Book 2

Psalm 42

Psalms 42-49 were written for or by the sons of Koran. Psalm 43 has no heading but really goes with Psalm 42. In the third book also there are four psalms for the sons of Korah, 84, 85, 87, and 88.

Who were the sons of Korah? Korah belonged to the tribe of Levi and was a relation of Aaron and Moses. God had made Moses and Aaron leaders of the people, but Korah did not want to obey them. He gathered a number of unhappy Israelites and they rebelled against Moses and Aaron. God punished them by opening a great pit or hole in the earth into which they all fell and died, Numbers 16:1-35. Some of Koran’s children died also, but not all of them, 1 Chronicles 6:22. This shows us both the righteousness and the mercy of God: righteousness because He judged Korah for the sin of rebellion; and mercy because his children’s children, or great-grandchildren had a place of service in the temple worship. For us too God is a God of righteousness and mercy. He must judge our sins, but if we confess them, He will give us a place to serve Him.

Psalm 42 is also called Maskil. We have seen in Psalm 32 that this word means instruction or teaching.

In the first part of the psalm, vs. 1-5, the writer tells of his need for God. As a thirsty animal wants to find water to drink, so the writer’s soul desires God, v. 1. He especially wants to stand before God in the temple, v. 2.

His friends were saying, “Where is thy God?” Why does He not help you? These people had gone with the writer to the temple, v. 4, but now they do not help him or show love to him. So the writer calls upon his own soul to hope in God. He is sure that he will soon praise God for His help, v. 5.

The second part of the psalm also gives the writer’s need for God. His soul is still sorrowful, but he will remember God no matter where he is, even when near death. He felt God’s judgment going over him like the waves of the sea, v. 7. He was sure that God would deliver him, v. 8, but at that time it seemed that God had forgotten him. His enemies were still laughing at him and asking, “Where is thy God?”, vs. 9, 10. So he again called upon his soul to hope in God, v. 11.

When Jonah was inside the big fish, he also felt that God’s judgments were like the waves of the sea, Psalm 42:7, Jonah 2:3. Jonah is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ, Matthew 12:40. In this psalm we can hear the heart cry of the Lord Jesus when He was made sin for us, 2 Corinthians 5:21. Even on the cross God did not forget Christ, but He did cry, “My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” No matter what trouble we have to go through, we should remember that the Lord Himself suffered far more for us.

Psalm 43

Psalm 43 is the only psalm in the second book which does not have a title. Verse 5 is the same as 42:5, 11. These two psalms go together.

In Psalm 43:1, 2 we see the writer’s need of God. He asks God to make the whole nation know that he is right. He wanted deliverance specially from one man. He prays that God would send out His light and truth to lead him to God’s temple. He would be very happy to go to the altar, the place in the temple where animals were killed for a sacrifice. Again in verse 5 he calls upon himself to hope in God.

After the Church is taken home to heaven, a great man will rise up in this world, called the man of sin, 2 Thessalonians 2:3. He will hate the Jewish people and persecute them more than they have ever been persecuted in the past, Matthew 24:15-21. At first many of the Jews will go along with this man. Those who remain faithful to God will no doubt use the words of verse 1 and other parts of the psalms in praying to God.

Our special prayer is in verse 3, as we ask the Lord to send out the Gospel to all mankind.

Psalm 44

Here we have another Maskil for or by the sons of Koran. Sometimes the writer speaks for himself, sometimes for the nation of Israel. He remembers God’s deliverances in the past and sees their present trouble as coming from the Lord.

Their fathers had told them how God had given to them the land of Canaan. This was not by their own power, but by God’s right hand, vs. 1-3. Before Israel entered the land, Moses told the people again and again in the book of Deuteronomy that they would obtain the land only with God’s power, Deuteronomy 7:1; 8:18. After they had entered the land Joshua reminded them that it was God’s power, Joshua 24:12. Our salvation also is the work of the Lord, Titus 3:5.

The writer of this psalm was sure that God as King would deliver Israel. He would not trust in his own instruments of war, only in God, vs. 4-6. God had saved them and they were praising His name, vs. 7, 8.

However God had left them and put them to shame. Their enemies gained the victory, vs. 9, 10. God scattered them among the nations and sold them for nothing, vs. 11, 12. Their enemies laughed at them, vs. 13, 14. The writer himself could not understand this. He was mixed up and full of shame, vs. 15, 16.

The writer knew that God allowed this trouble, yet Israel had kept God’s law and had not departed from their agreement, vs. 17-19. Even if they had forgotten God, He would know the secrets of the heart, vs. 20, 21. They were in great danger because they belonged to God, v. 22. The apostle Paul used this verse in Romans 8:36 to show that God will look after His children in time of danger. It is possible for us to suffer for the Lord’s sake, or for our own mistakes. We should be glad if we have to suffer because we belong to Christ, but not if it is for our own mistakes, 1 Peter 4:12-16.

In the last part of the psalm the writer asks God to awake and help His people in time of great trouble. He prays in this way, not because of their righteousness, but because of God’s mercy, v. 26. This is the right way to pray: not because of what we are, but because of what God is. He saves us and helps us, not for our goodness, but for His own.

Psalm 45

In the heading of this beautiful psalm the word meaning “lilies” may refer to a musical instrument. See also Psalm 69 and Psalm 80. Psalm 45 is also called a Maskil and a song of loves. The writer is praising the king, vs. 1-9, and his new wife, vs. 10-17.

In the first verse the writer tells us of his joy in writing this psalm for the king. His beauty is greater than other men’s and his words are more gracious. God’s blessing is on him, v. 2. Before we learned to love the Lord Jesus, He did not seem beautiful to us, but rather like “a root out of dry ground”, Isaiah 53:2. Now that we know Him as Saviour, He has become altogether lovely, Song of Solomon 5:16. When we hear Him speak, we wonder at His gracious words, Luke 4:22, John 7:46.

Then the writer speaks of the king’s power. When he goes out to war, he will be victorious, vs. 3-5. This is because he is on the side of truth and right. Satan, the father of lies and all who help him will be overcome when the Lord Jesus Christ goes out to war, Revelation 19:11-21.

In verse 6 we see that God’s throne is forever and ever. The Holy Spirit tells us that this verse and the next are about the Lord Jesus Christ, Hebrews 1:8, 9. God has already set Christ on His throne, Psalm 110:1. When He comes back to earth, He will sit on His own throne, Matthew 19:28.

We read of the king’s joy in verses 7-9. Because he loved righteousness, God poured the oil of gladness on him. His clothing and his home (called ivory palaces) have made him glad, v. 8, but most of all his queen, v. 9.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He is called God in Hebrews 1:8. He is also the Son of man and in verse 7 God anoints Him with oil. The word Christ or Messiah means the one who is anointed. This oil speaks of the Holy Spirit who came on Christ at His baptism, Matthew 3:16. When the Lord Jesus had died, Nicodemus took His body and put medicines with it, John 19:39, 40. So Psalm 45:8 makes us think of the death of the Lord Jesus.

