The Book of Psalms

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading


The Psalms and King David

The meaning of the word Psalms comes from the Hebrew word Tehilim which means “praises.” That is the first purpose of our lives—to live a life that honors, praises, and glorifies God.

About two thousand years before Christ was born, the Hebrew Scriptures were translated into Greek, known as the Septuagint, or the Version of the Seventy. The Greek word for praises is psalmoi. The English language adopted that word and today we call the book “Psalms.”

About half of the Psalms were written by King David. He is usually pictured like a 9-year-old boy who slew a giant named Goliath with a sling, when actually, he was about 17, 18, or even 20 years old. That was when his fame began growing. He was the most renowned and beloved King, military leader, and warrior in all ancient Israel.

A couple of years back, a documentary on National Geographic questioned if it is possible to actually kill a man with a sling, and it was amazing. The velocity of the rock used to test this, when thrown with a sling, easily destroyed a watermelon.

The Bible describes David in the most glowing terms. The inspired writers of the Bible called David a man exalted by the most high God, anointed by the Lord, the sweet psalmist of Israel. He wrote at least 75 psalms to music. Demons would flee when they saw David begin to play his harp. King Saul, the first king of Israel, because of his envy opened up his life to demonic activity and as he struggled with this he asked for somebody to play a harp and sing to him. David would go play his harp and the demonic powers would subside.

But in spite of his occasional sins—once he had a very serious and gross moral failure when he committed adultery and murder—God gave David the highest accolade when He said, “I have found David…a man after my own heart.” Or, as The Message version says it, “A man whose heart beats to my heart.

He was a tremendous worshiper of God and a tremendous man of faith. God continued to love him in spite of his failures, giving him this promise: “I will maintain my love to him forever, and my covenant with him will never fail.” 

God is just, He has no favorites. That means that His promises to you and me will also never fail.