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Life-Study of Psalmsby Witness Lee

ISBN: 0-7363-0838-5
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Chapter 35 of 45 Section 1 of 7

LIFE-STUDY OF THE PSALMS

MESSAGE THIRTY-FIVE

THE SAINTS' DEEPER EXPERIENCE OF GOD
IN THE IDENTIFICATION WITH CHRIST

Scripture Reading: Psa. 90—92

The Psalms, the most difficult book in the Bible to read and understand, is divided into five books. Book 1 is composed of Psalms 1 through 41; Book 2, of Psalms 42 through 72; Book 3, of Psalms 73 through 89; Book 4, of Psalms 90 through 106; and Book 5, of Psalms 107 through 150. The division of the Psalms into these five books is not according to chronological order, that is, it is not according to the time of writing. Neither is the arrangement of the books according to the nature of the teaching found in these books. In each book there are psalms that are a mixture of the revelation concerning Christ and the complex sentiments of the psalmists, sentiments that are according to the writers' thought regarding good and evil.

In this message we come to Book 4, which, like Book 3, has seventeen psalms. The seventeen psalms in Book 4 are in three categories. Psalms 90—92 are in one category; Psalms 93—101 are in a second category; and Psalms 102—106 are in a third category.

It is hard to say how the Psalms were divided into five books, but we can be sure that this arrangement was not made by the human mind. Of course, certain persons made the arrangement, but the Spirit was also involved. As the Lord showed us during our study of the Psalms in 1969, the five books of the Psalms were divided by the Spirit according to four crucial words: Christ, house, city, earth.

Although Psalm 1 is on the law, in Psalm 2 the psalmist turns from the law to Christ. In verse 7 we have Jehovah's decree concerning His Son: "You are My Son;/Today I have begotten You." This indicates that God does not care for the law but for His Son, Christ. In Psalm 27:4 we have a word concerning the house: "One thing I have asked from Jehovah; /That do I seek:/To dwell in the house of Jehovah/All the days of my life,/To behold the beauty of Jehovah,/And to inquire in His temple." Psalm 36:8 speaks of being saturated with the fatness of God's house and of drinking of the river of His pleasures, for with Him is the fountain of life (v. 9a). Psalm 46:4a says, "There is a river whose streams gladden the city of God." In Psalm 48 we find expressions such as "the city of our God" (v. 1) and "the city of the great King" (v. 2). In Psalm 72, the last Psalm in Book 2, we have a word about the earth. Verse 8 declares, "He will have dominion from sea to sea/And from the River unto the ends of the earth." Psalm 89, the last psalm in Book 3, unveils Christ as the unique Possessor of the whole earth. Therefore, in the Psalms we see Christ, the house, the city, and the earth.


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