The writer then calls on the king’s wife to forget her father’s house and worship her lord, vs. 10, 11. Other people will come with gifts for her, v. 12. In beautiful clothing she and her friends will be brought to the king, vs. 13-15. Her children will rule in the earth like the king’s sons. She will be remembered and praised with the king forever, vs. 16, 17.

We know from the New Testament that Christ loves the Church as a man loves his wife, Ephesians 5:25-27. He is preparing to bring us to Himself in perfection. We will be dressed in the fine clothing of righteousness, Revelation 19:8. As we bring men to Christ they will be born again. We can call them our spiritual children as Paul did, Galatians 4:19, 1 Timothy 1:2. This will bring still great pleasure to our King, the Lord Jesus.

Psalm 46

This is called a song upon Alamoth. It tells us of God’s help in time of trouble.

When in trouble we can always turn to God, v. 1. Our trouble may seem great, like a storm or when the very earth shakes. If we trust in God, we will not be afraid, vs. 2, 3.

When there is no rain, the people of a city may suffer because they do not have enough water. Jerusalem is called the city of God and God supplied a river of water. More than that, He Himself was with the people in the city, vs. 4, 5. For this reason Jerusalem is a picture of heaven where God dwells. We read about the new heaven and the holy city, new Jerusalem, in Revelation 21 and a river of the water of life, Revelation 22:1. Only those who believe the Gospel will be there and only those who hear the Gospel can believe it. When the enemy is angry, it is a great help to know God is near, vs. 6, 7. When the Lord speaks, the earth melts. This means that the enemy cannot stand against God’s people.

The enemy will not give up until God greatly punishes them, v. 8. The time will come when there will be no more war in the world, Isaiah 2:4. So even now in time of trouble we should learn to be quiet and trust in God, v. 10. In this verse God speaks and promises that He will get glory in the whole earth. When the Lord Jesus comes back in power, all living people will have to obey Him. Even now as we tell people about the Lord, some will believe and this will bring glory to God.

Verse 11 is the same as verse 7. In each of the three parts of the psalm God is called our refuge or place of safety, vs. 1, 7, 11. We should learn to turn to Him in our little troubles every day as well as in the great problems of life.

Psalm 47

This psalm also tells us of God’s victory over evil in the whole world. All peoples are called upon to strike their hands together for joy, vs. 1, 2. Israel will have the highest place in God’s kingdom. He has chosen the place where He wants Israel to live, vs. 3, 4.

When God goes up on high, the people should sing praise to Him, vs. 5, 6. They should also sing His praise because He is the King of all the earth, v. 7. When He sits on His holy throne, He rules over all people, v. 8. The princes of the world come to Israel in peace. They can no longer make war against Israel because God is her God.

“God has gone up with a shout,” v. 5. This psalm may have been used when the ark of God went up to Jerusalem, 2 Samuel 6:12. We read of the time when the Son of God rose from the dead and went upon high, Ephesians 4:8. He sits upon the throne of God and will reign over the nations, Psalm 47:8. Today the nations are not our enemies. We should love them and tell them about Christ. If they bend the knee to Him now they will get a blessing. The time will come when every knee must bend, Romans 14:11, Philippians 2:10.

Psalm 48

This song is also by or for the sons of Korah. It tells of God’s presence in His temple on Mount Zion. Zion was the city of David, 1 Kings 8:1; it was called God’s holy hill, Psalm 2:6.

In Psalm 48 because God was in Zion it is holy, beautiful, and a place of safety, vs. 1-3. Kings came together, perhaps to see if they could take the city, but they soon turned back in fear, vs. 4-6. Some of them may have come all the way from Tarshish in ships. The people of Israel had often heard of God’s power in delivering His people from danger. Now they have seen it for themselves, v. 8.

As they thought of these things in the temple, v. 9, they felt that God’s praise should go out to the ends of the earth, v. 10. Especially the people who live in Jerusalem should be glad, v. 11. They could see how strongly the city was built, v. 12, and should tell this to young people, v. 13. They were sure that God would guide them safely to the end of life, v. 14.

God chose Jerusalem to put His name there, 1 Kings 11:36. Today God does not choose any city or country above another. The Lord Jesus Christ loves His Church which is also called His Bride. In Revelation 21:9, 10 we see that the Bride, the Lamb’s Wife, is the new Jerusalem where God will dwell forever. This psalm teaches that God will save His people when their enemies come against them. At the same time He desires that we should witness to all.

Psalm 49

Psalm 49 is the seventh and last in this group written by or for the sons of Korah. Four more are found in the third book: psalms 84, 85, 87 and 88. The subject here is that some day all must die.

The call goes forth to all the people of the world, both rich and poor, vs. 1, 2. The psalmist says he will give them a message of wisdom. This message is in the form of a psalm and so he plays on his musical instrument, vs. 3, 4.

Rich people had persecuted the writer, but he was not afraid, vs. 5, 6. Money cannot redeem anyone. It is not possible to pay God to save my brother or myself, vs. 7-9, 1 Peter 1:18. These people must know that all men die, both wise and foolish, v. 10, and someone else will get their money. Yet they seem to think that their lands will be their own forever, v. 11. Yet in the day of his death the rich man is little different from an animal, v. 12.

The end of life is the grave for men without faith, vs. 13, 14, but the writer of this psalm is confident that God will redeem him, v. 15. So his counsel to the reader is not to be afraid when rich people get along well in this world, v. 16. He can take none of his money with him to the next world, v. 17. In this life he considers himself very fortunate and men agree with him. In the next world he will be forever far from God, v. 19. In the world today there are many rich people who truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. God does not promise that all who believe in Christ will get along well in this world. Teaching for believers who would like to get rich is found in 1 Timothy 6. 6-10. Teaching for those who are rich is found in the same chapter, vs. 17-19.

The New Testament also teaches that people have to die once and after that comes judgment, Hebrews 9:27. It also teaches that for those who are in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation, Romans 8:1. You may be rich or poor in this world, but in Christ you can be very rich, 2 Corinthians 8:9.

Psalm 50

We now come to the first psalm of Asaph. There are twelve altogether: this one and psalms 73-83.

In the first book of Psalms, Psalms 1-41, the common name for God is Jehovah or LORD. In the second book and most of the third book the name God is used more often than LORD. In this psalm of Asaph the word God is found eight times and LORD only once, v. 1. In the twelve psalms of Asaph two words for God are found 67 times and LORD only twelve times. The name Jehovah or LORD is the name used in the Bible for God when He makes or remembers His covenant or agreement with His people. In this psalm the mighty God, the LORD reveals Himself, vs. 1-6, rebukes His people, vs. 7-15, and rejects the wicked, vs. 16-23.

The Lord God has authority over the earth, v. 1. In grace He gives light from Zion to men, v. 2. His judgments also tell us His character, vs. 3-6. He calls to the angels of heaven to listen while He judges His people. He calls His people His saints. They have made a covenant with Him, v. 5, but there is something lacking.

The trouble was, they brought sacrifices, but not with a true heart. God does not rebuke them for not bringing sacrifices, vs. 8, 9. All the animals of the world belong to Him, vs. 10-13. What does God really want? He wants thanksgiving from the heart, v. 14, and glory from those who have been saved, v. 15.

