Psalms 49-51; 61-66; 69-72; 77-78; 85-86: “I Will Declare What He Hath Done for My Soul” (August 15-21)

David Playing the Harp,” by Jan de Bray, 1670

What is contrition? The English word descends from the Latin word contritus, which means literally “worn out” or “ground to pieces.” (See “contrite,” Online Etymology Dictionary.) In many of the psalms we are studying this week, we see David’s overwhelming feelings of guilt for his sins and his heartfelt plea to God for forgiveness. These psalms remind me of Enos’s wrestle before God (Enos 1:1-8) and of Alma’s desperate appeal for relief from his torment (Alma 36:17-19).

As we study Psalms 49-86 this week, you may find the following blog posts useful:

Psalm #Blog Post(s)
51A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit – 3 Nephi 9:20
What Are the “Tender Mercies of the Lord?”
62“I Did Pour Out My Whole Soul” – Enos 1:9.
63“Seek Me Early”
68Ascension, Descension, and Comprehension
69The Bitter Cup
Deep Waters
80“His Countenance Did Smile upon Them” – 3 Nephi 19:25
82“Ye Are Gods”
84Because of Thy Son
86A Perfect, Just God, and a Merciful God Also – Alma 42:15

Additionally, even though Psalm 95 is not included in this week’s assignment, it’s worth reading because of its importance in the Book of Mormon. The prophet Jacob references this psalm several times, and Alma uses it as the basis for a call to repentance in the city of Ammonihah. It reminds us that the Israelites hardened their hearts in the wilderness and had to wander for forty years before entering into the “rest” of the Lord.

Here are two blog posts about the significance of this psalm for us:

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