David’s Steleae: The Psalms as Public Memorials and Private Prayers

violin-and-psalm“I will tell of the marvellous things You have done.” Psalm 9:1b

“I will exalt You, Lord, because You have rescued me.” Psalm 30:1a

A stele is “an upright stone slab or pillar bearing an inscription or design and serving as a monument, marker, or the like.” [Source: Dictionary.com] They were widely used in the Near East millennia before David, and well after his time. It was standard practice for kings to have steles and statues of themselves made as positive propaganda to support their reign. However, David didn’t follow this practice. In line with the *ten commandments, he didn’t have himself pictured with a representation of YHWH behind him, neither did he carve his achievements in stone. Apart from the book of Samuel and 1 Chronicles, the only memorials we have to David are his Psalms, some of which could be likened to victory steles, and others which have an interesting function.

Roughly half of all the Psalms that are attributed to David were sent to the choir director and made public, and 50% of those Psalms were written when he was in great distress. We don’t know how the other Psalms were used, but it is possible that the ones which have not been specifically marked as “for the choir director” were in his personal collection, then organised into books after his death. His Psalms which are marked as prayers: 17, 86, and 142, were notably not sent to the choir director.

Some of the Psalms that were made public had national themes: Psalm 60 was written while David grappled with Israel’s failures in the battle in the Valley of Salt, and is noted as being useful for teaching; the wording of Psalm 67 is a mix of a prayer and a benediction; and Psalm 58 is an outspoken challenge to the people of Israel on justice [see the final chapter below for clarification]. David also sent Psalm 53 to the choir director, making a public statement of faith with “only fools deny God.”

Using my own classification of the Psalms (I get lost in the theological classifications, so I divided them further for my own use), these are the victory Psalms that David wanted sung before the Lord:

  • Psalm 9: I will tell of all the marvellous things You have done.
  • Psalm 18: When rescued from Saul and the enemies in that period of time.
  • Psalm 20: May the LORD answer all your prayers.
  • Psalm 21: How the king rejoices in Your strength, O LORD!
  • Psalm 30: Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

The Psalms of joy and wonder, plus David’s statements of faith that were sent to the choir director include Psalms 8, 11, 19, 62, 65, 66, 67, 53 and 58.

One thing which occurred to me when looking at which Psalms were attributed to specific events and could be considered memorials, is that there are no Psalms specifically linked to David’s most notable victories such as killing Goliath, bringing the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem, or his battle achievements. He didn’t mention God’s special covenant with Him, or his plans to build the temple; (neither did David ask for it to be named after him.) This is a testament to David’s humility, despite the moral dips which occurred with Bathsheba and the census.

The stone tablet with the code written on it. This was placed in a public space so that all could read it.

The stone tablet with the code written on it. This was placed in a public space so that all could read it.

God is always the focus of David’s songs, which is another significant difference between him and any other ruler. He never claims honour or victory for himself. For an example, read the **Code of Hammurabi which has massive chunks at the beginning and end, glorifying and justifying the rule of Hammurabi. For example: “Hammurabi, the prince… making riches and increase, enriching Nippur and Dur-ilu beyond compare… who conquered the four quarters of the world, made great the name of Babylon…who enriched Ur; the humble, the reverent, who brings wealth…”

David’s work shows that he was transparent in how he talked about his life in public and that he wasn’t hung up on appearances. He freely admitted his faults and struggles and the glory for his successes always went to the Lord. Psalm 51, which speaks of his correction by Nathan over Bathsheba, and how sin affected him, was made public. Whether that was to address his sin because it was public knowledge, or whether it was to be used as a teaching aid to strengthen the faith of the people and encourage righteousness, or both, I honestly don’t know.

Psalm 3, which was about when he fled from Absalom, Psalm 34 where he escaped from Philistine territory feigning madness and Psalm 52, where he was betrayed by Doeg to Saul, weren’t marked for use by the choir director either. Not using Psalm 52 appears odd, as all the other betrayal Psalms were publicly sung. Perhaps it wasn’t copied or notated correctly, or perhaps David had some private reason for not sending it on? I wish I knew.

These are the Psalms which have a definite event associated with them and could be considered a form of victory stele.