Throughout their history the people of Israel brought animals to God as sacrifices according to the law of Moses. This was good, but some thought they could go on in sin and then quickly get forgiveness from God just by bringing a sacrifice. The prophets from Isaiah to Malachi warned Israel against this idea and here Asaph is doing the same thing.

Some in Israel acted as though they were believers, but in truth they were not. Even though they talk about God’s law and covenant, God calls them wicked, v. 16. They refused the word of God, v. 17, were friends with sinners, v. 18, spoke evil words, v. 19, even against their own brothers, v. 20.

God had not judged them at once, so they thought that everything was alright, v. 21. God warns them of terrible judgment, v. 22. Those who offer praise and at the same time walk according to God’s order bring glory to Him and will see His salvation, v. 23

This psalm teaches us today that it is possible to behave like a Christian without really belonging to God. True Christians will be chastened by the Father. He wants us to worship in spirit and in truth, John 4. 24. He wants us to pray to Him and when He answers, to praise Him, v. 15. We can know that He who owns the cattle on a thousand hills will take care of His children, Matthew 6:33. Notice in Psalm 19:1 the heavens declare the glory of God, and in Psalm 50:6 they declare His righteousness. But the church reveals the grace and wisdom of God, Ephesians 2:7; 3:10.

Psalm 51

Most of the psalms, 51-72, to the end of the second book are by David. Many of them were written after certain events in David’s life. For example in the heading of Psalm 51 we read “When Nathan the prophet came to him after he had gone in to Bathsheba.” Before you study these psalms it would be well to read the story of David’s life in 1 Samuel 16 to 1 Kings 2:11.

David was looking after his father’s sheep when Samuel anointed him to be king of Israel later on. After he killed Goliath, his name was well known and king Saul became very jealous of him. David had to flee, but the Lord saved his life. After Saul was killed in the war David became king. He fell into sin and the Lord had to punish him. David’s son Absalom rose up to kill his own father. Absalom died and David kept on reigning as king until the day of his death.

The story of David’s sin is found in 2 Samuel 11. For about a year God spoke to him, but he would not repent. Finally the Lord sent Nathan the prophet who told David what God thought about his sin, 2 Samuel 12:1-14. David repented and did not have to die, but God’s punishment of David was terrible just the same. Psalm 51 tells us David’s thoughts before he was sure that Jehovah had forgiven him.

At first David confesses his own sin and his need of God’s mercy. He speaks of his sin in three different words, as in Psalm 32. 5. In the law of Moses the sinner was both guilty and unclean. David prays here that God would wash him and make him clean, v. 2.

He confessed his evil and saw that his sin was against the Lord only. It is true that he had done great wrong to Bathsheba and her husband, but his sin was really against God. God had judged David to be guilty of sin. By confessing the sin he shows that God is just, v. 4.

This one sin was very great in David’s eyes, but in verse 5 he confessed his sinful nature. Adam, the first man committed sin and passed on his sinful nature to all his children. David is not saying this to make his sin seem less important. When you confess a sin, do not try to make it look less by saying, “It’s my nature” or “Everybody does the same thing” or “I could not help it.” The way to get forgiveness is to call it SIN. God desires truth in the inner parts, v. 6. No one can deceive Him and He does not like us to try, Psalm 32:2.

Then David prayed for seven things from God.

    1. He wanted to be washed pure white, v. 7. Hyssop is a common plant found in Bible lands. It was used to cleanse the leper, Leviticus 14:6.

    2. Before he confessed his sin, he was very unhappy and had pain in his body, Psalm 32:3, 4. Here he asks that God would give him back his joy and make him feel better, v. 8.

    3. He asked the Lord not to look at his sins, but to take them away, v. 9.

    4. He prayed for a clean heart and a new spirit, v. 10. God promised Israel a new heart and a new spirit, Ezekiel 36:26. When we are born again, all things become new, John 3:3, 2 Corinthians 5:17.

    5. David prayed that God would not put him away or take away the Holy Spirit, v. 11. We know from the New Testament that the Holy Spirit will not leave a true child of God, but when we fall into sin, we certainly lose the joy of the Lord.

    6. So David asked again for the joy of salvation, v. 12.

    7. Then he prayed that God will hold him up by the Spirit, v. 12.

When Christ was glorified He sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts. Before that, men were moved at certain times by the Holy Spirit, Judges 13:25. The Lord Jesus said to His disciples about the Holy Spirit, “He dwells with you and will be in you”, John 14:17. As believers we do not need to pray that God will give us the Holy Spirit nor fear that He will take Him away.

When you are forgiven, you can serve the Lord. David promised that he would teach sinners, v. 13, and praise the Lord, vs. 14, 15. He understood that just giving an animal as a sacrifice on an altar would not please God, v. 16. This is the teaching of Asaph in Psalm 50. 7-15. What God really wants is true sorrow in the heart, v. 17. Beside teaching sinners and praising the Lord David prayed for the people of Jerusalem, v. 18. He shows his true sorrow by these things. After that it was right to bring sacrifices to God, v. 19. Let no one suppose that God will forgive his sins because of any amount of money he may give. If we truly confess our sins, then our gifts will be accepted by the Lord.

Psalm 52

This psalm or instruction of David was written before he became king. Saul was very jealous of David’s mighty acts. David had to flee and first he went to Ahimelech the priest, 1 Samuel 21:1. Doeg, a man from the land of Edom saw him and told Saul. Saul could not catch David, but he killed 85 priests. When David heard about this he was very sorry, 1 Samuel 22:9, 18, 22.

The men of Edom were the children of Esau, the brother of Jacob, Genesis 36:1. The name Edom is almost the same as Adam and speaks of the natural man without God. Esau himself is a picture of the man who lives for the things of this world, Genesis 25:29-34.

In this psalm the evil of the natural man is seen in his tongue. The natural man likes to say big things about himself, v. 1, also evil and deceitful things, v. 2. He loves these things because his heart is evil, vs. 3, 4, Matthew 12:34.

The righteous man will see God’s judgment on the wicked who trusted in his riches, vs. 5-7. This does not mean that either the righteous man or the Lord would be happy when the sinner is judged, Isaiah 28:21. The righteous man sees himself like a green tree in the house of God. He will trust and praise the Lord with his tongue forever, vs. 8, 9.

The tongue is very important in the sight of God. In Psalm 51 we have the sinful man David confessing his sin to the Lord. In Psalm 52 we see a wicked man saying great things about himself and false things about others. James, the brother of the Lord, tells us to be careful with our tongues, James 3:1-12.

The believer is like a branch brought into a tree and receiving blessing, Romans 11:17. We are also like branches of the vine, John 15:1-5. The Lord Jesus Christ always said the right words at the right time. As we abide in Him and His power goes through us, we can use our tongues to praise the Lord and to tell others about Him.

