March 31 2023
Today, Friday March 31
What Controls the Music of Your Life?
“Blessed be the LORD God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.”
Today we want to look at the division of the Book of Psalms into five books. As we finished Psalm 41 yesterday you might have noticed that above Psalm 42 is the title: “Book Two”. If you look back to Psalm 1, you will again see that it has written over it: “Book One”. The division of the Book of Psalms into five books is: Book 1: Psalms 1—41; Book 2: Psalms 42—72; Book 3: Psalms 73—89; Book 4: Psalms 90—106; Book 5: Psalms 107—150.
We must always remember that God is the author of the entire Bible! Every verse in every book is inspired by God, the very breath of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). God used 40 some people to write the 66 books of the Bible over a period of 1,500 plus years, beginning with Moses who wrote the first five books of the Bible in about 1500 BC, and ending with the Apostle John who wrote the last book of the Bible in about 90 AD.
Concerning the Book of Psalms, we know that David is listed as the writer of 73 psalms, Asaph of 12, and the sons of Korah of 11. Other psalms were written by Solomon, Heman the Ezrahite, Ethan the Ezrahite, and Moses (Psalm 90). The earliest extant copy of Psalms is from the Dead Sea Scrolls from about the first century AD. That copy shows that the division into five books extends to at least that time and certainly earlier.
It is uncertain why Psalms is divided into five books. Some sources, including Jewish Midrash traditions, suggest the five-fold division is based on the five books of the Torah (Genesis to Deuteronomy). The division of the Psalms is not based on authorship or chronology, as several authors composed Psalms, and their individual songs are mixed throughout the various collections.
It is most likely that Ezra and/or other Jewish religious leaders compiled the Psalms into their existing order during Ezra’s lifetime in the fourth century BC. Interestingly, the Psalms was one of the most popular writings among the Dead Sea Scrolls, with thirty scrolls of all or parts of the book included. Overall, Psalms is the book of the Old Testament with the most Hebrew manuscripts available for research, indicating its enduring popularity among both Jews and Christians.
Each of these five books or sections of Psalms ends with a doxology or a song of praise. The final verse of each concluding psalm includes either “Praise the Lord!” or “Amen.” For example, the final verse of Psalm 41 ends this way: “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel From everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.”
Every verse in the final chapter, Psalm 150, serves as the fitting final doxology, concluding with the words, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”
The Book of Psalms is the longest book in the Bible. It contains both the longest (119), and the shortest (117) chapters of the Bible. And it is the middle book of the Bible! I believe God gave us the Psalms to bring great hope and comfort into our lives on a daily basis. I have chosen to read at least five psalms a day by starting with the day of the month and then reading every 30th psalm. (Example Day 1: 1, 31, 61, 91, 121.) This almost works out to give me a chapter each day from each of the five books.
The Lord wants us to worship Him and enjoy an intimate relationship with Him every day! You might notice that in each of the five books we learn how God wants to be involved in our lives: To sum up, here’s a quick look at the emphasis of each of the five books in Psalms: Book 1: God beside us; Book 2: God going before us; Book 3: God around us; Book 4: God above us; Book 5: God among us!
So who or what controls the music of your life? Are you driven by the social pressures you feel from the culture around you? Or do you approach each day from the perspective of a scripture or biblical song of worship on which you have meditated? God’s Word is sweeter than honey and more desirable than gold or silver (Psalm 19:10). Go ahead and put some honey on your tongue today and sing a new song to the Lord!