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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 19 of 45 Section 1 of 7

LIFE-STUDY OF THE PSALMS

MESSAGE NINETEEN

THE PSALMISTS' INTENSIFIED ENJOYMENT OF GOD IN HIS HOUSE AND CITY THROUGH THE SUFFERING, EXALTED, AND REIGNING CHRIST

(1)

THE PSALMISTS PANTING AFTER GOD

Scripture Reading: Psa. 42—44

The Psalms are composed of five books. Thus far in our fellowship, we have covered Book One of the Psalms, composed of the first forty-one psalms. In this message we will begin our fellowship on Book Two of the Psalms. In this book we see the psalmists' intensified enjoyment of God in His house and city through the suffering, exalted, and reigning Christ.

The psalms in Book One were written mainly by David. Book Two, however, contains eight psalms that were composed by the sons of Korah, Psalms 42—49. David is a glorious name among the nation of Israel, but Korah is an infamous name because Korah rebelled against Moses and God (Num. 16:1-3). In spite of this, some of the descendants of Korah became composers of the Psalms. This indicates that among the five books of the Psalms, the revelation is progressive. The five books of the Psalms are not on the same level. The Psalms is like a stairway with five steps, that takes us higher in its revelation in a progressive way.

Book Two of the Psalms begins in Psalm 42:1 in a very good way. The psalmist said, "As the hart pants/After the streams of water,/So my soul pants/For You, O God." We can sense the Lord's freshness in the desire and aspiration of the psalmist here. This is much different from what is expressed by the psalmist in Psalm 1. The human concept of Psalm 1 is that the man who delights in the law of God prospers in everything. The psalmist said that the one who delighted and meditated in the law would be like a tree transplanted beside streams of water (vv. 2-3). A tree drinks water by absorbing it.

In Psalm 42, however, the psalmist said that his soul panted for God, just as the hart pants after the streams of water. Then he said, "My soul thirsts for God,/For the living God./When will I come and appear/Before God?" (v. 2). Psalm 1, the opening word of Book One, begins with the law. But Book Two begins with God. What do we prefer—the law or God? Do we want to be like a tree transplanted by the streams of water by delighting in the law or like a hart panting after God? Surely there is no comparison between God and the law. This shows us that Book Two of the Psalms is higher than Book One.

Thus, we have to realize that the psalms progressively become higher in their revelation from Book One through Book Five. Book Five is the high peak of the Psalms. The high peak of this book is expressed in the word Hallelujah! Hallelujah means praise Jehovah, praise God. Thus, Book Two begins with God, and Book Five ends with "Praise God."

When we get into the New Jerusalem, we will all say, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" Some have asked me what language we will use in the New Jerusalem. I do not know what language we will speak, but we will probably say—"Hallelujah! Hallelujah!"—all the time. What other things will we need to talk about by that time? When we study the book of Psalms, we should reach some points where we sing " hallelujah" spontaneously. Even when we read Psalm 1 we can say, "Hallelujah! Hallelujah! I don't need to love the law anymore."

It is very striking that Book Two begins with the psalmist's panting after God. Panting after God is different from worshipping God in a formal, religious way. God is our living water for us to drink. Do we need to bow down to worship the water? We need to pant after this water and then drink it. In verse 1 the word pants is used. In verse 2 the word thirsts is used. My soul pants for God and thirsts for God. I love these predicates. We need to have times with the Lord in which we pant after Him and thirst for Him.


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