Psalm 53

In Psalm 52 we had the natural man, but in Psalm 53 the wicked man who says there is no God. He is careful enough to say this only in his own heart. Today a few people get up and try to tell everybody that there is no God. They also attack the people of God like the wicked man in Psalm 53.

This psalm is also a Maskil, a psalm for instruction, as psalms 52, 54 and 55. The word Mahalath is used only in this psalm, and may refer to a musical instrument.

Psalm 53 is almost the same as Psalm 14 except verse 5 and the name used for God. In Psalm 14 the name Jehovah is found four times, God three times. In Psalm 53 God is named seven times. Psalm 14:5, 6 are a little different from Psalm 53:5.

A few people deny that there is a God. The Holy Spirit calls them corrupt or spoiled, v. 1, but God looks down on all men and finds that there is none that does good, vs. 2, 3. They seem to have no knowledge and try to eat up God’s people like bread, v. 4. God will surely judge them and make His people rejoice, vs. 5, 6.

If a person says there is no God, there is little value in trying to prove to him that there is. The best thing to do is to tell him what the Bible says and trust that the Holy Spirit will show him the truth.

Psalm 54

Psalm 54 is also on Neginoth (stringed instruments) as psalms 4, 6, 54, 55, 67 and 76. Musical instruments are given in the heading of a number of psalms, mostly in the first two books. We know very little about these musical instruments, but Neginoth were used more often than any other.

Psalm 54 was also written at the time when Saul was persecuting David. David and his men hid themselves in the woods and the Ziphites came and told Saul. Saul was thankful for their help and sent a large army to take David, 1 Samuel 23:19-25.

In our psalm David prays that God would save, judge, and hear him, vs. 1, 2, because strangers had risen up against him, v. 3. David knew God’s plan to make him king and so knew that his enemies did not want the will of God, v. 3.

As soon as he prayed he was assured that God was with him and would reward evil to his enemies, vs. 4, 5. He promised to bring sacrifices and to praise the Lord, v. 6. He was so sure that the Lord would help him that he could already see his victory over his enemies, v. 7.

God saved David by sending Saul’s enemies, the Philistines, against him. So Saul had to give up hunting David for a little while, 1 Samuel 23:27, 28.

Later on the Ziphites again went to Saul and told him that David was hiding in their country. This time David and two of his men went to the camp of Saul while his army was sleeping. David could have killed his enemy, but he would not do so. When Saul found out that David had spared his life, he confessed that he had done wrong. He let David go at that time, but David was still afraid of him, 1 Samuel 26:1, 8, 9, 21; 27:1.

God does not always deliver His people and many have had the honour of dying for Christ, Hebrews 11:35, Revelation 2:10. We should live for Christ as already dead with Him, Galatians 2:20. In all the problems of life we know He will hear and answer our prayers.

Psalm 55

In Psalm 55 we have David’s prayer for help, vs. 1-8, his prayer against his enemy, vs. 9-15, and his trust in God, vs. 16-23.

His enemies were so strong that David was filled with fear, vs. 4, 5. He wished that he had wings like a bird so that he could fly away to the wild country, vs. 6-8. In time of trouble we often wish we could escape, but it might be God’s will for us to stay and pray and see His hand working for us. Wild country may be a place where Satan can tempt us too, Mark 1:12, 13.

Instead of running away, David prayed that the Lord would destroy his enemies in the city. He asked God to mix up their tongues so that their plans would fail, vs. 9-11. God had mixed up the language of the people who built the tower of Babel, Genesis 11:7.

What hurt David most of all was a friend who turned false, vs. 12-14. If it were an enemy, he would be brave, but to think that his own friend would betray him! Was David thinking of Ahithophel? Ahithophel was David’s counselor whose counsel was considered very highly by David. When Absalom, David’s son tried to make himself king, Ahithophel left David and followed Absalom. David prayed that God would turn Ahithophel’s counsel to foolishness. When Ahithophel’s counsel was not followed, he went out and killed himself, 2 Samuel 15:12, 31; 16:23; 17:23. In Psalm 55 David speaks about his equal and his friend. David went to the house of God with him, vs. 13, 14. Have you ever trusted in a friend who later turned against you? The Lord Jesus Christ chose Judas as one of His disciples, but Judas turned against Him and betrayed Him, Psalm 41:9, John 13:18. In this psalm again David’s experience makes us think of the Lord Jesus. When David prayed that God would judge his enemies as in verse 15 he is not like the Lord Jesus who prayed that His enemies might be forgiven, Luke 23:34. We know that God will judge the wicked, but our prayer as Christians should be for their salvation.

David promised to pray to God three times a day, vs. 16, 17. He was sure God would deliver him, v. 18. As for the wicked, they would not change their ways nor fear God, v. 19. The one who betrayed him broke his promise. His words were very nice, but there was war in his heart, v. 21. Both David and Peter tell us to put our care on the Lord, v. 22, 1 Peter 5:7. The wicked would soon be judged, but David would trust in God, v. 23. This gave him more peace than the thought of flying away, v. 6, or praying for God’s judgment on his enemies, v. 15. So it is with us, John 14:27, Romans 5:1.

Psalm 56

When David left home for fear of Saul, after a long time he lost hope and went to Achish, a king of the Philistines, the enemies of Israel. The servants of Achish knew him and told the king that he had killed many of their people. David was very much afraid and began to act as if he had lost his mind. Achish thought he was mad and David was able to escape to Adullam, 1 Samuel 21:10-15. David did not honour the Lord by putting his trust in the enemies of God. The world will laugh at us when we ask it for help. Still the Lord looks after His own and will hear our cry. David wrote Psalm 56 at this time and when he escaped he wrote Psalm 34.

In this psalm he prays to God and says that men are fighting against him every day, vs. 1, 2. But David puts his trust in God and so his fear is taken away, vs. 3, 4.

In the second part of the psalm David tells God how his enemies are planning to kill him, vs. 5, 6. He prays that God will throw them down, v. 7, and knows that God remembers all his troubles, v. 8. He knows that God is for him, v. 9, and so is not afraid of what man can do. Verses 10 and 11 are about the same as verse 4.

Now David praises God and says he will do what he promised, v. 12. Since God has saved him from death, he is sure that He will keep him from falling and help him to walk in the light of life, v. 13. We can say the same thing. God has saved us from our sins and will keep us from falling, Jude 24. The Lord Jesus Christ is the Light of the world and if we follow Him, we will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life, v. 13, John 8:12.

Psalm 57

When David escaped from the Philistines, he went to live at Adullam, 1 Samuel 22:1. His enemies were still trying to destroy him and he wrote Psalm 57, another psalm of prayer and praise.

He calls to God for mercy. As a little bird keeps under the wings of its mother, so David wanted to stay close to God until his troubles passed over, v. 1. He knew that God was faithful and would send help from heaven, vs. 2, 3. Still David was in a place of danger. His enemies were like wild animals whose teeth were like instruments of war. God would get glory by saving His servant, vs. 4, 5.

They tried to catch David in a snare like an animal. They made a hole for him to fall in, but they fell into it themselves, v. 6. David praises the Lord in his heart, v. 7, and with musical instruments, v. 8. He got up early in the morning to praise the Lord and promises to praise Him among all peoples, vs. 9, 10.