  • 7 – concerning Cush of the tribe of Benjamin
  • 18 – rescued from all enemies and Saul [PUBLIC]
  • 30 – dedication of the temple / house [PUBLIC]
  • 54 – betrayed by Ziphites [PUBLIC]
  • 56 – seized at Gath [PUBLIC]
  • 57 – when fled from Saul and went to the cave [PUBLIC]
  • 59 – soldiers watching his house [PUBLIC]

The last point of interest is David’s request that two Psalms which relate to persecution by Saul, (57 and 59,) be sung to the tune “Do Not Destroy.” Knowing the old title attached to that melody would add a clear message to the Psalm, which would be noted by anyone knowing that piece of music. Other Psalmists also requested the same for their work.

“Do Not Destroy” is also the melody which was selected for Psalm 58: “Justice—do you rulers know the meaning of the word?” In Bible Hub’s interlinear Bible, “ruler” is elem, or congregation. [Strongs Number 482] It is a masculine word, which is culturally correct as the assembly of believers was all male in David’s time. Some Bibles say gods, some say sons of men. There is no correct consensus. It is a source of profound frustration to me that words such as this are so poorly translated in our Bibles, and a reminder to dig deeper to find the true meaning of the Word of God.
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Notes:

*“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” Exodus 20:4-6

**The Code of Hammurabi translated by L.W. King http://www.general-intelligence.com/library/hr.pdf  and the Louvre Museum’s page on it: http://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/law-code-hammurabi-king-babylon


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The King David Project by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://cateartios.wixsite.com/kingdavidproject.

Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

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“How Long?” When Answers to Prayer Don’t Seem to Arrive

14465_Psalm_150“O LORD, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble?” Psalm 10:1

One morning, as I was sick and faced with a scary, roulette wheel decision on which medication would or wouldn’t work, I felt exactly like David did in Psalm 6. Worn out, scared and hopeless. I prayed for wisdom and no answer came. Feeling desperate I thought, “well, if David didn’t always receive answers when he so desperately needed it, then there’s no hope for me to get one.” I don’t even begin to compare with the honour David has in the Lord’s eyes, but to my surprise, God answered me. A calm voice said, “sometimes I can’t give answers.”I survived the problem without damage and began to explore why God couldn’t answer. The more I thought about it, the simper the answer was… then the more complex it became. “How long” is a God-sized issue with a God-sized answer! There are so many factors which may stop His answering us in the manner we want:

  • God won’t stomp on our free will;
  • His actions are stopping us from being greedy or stupid in some way;
  • the timing is wrong;
  • we need this to grow;
  • there is a better plan in God’s heart, than the rescue we long for;
  • other’s free will’s hijacks or affects us and God can’t override that; or
  • to get to the right answer involves multiple decisions and/or steps, which have to be done in the right way, in the right time. We can’t just jump to a final resultand lastly,
  • we have to learn obedience to the Lord: He doesn’t come when we call, it’s the other way around. (This is probably one of the reasons David had frequent trouble getting answers, he had to learn which King had the highest status and that he had to wait on God, God could not be summoned to him.)

If you were to chart the whole path of any event, particularly those involving more than one person, your brain would spin.There is too much information. Overload and confusion would be imminent. Thankfully, God takes care of all the behind the scenes issues, that we can’t handle. We can’t access the full data which He plans with and we shouldn’t try to.

Putting this issue simply, firstly the Lord has to allow us free will. He aids and comforts us as much as possible, (or as much as He is able to help our stubborn heads and hearts;) but we are meant to stand on our own two feet and grow up. We have to make our own choices and mistakes. So that is one reason why He may abstain from an instant, heroic rescue. If He stepped in too often and gave us every answer, we’d soon complain about losing our rights, being treated like incapable children, or not being given space to grow.

Secondly, behind the scenes are many complex factors that influence His ability to answer. There may be a simple solution, but if we are told it at the wrong time, then it would fail. As I said above, getting to the point where the answer is effective may take multiple decisions, a series of steps, timing, and/or change/s made by other parties (who also have their own free wills.) This is where the complexity really kicks in.

Thirdly, what God is doing can be incredibly obvious, we are just too anxious or biased towards our desires, to see it.

