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  • Or, Happy. Psalms is not a book of doctrines or of any kind of teaching. It is a book of divine revelation composed of the expressions, sentiments, feelings, impressions, and experiences of godly men concerning:
    1) God and the way He is in His dealing with them;
    2) the law of God as the holy Word with the divine revelation;
    3) the house of God, the temple, and Mount Zion, on which the temple was seated, as the center of God’s dwelling place on earth;
    4) the holy city of God, Jerusalem, as the encompassing protection of the house of God;
    5) the holy people of God, Israel, as God’s beloved elect among the nations;
    6) Israel’s love toward God, their fellowship with God, their blessings received of God, their sufferings under God’s dealings, and their environment;
    7) their captivity;
    8) their thanksgivings and praises to Jehovah their God, whom they tasted and enjoyed. Through the godly expressions of the psalmists Christ is revealed and the church as God’s house and God’s city is typified.

    The Psalms were written according to two kinds of concepts: the human concept of the holy writers and the divine concept of God. The human concept of the holy writers was produced out of their good nature created by God, formed with the traditions of their holy race, constituted with the teachings of the Holy Scriptures, promoted by their practice of a holy life, and uttered out of their holy sentiments and impressions. The divine concept of God as the divine revelation in the Psalms concerns three major items:
    1) God’s eternal economy, of which Christ is the centrality and universality;
    2) Christ in His divinity, humanity, human living, all-inclusive death, life-imparting and church-producing resurrection, glorification, ascension, appearing in glory, and reigning forever;
    3) God’s heart’s desire, His good pleasure, in Christ as His centrality and universality, in the church as His fullness for His expression, in the kingdom for His eternal administration, and in the recovery of the earth for His eternal kingdom in eternity.
    In the Psalms only what is written out of the divine concept of God, and not what is written out of the human concept of the psalmists, should be considered as part of the divine revelation from God concerning His divine economy.

    According to the divine concept, the central thought of the book of Psalms is Christ, as revealed in plain words (Luke 24:44), and the church as the house of God and the city of God for His kingdom, as typified by the temple and by the city of Jerusalem. The spirit, the reality, the characteristic, of the divine revelation in the book of Psalms is Christ as the centrality and universality of the eternal economy of God. For this, Christ is first the embodiment of the Triune God (Col. 2:9), then the house, the habitation, of God (signified by the temple — John 2:19-21), the kingdom of God (signified by the city of Jerusalem — Luke 17:21; Rev. 22:3b), and the Ruler of the entire earth from the house of God and in the kingdom of God (Dan. 2:34-35). Thus, He is all in all in the entire universe (cf. Eph. 1:23; Col. 3:11). Such a divine revelation is the same as what is revealed in the entire Holy Scriptures. The only particular point related to the divine revelation in the book of Psalms is that such a high revelation, even the highest peak of the divine revelation, is prophesied in the expressions of the sentiments of the ancient godly saints. Thus, it is mixed with their comfort in sufferings and with the cultivation of godliness. The consummation of this highest divine revelation is the city of New Jerusalem as a sign of the habitation, the tabernacle, of God (Rev. 21:1-3), through which the processed and consummated Triune God will be manifested and expressed in the all-inclusive Christ and will reign on the new earth in the new universe for eternity.

  • Psalms 1 and 2 portray a contrast between the human concept and the divine revelation. The human concept exalts the law and the law-keeper as one blessed by God, whereas the divine revelation proclaims Christ as the One anointed of God in God’s economy. In Psa. 1 the psalmist, according to his human, ethical concept, appreciated and uplifted the law to the uttermost. This is contrary to the divine concept in God’s New Testament economy. In its nature the law is holy, righteous, good, and spiritual (Rom. 7:12, 14a), but in its position, the law is not in the main line of God’s economy; rather, it entered in alongside the main line of God’s economy (Rom. 5:20a). God created man in His image and according to His likeness (Gen. 1:26) with the intention that man would receive God as life in the tree of life (Gen. 2:8-9, 16-17) so that man could live God and express God. This is the main line of God’s economy. But while this main line was proceeding, Satan came in to deceive man and constitute man with sin (Gen. 3:1-6; Rom. 5:19). In order to continue His purpose with man after man’s fall, God added the law to the main line of His economy (Gal. 3:19 and note Gal. 3:191 and note Gal. 3:192). According to Gal. 4:24-25 (see note Gal. 4:245d), the position of the law is that of a concubine. A concubine does not have an orthodox position. Thus, to appreciate and uplift the law is to bring a “concubine” into God’s economy. This is absolutely against God’s ordination.

    The entire book of Psalms presents a contrast between the law and Christ. Only Christ Himself, not the law, can make us members of Christ and conform us to Christ that we may be His complement (Eph. 5:30-32; Rom. 8:29). The spirit of the Scriptures does not exalt anything or anyone other than Christ (Matt. 17:1-5; Phil. 3:7-8; Col. 1:15-19). Eventually, by the end of the Psalms the only thing that remains is Christ with His complement, which is His Body, His church, the house and kingdom of God in God’s economy to fulfill God’s eternal purpose.

    In the book of Psalms, as in the entire Bible, there are two lines: the line of the tree of life, the line of life, and the line of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the line of death (Gen. 2:8-9, 16-17 and note Gen. 2:93b, par. 2). In addition to these two lines, the line of the law runs alongside the line of life. God’s purpose in giving the law was to lead His people to Christ (Gal. 3:23-24), i.e., to the line of life (see note Exo. 25:11 in ). However, if the law as the side line is exalted improperly, it becomes part of the line of the tree of knowledge, the line of death (Rom. 7:7-11; 2 Cor. 3:6b). God has ordained Christ to be the centrality and universality of His economy to fulfill His good pleasure (Eph. 1:9-10; 3:8-11). The law has been ended by Christ (Rom. 10:4a), and the believers are no longer under the law (Rom. 6:14).

  • The human concept here is that the man who delights in the law of God prospers in everything, whereas the wicked man suffers loss (vv. 4-5). But the experience of the psalmist in Psa. 73 was the opposite (Psa. 73:1-7, 12-14). This seeming contradiction troubled the psalmist until he was instructed, in the sanctuary of God, to take only God Himself as his portion, not anything other than God (Psa. 73:16-17, 25-26). According to the Lord’s teaching in the New Testament, those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness (not those who are prosperous) are blessed (Matt. 5:10). In his pursuing of Christ, the apostle Paul did not prosper outwardly but suffered the loss of all things and counted them as refuse that he might gain Christ (Phil. 3:8).

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