Verse 11 is the same as verse 5. A verse in a psalm or song which is the same as another verse is called a refrain. This is very common in modern songs. In Psalm 56 the refrain is seen in verse 4 and verses 10 and 11.

David wants God to be glorified above the heavens and above the earth. The Lord Jesus Christ when He rose from the dead passed through the heavens, Hebrews 4:14, and God has given Him a place above every other being, Ephesians 1:20, 21. We too have been delivered from sin and like David should try to spread God’s glory-through all the earth by telling men about His Son.

Psalm 58

Psalms 57, 58, 59 and 75 are all marked Al-taschith, meaning, “do not destroy.” In this psalm David speaks to the judges of Israel. God has told men to govern themselves, Genesis 9:6, and the judges of this world should do right. Specially in Israel God expected righteous judgment because He had given His laws to that nation. Here David describes their words, v. 1, their hearts and hands, v. 2, all evil. They were born with an evil nature. They are like serpents that no one can control, vs. 4, 5.

The end of these evil judges is described, vs. 6-9. Though they are like wild animals, David calls upon God to break their teeth. He prays that they may quickly pass away, v. 7. The snail, v. 8, is a very small animal which moves so slowly that anyone can step on it and kill it. David wants God to take these evil judges away quickly like a baby that is born too soon and dies. Thorns, v. 9, are short, sharp little branches which burn very quickly. All these things are pictures of God’s quick judgment.

When God takes these evil judges out of the land, the righteous will be glad. Putting one’s feet in the blood of an enemy is a picture of victory. When God is the Judge in the earth, there will surely be a reward for the righteous, vs. 10, 11.

As Christians we are told to obey the government. There may be evil judges in the land, but it is not part of our work to make this world any better. We should give people the gospel and if they believe they will be saved forever. God is a righteous Judge and some day everything will be made right.

Psalm 59

When David killed Goliath, Saul as a reward gave him his daughter Michael for his wife. When the people began to praise David for winning greater victories than Saul, Saul became unhappy and jealous. He tried to kill David, but David slipped away to his own house. Saul sent men to wait at David’s house and kill him in the morning. David’s wife Michael helped him to escape through a window and she put an image in David’s bed and when the men came to kill him, said David is sick. Saul was angry with Michael, but he could not harm her because she was his daughter. David escaped, but he knew he was still in great danger. This story is found in 1 Samuel 19:11-17 and David’s feelings at this time are explained in Psalm 59.

In verses land 2 he prays four times for deliverance. In verses 3 and 4 he does not say he is perfect, but certainly has not done anything which would give his enemies just cause for trying to kill him. He calls upon the Lord to judge the Gentiles and all wicked men, v. 5. We know that Saul had close to him at least one Gentile who was willing to kill righteous Israelites. Doeg was an Edomite, Psalm 52, and there may have been more.

David says these wicked men are like wild dogs, running around the city, looking for food. They think God will not hear them, vs. 6, 7. The Lord laughs at the nations who think they can overthrow His strength. David is sure that God will give him victory over his enemies, vs. 8-10, Psalm 2:4.

He prays that God would punish them and not kill them. This is so that the people of Israel would not quickly forget and also so that men would learn the lesson and perhaps repent. However they continue to curse and lie and God will have to judge them, vs. 12, 13.

Like dogs they come back in the evening and grumble if they do not get enough, vs. 14, 15. David’s enemies would not be satisfied until they killed him, but David will sing of God’s power and love, vs. 16, 17. God’s power means that He is able to deliver us in any time of trouble. His love means that He is willing to act for us. These dogs seem to come in the evening, vs. 6, 14, but David is sure the Lord will deliver him and that he will sing praise in the morning, v. 16. Sorrow may last all night, but joy comes in the morning for the believer, Psalm 30:5.

In many of these psalms we have David praying for judgment on his enemies and in some of them God laughing at sinners. You should remember that God’s righteousness demands that He should judge sinners, but He will do it with sorrow. Judgment is His strange work, Isaiah 28:21, Lamentations 3:33, but He delights in love, Micah 7:18.

Psalm 60

In the heading of Psalm 60 Shushan Eduth may be a musical instrument. This song is a “Miktam.” So are psalms 16 and 56-59. The meaning of this word is not certain, but these five psalms, 56-60, are all prayers of David in time of trouble. We do not know just when this psalm was written. After David became king, he fought many wars against the enemies of Israel. See 2 Samuel 8:3-6. The last part of this psalm, vs. 6-12, is almost the same as Psalm 108:7-13.

In the war the enemy at first seemed to be too strong for Israel. David explained this as a sign of God’s anger. He punished His people by showing them hard things, vs. 1-3. Then He raised a banner or flag for those who feared Him. So David was sure that He would defend His loved ones, vs. 4, 5.

Then God speaks in holiness, joy and power. He is in complete control of all Israel, vs. 6, 7, as well as the nations around it, v. 8. We can be sure that “God is still on the throne, and He will take care of His own.”

When David remembers God’s power, he knows that God will lead him into the strong city and give victory over the Edomites. Israel will trust in God and not in man, vs. 9-12. This is a lesson which we too must always be learning. We are likely at all times to trust in our own strength or to look to others for help. God wants our love and trust for Himself alone.

Psalm 61

This psalm of David’s was to the chief musician on a stringed instrument like Psalm 54. It is another prayer of David when he was king of Israel.

He cried to God in time of great trouble as if he were very far away at the end of the earth. He prays that God would lead him to the Rock. This Rock is the Lord Himself, Psalm 18:31; 28:1; 94:22. For us that Rock is Christ, 1 Corinthians 10:4. In the past God had been David’s refuge, and for the future he wanted to remain in God’s tent and rest under His wings, Psalm 57:1.

God had heard David’s promises and given him an inheritance, v-5. He believed that God would give him long life, v. 6, and that he would be before God forever, v. 7, Psalm 23:6. With these wonderful things in mind no wonder David looked forward to singing God’s praise forever, v. 8.

These words were true of David and of us and of all God’s saints. They are specially true of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s chosen King who will reign forever.

Psalm 62

This psalm of David is addressed to Jeduthun as psalms 39 and 77. Psalms 61, 62 and 63 were written by David when he was king. Even on the throne David had a great deal of trouble. The first word of verses 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 9 in the Hebrew language is only or alone. David’s trust is only in God and wicked men seem to be interested only in evil.

David tells of his own experience, vs. 1-4. He found that God gives salvation, v. 1, and He is salvation, v. 2. His enemies are planning evil against him, but they will be like a poorly built wall which is about to fall down, v. 3. David is on the Rock, vs. 2, 6, 7. His enemies were planning nothing less than to get him off the throne, v. 4. They acted as if they were David’s friends, but he knew their hearts.

David was always ready to tell people about God’s goodness to him, vs. 5-8. Verses 5 and 6 are almost the same as verses 1 and 2. David knew the salvation of God and so could tell the people to trust in Him and pray to Him, v. 8.

