Psalms 49-50 “God Will Redeem My Soul”
Read Psalm 49:6-7, 10-12, 17. “You can’t take it with you” is a phrase we hear from time to time; and it’s true—for as we depart this earth through death, we will have no possessions to take along. Now read verse 15. This great gospel truth—the eventual resurrection of all mankind—puts all things into perspective. We are to spend mortality in the pursuit of righteousness, not worldliness (see also Psalm 62:10).
Read Psalm 50:2-6, looking for things related to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Because we know that Christ will return, what we do with our lives matters. So, what does God say to the righteous in verses 14-15, 23? What does He say to the wicked, in verses 16-20, 22?
Psalm 51; 70-71; 86 Prayers for God’s Help
As a background to this psalm, review 2 Samuel 11:26-27; 12:1-9.
- Next, read the heading to Psalm 51, which begins, “To the chief Musician…”
- Read David’s words in Psalm 51:1-3, 7-17, noting the things David asks the Lord to do (look especially for the verbs; see also Psalms 67:1-2). Which requests of David would you also ask of the Lord?
- Note that Psalm 51:11 has one of only three mentions in the Old Testament of the “Holy Spirit” (the others being in Isaiah 63:10-11; also, “Holy Ghost” does not occur in the Old Testament).
- Continue looking for things that feel like they could be your own expressions, in Psalm 70:1-5; Psalm 71:1-5, 8, 12, 14, 16-17, 19, 22-24; and Psalm 86:1-12.
President Ezra Taft Benson observed, “The psalms in the Old Testament have a special food for the soul of one in distress” (Ensign, November 1974, p. 66).
Psalms 61-66; 72; 77 “Thou Art My God”
- Find in Psalm 61; Psalm 62; and Psalm 72:2-8, 12-19 the many words and phrases that represent the Lord and His blessings in our lives (see also Psalm 47:6-9; Psalm 48:1, 9, 14; Psalm 68:3-6, 17, 19).
- In your prayerful expressions to God, do you ever feel like your words are not sufficient? Read Psalm 63:1-8; Psalm 64:10; Psalm 65:4-5, 9-13; Psalm 66:1-10, 16, 19-20; and Psalm 77:1-2, 10-15, again looking for language that could be yours, because it articulates what you feel (see also Psalm 68:32-35).
Psalm 69 Another Messianic Psalm
After Psalm 22, Psalm 69 is the second most-quoted in the New Testament. Read Psalm 69:4, 9, 21-23, 25, and consider why these verses would be cited in the days of Jesus and the apostles.
Psalm 78 “Make Them Known to Their Children”
Read Psalm 78:1-7. What things in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do you believe should be made known to “the generation to come” in our day? Are there events in your family history or in your personal life that you have shared with those who are younger? (Or things you feel you should share?)
According to verses 8-11, what problem had plagued the tribe of Ephraim in ancient times? We are blessed to know that in the last days, this trouble is reversed, as expressed in our hymn: “And Ephraim be crowned with his blessing in Zion” (“The Spirit of God,” Hymns, #2).
Like Ephraim, all the children of Israel had also rebelled against the Lord, as outlined in verses 12-39; citing numerous examples of His blessings, followed by the defiance of Israel (this catalog of sins—contrasted by God’s goodness to them—continues in verses 40-58; then followed by the consequences in verses 59-64; see also Psalm 81:6-11). Why is it that frequently God’s children fail to choose faith and obedience, in spite of His great blessings in their lives? Read Helaman 12:1-3.
Psalm 85 “He Will Speak Peace”
What pleas are made in Psalm 85:4-7? What is the promise in verse 8? (Note: The prophecy in verse 11 is considered to refer to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon in the last days; see also Moses 7:62.)
Additional Inspiring References
- Psalms 73-75 list many of the characteristics and attitudes of the wicked, who seek to destroy God’s work and people. The wicked often appear to “prosper in the world” (Psalm 73:12). But in the end, the Lord is our strength, as we put our trust in Him.
- Psalm 79 laments the destruction and defilement of the temple in Jerusalem (by the Babylonians in about 587 BC). In the rest of Psalm 79 and in Psalm 80 are pleas of the children of Israel that the Lord deliver them from their enemies.
- Psalm 82:6 declares the doctrine of God’s children having the potential to become as He is.
- Psalm 83 records more laments of the children of Israel, with their desire that the Lord confound and trouble their enemies, so that all “may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth” (verse 18).
- Psalm 84 speaks of the “courts” of the Lord and His “house,” and declares, “I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness” (verse 10).