A psalm of praise, of David (notation before Psalm 145:1)
Psalm - Our title, “Psalms,” comes from the title found in the Greek translation of the Old Testament (the Septuagint). In fact, it is a transliteration of the Greek word psalmoi. That means the Greek word is not translated. It is simply phonetically moved into our language. Since it is plural in Greek, we get the plural English word psalms. Transliteration is not uncommon when it comes to biblical terms. Baptism is a transliteration of the Greek baptizo. Hallelujah is a transliteration of the Hebrew hallelujah. But what would happen if we did translate these expressions? How would a translation help us understand what these words really mean?
Hallelujah actually means “Praise Yah” (the shortened version of Yahweh). Baptizo really means, “to be immersed.” But, what about psalmoi? In Hebrew, the title of this book is sefer tehillim. What does it mean? It means, in translation, “book of praises.” David uses the singular expression as the title of Psalm 145 (tehillah le-david), literally, “a praise of David,” not as the NASB translates “a psalm of praise, of David.” The expression, “psalm of praise,” is redundant.
There are 150 psalms in the collection. The title of all of these psalms is properly tehillim – praises. Every psalm, no matter what its content or emotional tenor, is considered a praise to God. Let that sink in for a while. There are tehillim of remorse, of joy, of confession, of complaint, of struggle, of victory, of glorification and of questioning. All are tehillim. All are praises.
How can all of these be praises? It’s because the Hebrew mind views all of life in the hands of God. There is no compartmentalization. There is no “religious” sphere. God made Man to enjoy Him – in everything. All of life is a praise to the Creator, the Sovereign Ruler, the Compassionate Father. In the final analysis, your life is either a praise or a problem.
Now go write a psalm.
“Preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.” (St. Francis of Assisi)