Questions for The Book of Psalms

Calvary Christian Fellowship

Bible Study, October 2019 – May 2020

Questions (w/ some answers) for Psalm 19

1. Who is the Psalmist?

https://www.gotquestions.org/Psalms-authors.html

  • Psalm 19 is “To the Chief musician, A Psalm of David.” I imagine David, the king, the worshipper, in the tent he had made at Gihon before the Ark of the Covenant which he had brought Jerusalem, open (accessible to all) without the curtain separating the Holy of Holies as it had been in the original tabernacle of meeting (then in Gibeon). I see him in the tent, perhaps with sentinels outside guarding the entrance in the darkness of an early morning, as it is known as a morning psalm. Inside, with the light of a lampstand, a menorah, the symbol of the seven spirits: menorah-Spirits-of-god.jpg , he comes alone with the hope of meeting I AM, YHWH, Elohim (the plural of El) the creator, Jehovah and Jehovah, Tzuri, Goeli (Jehovah, my Rock, my Redeemer). It is his “closet,” and because he comes with a right heart, the desire of a child, the mind (soul, essence) of the spirit and not the flesh, the omniscient one rewards him through the Holy Spirit, bathing the king with blessings of the other six spirits of God with Him as well, that David the king may be a light, and ensample (a man after God’s own heart) for Israel, His people.

2. Who is/are the speaker(s)?

  • David is the speaker, but through him the Holy Spirit is clearly the voice of Wisdom and Understanding, Knowledge and Counsel, Strength and Fear. Many scholars traditionally divide this Psalm into two parts; the creation (v. 1-6, identified with God the creator = Elohim), and the law or commandments (beginning w/ v. 7, identified with LORD = Jehovah). I agree with McGee’s three-part division which adds Christ, and our redemption (v. 12-14). I believe it’s during this third part that we most clearly hear David’s voice of repentance, contrition, humility, before the One who knows more about us than we know about ourselves. And if that doesn’t incite reverential fear, nothing will.

3. Who is the audience?

  • Here David becomes a mouthpiece for God (not the mouthpiece, but a mouthpiece). As king, he represent the secular and powerful, and is called upon to do many things that make him unclean; indeed, so unclean as to have been unworthy to build the temple: 1 Chron. 28:3 .

He ruled for 40 years. Was loved and hated, feared, respected, befriended, perhaps even worshipped if not idolized. He guided God’s chosen and helped Israel realize their God given potential, with all of that means. And to say it’s meaning remains significant today is an understatement.

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4. List those described in the Psalm? How are they described (adjectives used, actions given, consequences prescribed)? Examples from the Bible? Do you know people like this?

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.

  • The heavens in the Bible are not distinguished with labels, but Paul does say there are three: 2 Corinthians 12:2 .

The term heaven is used in Scripture to refer to all three realms. Psalm 104:12 speaks of “the birds of the heavens” (ESV)—this would be the first heaven, the atmosphere of Earth. In Isaiah 13:10 we find “the stars of heaven and their constellations”—a reference to the second heaven, outer space. And Revelation 11:19 describes the opening of “God’s temple in heaven”—the third heaven, or God’s dwelling place. gotquestions.org/second-heaven

  • The firmament would be in reference to the first heaven, or that which separates the waters on the earth from the waters that come from above . . . our sky, or earth’s atmosphere, which God made on the second day: Genesis 1:6-8 . (see also: biblestudytools.com/dictionary/firmament )

    The first heaven, the firmament, is our habitat, conducive to life which we experience in the flesh.

    The second heaven is beyond our reach, does not support live as we know on earth, and though we can see it, and explore it, it is not readily accessible for us to touch, taste, smell or hear.

    The third heaven, of course, is beyond all this. The dwelling place of God, it is of the spirit and not the flesh. That is, we can know it, but we are not (suppose) to have access to it (experience it in the flesh: sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch) of our own accord:
    Exodus 22:18 . Though there have always been those who try: 1 Samuel 28:15 .

  • I’m compelled by this verse to recall that Paul says we can and should learn from the first heaven; that we are without excuse not to see God in what we have access to and experience through the senses . . . even before the law: Romans 1:18-20

  • In this section, as mentioned, we are first presented with God the creator. The first time we are introduced to God the creator is in Genesis 1:1. After that “God” is referred to 2,750 times in the Old Testament. [2] “God” is translated from the Hebrew “Elohim,” which is the plural for “El,” which was a generic title of various pagan gods throughout Mesopotamia and the Levant; albeit specifically for the Canaanites El (Il or Elyon) was reserved for their supreme god of creation, and husband of Athirat (Ishtar, Aphrodite). McGee tells us that Elohim, the plural, speaks to the trinity . . .

2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.

6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

  • We can learn from the Day and from the Night, not by receiving through word of mouth, but through observation and discernment. Physicist do tell us, however, that sound waves never end, but once set in motion travel to infinity, while mass at the speed of light are turned into energy. I bring this up because the line between day and night, which speaks to us without voice, is not the only thing God set in motion which is never ending, but our voice, our sounds, our words, will also carry on to the end of time: Matthew 12:36 .

  • Which brings us to the sun, the greater light made on the fourth day, who follows his course through the tabernacle of the heavens, the dividing line between Day and Night, day after day, night after night, never ending we can trust. Then we are told the sun is like a bridegroom . . . or, as I take it, the sun is like the bridegroom, the son of man, the light of the world, the Word of God, His only begotten, a manifestation of Elohim (the Trinity: creator= Gen. 1:1; spirit=Gen. 1:2; light (son)= Gen. 1:3). He who came when God said “Let there be light” on the first day, and so He was there, with Him. And in the same breath, God not only saw the Light as Good, but divided it from the darkness (Evil) before going on with His work during the course of the next five days. That is before His day of rest on the seventh.

