Our practice this year has been to read the Psalms, which contain 5 books, book by book. Now we return to Book IV. Unlike some of the other books which make up the Psalter, the psalms in this book are mostly unassigned to a particular author.
You will find an introduction to the Psalms, here.
Here is a prayer from Gregory of Nazianus (329-389) who was an early Church father.
Lord, as I read the psalms let me hear you singing. As I read your words, let me hear you speaking. As I reflect on each page, let me see your image. And as I seek to put your precepts into practice, let my heart be filled with joy. Amen.
Psalm 90 A group lament, a prayer for deliverance from adversity and a meditation on human frailty. Verses 1-6 contrast human life with God’s eternal presence. Verses 7-10 focus on the shortness and sorrow of human life. Verses 11-17 are a prayer for compassion and deliverance.
Psalm 91: A wisdom psalm, a psalm of trust. The psalm contains three promises of assistance, v 1-8; v9-13; v 14-16. The first two promises are in third person, speaking about God and what God will do. Notice the imagery used to talk about God. Verses 7 is an example of parallelism.
The last promise is in first person, God is speaking, or someone ( a priest or prophet) is speaking on God’s behalf. Notice the “I will ….”. What does the psalmist say (speaking for God) is needed for God’s protection?
Psalm 92 Thanksgiving for God’s deliverance and governance of the world. This hymn is a song for the Sabbath Day and uses God’s name 7 times and is concerned with creation. “Horn” (verse 10) is a metaphor for strength. A righteous person is compared to a tree in verses 12-15).
Psalm 93 God is King. Psalm 93 along with psalms 95-99 praise God as king of the universe. Israel, like other nations believed that being God (or a god) involved defeating chaos and creating a trustworthy, stable world. Chaos was often depicted as floods or waters.
Here are several good sources to aid your reading of the Psalms
Anderson, Bernhard W., Katheryn Pfister Darr, Understanding the Old Testament Abridged fourth Edition. (Upper Saddle River,New Jersey: Prentice Hall) 1998.
Clifford, Richard, “Psalms” in The New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha: New Revised Standard Version.Coogan, Michael D.; Brettler, Marc Z.; Perkins, Pheme; Newsom, Carol A. (2010-01-20) Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.
Stuhlmueller, Carroll, “Psalms” in HarperCollins Bible Commentary Mays, James L. ed.(San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco) 2000.
McCann,Jr, J. Clifton “Psalms”,in The New Interpreter’s Bible Vol 3, Keck, Leander E. ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press) 1996.