19423_Where_are_youWhen we get stressed, we see only one factor: our need and how long it’s taking to meet it. All the machinations of what’s happening in the background, from all sides… and what God really is doing to effectively deal with it, is safely hidden from us. Please note the word safely.

Life has enough troubles. Bless God that He has set limits on what we have to deal with.

God knows the answers to every problem in an instant; technically, before it even happened. He knows where you need help the most and will be working on the very best possible answer, you just can’t see it. So we stress out, as David did many times.
“O LORD, do not stay far away!
You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!” Psalm 22:19

So next time you feel abandoned by the Lord, remember, what is happening in the background would probably confuse you and create additional headaches. Apparent silence should never be taken to imply indifference. It is a matter of timing, God making the most of the best choices and acting with loving care.

Take your worries to the Lord, ask for His lead in what to do and let Him take control (within the free will boundaries He has set). He’ll move all the pieces into place that He can and do a better job than you expect. Then you will be able to join David in saying, “In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the LORD!” But You heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.” Psalm 31:22

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Additional “How Long” Psalm Moments – You Are Not Alone!

1. “O LORD, how long will You forget me? Forever?
How long will You look the other way?
How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
with sorrow in my heart every day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand?
Turn and answer me, O LORD my God!
Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall.
But I trust in Your unfailing love.
I will rejoice because You have rescued me.
I will sing to the LORD
because He is good to me.” Psalm 13

2. “How long, O Lord, will You look on and do nothing?
Rescue me from their fierce attacks.
Protect my life from these lions!
Then I will thank You in front of the great assembly.
I will praise You before all the people.
Don’t let my treacherous enemies rejoice over my defeat.
Don’t let those who hate me without cause gloat over my sorrow.
They don’t talk of peace;
they plot against innocent people who mind their own business.
They shout, “Aha! Aha!
With our own eyes we saw him do it!”
O LORD, You know all about this.
Do not stay silent.
Do not abandon me now, O Lord.” Psalm 35:17-22

3. “Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak.
Heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.
I am sick at heart.
How long, O LORD, until You restore me?
Return, O LORD, and rescue me.
Save me because of Your unfailing love.” Psalm 6:2-3


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Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

The #Psalm That Tears My Heart Out

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This song, inspired by Psalm 42, captures not only the pain and journey of it’s writer, Brian Eichelberger, but it helps me relate to David’s own pain in a very real way. It also demonstrates the power of music to get a point across.

I found this song on iTunes, so if you’d like a copy, that’s the place to go.

Be encouraged.

The Power of Praying the Psalms

It is a Jewish custom that in times of trouble, to pray the Psalms. I have heard Rabbis say that they don’t quite know why they have so much power, but they do. I have three answers to that:

1. The Psalms are the living Word of God which He will honour. (Isaiah 55:11-13)
2. We overcome evil with the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony. The Psalms are King David’s own personal testimony, thus they overcome evil. (Revelation 12:11)
3. When we pray David’s words, we are, in a way, standing in agreement with him. Thus God will honour the words. (Matthew 18:19)

So when life hits you hard, and as David has said here, “my problems go from bad to worse,” pray the Psalms and let the power of the Holy Spirit enter your heart and life.

Psalm 25: A psalm of David.

Psalm33v4“O LORD, I give my life to you.
I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.
Show me the right path, O LORD;
point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.
Remember, O LORD, your compassion and unfailing love,
which you have shown from long ages past.
Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
for you are merciful, O LORD.
The LORD is good and does what is right;
he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
He leads the humble in doing right,
teaching them his way.
The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
For the honor of your name, O LORD,
forgive my many, many sins.
Who are those who fear the LORD?
He will show them the path they should choose.
They will live in prosperity,
and their children will inherit the land.
The LORD is a friend to those who fear him.
He teaches them his covenant.
My eyes are always on the LORD,
for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.
Turn to me and have mercy,
for I am alone and in deep distress.
My problems go from bad to worse.
Oh, save me from them all!
Feel my pain and see my trouble.
Forgive all my sins.
See how many enemies I have
and how viciously they hate me!
Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.
O God, ransom Israel
from all its troubles.”

white_spacerNote: This psalm is a Hebrew acrostic poem; each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet.


