In regards to the book of Psalms, John Calvin wrote: “The variety and brilliant wealth that are contained in this treasure are not easy to express in words …”. It is most definitely a special and unique book. God allowed this book to be in the middle of the Bible to remind us of the importance of praise and worship. The name Psalms comes from the Greek word psalmos, which is a translation of the Hebrew word mizmor (a word related to a verb meaning ‘to play string instruments’). The Hebrew word for the book is tehillim, which means praises, and is also related to the word alleluia (to worship Jehovah).* We can analyze the book of Psalms from many different perspectives, but we can clearly understand that its main message is that we learn to worship God.
David, one of the main authors of the book of Psalms, wrote in Psalm 1:
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the [a]ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the [c]rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper”.
When you worship, you are blessed. We find in these first verses two principles to help us enter into worship.
1. Worship begins by knowing God through his word.
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord” (verse 2a). How much time are you dedicating to reading and studying the Word? Remember that “…out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). If your heart is full of the Word of God, it will be easy for you to praise the Lord in every situation, despite the circumstances. For us it shouldn’t be a burden to study His word, but instead be the reason of our greatest joy.
2. The one who controls our thoughts will have control of our future.
“And n his law he meditates day and night.” It’s so important for God and His Word to be in control of our mind and heart. How many times do we meditate only on the problems, challenges or tasks that we have? Because of this, for many people, entering into worship is truly a challenge because their thoughts don’t allow them to reach God’s presence. Remember today that you must meditate on God and His word day and night. Don’t let the last thing you meditate on be the news or social media; go to sleep meditating on the Word of God. “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:8).
“God blesses those who love His Word and enjoy studying it day and night. They are like trees planted by streams: when the time comes, they bear much fruit and their leaves do not wither. Everything they do goes well!” (Psalm 1:2-3 TLA translated)
As a result of worshiping God with all your heart, you will be like that tree planted by the river. You will be in the right place, your roots will be affirmed, your future will be planted in the Word of God and in His promises that will bring life and spiritual growth. This is the time that God has chosen for you to bear much fruit so you can declare what the psalmist David wrote: “whatever I do will prosper.”
* Knowing the Bible. Psalms, a twelve week study. Douglas Sean O’Donnell, J. I. Packer, Dane C. 1 Ortlund. Crossway 2014. Pag. 11