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Psalms

The Lord is my shepherd.

Psalms

The nineteenth book in the Bible is the Book of Psalms. It contains 150 songs, or psalms, which were written by various authors over a period of 1,000 years - from the time of Moses to the return of the Jews from their exile in Babylon. The psalms have a variety of styles and themes, from praise and worship to sorrow and penitence.

All quotations from the Bible are taken from the Authorised King James Version.
1.
Although the psalms were written by different authors, one man wrote almost half. Which historical figure was this?
Moses
Samson
David
Ezra
David is thought to have written 73 of the 150 psalms. He was renowned as a musician and, before he became king himself, used to perform for King Saul.
Psalm 3, written by David after the revolt of his son, Absolom, shows how David was protected by God from his enemies:

Psalm 3:4-6
"I cried unto the Lord with my voice,
and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
I laid me down and slept;
I awaked; for the Lord sustained me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people,
that have set themselves against me round about"
2.
When Jesus died on the cross he quoted the first line of one of the psalms with the words "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Which of the psalms is this line the beginning of?
Psalm 11
Psalm 22
Psalm 33
Psalm 44
The psalm is about Jesus' suffering on the cross, though it was written 1,000 years before his time!

Psalm 22:16-18
"For dogs have compassed me:
the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me:
they pierced my hands and my feet.
I may tell all my bones:
they look and stare upon me.
They part my garments among them,
and cast lots upon my vesture"
3.
Psalm 23 has been set to music by many composers and has become a popular hymn. What is the first line of both the hymn and the psalm?
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide
All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want
The psalm, written by David who was once a shepherd himself, compares the love we get from God to the love of a shepherd for his flock. It ends with the joyous lines:

Psalm 23:6
"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever"
4.
Psalm 32, also written by David, speaks of which practice - later a key part of the Christian faith?
Confession
Easter
Baptism
Christmas
The psalm is about sin, guilt and forgiveness. It encourages us to confess our sins in prayer to God.

Psalm 32:5-6
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee,
and mine iniquity have I not hid.
I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord;
and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found:
surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him"
5.
Psalm 51 is another psalm about repentance and forgiveness. It was written by David after he had been rebuked for his sins by which prophet?
By Isaiah
By Elijah
By Nathan
By Ezekiel
Nathan was angered by David's adultery with Bathsheeba. David wrote this psalm appealing to God for forgiveness. The first verse of the psalm goes like this:

Psalm 51:1
"Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness:
according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions"
6.
The authors of psalms 88 and 89 were Heman and Ethan, the Ezrahites. Both were known for their wisdom and are mentioned in which other book of the Bible, where it is said that they are not as wise as Solomon?
The First Book of Kings
The Second Book of Kings
The Book of Ezra
The Book of Nehemiah
Psalm 89 reminds us that we should always worship God and never stop.

Psalm 89:1-2
"I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever:
with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever:
thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens"
7.
Psalm 90, which tells us to use our time on earth wisely, was written by which historical figure?
Moses
Samson
David
Ezra
The psalm is a prayer by Moses from which the often quoted life expectancy of men, 70-80 years, is taken.

Psalm 90:10
"The days of our years are threescore years and ten;
and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow;
for it is soon cut off, and we fly away"
8.
Psalm 119, which contains one stanza of verse for each letter in the Hebrew alphabet, has which unique attribute?
It is the longest of all the psalms
It is the longest chapter in the whole Bible
It is longer than 31 other books in the Bible
All of the above
Psalm 119 is a prayer about obeying God's commands. The first stanza, whose 8 verses each begin with the Hebrew letter Aleph, goes like this:

Psalm 119:1-8
Aleph
"Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
who walk in the law of the Lord.
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies,
and that seek him with the whole heart.
They also do no iniquity:
they walk in his ways.
Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!
Then shall I not be ashamed,
when I have respect unto all thy commandments.
I will praise thee with uprightness of heart,
when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.
I will keep thy statutes:
O forsake me not utterly"
9.
Psalms 120-134 are collectively known as the Gradual Psalms, the Songs of Steps, the Pilgrim Songs or the Songs of Ascents. In the Authorised King James version of the Bible, they are known by which title?
The Songs of Paces
The Songs of Degrees
The Songs of Travellers
The Songs of Climbing
One of the Songs of Degrees, Psalm 134, has only three verses, however it is not the shortest chapter in the Bible. Psalm 117 has only two verses!
Here is Psalm 134 in full:

Psalm 134
A Song of degrees.
"Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord,
which by night stand in the house of the Lord.
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary,
and bless the Lord.
The Lord that made heaven and earth
bless thee out of Zion"
10.
The final psalm, Psalm 150, begins and ends with the same words. What are they?
Merciful is the Lord
Holy is the Lord
Blessed be the Lord
Praise ye the Lord
This last psalm tells us to praise God in as many ways as we can.

Psalm 150
"Praise ye the Lord.
Praise God in his sanctuary:
praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts:
praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet:
praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance:
praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals:
praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.
Praise ye the Lord"

 

Author:  Graeme Haw

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