The Psalms: Songs of Praise
by Juan Ocasio-Borrero
“Praise the Lord with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.” (Psalm 33:2)
The book of Psalms is by far the largest in the Bible with a total of 150 songs called ‘psalms’. The book itself is divided in 5 smaller books of songs: Book 1: Psalms 1-41, Book 2: Palms 42-72, Book 3: Psalms 73-89, Book 4: Psalms 90-106, and Book 5: Psalms 107-150.
The term psalms is translated mizmor in hebrew, psalmo in greek, and psalmun in latin. The word means: a sacred song or melody of praise. It usually was sung accompanied by an instrument of strings, like a harp. King David was the most prolific writer of psalms; Asaph, Moses, and others wrote some songs, too.
The purpose of the psalms were many: to exalt and praise the Lord Almighty, to confess sins or transgressions against God, petitions or supplications for His servants and His people, Israel, prophetic declarations, or to give thanks for His mercy and great power. Psalm 18 shows us how we can also praise God. It says: “I will love thee o Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (verses 1, 2). It also tells us that “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.”
When we are afraid, desperate, depressed, afflicted, or persecuted, we can trust in God for peace, support, deliverance, and perfect justice from a loving God who hates evil and evildoers, but rewards the loyalty of His children. Psalm 23 is the best-known psalm and is commonly called ‘The Shepperd’s Prayer’. It emphasizes that if we trust in God we shall not fear anything that can separate us from the love of God. The apostle Paul said: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Colossians 3:16)
In conclusion, our worship with God must have prayer, study of His Holy Word, living a life centered in Jesus Christ, departing from a sinful way of living to a life of praise and thanksgiving, dedicated wholly to our Maker with a pure heart and a sound mind. The Psalms help us to keep praising and declaring the great works of the Lord. (Read Moses’ Psalms 89 and 90). “Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.” (Psalm 150:6).
Note: The verses used are taken from the King James, 1611.
About the writer:
Juan Ocasio-Borrero serves as a minister and preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Geneva, NY. Feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and listen to Bible classes in YouTube: The House of Truth/Juan Ocasio Borrero