After reading the book of Psalms, I have decided to mainly use commentary written from the Holman Christian Standard Bible as well as with a little bit of my own where further elaboration is best used. I felt that to quote specific psalms and comment on them, I would practically have every psalm quoted! I encourage the reader to at the very least, read a psalm a day for hope and encouragement in daily life. Also, since the Psalms are praises, I have decided to include several songs from Youtube that would go along nicely with this particular journal entry.

David Huff (My Song of Praise):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIlxMpYNlpE

“The book of Psalms is the largest collection of ancient lyrical poetry in existence. As part of the Bible, this poetry is of course religious; it expresses the emotions of believers as they are stirred by the thought of God and developments in their life of faith. The feelings of joy and pain, fear and security, triumph and tragedy, confidence and doubt, hope and despair are expressed with piety and reverence but honestly and boldly. The reader is sometimes taken aback by the blunt and powerful words that the psalmists used. But these folk were often in life-and-death situations, attacked by ruthless and cruel enemies, betrayed by friends, or in natural dangers as they traveled the land. Because there was no lasting peace and no sense of security, life was a daily challenge. Yet they were convinced that the Lord reigned over the affairs of men, and so they rejoiced over the law of God as their guide. Whenever the Lord demonstrated His sovereignty by direct intervention in their affairs, they praised Him. When God’s intervention did not seem to be forthcoming, they lamented over their dilemmas and prayed more earnestly. When the affairs of life seemed unfair, they analyzed the wisdom of God’s decisions. But in every case they reaffirmed their hope in His loyal love and their commitment to serving Him. That is why the works collected here became the prayer and hymnbook of the temple.
The collection is called the book of Psalms based on its Greek title. (A psalm is a composition sung to the accompaniment of stringed instruments; the word is mismor in Hebrew, psalmos in Greek.) The Hebrew title is the book of Praises, or more simply, Praises. This is most fitting for the collection because almost all the psalms include praise one way or another. Even lament psalms progress from prayer to praise, the praise often offered as a vow to be fulfilled in the sanctuary once God answered the prayer.
For the Christian who reads the psalms, many of the passages about the kingdom speak clearly of the person and work of Jesus the Messiah. Moreover, many psalms point to Him as indirect prophecies of His suffering, death, and resurrection or as appropriate descriptions of His obedient life in the midst of enemies. Many of these so-called messianic passages were recognized as such by Jewish interpreters before Jesus was born and thus cannot be explained away as Christian readings of the texts. The Spirit of God was so directing the hearts and minds of the psalmists, especially David, that the words they used to express their own experiences were designed by God not only to fit the historical occasion but also to be fulfilled perfectly in the person and work of the Son of God, not only in His first coming but also in His coming in glory to reign.”

Joe Sabolick Band (Reign):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AalRrWPxMso

“Psalm 1, which introduces the entire collection in the book of Psalms by describing the type of person who reads and uses them, belongs more to the category of “wisdom” than to that of the hymns and prayers that make up most of the book. Wisdom literature is concerned with the conflicting lifestyles of believers and unbelievers, emphasizing that only divine judgment will end the inequity of life and bring reward to the righteous. The word “happy”(“blessedness of”) refers to the joy and satisfaction that comes from knowing that one is right with God, even though at times conflict with the world may bring difficulties. Such blessedness is the opposite of the “curse” that takes effect as a result of disobedience to the Lord’s commands. The use of “man” in biblical literature refers to persons in general, here any believer who is trying to live in obedience to God. The “advice” of unbelievers may be necessary in matters of commerce, law, medicine, or other technical fields, but chapter 1 is concerned with spiritual matters such as ethics, morality, and faithfulness to the Lord in daily life. Meditation involves studying a passage of Scripture, memorizing it, praying about it, and exhorting oneself to fulfill it. Spiritual success depends on the constant study and application of God’s Word. The promise of prosperity is qualified by the context: “whatever he does” will be determined by living in obedience to the Scriptures—that is what will prosper. The word translated “wicked” in Psalms is a general term for an unbeliever, someone who is not a member of the covenant and not living in obedience to God. Although perhaps appearing to be a good person, such a one is capable of great evil through his lack of regard for the Lord. The word translated “righteous” in the Old Testament refers to a member of the covenant who seeks to live righteously; it is a description of the true believer. The righteous are not sinless, but they seek to maintain a right relationship with the Lord.”

“The description of God’s laughing and mocking is a bold anthropomorphism, a comparison from human behavior to emphasize how ridiculous their plan is. In the same way, God’s being “enthroned in heaven” describes His sovereign reign.”

