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Understanding The Psalms: A handbook for Spiritual Christian Growth


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

Understanding The Psalms
A handbook for Spiritual Christian Growth

Book 1 (Psalms 1-41): How to Be Blessed by God (Downward Blessing)
Book 2 (Psalms 42-72): Learning To Trust God (Upward Trust)
Book 3 (Psalms 73-89): The Believer's Worldly Struggle (Outward Reality)
Book 4 (Psalms 90-106): Going to God for Protection (Inward Faith)
Book 5 (Psalms 107-150): Learning to Praise God (Pressing Onward)

"The Psalms" is a harmonious collection meant to be meditated upon and mastered in progresive order, to foster spiritual growth and understanding. Learned as a whole, greater truth emerges then if learned as separate units.

Book 1 teaches the Believer how to maximize blessings from God and how to remove those things which would cause God to oppose or hinder us.

Book 2 teaches us to thank God for his blessings in our lives and how to build our trust in him, knowing that He will help and sustain us in all things.

Book 3 takes our faith (reliance on God in all things developed from previous books) and pits it against the encroaching evil of the ungodly world system.

Book 4 shows the protection God has for the believer who trusts in him and how to take full advantage of his protection while living in an ungodly world.

Book 5 Having given us spiritual power for our own growth and defense, we are now taught how to go on the offensive by Praising God. When we learn to use the many tools and methods to boldly praise God, we can push back the evil of this world and save others, who can then also be blessed by God.

Feel free to share your observations of the Psalms!

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Posted (edited)

Psalm 23:1-6, “The Cup of Blessing From the Lord.”

A Psalm of David.

Introduction

God is Lord. God is concerned over our well being and will bless those people who trust in Him. A

full cup symbolizes the blessings of the Lord in the life of a Christian. Ephesians 1:3,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual

blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” God gives us spiritual blessings. These blessings are fruits 

from the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22 and 23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace,

longsuffering,  gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Verse 1 Our Good Shepherd

Psalm 23:1, The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” In the Old Testament era the Lord God is the Good Shepherd.

The Lord Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” In the New Testament era, the Lord Jesus is our Good Shepherd.

The apostle Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; but not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 The Lord Jesus, our Good Shepherd, loves us and gave His life on the cross for our sins so we can escape the penalty of sin in hell and have eternal life in heaven.

Verse 2 Green pastures & Still Waters

Psalm 23:2, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.”

Green pastures and still waters are symbols of peace and contentment of the heart. The Lord Jesus can

give us rest in this world of unrest. The Lord Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in

me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome

the world.”

Verse 3 Paths of Righteousness

Psalm 23:3, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.”

God is completely righteous. God is completely righteous in all of His ways. Psalm 119:137,

“Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments.”

The ways of the world are not righteous. The hearts of men are deceitful, greedy, hateful, selfish, and

sinful. Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know

it?”

We need to seek the road of righteousness. The Lord Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of

God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33.

The Bible leads us in the road of righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” Reading the Bible can comfort, guide, and bless our hearts.

Verse 4 Comfort

Psalm 23:4, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou

                art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” Death happens to all and this world is full of evil. The Christian has the hope of eternal life in heaven with the Lord Jesus. Philippians 1:21-23, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.” The Lord Jesus gives comfort and guidance to the Christian during his life and at the moment of death. Psalms 48:14 “For this is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.”

 

                The ‘rod’ and the ‘staff’ are used by the shepherd to guide and discipline the sheep. They represent the Bible. The Bible guides and disciplines the Christian. Psalms119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” So, the Christian does not fear death nor evil.

Verse 5 My Cup Runneth Over

Psalm 23:5, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies: thou anointest my

head with oil; my cup runneth over.” The ‘table’ represents the blessings of the LORD.

King David was righteous and loved the Lord. Before David was King and during the time that David

was King over Israel, he had enemies. For example, Before David became King, King Saul tried to kill

him. For seven years David lived in the wilderness while King Saul tried to kill him. While in the

wilderness the Lord blessed and lead David. 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in

Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” If we are like King David, are righteous, and love the Lord

Jesus, God will prepare a table in the presence of our enemies.

The blessings of God in the life of David caused David to say, thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” The ‘oil’ represents the Holy Spirit in the life of David. The Holy Spirit moved David in his life. The ‘cup’ represents the blessings in the life of David. A Chinese proverb says, To be beside oneself with happiness. To be overwhelmed with joy.” 俗語說「樂不可支」

Verse 6 Heaven

Psalm 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in

the house of the LORD for ever.” God is good and God is merciful. Psalm 25:8, “Good and upright is

the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.” The house of the Lord is heaven. Right now

King David is in heaven in the presence of God and the Lord Jesus.

God will give the Christian goodness and mercy in our lives and the Christian will dwell with the Lord

Jesus in heaven forever.

Brethren,

Just a short devotion on Psalm 23. I do hope that it is a blessing and an encouragement to you.

Alan

Edited by Alan
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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist
Posted (edited)

Christian Growth

Psalms 105:1-6, “A Rejoicing Heart”

Introduction

King David realized that all of the blessings of this life came from God. King David was a mature saint. As a child David trusted the eternal salvation of his soul to a merciful and loving God. As he grew his faith became stronger and he eventually became a mature saint. Although not written in King David’s era, David realized this tremendous truth, James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." James 1:17,

Psalm 105 was written when King David brought the Ark into the Temple as recorded in 1 Chronicles 16: 1-12 King David had given his Psalm in honor to God. 1 Chronicles 16:1, “So they brought the ark of God, and set it in the midst of the tent that David had pitched for it: and they offered burnt sacrifices and peace offerings before God.” Also, 1 Chronicles 16:7-11says, “Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the LORD into the hand of Asaph and his brethren. Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.” As we grow as a Christian, we understand that all of the honour for our growth, in all aspects of life, comes from God.