In the last part of the psalm David teaches his people not to trust in man, nor riches, vs. 9, 10, but only in God, vs. 11, 12. Balances, v. 9, are used to weigh things and the picture here is of the wicked, whether great or small, who are weighed in God’s balance and found wanting, like king Belshazzar, Daniel 5:27. Even if a person gets rich honestly, he should not put his trust in riches, but in the living God, 1 Timothy 6:17. We all should trust in the God of power, v. 11, and love, v. 12, because He will reward every man according to his work. Sinners will be punished for their sins and believers will be given a crown for faithful service when the Lord comes, 2 Timothy 4:8.

Psalm 63

When David’s son Absalom tried to become king, David quickly fled from Jerusalem to the wild country of Judah, 2 Samuel 15:14, 28. A little later he crossed the river Jordan to the east side, 2 Samuel 17:16, 22. Psalms 3 and 7 come from this same time. Here the king, though rejected by his people, still trusts in God.

In the wild country of Judah the land is very dry, but David was longing for God, v. 1. He wanted to get back to the tent of God in Jerusalem and see His power and glory again, v. 2. Still he would praise God for His love which he felt was better than life itself, vs. 3, 4. In the wild country David did not have the food he was used to nor a comfortable bed. Still he could praise God, vs. 5, 6. He had been safe under the wings of God who had helped him so often before and would no doubt deliver him again this time, vs. 7, 8.

He was sure that his enemies would be killed in the war, eaten by wild animals, and go down to the place of the dead, vs. 9, 10. David the king would rejoice in God and all those who follow God as well, v. 11.

When we cannot get the usual comforts of home, we should rejoice in the Lord, Philippians 4:4, Psalm 37:4. When we cannot sleep at night, we can pray. When our enemies try to harm us, we can trust in the Lord. These are the lessons of Psalm 63.

Psalm 64

We are not told when this psalm was written, but David is still being attacked by his enemies. He asks God to hide him from their secret counsel, vs. 1, 2. The Lord Jesus knew what His enemies were going to do, but put His trust in God, 1 Peter 2:23.

David’s enemies were ready to shoot at him with their words, vs. 3, 4. People may accuse you falsely or say things to do you harm. Like David God will take care of you. These men made their plans carefully, vs. 5, 6. Remember that the Pharisees made a plan to catch the Lord Jesus in His words, Matthew 22:15.

David knew that God would shoot at his enemies. One word from God will do more than all the words of evil men, v. 7. God’s enemies in the last days will be put to death by the sharp sword of the Son of God, His Word, Revelation 19:13, 15, 21.

In our psalm when God brings evil men to justice, it will be a lesson to others and the righteous will be glad, vs. 8-10. We must remember that God is still in control and will surely care for His people.

Psalm 65

This is the first of four psalms which are also called songs, like psalms 30 and 48. Psalms 65 and 68 were written by David.

Psalm 65 is a song of praise to the great God who is overall. In the future all men will come to God to praise Him because He answers prayer, vs. 1, 2. If His people sin, God will forgive them, v. 3. This could be true of anybody in the world, but there is a special blessing for those who are chosen to live near the temple of God which David planned to build. God is the only ground of hope for all men. He will show the nations that Israel is the people of God, vs. 4, 5.

God’s greatness is seen in the present time by His power in the natural world, vs. 6-13. He has established the mountains, v. 6, can control the waves of the sea, v. 7. People all over the world can understand God’s power in nature every day, v. 8. We saw in Psalm 19:4 that this message goes out through all the world. God sends rain and food to all men, vs. 9, 10. When they gather their food at the end of the year, everybody should be happy and praise God. Paul tried to give this message to the men of Lystra in Acts 14:17. One of the sins of the Gentiles is that they are not thankful to God for all His blessings, Romans 1:21.

This psalm teaches us that we should give thanks to God for food and every blessing. It also tells us of the time when people everywhere will bow down to Jehovah, the only true God. People who die today, if they die in their sins, will not come into this future blessing. For this reason God has commanded us to tell them about His love as seen in Christ. If we obey this command, we can know now the joy of being near Him.

Psalm 66

We do not know who wrote this psalm or when it was written. God had delivered the nation of Israel from some terrible trial and the writer of the psalm calls on all nations to praise God.

First he calls on all the earth to sing God’s praise, vs. 1, 2. Because of God’s great power all His enemies will be overcome and everyone should worship Him, vs. 3, 4.

He asks the people to consider God’s power as seen in the history of Israel, vs. 5-7. He turned the Red Sea into dry land, Exodus 14:21. When they crossed the river Jordan the Lord held back the waters, Joshua 3:14-16. These things were long ago, but God was still ruling by His power over all the nations, v. 7. God has warned these nations not to rebel, but His warning will not be received, Psalm 2:2.

The writer again told the people to bless God, v. 8, because He has delivered Israel, v. 9. True, He put His people to the test, vs. 10, 11. At first their enemies gained a victory and they went through a time of trial like fire and water, but God brought them through it all, v. 12.

During this trial the writer promised to bring offerings to God if He delivered them. He may have been a king of Israel and if so could act for the nation. He is now ready to bring these sacrifices, vs. 13-15.

Then he asks all who fear God to listen while he tells what God has done for him, v. 16. He simply prayed to God and gave praise to Him, v. 17. He knew that if there was sin in his heart, God would not hear, v. 18. But he can praise God for answering prayer and delivering his people, vs. 19, 20.

Most of the psalms are about David, the saints, or the people of Israel. In Psalms 66 and 67 we see God’s interest in all the nations of the world. In this psalm the nations are called upon to praise God because of His great power. God showed His power to Israel, not for their benefit only, but so that all people might learn to fear Him. We too have been saved for this purpose, that we might tell others about the power and love of our God.

Psalm 67

We do not know who wrote Psalm 67. In it the Holy Spirit calls on the people of the world to praise God.

First Israel asks for God’s blessing in the same way that the high priest prayed for them, Numbers 6:24, 25. However they asked for this blessing so that God’s way and God’s salvation might be known among all nations, v. 2. Their desire is that others might praise God also, v. 3.

God as a Shepherd will guide and govern all nations as He did Israel. This will give the people great joy and they should praise God, vs. 4, 5.

The time is coming when God will set His King on His holy hill in Zion, Psalm 2:6. Then all the nations of the earth will be governed righteously and well. They will rejoice in the blessing of God. The earth will bring forth plenty of food, v. 6, Isaiah 35:1. God will bless Israel and even people far off at the ends of the earth will know and fear Israel’s God, v. 7.

Even in Old Testament days it was God’s will that the peoples of the world should hear of His power and goodness. Israel failed to spread that message. Today we have far greater knowledge of the love of God and our command is to preach the Gospel to every creature. We should be doing this until the Lord comes back again.