“The Israelites knew that the Lord was the sovereign King of glory; at every victory they could praise Him by declaring, “The LORD sits enthroned.” Yet they continued to pray for His kingdom to come, knowing that He had yet to establish His righteous kingdom in its fullness such acclamations both praise God for immediate acts and express confidence in a future final deliverance. The psalms include many petitions for swift judgment on the wicked. David was the leader of the covenant community and had the responsibility to defend the people of God against attacks of all kinds from pagans, and even unfaithful Israelites, who opposed the righteous and their God. His prayer was not a personal vendetta; it was a prayer that God would do what He had said He would do at some future time. Christians have been taught to pray for their enemies; even though they have a different way of praying because of the full revelation in Christ, praying for the Lord’s coming is still a prayer for judgment upon a sinful world.”

Don Moen (God Will Make A Way):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4DgESWtCus

“Psalms in which the speaker deals with his sin are often called penitential psalms. (The seven traditional “Penitential Psalms” are 6; 32; 38; 51; 69; 102; 130.) In psalm 6, David pleaded with God to bring an end to his suffering at the hands of enemies, a suffering that was the Lord’s chastening for his sin. It is normal for people who suffer to use hyperbolic language. David did not literally flood his bed with weeping, it just seemed that way. The poetic language reflects his intense feelings of pain and utter despondency.”

Sanctus Real (Whatever Your Doing):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=In8oOMf6gBI

“To say that the Lord has not abandoned those who seek Him calls for some clarification. The verse does not say that those who seek Him always get what they want. In fact, David could speak as if God had forsaken him when his prayers were not being answered. But even when God delays in answering prayers, or does not answer, He is still dealing faithfully with His people for their ultimate well-being. If God always answered prayer automatically, His worshipers would experience little development of their faith. The “foundations” referred to the stability of the created order, symbolized in the sanctuary of God, but by extension could also refer to the institutions and order of society. The question seems to convey hopelessness, but it is answered in the rest of the psalm—the righteous can trust the Lord who rules from heaven, even if things may appear unsteady on the earthly scene. It is easy to say, “do not be agitated,” but it takes a strong faith to reach this level of confidence in the Lord. The cause for anxiety in chapter 37 is envy of wrongdoers who prosper in the world. A deep trust in the Lord enables people to delight in Him, and He will give them the desires of their hearts. Those desires, however, will be in harmony with God’s will. The psalmist says that he has never seen the righteous abandoned, nor their children reduced to begging. This is a general observation of God’s faithfulness; it does not mean life will be easy or trouble free for the righteous. Since God will never forsake the righteous, He will ultimately rescue them, but in His time. Through periods of difficulty it will seem as though God has forsaken people, but in such cases He is calling upon them to exercise a deeper trust and commitment.”

Big Daddy Weave (Hold Me Jesus):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXN0m3Dr30k

In chapter 50, “Asaph records the words of a sanctuary prophet declaring God’s indictment. The people’s worship was merely an outer form that lacked the right spiritual motivation. God declares that He does not need them—they need Him. This declaration of the word of God may be the heart of His “appearing” that is taking place. The second indictment is for hypocrisy in conduct, the breaking of some of the Ten Commandments. The wicked were present in the congregation, speaking the words of Scripture and the covenant as ritual but with no inner commitment. They assumed God’s silence about their sin meant His approval—that He was just like them. To “forget God” is to live as if He had no claims on their lives—no repentance, no obedience, no proper worship. This is the description of fools.”

Anne Murray (Just A Closer Walk With Thee):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrM1aWtYpys

In regards to chapter 51, “The heart is the spiritual nature of a person, the center of the will, the capacity for making choices. The prayer is for God to re-create (renew, as the parallelism in the verse shows) that spiritual side, lest he continue to make wrong choices. Forgiveness may not be enough to solve the problem; there must be a complete spiritual renewal. The forgiven worshiper is not the old person cleaned up; he is a new person.”

In chapter 73, “the psalmist reports he had serious doubts about the value of his faith when he saw the prosperity of the wicked all around him. But he handled his doubts correctly; he did not publicize them to other people who might have been disillusioned by them. Rather, he went to the sanctuary where, in the presence of God, he saw things in eternal perspective. In contrast to the realization that the wicked face the judgment of God, the psalmist was comforted by the hope of his glorious destiny. The words “take me up in glory” could refer to his entrance into glory after this life is over; but the Hebrew word (kavod) also means “honor” and could refer to the approval conferred on a life guided by God’s counsel. In the broader scope of the Bible, these words certainly harmonize with the doctrines of resurrection and glorification.”

Deana Carter (Color Everywhere):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_l9_mV14Qw

In chapter 88, “the suffering psalmist attributed his life-long affliction to God (“Your wrath,” “Your terrors”). This is the realism of the faith—God is sovereign, even over difficult circumstances His people must endure. Everything has a purpose in the outworking of God’s plan, even though in the time of pain it is hard to appreciate this. If the psalm seems to end on a negative not, two considerations apply. First, however much the speaker felt God had deserted him, he was still talking to Him. Second, the psalm, as it is given, may not reproduce the entire scene; when it was used in worship, another speaker not quoted here may have responded with an answer affirming the Lord’s help. There are many places in Psalms that suggest there was an unrecorded response from another speaker, in the Lord’s name. The Lord may permit things to happen in life that are troubling and painful, but nothing is ever out of His control. God dispatches His angels to ensure that His will is safeguarded. In the New Testament, Satan used this reassuring passage to tempt Jesus to dramatize His identity as the messianic Son of God. Jesus countered this misuse of Scripture with another that warns against putting God to the test.”