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Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

When David’s Story Tears My Heart Out ~ #TrustinGod #GodisGood #grief

BestofblogI’ve found that every so often, I need a break from studying David. It’s not because my brain is overloaded with details, or because I am lost in a maze of information, it’s simply because the human side of David’s story can stress me out.

You wouldn’t think that it is possible, three thousand years after the fact, but the reality of people’s pain can still cut with a keen edge. So what part of David’s life gets to me?

It’s the story of Amnon and Absalom. It’s the agony any parent must go through when one beloved child, murders another in cold blood. It’s about the impact of someone fretting, believing for a time that all their sons are dead… then when getting the awful truth, being separated by yet another son and then going through many years of savage healing. [2 Samuel 13-19]

To understand David, I have researched the impact of losing a child to murder and it’s horrific. It is a grief like no other. Some main points the research has bought out are:

  • Absalom was a sociopath, which must have placed his family through dreadful problems since he was a child. So there is a long history of parents feeling like they have failed and damage to those around Absalom.
  • Whilst Amnon had a conscience, which was shown in his projection of hatred onto Tamar, Absalom had none and that is almost incomprehensible to me.
  • A quarter of the brothers at the celebration would have experienced some form of post-traumatic stress disorder from watching Amnon being killed in front of them. They probably would have all thought they were about to be killed too, as having a brother who is a sociopath and wants the top position in the family, of course you’d expect your neck to be on the line so you weren’t a threat.
  • It would have been psychologically impossible for David to mourn Amnon’s murder and come to terms with Absalom’s treachery at the same time. The human mind is not capable. The formal modern research shows this and David’s story clearly displays this. It would take at least three years before David could start to cope with Absalom, and that is what did actually happen.
  • There would have been many untold consequences of Amnon’s murder behind the scenes. It could have led to a marital breakdown between David and his wife, Ahinoam (Amnon’s mother); there would have been a great deal of controversy over whether or not Absalom should have been dragged back from Geshur and put to death… basically, the decisions that David had to make were nearly impossible for any parent.
  • All of this would have been massively complicated by David’s grief and regret over his affair with BathSheba and the murder of her husband, Uriah. That is a lot for anyone to cope with, no matter how you want to argue over whether it was deserved or not. The price he paid was exceedingly steep.

 

When I think about David as a real father, with the same emotions any modern father has towards his kids, it rips my heart out. Thank God, that at the end of David’s life he was able to say,
“As for me, I will always have hope;
I will praise you more and more.” Psalm 71:14

What an amazing sign of the faithfulness of the Lord!

 


Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

Was King David Clinically Depressed or Bipolar?

Image Copyright Cate Russell-Cole. All rights reserved internationally.

Image Copyright Cate Russell-Cole. All rights reserved internationally.

Because the Psalms record the highs and lows of his life, people have referred to him as being bipolar. It is highly unlikely. Please see this page on David’s personality and read about the Psalms for a better answer to the bipolar issue.

As far as depression goes, I find David to be a highly motivated, active, productive, life-loving man. He didn’t want to die and he wept and mourned when he had excellent reason to. I cannot find extensive evidence of repeated instances of clinical depression which had little or no cause, though it could have been the case. I will keep an open mind. What I can see, is plenty of reason for reactive depression, associated with multiple instances of grief. This occurred when his first son to BathSheba died, then Amnon raped Tamar, then Absalom murdered Amnon, all within several years. Earlier in his life, I see him being realistically afraid and worn out at times, but not experiencing depressive episodes.

As a social worker, understanding grief psychology is part of my role. The worst grief is associated with losing a child. It is magnified to an unbearable extent when that loss has been associated with a murder which has been committed by another one of your own children. For David this is then magnified even further, as the prophet Nathan had forewarned David, that these things would happen as a result of his sin with BathSheba. Add severe guilt to grief and you have pure, living hell which David never fully recovered from.

Parents whose sons have been incarcerated for murder go through a grief process like no other. When two children are involved in the murder, it is a triple loss (death and loss of trust in the surviving son, plus separation due to incarceration), plus their emotional and mental energy is pulled in two directions. People cannot be totally supportive and sympathetic towards both children at the same time, there is simply not enough energy in an overloaded heart for that. In David’s case, he grieved Amnon’s death (his heir to the throne) and rejected Absalom for a long time.