    The bridegroom, coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race . . . He is the morning star, a bursting sunrise bringing the new day. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made” [Jn. 1:1-3, a mirror for Gen. 1-3; when we see we realize we don’t have to be told]:
    Colossians 1:16 .

    According to Vernon McGee there is another mirror for Gen. 1:1-3 worth mentioning. We are told, in the first chapter of Ephesians, that all members of the Trinity were involved in our redemption: God the Father planned it, the Son paid for it, and the Holy Spirit protects it. In Genesis: God the Father planned this universe; the Son carried out the plan, and He is the One who redeemed it; and the Holy Spirit today is moving and brooding over this creation.

    Let us look forward to the Bridegroom coming for His bride, the church (redeemed), the Bride of Christ.

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.

9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.

10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward

  • As “God” is the translation of “Elohim” so “L ORD ” is the translation for YHWH (Yaweh, Jehovah), the name for G_D that orthodox Jews wouldn’t try to vocalize even if they knew how, and if it ever was vocalized how to do it has been lost to the winds of time. Kind of like having meaning without language, or how Day and Night speak to us without words.

    So the law of Jehovah is perfect, restoring the soul (according to some translations); the testimony of Jehovah is sure, making wise the simple. Being the simple fellow that I am, I like that. I like being sure, about things, and not just because I’m told, but because I can observe them through my own experience . . . I think we call it learning the hard way or going to the school of hard knocks. Isaiah puts it thus:
    Isaiah 53:6

Which brings us to Christ and our redemption

12 Who can understand his errors? Cleanse thou me from secret faults.

13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.

14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

· There are many who believe they have no sin, that they are good people, that they “live by the 10 Commandment” or “the Golden Rule.” If we learn anything, we learn that no one is perfect . . . all the time. Jesus said: Luke 12:2 . Vernon McGee said: Secret sin on earth is open scandal in heaven.

· Then there are those who don’t believe sin exists. That it’s all relative, a matter of opinion. What’s good for one person in one situation is wrong for someone else. It all depends on the circumstances. Jesus said, after he warned against judging harshly: Matthew 7:6 .

· Presumptuous sin is best characterized by what followed the events of Kadesh-barnea after the Israelites refused to go into the promised land because they didn’t trust God, rebelled against Moses and Aaron and threatened to make a captain to take them back to Egypt, and were about to stone Joshua and Caleb . . . when the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation.

With Moses’ intervention, the children of Israel were not wiped out there and then as the LORD proposed to do. But they were cursed to die, wandering as nomads in the desert for the next forty years, never to realize the promise God had made to their fathers. The next morning, in order to make things better, to put their sin away by their own works, they went into the land presuming God would protect them as He had promised now that they were doing His will. The Amalekites and Canaanites destroyed them. Numbers 13-14

Presumptuous sin is a dangerous thing. We need beware of it: Proverbs 21:2 ; Proverbs 14:12-13.

I sometimes worry about presumption when I listen to others speak about election. Are we chosen because we’re saved? Or are we saved because we’re chosen? Vernon McGee says there are very good theologians on both sides of the argument, Armenianism vs. Calvinism. His conclusion: If you’re worried about it, you’re probably okay. I agree. I am not ashamed of the Gospel ( Romans 1:16) , but my greatest fear is that I will bring it shame ( 1 John 2:28 ).

· The other sin David mentions here is “the great transgression.” According to Jesus, all sins may be forgiven, except one: Luke 12:10 .

· “May the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, be pleasing to You, pleasing to You . . .” It is in these familiar lyrics from this last verse that we see the full-on work of grace through the Trinity of the Godhead. David is led by the Holy Spirit to confess that the LORD is his strength and redeemer. Who is that? Christ!

David may not have known Christ the same way we know Him on this side of time, but the king knew that blessing and redemption come only from the power of His love and through His grace. Two thousand years later guess where I found my strength and my redemption? Christ! This is humility, the humility of being His child, the humility that begins with the conviction of the Holy Spirit that we can’t do it without Him . . . again . . . and again.

As we live to learn this through experience, and not just hear it as speech, I offer Paul’s teaching from the Amplified Classic version of the Bible that reveals the working of the Spirit that lives in you: Philippians 2:12-13 .

And if we trust that the LORD is working in us and through us as David did, then we too can indeed trust that the Spirit is guiding our desires, our thoughts . . . our very word and deed . . . without being presumptuous. Proverbs 21:1 ; Proverbs 16:3

5. What do you think the speaker is feeling and how do you relate? (Done)

6. How is this Psalm quoted in the New Testament?

http://www.jesuswalk.com/psalms/psalms-NT-quotations.htm

Psalm 19:4 = Romans 10:18

7. What other scriptures are brought to mind through the content, and how might that enlighten or expand the subject of the Psalm. (Column notes, chain references, commentaries, etc.?). (Done)



[1] As I was absent for Dr. & dental appts. In Redlands and San Bernardino, I missed Bible Study as planned, did not begin to put these notes together until sometime after talking w/ Pastor Julian who had given the Psalm 19 lesson in my place on 3/5/2020. These are my notes/questions & answers made available 3/22/2020.