“Unit 22: Day 4, Psalms, Part 1,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 22: Day 4,” Old Testament Study Guide
This is the first of three lessons on the book of Psalms. The psalms discussed in this lesson include songs of praise to the Lord and prophecies concerning Jesus Christ’s suffering and death. This lesson also discusses Psalm 23, which teaches about the Lord’s care for and protection over us.
Do you enjoy music? If so, how does the music you listen to influence you?
For some people, music provides a way to express feelings that otherwise might be difficult to communicate. If you were to select a hymn that communicates your feelings about the Lord, which one would you choose and why?
The book of Psalms is a collection of sacred songs, poems, and prayers to God. In ancient times the Israelites would sing or recite the psalms as part of their worship of the Lord, very similar to how we use hymns today.
- Read Psalm 9:1–2, 9–10, 13–14, looking for phrases that reflect feelings you have for the Lord. Record two or three phrases in your scripture study journal, and explain why you selected them.
Read the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Jesus Himself quoted the book of Psalms more than any other Old Testament text. Beyond the Savior’s own use of these writings, the authors of the four Gospels [Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John] drew heavily on the psalms as they strove to document His life and ministry, particularly those excruciating hours of His arrest, trial, and Crucifixion” (For Times of Trouble , 7–8).
In order to be more familiar with the events surrounding Jesus Christ’s suffering and death, read the following scripture passages: Matthew 27:27–43, 46; Luke 23:46; John 19:31–33, 36. As you read, look for the specific experiences Jesus Christ had during His Crucifixion.
Following His Resurrection, Jesus Christ appeared to His Apostles and taught them how He had fulfilled the prophecies concerning Himself that were written in the psalms and other Old Testament passages (see Luke 24:44–46). Read the following scriptures, looking for phrases that relate to the scriptures you read from the New Testament about the Crucifixion of the Savior. You may want to mark the phrases you discover.
From studying these psalms and learning about how they were fulfilled, we can learn that the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s suffering and death were given long before He was born on earth, and the prophecies of Jesus Christ’s suffering and death were fulfilled.
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: How can it strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ to know that prophecies of His suffering and death were given long before He was born on earth and that these prophecies were fulfilled?
Look at the following words, and reflect on the last time you experienced or worried about any of these challenges:
Psalm 23 teaches how the Lord can help us when we experience difficulties. This psalm is widely regarded as one of the most beloved scripture passages in the Bible. Psalm 23 is a poem, and it contains vivid images and symbols.
Read Psalm 23, looking for what the Lord is compared to in this poem.
In what ways are we like sheep in need of a shepherd?
While you consider this question, read the following statement by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “We need a shepherd because in innocence or ignorance—but on occasion willfully and against counsel—we turn ‘every one to his own way’ and as a result ‘have gone astray’ [Isaiah 53:6]. We wander here and scamper there, inspect this and nibble at that, until at some point we look up and realize we are either lost or about to be destroyed. We realize that we, or others who affect us, have done either something stupid or something wrong—which are so very often the same thing. We realize we desperately need help; we are in trouble and frantically look about for our shepherd, our defender, our savior” (For Times of Trouble, 204).
- Review Psalm 23:1–4, and identify at least three phrases that teach what the Lord does for us as our Shepherd. Write these phrases in your scripture study journal, and explain what you think each phrase means and how you have felt the Lord bless you in that way.
In Psalm 23:5 the image of the Lord changes from a shepherd to a host who provides a feast for us. Review Psalm 23:5–6, looking for phrases that indicate how the Lord is like a host who serves and feeds us. It may help to understand that in ancient times, hosts would anoint the heads of their honored guests with expensive perfumed oil.
- In your scripture study journal, write at least two phrases from Psalm 23:5 that show that the Lord is like a host who serves and feeds us. Explain how each phrase helps you understand what the Lord does for us.
Psalm 23 teaches us that if we trust in the Lord, He will lead and care for us.
- In your scripture study journal, describe a time or incident in your life when you felt the Lord lead or care for you as you trusted in Him.
Consider how you can apply what you have learned by more fully trusting in the Lord, your Shepherd.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied the Psalms, Part 1 lesson and read the assigned psalms and completed it on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: