Life-Study of Psalmsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
We have seen that the arrangement of the Psalms was under God's sovereignty. Psalm 1 is apparently an excellent initiation, but actually it is a very negative initiation. Then Psalm 2 comes in to annul what was exalted in Psalm 1. In Psalms 3 through 7, we again see David's human concept. Then Psalm 8 declares, "O Jehovah our Lord,/How excellent is Your name/In all the earth!" This psalm is David's inspired praise of the excellency of Christ. After Psalm 8, Psalms 915 go down again to the human concept. Then the revelation goes up to Psalm 16, where we see Christ as the God-man in His human living, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. Psalms 1721 are down from the level of Psalm 16, but they are not as far down as Psalms 37 and 915.
Psalms 2224 rise up to show us Christ once again. Psalm 22:1 says, "My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?" This was what Christ cried out on the cross (Matt. 27:46). Then in Psalm 23 the resurrected Christ becomes our Shepherd (v. 1), and this shepherding One in Psalm 24 becomes our King (vv. 8-10). In 1969 we had a conference on the Psalms, and these messages are in the book entitled Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms. In this book there is a diagram of the spiritual level of Psalms 121 (p. 40). This diagram, reprinted on the following page, gives us a view of the way the Psalms were written.
In the following message, we will cover Psalms 15 and 16. Psalm 15:1 asks us, "O Jehovah, who may sojourn in Your tent?/Who may dwell on Your holy mountain?" David's answer isthe one who is perfect according to the law (vv. 2-5). But in the whole universe there is only one person who is perfect according to the lawJesus Christ. There is no one else. Everyone else has broken the law. We have seen that David exalted the law so highly, but by his failure regarding Uriah, he broke the last five commandments (Exo. 20:13-17). He murdered, he committed adultery, he stole by robbing another of his wife, he lied to Uriah, and he coveted Uriah's wife (2 Sam. 11).
The last five commandments prohibiting killing, fornication, stealing, lying, and coveting were given by God with the requirement that man would have the human virtues to express the divine attributes. If there were no killing, fornication, stealing, lying, or coveting in the human race, the kingdom of the heavens would really be on this earth. Today the newspapers, however, report all the evil things that take place on earth day by day. The earth is filled with murder, fornication, stealing, lying, and coveting.
No one is perfect according to the law. Paul said in the New Testament that no flesh can be justified by God based upon man's keeping of the law (Rom. 3:20; Gal. 2:16). The only One who can and did keep the law is the One unveiled in Psalm 16. This One is the very God who became a man and lived a human life (vv. 1-8). In His human life, He kept the law perfectly. He lived a life full of human virtues expressing the divine attributes. Then He died (vv. 9-10) and was resurrected (vv. 10-11a). Now He is in ascension at the right hand of God (v. 11b & c). This is the One who can sojourn in God's tabernacle and dwell with God on His holy mountain. We will see more concerning Psalms 15 and 16 in the following message.
In this message we want to cover Psalms 914. In Psalm 9 we see David's concept concerning God's judgment on David's enemies among the nations. David mentioned clearly that he had many enemies among the nations. Today all of the Arab countries are enemies of Israel. It is regrettable that Israel has not yet turned to God, but the Bible tells us that although Israel has been re-formed as a nation, they will not turn to God until Christ returns (Zech. 12:10). Today Israel, just like David, is surrounded by enemies. In addition to the enemies surrounding David, he had the adversaries from within, even from his house, from his family. His son Absalom became the leading adversary.
In Psalms 1014 David speaks of man's condition before God. It is hard to find another portion in the Bible which presents us a complete picture of man's condition as in these psalms. When Paul preached the gospel in Romans, he quoted from this portion of the Word (Rom. 3:10-12, 14).
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