Book of Psalms Summary (Tips and Resources)

There are so many reasons to love the Psalms, which we will get to in this book of Psalms summary. One thing that the Psalms have taught me is that God wants me to pour my heart out to Him. 

We do not serve a God that is far off. He is near. He hears our prayers. He walks with us through the turbulence of confusion, despair, and loneliness. He rejoices with us in our times of joy and victory.

He is a God that we can run to and receive His grace, comfort, and mercy in times of need. When we do He extends peace, comfort, and hope.

Therefore let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. – Hebrews 4:16

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What is the Main Message of the Psalms?

The Psalms are full of many different ideas about the character of God, human life, and the coming of the messiah. In general, the major themes of the book of Psalms contain a range of human responses to God – to who He is and to all His works. You might think that Psalms is the longest book of the Bible, but actually the book of Jeremiah is the longest!

Many of the Psalms are a collection of poems in the form of praises, prayers, and songs written by various authors but inspired by God.

The book of Psalms is unique from other books of the Bible in that it contains many writings that were written and collected over a period of time, then organized into the current arrangement. The Psalms are grouped together by their titles and themes. For example, the first book is Psalms which were written by King David.

The Five Books of the Psalms Summary

Here are the divisions and themes of the five books of Psalms. Each section has its own type of Psalm. 

  1. Chapters 1-41: There are 41 Psalms in this section most of which Psalms of David. They reflect much of this great king’s life and his understanding of God’s glory and God’s kingdom. They reveal the depths of David’s emotions in times of great distress and conflict. Yet they also show his deep faith in the strength and sovereignty of God and His salvation.
  2. Chapters 42-72: There are 31 Psalms in this section. These Psalms are filled with historical facts about the mercy and justice of God and prayers of deliverance.
  3. Chapters 73-89: There are 17 Psalms in this section that are anonymous except for Psalm 90 written by Moses, and Psalms 101 and 103 written by David. 
  4. Chapters 90-106: These songs of praise for public worship remind the singers of God’s proven faithfulness and that He protects His people.
  5. Chapters 107-150: The final book of Pslams declares the goodness of our great God and ends with the five Hallelujah Psalms (145-150). It also contains the longest Psalm which is Psalm 119.

What Is So Special About the Book of Psalms?

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There are so many things that the Psalms teach us and the reasons why we should get to know them. 

The Psalms Teach Us to Pray 

Like I said above, we see in the book of Psalms that God wants us to pour our hearts out to Him in prayer. He is already intimately acquainted with all our emotions. There is nothing in our hearts that He doesn’t already know. When we bring our cares and concerns to Him through the Holy Spirit, we are acknowledging His lordship and sovereignty over our lives. Then, we are better equipped to see the ways He works within our circumstances. Our faith in Him is strengthened. 

The Psalms Teach Us About the Character of God 

As we gaze into the prayers and lives of the men who penned these scriptures, we see how God’s presence worked in and through their lives. We see God as Provider, Protector, Comforter, Healer, and so much more. The steadfast love of God has endured throughout the ages.

The Psalms Teach Us How to Walk With God 

The Psalms are full of stories of men who wrestled in their faith. Not only do we see how they struggled, but also how they triumphed over their enemies. We see how the Lord honors the righteous and the godly. There are lessons for us to glean for our own lives within the lives of these men who held tightly to God’s promise and sought to live for for glory of God.

Practical Tips for Studying the Psalms

Here are some practical tips and ideas for how you can dig into the Psalms and study the Word of God for yourself.

Meditate on the Psalm

One of the first verses in the book of Psalms is an instruction to meditate on God’s Word. This exhortation especially applies to the Psalms. We must meditate on them. To truly understand their richness takes more than just simply reading through them one time. We need to linger and consider.

Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, and on His Law he meditates day and night. – Psalm 1:1-2

Pray the Psalms

One of the greatest ways we can hide the Psalms in our hearts is by praying them. Many of them were written as prayers, so it makes sense for us to use them as the foundation of our prayers. Take one verse at a time. Consider how you can use it for prayer, supplication, or praise.

Consider the Psalm as a Whole

When seeking to understand the meaning of a specific Psalm, we must consider the Psalm in its context. Look at the footnotes to see if you can find out more historical context into what circumstances inspired to writer. Consider how the Psalm begins, the theme it forms, and then how it ends.

Sometimes the Psalmist is speaking to God, sometimes to himself, and other times to men. The author may direct his words to multiple different people or groups within the same Psalm.

Also, watch the progression. Does the Psalm start with a supplication? Many of the Psalms begin with something like “Arise, O God” or “How Long O Lord…” So the author begins with a supplication or a petition. Other times the Psalm begins with adoration, then moves onto petition, then thanksgiving.

So pay attention to how the Psalm progresses. Are there any concepts you can pull from these observations and apply to your own prayer life?

Memorize the Psalm

Just like praying the Psalms, memorizing passages from the Psalms is a great way to hide God’s Word in your heart. I’ve also found that it’s easier to recall specific passages during the times I need them when I’ve spent time meditating and memorizing them. God’s Word is alive and active. I love how the Lord is able to bring these verses to our memory during the moments and circumstances we need them.

Resources for Studying the Pslams

Here are a few resources and printables that you can use to help you in your personal study of the Psalms.

The SOAP Method of Bible Study

SOAP stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. This is a great method to use in studying the individual Psalms because it helps you to think of the Psalm as a whole, apply it to your own life, then use it to form your own personal prayer.

Use this printable as a book of Psalm summary pdf to journal your thoughts as you study.

SOAP Bible Journaling Template

Book of Psalms Commentary

There are some great commentaries you can use to help you interpret and understand the scriptures in Psalms. Here are a few I recommend.

Bible Study of Psalms

book of psalms summary

There are some great Bible studies written on the book of Psalms.

Here is some book of Psalms summaries written here on the MAM blog.

Also, there are a couple of great Bible studies of the Psalms that you can purchase for your own personal study or in your small group.