We are going to begin a study of the first book of Psalms (Psalms 1-41.)
Introduction to Psalms
In Hebrew the title is the “Book of Praises.” The English title “Psalms” comes from the Greek Septuagint title. A psalm is simply a religious tune usually set to musical accompaniment. The book of Psalms has numerous authors, but every chapter is a different song for the people of God. It really is God’s hymnbook. These are the songs that Jesus sung, and these are the songs that the church sang almost exclusively for 1700 years. The songs are deep in theology and cover the entirety of Christian experience. The book is divide further into five smaller books. We are going to be studying Book One.
The importance of singing
The fact that the longest book in the Bible is a song book should not escape us. Worshiping God through singing is an essential part of Christianity. This is one of of the most important ways God has ordained to worship, praise, and glorify Him. Paul gives us further instruction on this in Colossians 3:16:
- Singing ingrains the Word of God in our hearts and minds. Music is powerful medium for memorization
- Singing teaches us. It teaches us theology, how to live, and how to feel. Andrew Fletcher realized the power of music when he said, “Let me make the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.” Their is a powerful connection between music and human behavior and thought.
- Singing encourages, corrects, and directs others. Singing is not just for your own benefit; it benefits others.
- Singing helps us in our walk with the Lord. It is a powerful medium to remind us of God’s grace in our lives.
- Singing glorifies God.
Why Study Psalms?
- In order to worship God in the way He has ordained. There has been much controversy over music in the church for over 300 years. The fact that God wrote a songbook for us should help us to understand how He desires us to worship Him in song. No matter our personal feelings on music, we know for certain 150 songs that are perfect to sing and glorify God.
- To learn. Psalms teach us the entirety of Christian theology and Christian experience. Luther called Psalms a “little Bible” because in Psalms is contained in brief the whole of Christianity.
- To sing with understanding. 1 Corinthians 14:15 says we are to sing with understanding. Obviously this means singing in a language we know, but it means so much more than that. We need to understand the words we are singing so that they might truly come from our hearts and truly impact others who are listening.
- To guard our music. As we study Psalms, we are going to learn to sing them as well. Perhaps the greatest antidote to poor music is good music. Filling our minds with God’s songs will help us to identify the errors found in man’s music.
- To glorify God. If a woman said she loves roses, why would you buy her daisies? If God has given us the songs He wants us to sing, why would we insist on singing our own songs? The Psalms teach us how to glorify God in every situation. All of the Psalms point us to Jesus the Messiah and are a testimony to His saving grace.
Read through the Psalms.
Get a good Psalter.
Sing Psalms in your family worship.
Listen to Psalms.
Look for Jesus in the Psalms.