Study Guide

Psalms Psalms 3-15

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Psalms 3-15

Psalm 3

  • Change in the winds, folks. The writer's not so cocky here—he's surrounded. God is (hopefully) ready to answer his prayers.

Psalm 4

  • And…more club talk. This is one cool tree-house to be in; faith in God sets the writer apart, and helps him even more than eating a ton or drinking wine. Go figure.

Psalm 5

  • Take heed, everyone: God is really not cool with evildoing. Watch out, wicked peeps—God's a comin'.

Psalm 6

  • The writer is sick and hopes God will give him some NyQuil and a good old-fashioned dose of enemy-humiliation to make him feel dandy again.

Psalm 7

  • They're after us again. This time, the enemies of the Lord are upon the writer, who prays for a swift, violent end to his persecutors.

Psalm 8

  • This is a "God's the best" poem, through and through. The writer praises the natural world and the gifts he's given to humankind, and concludes by telling God how majestic his name is throughout the earth. "Aw shucks," responds God.

Psalm 9

  • Seems like God has delivered for the writer, but now he wants more. Hey, it's the ancient world; a lion could maul you in your sleep, or your king's sworn enemies might sack your city. We should cut the guy some slack for being needy.

Psalm 10

  • The faithless here are worthless, and God seems a little slow on the uptake to the poet. Our author urges God to hop to work, punish the wicked, and stick up for the meek. ASAP.

Psalm 11

  • Our poet would like to make it super clear that he totally trusts God and isn't going to run away from conflict. Though, newsflash: God hates violence. But he seems totally willing to use it. Sounds better to be on his side in war.

Psalm 12

  • The righteous have been supplanted by wicked liars, which is never a good sign. The writer, however, remains confident that God remains ever-present.

Psalm 13

  • Here, our poet laments that God hides his face and isn't hearing his prayers. This is the Psalmic equivalent of an angry voicemail ("I know you're home...pick up!").

Psalm 14

  • Once again, faithless = evil. But beware, fellow Shmoopers: the writer is referring to people who follow other gods. Atheism didn't fly back then.

Psalm 15

  • The faithful have a certain set of standards. The most important standard of all? To remain faithful. Fancy that.

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