Life-Study of Psalmsby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
When we come to the Psalms with a clear view concerning the entire Bible with its principles, we can realize that the book of Psalms bears two burdens. It takes care of two responsibilities. First, it shows us Christ. Second, it shows us Christ in comparison with the law.
Beginning in the book of Genesis, Christ is revealed as the tree of life. One Bible teacher has said that the tree of life is over today, but the tree of life in Genesis 2 is a central item. If the tree of life is taken away from Genesis 2, Genesis 2 means nothing and becomes nothing. It is wrong to say that the tree of life is over today. In Revelation 2:7 the Lord Jesus said that to the overcomer He would give to eat of the tree of life. Jesus came to feed us with Himself as the tree of life. The first responsibility the written word of God bears is to show us Christ.
God's desire in eternity past was not concerning the law. The law came in at Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai is mentioned by Paul in Galatians 4, not in a positive sense but in a negative sense (vv. 24-25). In the eyes of both God and the apostle Paul, Mount Sinai is a very negative term. Sinai produces slaves, and is signified by a concubine, Hagar. The proper wife was Sarah. The concubine was Hagar. Whatever comes out of this concubine is a slave. All the Jews who treasure, uplift, and try to obey the law are slaves under the law.
Besides Mount Sinai there is another mount, Mount Zion. Hebrews 12 says that in the New Testament we have come, not to Mount Sinai but to Mount Zion (v. 22). Here we are not slaves, but we are sons of the free woman. That means we are sons of grace. The grace of God is signified by the free woman, Sarah. The law is signified by a concubine. We are not for the law, but as the sons of the free woman, we are exalting Christ. The first responsibility of the Psalms is to show us Christ.
The second responsibility of the Psalms is to give us a comparison between Christ and the law. In message eight we saw the lines, the principles, and the spirit of the Bible. In the Bible God shows us only two lines. One is the proper line and the other is the negative line. The proper line is of Christ from God, and the negative line is of Satan. This is why there are two trees in Genesis 2, and those two trees signify two sources. The tree of life signifies God as the source of life. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil signifies Satan as the source of death. Then out of these two sources there are two lines. One line is the line of the day, and the other line is the line of the night. The negative line of darkness is the line of satanic chaos. The positive line of the day is the line of the divine economy.
In addition to these two lines, there is also the line of the law. Christ is the main line, and the law is a side line. If you do not handle the side line properly, the side line becomes a part of the negative line, which is the line of chaos, the line of death, the line of the knowledge of good and evil. Since the day the law was given, God's people have very rarely handled the law properly. I believe that Moses knew something about the position of the law because when he became old he wrote Psalm 90. In verse 1 he said, "Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations." According to Moses' realization, God is our dwelling place, and we are living in God. This is absolutely not according to the law.
The Psalms' second responsibility is to show us the difference between Christ and the law. However, most of the readers of the Psalms do not understand this. They think that everything in the Psalms is positive. But we have seen that many expressions in the Psalms are according to the human concept of uplifting the law, not according to the divine concept of exalting Christ. We saw in the previous message that it is difficult to find anything in Psalms 2830 that is up to the divine standard of God's New Testament economy.
In this message we want to see the mixed expressions of the psalmist's sentiment in Psalms 3133. Much of David's speaking in these psalms is according to the natural concept. Regretfully, when most readers of the Bible come to the Psalms, they do not see much of Christ. They may see the good points in the Psalms which are according to the human concept. The Psalms exhort and advise us to fear God. Then they tell us to take refuge in God. As persons under all kinds of attack, we need a refuge, a place to hide. We can take refuge in our God. The Psalms also speak of trusting in God, waiting on God, and hoping in God. Then the Psalms speak of praising God, thanking God, and worshipping God. These are the points based upon which all the psalms are composed: to fear God, to take refuge in God, to trust in God, to wait on God, to hope in God, to praise God, to thank God, and to worship God. These are the main points in many of the psalms, especially in Psalms 3133.
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