 34:11, David invites us to learn from him: “Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”

In Psalm 66:16, the psalmist is eager to share stories of the Lord’s faithfulness: “Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul.”

As we read, study, and pray the Psalms, we learn from those who have gone before us in the journey of faith and grow in intimacy with the God who never changes.

Study the Psalms with Precept!

Want to dig deeper into the Book of Psalms? In Precept’s brand-new study Psalms Part 2, you’ll dive into Psalms 23–41. You’ll explore these psalms in-depth and discover what each reveals about our blessed Shepherd, King, and Savior.

Plus, through studying Psalms 23–41, you’ll learn how to study any of the psalms you’d like.

This study is sure to bless and encourage you—order your copy of Psalms Part 2 and start studying today!

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