“Let Every Thing That Hath Breath Praise the Lord”

Lesson 25 – Psalms

 

Introduction

 What gifts and opportunities from the Lord are you especially grateful for? How would your life be different without these blessings? Many of the psalms express gratitude for blessings the Lord has given. Part of this lesson focuses on those blessings and on what we can do to show our gratitude for them. We should show our gratitude for the Savior and for the many blessings that he and our Heavenly Father have given us.

 

Psalms is a collection of poems, many written by David, which were originally sung as praises or petitions to God. This book is like a hymnal from ancient Israel. Its lyrics constitute some of the world’s best inspirational literature, expressing faith in the Lord and an earnest desire to live righteously.

 

Prophecies of the life and mission of Jesus Christ

Many psalms prophesy of Christ’s mission as the Messiah. The resurrected Savior declared, “All things must be fulfilled, which were written in the Law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me” (Luke 24:44). A few of the following prophecies about Christ are from the book of Psalms:

Prophecy

Fulfillment

Psalm 107:23-30

Matthew 8:23-27. Jesus calmed the winds and the waves.

Psalm 69:8

John 1:11; John 7:5. Jesus was not received by his own people.

Psalm 41:9; Psalm 55:12-14

John 13:18, John 13:21. Jesus was betrayed by a friend.

Psalm 69:20

Mark 14:32-41. Jesus suffered alone in Gethsemane.

Psalm 22:7-8

Matthew 27:39-43. Jesus was mocked.

Psalm 22:16

Mark 15:25. Jesus was crucified.

Psalm 22:18

Matthew 27:35. The soldiers cast lots for Christ’s clothes.

Psalm 22:1

Matthew 27:46. Jesus asked the Father why he had forsaken him.

Psalm 69:21

John 19:28-30. Jesus was given vinegar for his thirst

Psalm 34:20

John 19:33-36. None of Jesus’ bones was broken.

Psalm 31:5

Luke 23:46. Jesus commended his spirit to the Father and died.

Psalm 16:10

Acts 2:31-32; Acts 13:34-35. The Savior’s flesh did not see corruption, being raised up in the Resurrection.

Jesus Christ is the only person whose birth, life, death, and resurrection were prophesied before his birth. Such detailed prophecies were given about the Savior’s life to make it clear that Jesus was the promised Messiah, the Savior of the world. These prophecies were a blessing to those who received them as they helped people learn of the Savior and gain testimonies of him even before he was born. The prophecies also helped some people recognize him when he came.

 

“The Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee” (Psalm 116:7).

In addition to prophesying of the Savior’s life and mission, many psalms express gratitude for blessings such as the creation of heaven and earth; the Savior’s mercy, forgiveness, and love; the scriptures; and the temple.

The Creation of Heaven and Earth

Psalm 19:1; 104:5-7, 14, 24; 136:3-9 express gratitude to the Lord for the creation of heaven and earth:

 

The Savior’s Mercy, Forgiveness, and Love

Psalm 23; 51; 59:16; 78:38; 86:5, 13; 100:4-5; 103:2-4, 8-11, 17-18 - Some of these psalms express gratitude to the Savior for his mercy, forgiveness, and love:

 

The Scriptures

Psalm 19:7-11; 119 - These psalms express gratitude to the Lord for the scriptures:

Psalm 19:7-10 - Words David used to describe the scriptures included law, testimony, statutes, commandment, and judgments. Adjectives used described the scriptures include perfect, sure, right, pure, true, and righteous. The scriptures are also described as more desired than gold and sweeter than honey.

Psalm 19:7-11 - Blessings the scriptures bring into our lives, as recorded in these verses include: converting our souls (verse 7), making the simple wise (verse 7), causing our hearts to rejoice (verse 8), enlightening our eyes (verse 8), giving us warning (verse 11).

Psalm 119:97 - The Psalmist exclaimed to the Lord, “O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day”. Think seriously about how you might develop such a love for the scriptures.

Psalm 119:105 - The scriptures like “a lamp unto [our] feet, and a light unto [our] path”.

 

The Temple

Psalm 5:7; 15:1-3; 24; 27:4; 65:4; 84:1-2,4,10-12; 122; 134 teach about the temple.

 

“What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?”

In Psalm 116:12, David asked, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?”

David’s answer to his own this question is listed below:

Psalm 116:13  “I will take the cup of salvation”.

Psalm 116:13  “I will … call upon the name of the Lord”.

Psalm 116:16  “O Lord, truly I am thy servant”.

Psalm 116:17 “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving”.

Psalm 116:18-19 “I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the Lord’s house”.

We too can accept the gospel, pray, serve, be grateful, and attend the temple.

 

“Trust in the Lord”

“Trust in the Lord” is one of the most common admonitions in the book of Psalms (Psalm 4:5; Psalm 5:11; Psalm 9:10; Psalm 18:2; Psalm 56:11; Psalm 62:8; Psalm 118:8-9). Think about how you place your trust in the Lord and the blessings you received as you trusted him.

 

Blessings of singing hymns

Main topics of our latter-day hymns include the Savior, our duties as Church members, enduring to the end, faith, home and family, love, missionary work, prayer, priesthood, prophets, the restoration of the gospel, the sacrament, service, enduring trials, and Zion.

Some of the following are ways that singing hymns can bless us include: Hymns lift our spirits, inspire us to live more righteously, remind us of our blessings, give us an opportunity to sing praises to the Lord, give us a way to bear testimony, help us recommit ourselves to the Lord, help us feel the Spirit, help us be more in tune with our Heavenly Father, and help us learn and teach the gospel.

The First Presidency said: “Inspirational music is an essential part of our church meetings. The hymns invite the Spirit of the Lord, create a feeling of reverence, unify us as members, and provide a way for us to offer praises to the Lord. Some of the greatest sermons are preached by the singing of hymns. Hymns move us to repentance and good works, build testimony and faith, comfort the weary, console the mourning, and inspire us to endure to the end” (Hymns, ix).

Matthew 26:30 - At the Last Supper, Jesus and his Aposstles sang a hymn. That singing of a hymn helped Jesus and his Apostles prepare to fulfill the work that was before them.

Just before the Prophet Joseph Smith was martyred in Carthage Jail, he asked John Taylor to sing “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” (Hymns, no. 29; see also B. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church, 2:282-84).
 
Latter-day hymns inspired by Old Testament psalms

The LDS hymnbook could be viewed as our latter-day equivalent of the psalms. Latter-day hymns that were inspired by Old Testament psalms include: “The Lord Is My Shepherd” (Hymns, no. 108; Psalm 23), “The Lord Is My Light” (Hymns, no. 89; Psalm 27:1), “How Great Thou Art” (Hymns, no. 86; Psalm 8:3-9; Psalm 9:1-2), and “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty” (Hymns, no. 72; Psalm 23:6; Psalm 150).

 

Conclusion

The psalms bear powerful witness of the divine mission of Jesus Christ. They also remind us of the great blessings that he and our Heavenly Father have given us. And they suggest ways we can express gratitude for those blessings. The final Psalm, Psalm 150, summarizes the message of the book.

 

These lessons are available on the Internet at http://www.neumanninstitute.org/