Psalm 68

This psalm was written by David, but we are not told when. However it would seem to be a song sung by the Levites as they brought the ark of God to Jerusalem. King Saul years before had departed from God. The ark was a wooden box with gold on the outside, a picture of the presence of God. Saul supposed that by taking the ark into the battle God would surely give them victory. But Saul had not judged his own sins and God would not answer his prayer. The Philistines gained the victory and went off with the ark of God. Then God judged the Philistines and they sent it back to Israel. When David became king, he wanted to bring the ark of God to its rightful place, 1 Chronicles 15. Some of the Levites carried the ark and others sang hymns. David himself was clothed with a long robe. After taking six steps everybody stopped while a sacrifice was made, 1 Chronicles 15:25-28; 2 Samuel 6:13.

David wrote Psalm 68 for the Levites to sing as they brought the ark of God up to Jerusalem. He used words and verses from early parts of the Bible so that the people would remember God’s blessing to Israel in years past. He used seven different names of God in this psalm:

· God, v. 1

· Jah, the Lord, v. 4.

· The Almighty, v. 14.

· Jehovah, the LORD, v. 16.

· The Lord God, v. 18.

· The Lord, v. 19.

· Jehovah or GOD, the Lord, v. 20.

When the ark was first made, the people of Israel were in the wilderness. When the Levites picked up the ark to move forward, Moses asked the Lord to rise up and scatter His enemies, Numbers 10:35. David starts off with this same prayer in verse 1. The effect of God’s presence is to drive away the wicked and give joy to the righteous, vs. 2, 3.

As the people start marching to Jerusalem, the Levites start to sing in praise of Jah, who is Jehovah, v. 4. The presence of God is a blessing to the poor, v. 5, to those who are alone or in prison, v. 6. The people of Israel had been slaves in Egypt, but God brought them forth into the wilderness. At Mount Sinai when the Law was given, the earth itself shook, vs. 7, 8, Exodus 19:18. He brought them into the land of Canaan and gave them plenty of rain for their crops, vs. 9, 10, Deuteronomy 11:11, 12.

As the Levites and the people continue on their journey to Jerusalem, David in this psalm reminded them of victory which God had given to the nation when they first entered the land of Canaan. There were seven kings in Canaan, Deuteronomy 7:1. The Lord scattered them and gave victory to His people, vs. 11-14. Even the women had part in this, vs. 12, 13. For example Rahab, Joshua 2, and Deborah, Judges 4:4. In the spiritual struggle today with Satan and his armies Christian women have a most important part in the victory, by prayer. They will surely receive a great reward.

Jerusalem is on a hill or small mountain and at last the people as they march can see the hill of God not far away, vs. 15, 16. There are many hills in the land of Israel much higher than Mount Zion. Verse 16 suggests that maybe they would be jealous because God had chosen this mountain for His temple, for the ark of God.

Then David brings to mind the story of Deborah and Barak, vs. 17, 18. Sisera, the captain of the Canaanite army had 900 chariots of iron, Judges 4:3. Deborah was a woman, but when there was no man to teach the people the Law of God, she did it. She called on Barak to lead Israel to victory and the Lord was with him. When the Canaanites were beaten, Deborah and Barak sang a song of praise, Judges 5. Barak by God’s strength had delivered the Israelites who were captives of Canaan and made the Canaanites captives instead, Judges 5:12. Here in Psalm 68 David shows that God’s power was greater than the power of the enemy, v. 17. Barak led away the captives and also got many useful things as gifts for the people, v. 18.

At last the ark arrives and the Levites set it down in the right place. The Lord had given them strength, v. 19, and they know that He will save them from death, v. 20. He will give victory to His people and bring them back to their own land, vs. 21-23.

When the ark is finally at rest in the sanctuary, v. 24, the Levites sing and play on their instruments, v. 25. The tribes take their place round about, v. 27. They look forward to the time when kings will bring gifts to the temple at Jerusalem, v. 29. If any refuse, or still want war they will be overcome, vs. 30, 31. Indeed the kingdoms of the earth will please God, vs. 32-35, and the great final cry will be “Blessed be God.” In these last verses David and the singers are looking forward to the time when Christ will reign in this world. All men will serve God at that time.

So we see that this psalm was written for the day when they brought the ark up to Jerusalem. David by the Spirit of God looked back into the history of Israel. He also looked forward to the glorious future of Israel.

The Holy Spirit also took verse 18 as referring to the Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 4:8. The Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead and ascended on high. He had overcome Satan and all his armies. He gave gifts to the church, apostles, teachers, preachers. We who are now members of His body were rebel sinners before we were saved. Now the Lord God dwells within us. These gifts are so that the body of Christ might be built up, so that each one may become a man of God, not carried away by new teaching but becoming more and more like Christ, Ephesians 4:12-16. Israel in the future will be blessed when the Lord Jesus Christ rules as their King. We will be blessed as His bride at His right hand.

Psalm 69

This psalm, like Psalm 45, was upon the lilies. This is the name of a common flower, but here it may mean a musical instrument. Psalm 45 speaks of the glory of Christ and the bride of Christ. Psalm 69 speaks of His sufferings. David as he wrote this psalm, prayed to God to deliver him from the hands of his enemies. He wrote by the Spirit of God and was led to speak of the sufferings of Christ. Many of the verses in this psalm make us think of the feelings and thoughts of our Lord Jesus Christ as He suffered at the hands of men. In Psalm 22 we see something of how Christ suffered in His body, Psalm 22:14-17. In this psalm it is the shame which men heaped upon Him, vs. 6, 7, 9, 10, 19, 20.

First we have David’s trouble, vs. 1-5. He calls upon God to save him because he feels like a man standing in deep water. The water is getting deeper and he is not able to get out, vs. 1, 2. He is tired of crying and weeping, v. 3. He has many strong enemies, but he has not done anything to make them hate him. He is even willing to pay back what he did not take, v. 4. Still he does not say that he has no sin before God, v. 5.

The Lord Jesus Christ prayed to God His Father in the garden of Gethsemane, Matthew 26:39, 42, 44, Hebrews 5:7. He certainly had done nothing to make His enemies hate Him. He was willing to pay the debt of sins He had never committed. He died for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, 1 Peter 3:18. He had no sin to confess as David did, v. 5, but was willing to take on ours, 2 Corinthians 5:21. What a wonderful Saviour!

David was put to shame, but prayed that his friends would not be humbled on his account, v. 6. He was put to shame because he trusted in God, v. 7. His own family rejected him, v. 8. He had a strong desire to be in God’s house, but those who would not honour God put David to shame as well, v. 9. David showed his sorrow by weeping and going without food and wearing rough clothing. This just made them laugh at him all the more, specially people who had drunk too much wine, v. 12. When the Lord Jesus Christ was on the cross, people laughed at Him because He said He was the Son of God, Matthew 27:43. His disciples were put to shame and ran away from Him, Matthew 26:56.

Although men put David to all this shame, he continued to pray to God, vs. 13-15. His troubles still seem like deep waters as in verses 1 and 2. He felt as if he were in a great hole in the earth which might close in on top of him and he would be buried alive like Korah, Numbers 16:33. He asks Jehovah because of His mercy to deliver him quickly, vs. 16, 17. He was really in trouble.

The Lord Jesus Christ prayed if it was possible that the cup might pass from Him, Matthew 26:39. God heard Him and saved Him by bringing Him out of death on the third day. This was the greatest possible victory over His enemies.