Absalom was obviously terrified of approaching his father (who had a passionate temper and under the Laws set down through Moses, should have had Absalom executed), so Absalom sought sanctuary. The relationship between David and Absalom never fully repaired, though David grieved heavily went Absalom overthrew him as ruler and was subsequently executed by Joab, against David’s orders.

Under circumstances such as these, long term depression can only be expected. In addition, David withstood conspiracies to overthrow his position as king, he was frequently persecuted for the strength of his faith and he was ill, which can also lead to low mood swings. In the same situations, you wouldn’t feel too cheery either.

If you would like to understand more about what a parent goes through when a child commits murder, read this article. (http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/augustweb-only/8-9-42.0.html?start=5) Though I warn you, it will tear your heart out. Also read this post for a greater understanding of the problems which would have occurred in David’s life and family.

I know David did the wrong thing with BathSheba, and some of what occurred after is also due to poor parenting and bad role modelling; however the penalty is abhorrently severe. But that is what life without grace is like. My heart really goes out to him. David had a hard life in many ways.


Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

I Can’t Find A Thing! An Alternative Way of Categorising the Psalms

Theologically, the Psalms are divided into the categories of praise, lament, wisdom and royal Psalms. Those categories are too broad for me, so I have divided them up further. The only Psalms included here are ones which have been written by King David, or in his distinctive style. He always spoke about his own experiences and from an “I” viewpoint, which makes his work easy to identify. More Psalms which are considered his are on this page.

Additional links which will help you find specific topics in the Psalms, are at the base of this page.

I have termed the “magistrate” Psalms as such, as one of the functions of the King was to hear and rule on disputes. These Psalms fit perfectly with that role.