Aaron Shust (Watch Over Me):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52_5VuwKVI

Events may cause people to curse and declare their hatred to God for allowing one thing or another to happen. God’s response is always the same: “I love you.” “I am with you.” “I will never leave you or forsake you.” Just as an earthly father will listen with compassion to his child complain, our Father in heaven will listen to our honest prayers because He cares about us. There will be times where we might leave Him, but no matter what happens, He will not let us go.

Rush of Fools (Can’t Get Away):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbhpya7DWCY

“To number our days is to measure the time left in life and make every day count. It is based on the recognition that life is short and God’s anger swift. Thus, the goal of such numbering is a heart of wisdom. Conscious of life’s brevity, we learn to make choices through which God can establish the work of our hands producing something valuable to those that follow us and honoring to God.”

Big Daddy Weave (Every Time I Breathe):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w70xy8sPEE4

In chapter 98, “the psalm says that the rivers clap, the mountains sing, and all nature echoes and reverberates in anticipation of the coming of the Lord. In Romans 8:19-22, Paul described the longing of creation to see the fulfillment of God’s purpose.”

Johnny Nash (I Can See Clearly Now):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtiXiYMS86U

In chapter 111, “the first half of this verse, drawn from Proverbs 1:7, reminds people that the proper response to all that God has done is reverential fear. To fear the Lord is to trust in Him, obey Him, and worship Him as God and Savior. The word indicates both a shrinking back from something, out of a sense of awe, and an attraction to it in adoration and wonder. The Old Testament has no expression corresponding to our general concept of “being religious,” but uses phrases that relate specifically to Yahweh, such as knowing the Lord, being faithful to the Lord, and fearing the Lord.”

“Psalm 131 contains an implicit warning not to become too involved in trying to understand the mystery of God. It is enough to rely on Him as His child—the psalmist dared to use the picture of a mother to convey his thought. The speaker saw himself as a member of his larger worshiping community.”

“Psalm 139 is a profound meditation on how the Lord knows everything about His human creation and how He is present everywhere in His creation. It was the Lord who made us and planned for our lives. The meditation prompts the immediate response of loyalty to God. God knows not only every move we make in our daily routines, but also the motives behind our actions. The expression “from far away” can be temporal or spatial; in this context it is probably temporal—beforehand, and not from a distance. The speaker’s first impulse was to flee—but where? God is present everywhere. There was no place he could go to get away from this penetrating knowledge—not even to the abode of the dead. But he began to see that God’s “hand,” which formerly seemed to entrap him, was really leading him into His presence. Wherever he went—even to remote places of the earth or to Sheol, where it seemed God would not follow him—he did not want to be there without the light of His presence. Verse 16 declares that, even in the womb, the child was being formed under the supervision and by the active involvement of God who already had planned the course of his life. This statement has much to say about how people must give human life in the womb the same loving care that God—whose Spirit gives life—bestows upon it. The passage is poetry, but is still revealed truth. The passage also stresses the sovereignty of God more than any other psalm; people are not the masters of their own destiny, but are in the hand of the Lord.”

David Crowder Band (Every Move I Make):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SIM9EE6DnPE

Psalm 146 praises the Lord for His wonderful deeds, offering a catalog of the kinds of things God does. But the history of the faith revealed in the Bible shows that these are not absolutes—He has not vindicated all who are oppressed, or fed all who are hungry, or given sight to all who are blind. But it is His intent to do all these things, and He will; the Bible affirms that all the promises of God will be fulfilled, if not in this life, surely in the life tom come. Everything will be put right. But the fact is that God has done these things again and again, and His greatest fulfillment has been in the work of Christ. The mighty works of Jesus show that He is able, and willing, to do the things listed here. Moreover, a psalm like this summons the people of God to be active in doing the work of God on earth—what He wants done. Too often believers fail to understand what God can do, and how He does many of His works through them.”

MercyMe (Open The Eyes Of My Heart):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wutmEjdbedE

In regards to Psalm 148:4-5, “How do the sun, moon, and waters praise the Lord? Their very existence attests to the glory and majesty and power of God. To call on natural phenomena using the device of personification is a way of drawing attention to their witness to God’s greater power.”

Phillips Craig and Dean (Come, Now Is The Time To Worship):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DDgO9Eambo

I would like to conclude this commentary of the Psalms with the unofficial Psalm 151, with the original content:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvlM4ECm4sw

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