The lowest point in David’s experience at the time of his greatest trouble is described in verses 19-21. God knew all about his shame and his enemies, v. 19. Their reproach broke his heart. He looked for someone to have pity on him, but there were none, v. 20. They gave him poison and something bitter to drink.

When the Lord Jesus Christ was about to be crucified, they offered Him bitter wine, but He would not drink it, Matthew 27:34. Even when He was hanging on the cross, His desire was that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. All His life this was His purpose, Matthew 5. 17. On the cross when everything else was finished, to fulfil the Scripture in Psalm 69:21 He said, “I thirst.” The people gave Him the bitter vinegar to drink, John 19:28, 29.

On the cross we see the Lord Jesus Christ put to shame by man and suffering for our sins at the hand of God. The Lord’s desire was to glorify God, fulfil the Scriptures and save His people from their sins. How wonderful to see the words of the psalms fulfilled by our Lord!

But what about the last part of the psalm? Here David prays for vengeance on his enemies, vs. 22-28. He prays that God would judge them because they persecuted him. He prays that they might be put to death, v. 28.

All this is quite different from the way the Lord Jesus Christ prayed on the cross. He prayed that the Father would forgive them because they did not know what they were doing, Luke 23:34. It is true that God will judge those who reject His Son, even the people of Israel. The apostle Paul uses verses 22 and 23 when speaking about God’s judgment on Israel in Romans 11:9, 10. Peter used verse 25 when speaking about Judas in Acts 1:20. But even those who have rejected Christ for a long time, if they are still alive, they can come to God for forgiveness. If they die in their sins, they cannot come, John 8:21, 24.

In the rest of the psalm David first praises God for delivering him, vs. 29-31. God hears the prayers of His people, vs. 32, 33. Some day everything will praise the Lord, v. 34. Israel will be rebuilt and those who love God’s name will dwell there, vs. 35, 36.

The Lord Jesus Christ will lead His people in praising God, Psalm 22:22, Hebrews 2:12. This psalm shows man’s terrible mistake in rejecting God’s chosen One. It also shows God’s righteousness in judging those who will not repent, and His grace toward men who accept Christ as Saviour. We who believe in Christ love the Bible. We can see in this psalm many verses which explain the thoughts and feelings of the Lord when He suffered for our sake.

More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love who died for me.

—E. E. Hewitt

Psalm 70

Israel had five different offerings to bring to Jehovah: the burnt offering, the meal offering, the peace offering, the sin offering and the trespass offering, Leviticus 1-5. In all these offerings we see pictures of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the burnt offering the whole animal was burnt on the altar as a sacrifice to Jehovah. In Psalm 40:7, 8 we hear the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ who gave Himself up wholly to the will of God. In the trespass offering the offerer had to give more than what he had failed to give the first time, Leviticus 5:16. Our Lord Jesus Christ paid the debt for us, not for anything wrong which He had done. He paid back what He had not taken, Psalm 69:4. For this reason Psalm 69 suggests the death of Christ as the trespass offering.

Psalm 70 may have been used with one of the offerings, Leviticus 2:2. It has almost the same heading as Psalm 38. All these psalms are prayers of David for deliverance from his enemies.

Psalm 70 is almost the same as the last five verses of Psalm 40, except that the name God is used instead of LORD. It is also something the same as parts of Psalm 69.

David prays for help quickly, Psalm 70:1, 5; 69:17. He prays that his enemies would be judged, Psalm 70:2, 3; 69:25, 26. He prays for his friends, Psalm 70:4; 69:6.

God will save us from our enemies in answer to prayer, but all these blessings come through the finished work of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.

Psalm 71

Psalm 71 like psalms 1, 10, 33, 43 and many others in the fourth and fifth book of the Psalms has no heading. Even if we do not know the writer, we can be sure it came from the Holy Spirit. It is a prayer for a believer who has grown old.

First he prays for deliverance from Jehovah in righteousness, vs. 1, 2. He wants God’s salvation from the hand of the wicked man, vs. 3, 4.

The writer has trusted in Jehovah since his youth. God has looked after him ever since he was born, vs. 5, 6. Some were surprised that he had lived so long, but he says this is in the strength of the Lord, v. 7, and he wants to praise Him all day long. So he asks God not to leave him now that he is old, v. 9. His enemies think that God has left him and so they can take him, vs. 10, 11. But he prays again that his enemies might be overcome, vs. 12, 13. The writer knows that God will answer his prayer and he will praise Him more and more all the day, vs. 14, 15. He would go on in the strength of the Lord and give Him all the glory, v. 16.

He has learned the way of God from early years and has often told others about God’s wonderful works, v. 17. Now that he is old he asks God’s help in telling young people about His power and righteousness, vs. 18, 19. He believes that God will bring him up again from death, v. 20. He will praise God with musical instruments, v. 22, with his lips, his soul, and his tongue, vs. 23, 24.

We do not know the name of this old believer, but we can all count on God’s blessing until the end of life. When life is over we will be able to praise Him better than ever in heaven. This psalm also speaks of the nation of Israel. The Lord richly blessed that nation when it was young. The Bible tells us that Israel still has a great future when the Lord comes back again.

Psalm 72

Psalm 72 is a psalm of or for Solomon. The last verse suggests that it was a prayer of David. The psalm certainly looks forward to Christ, the coming King.

The first four verses could be a prayer for Solomon: that he might judge the people in righteousness; that there might be peace and plenty in his day, v. 3, and that he would deliver poor people from their enemies, v. 4. Jerusalem was very rich in the time of Solomon, 1 Kings 10:27, but still there were poor people who needed help, vs. 2, 4.

The complete fulfilment of the rest of the psalm will be seen only when the Lord Jesus Christ comes to reign as King. His reign shall last as long as the sun and moon, vs. 5, 7, 17. Solomon reigned for 40 years, 1 Kings 11:42. Christ will reign in perfect righteousness and perfect peace, v. 7. Solomon himself fell into great sin, 1 Kings 11:1, 6-8. As a result he had strife in his kingdom and not perfect peace, 1 Kings 11:11, 14, 23, 26. Christ’s kingdom will be over the whole world, vs. 8-11. Solomon reigned over many kingdoms, 1 Kings 4:21, but really only over a small part of the world. When the Lord Jesus comes to reign, there will be plenty of food for everyone, v. 16. God has given the Lord Jesus a name which is above every name, Philippians 2:9. It will continue forever, v. 17. Truly in Christ we have One greater than Solomon, Matthew 12:42.

No wonder David could call on men to bless the Lord God, vs. 18, 19! David knew from God’s promise that the kingdom of his Son would last forever, 2 Samuel 7:16. He could pray for nothing more than the coming of the Lord and blessing for Israel and the whole world. So this psalm is the END of his prayers, v. 20. We can look forward to God’s new creation after this world has been destroyed. Other psalms and prayers of David are found in the other books of the Psalms. Verses 19 and 20 also mark the end of Book 2 and Psalm 73 begins the third book of the Psalms.