There are many ways to categorize the psalms. Some focus on content (trouble or trust, praise or prayer, joy or repentance). Others emphasize the use of the psalms (public ceremonies, private prayers and so on).
Still others analyze style and technique (such as parallelism and acrostics). Here are some general categories:
(1) Hymns of praise. Many psalms were used in temple worship and some even include directions for the song leader. Many are still used as the basis for hymns and praise choruses.
(2) Complaints. Life is tough and many of the psalms reflect that fact. People turn to the psalms in times of distress because the psalms dare to be honest and meet them right where they are.
(3) Royal or Messianic. Many psalms revolved around the king and were intended to be used for public occasions in the life of the nation of Israel. Early Christian teachers, however, recognized that these psalms contained prophetic allusions to Jesus Christ, the King of kings.
(4) Occasional. Referred to as songs of ascent (Ps 120–134), these psalms were so named because they were sung by Israelite pilgrims as they went up to Jerusalem for the annual feasts. Other special occasions often had their own psalms as well.
(5) Wisdom. A few psalms illustrate the difference between human folly and godly wisdom, between sinful and righteous behavior.
Other categories could also be listed: historical, repentance, curse and creation.
How does a person meditate on God’s Word?
Meditation is a combination of reviewing, repeating, reflecting, thinking, analyzing, feeling and even enjoying. It is a physical, intellectual and emotional activity—it involves our whole being.
In some ways, meditation doesn’t easily fit into Western culture. We value action and busyness more than stopping and considering. The author of this psalm was from another time and culture, one with a tradition that valued meditation. As a result, meditation came more naturally for him and others with his Middle Eastern background. We have to overcome some cultural obstacles to learn to meditate.
There are many ways to meditate on God’s Word. Some possibilities include:
(1) Take time to read a verse or passage over and over.
(2) Begin to memorize all or part of it.
(3) Listen—quiet your heart to allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through God’s Word.
(4) Consider how it fits with the rest of the Bible and life in general.
(5) Become emotionally involved—allow yourself to feel what God feels, his desires expressed through his words. (6) Move from meditation to application—connect your thoughts to action. Consider how the truth and power of the Word of God should affect your behavior.
Source: Bible Gateway
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