This is a link to the Blue Letter Bible’s list of what event each Psalm refers to.
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Joy
canstockphoto12030870Psalm 8: O LORD, your majestic name fills the earth!
Psalm 18: The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
Psalm 24: Who is the King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty.
Psalm 29: The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea.
Psalm 33: Sing a new song of praise to him… Praise Him with instruments…
Psalm 65: You are the hope of everyone on earth.
Psalm 66: Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!
Psalm 67: David’s work? May the nations praise you, O God.
Psalm 75: But as for me, I will always proclaim what God has done. (Attributed to Asaph, but Davidic in style. Could be his, or on his behalf?)
Psalm 103: He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
Psalm 108: For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.
Psalm 138: For your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.
Psalm 145: I will exalt you, my God and King, and praise your name forever and ever.
2 Samuel 23: King David’s last words.
1 Chronicles 16: Sung when the Ark of the Covenant was bought into Jerusalem.
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Victory
Psalm 9: I will tell of all the marvellous things you have done.
Psalm 18: When rescued from Saul and the enemies in that period of time.
Psalm 20: May the LORD answer all your prayers.
Psalm 21: How the king rejoices in your strength, O LORD!
Psalm 30: Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. (This Psalm may relate to the census that David was punished for taking. Ref: verses 6,7)
Psalm 34: Taste and see that the LORD is good. (Regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away.)
Psalm 68: Rise up, O God, and scatter your enemies.
Psalm 118: Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. (Davidic in style.)
Psalm 144: Praise the LORD, who is my rock.He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.
2 Samuel 22: When delivered from Saul.
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When Troubled By Sin
Psalm 6: O LORD, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage.
Psalm 27: The LORD is my light and my salvation, so why should I be afraid?
Psalm 28: The LORD is my strength and shield.
Psalm 31: You are my rock and my fortress.
Psalm 32: Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven.
Psalm 38: O LORD, don’t rebuke me in your anger. (Post BathSheba?)
Psalm 39: Rescue me from my rebellion. Do not let fools mock me.
Psalm 40: He lifted me out of the pit of despair… He set my feet on solid ground. (Post BathSheba?)
Psalm 41: Heal me, for I have sinned against you.
Psalm 51: After David had committed adultery with BathSheba.
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Prophetic / Messianic Psalms
Psalm 110: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”
Is it also possible that Psalm 2 was written by David?
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Persecution and Danger
Psalm 4: Answer me when I call to you, O God who declares me innocent.
Psalm 5: O LORD, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning.
Psalm 7: Concerning Cush of the tribe of Benjamin.
Psalm 10: Why do you hide when I am in trouble?
Psalm 17: Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 26: Put me on trial, LORD… Test my motives and my heart.
Psalm 35: O LORD, oppose those who oppose me.
Psalm 43: Why am I discouraged?… I will put my hope in God.
Psalm 52: Written when David was betrayed and his location was given to Saul.
Psalm 54: Regarding the time the Ziphites betrayed David to Saul.
Psalm 55: Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest!
Psalm 59: Regarding the time Saul sent soldiers to watch David’s house.
Psalm 64: Protect my life from my enemies’ threats.
Psalm 70: May those who try to kill me be humiliated and put to shame.
Psalm 86: O God, insolent people rise up against me.
Psalm 109: They repay evil for good, and hatred for my love.
Psalm 140: O LORD, keep me out of the hands of the wicked.
Psalm 141: O LORD, I am calling to you. Please hurry!
Psalm 142: Written when hiding in a cave from Saul.
Psalm 143: Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you.
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Personal Faith
Psalm 3: I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety… (Post Absalom)
Psalm 11: I trust in the LORD for protection.
Psalm 16: I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken…
Psalm 23: The LORD is my shepherd.
Psalm 36: Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Psalm 58: Justice – do you rulers know the meaning of the word?
Psalm 63: When David was hiding in the wilderness of Judah.
Psalm 121: I look up to the mountains – does my help come from there? (Davidic in style.)
Psalm 139: O LORD, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
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Magistrate Psalms (Injustice Possibly Observed as he Heard and Judged Legal Cases)
Psalm 12: Therefore, LORD, we know you will protect the oppressed.
Psalm 14: Will those who do evil never learn?
Psalm 15: Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD?
Psalm 37: Commit everything you do to the LORD.
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Deep Distress
37645811_sPsalm 13: O LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever?
Psalm 22: Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.
Psalm 25: The LORD is a friend to those who fear him.
Psalm 31: You are my rock and my fortress.
Psalm 42: As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. (Attributed to the Sons of Korah, but Davidic in style. Could be his.)
Psalm 55: Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest!
Psalm 56: Regarding the time the Philistines seized him in Gath. You have collected all my tears in a bottle.
Psalm 60: After battles with the enemies of Isra’el.
Psalm 61: When my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety.
Psalm 62: He alone is my rock and my salvation.
Psalm 69: Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
2 Samuel 1:19-27: Lament over King Saul and Jonathan’s deaths.
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Teaching (Instructional) Psalms
Psalm 36: Your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.
Psalm 37: Commit everything you do to the LORD.
Psalm 53: Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.”
Psalm 60: Is marked “useful for instruction.”
Psalm 119: How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. (Davidic in style.)
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Songs of Ascent
Songs for pilgrims who will be visiting the new temple in Jerusalem, which is yet to be built by King Solomon.
Psalms 121 to 134 cover these songs. As David did a great deal of work on temple planning before his death, it is only fitting that some are his work.

David is not listed as the author of all these Psalms, he is only listed as authoring 122, 124, 131 and 133. However 121, 123 and 130 have a Davidic ring to them.
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Acrostics (Hebrew Alphabet)
Psalm 9: I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
Psalm 10: Why do you hide when I am in trouble?
Psalm 25: The LORD is a friend to those who fear him.
Psalm 34: Taste and see that the LORD is good. (Regarding the time he pretended to be insane in front of Abimelech, who sent him away.)
Psalm 37: Commit everything you do to the LORD.
Psalm 119: How can a young person stay pure? By obeying your word. (Davidic in style.)
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Written in Old Age
Psalm 25: The LORD is a friend to those who fear him.
Psalm 37: Commit everything you do to the LORD.
Psalm 103: He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
Psalm 108: For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens. (Style change.)
2 Samuel 23: King David’s last words.

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Prayers of David
Psalms 17, 86 and 142. If David did write 102, that is also a prayer.

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Additional Links to External Resources

Psalms by theme: http://bookofhours.org/psalms/tool_themes.htm
Psalm Bible Study Topics: http://www.christianet.com/psalms/
A handy reference list on the Psalms: http://www.examiner.com/article/a-handy-reference-list-psalms