Verse 1 A Grateful Heart

Psalm 105:1, “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.” King David gave thanks unto the Lord from a grateful heart.

Gratefulness – A Chinese Proverb 「飲水思源」

An English translation of the Chinese proverb 「飲水思源」says, “When one drinks water, one thinks of its source. - to be grateful for for favours received; not to forget one’s origin.”

King David said, “Call Upon His Name.”

The eternal salvation of our soul in heaven is the most important reason to call upon the name of the Lord. When a person realizes he is a sinner, and wants to avoid paying the penalty in hell, and calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus to save him, then God will save his soul. Romans 10:13 says, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

King David said, Make known his deeds.”

The Book of Psalms is King David’s way of making known the deeds of the Lord. Even to our day and age, the Book of Psalms are a testimony of the working of God in the lives of His people.

Verse 2 Sing and Talk

Psalm 105:2, “Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.” King David lets us know that we need to do two things; (1) Sing. (2) Talk of the wondrous works of God. As a Christian goes through the trials of life, he can either grow in grace and have a happy heart in trying circumstances or he can become a grouch and, complain, and blame God for the trials of life. A person is a mature saint when he can sing during the trials of life.

A Christian needs to be at church services in order to grow. When we assemble at church we like to sing songs. When we sing, we praise God, and it encourages our hearts. When our relationship with God is right, then we usually have a happy heart, we like to come to church and sing songs. Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” The apostle Paul also said, Ephesians 5:19, “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.”

The Bible is full of the wondrous works of God: The Creation. The Millennial Reign of Christ. The Church. The Lord Jesus Coming Again. Our Glorified Bodies. Heaven. The New heaven and the New Earth. As a saint understands the wondrous works of God he delights, and grows in grace, he enjoys telling others what God did in his life and the works of God as revealed in the Bible.

Verse 3 A Rejoicing Heart

Psalm 105:3, “Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.” A mature saint is a rejoicing saint. A mature saint is a saint who knows that God is holy and treats His name, His word, and His work as a holy work. Psalms 111:9 says, “He sent redemption unto his people: he has commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name.” The name of God is holy and His word, the Bible is holy. We need to glory in the name of God. Immature saints, foolish people, miss-use, or blaspheme, the name of God. Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people hath blasphemed thy name.” Psalm 74:18

The mature Christian has a rejoicing heart. The Bible is full of many good promises to every Christian. (1) We have eternal life in heaven. (2) Heaven is a perfect environment. (3) In heaven there is no politicians, war, disease, virus, crime, sin or the Devil. We will have a new body that can never die, get sick or grow old. Remember, the apostle Paul wrote these words from a prison cell, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” Philippians 4:4

Verse 4 Seek the LORD

Psalm 105:4, “Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.” A saint who wants to become a mature Christian, will seek the Lord and His ways. Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Verse 5 -6 God’s Marvellous Works, Wonders and Judgments

Psalm 105:5-6, “Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth. O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.In this verse King David tells us that we need to remember three things.

One. God’s Marvellous Works

Some of His works are: The creation of the world. The creation of mankind. The Exodus of the Jews from Egypt. The Giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai. The prophets. The work of the Lord Jesus on the Cross. The church. The Judgments of God as prophesied in the book of Revelation. The New Heaven and the New Earth.

Two. God’s Wonders

The natural beauty of the earth is from God. In six days, God made all of the natural wonders of this earth and the planetary systems. A mature saint understands that the theory of evolution is a ‘falsely so-called” fable and that God created the Universe as written in Genesis 1.

Three. The Judgments of His Mouth

When God speaks we need to listen. In the Bible, there will be two more judgments from God in the future. A saint experiences Christian growth when he realizes that God will judge all sin; whether a person is a Christian or not a Christian.

Judgment for the Christian. The Judgment Seat of Christ

2 Corinthians 5:10 says, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good of bad.”

Judgment for the Lost. The Great White Throne of Judgment

Revelation 20:11-15 “And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which are written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”

Conclusion – A Love of the Scriptures

In order to grow as a Christian a person needs to realize his spiritual needs, to have a rejoicing spirit in trying circumstances, to love the church and assemble together, and to realize that God will Judge all people. Christian growth is experienced as we read the scriptures, meditate on the scriptures, accept the message and the doctrines of scriptures as it is written. The Bible is the light of our soul, the guidance of God in our lives, gives us an understanding of the events around us and how to conduct ourselves as saints, gives us joy in our hearts, and like milk and meat for the body, God uses the scriptures to help us grow as a Christian.

King David expressed it best when he said, “The entrance of thy words giveth light: it giveth understanding unto the simple.”

 

Edited by Alan
scripture reference Psalm 74:18 grammar
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On 6/29/2020 at 8:48 AM, John Young said:

Understanding The Psalms
A handbook for Spiritual Christian Growth

Book 1 (Psalms 1-41): How to Be Blessed by God (Downward Blessing)
Book 2 (Psalms 42-72): Learning To Trust God (Upward Trust)
Book 3 (Psalms 73-89): The Believer's Worldly Struggle (Outward Reality)
Book 4 (Psalms 90-106): Going to God for Protection (Inward Faith)
Book 5 (Psalms 107-150): Learning to Praise God (Pressing Onward)

"The Psalms" is a harmonious collection meant to be meditated upon and mastered in progresive order, to foster spiritual growth and understanding. Learned as a whole, greater truth emerges then if learned as separate units.

Book 1 teaches the Believer how to maximize blessings from God and how to remove those things which would cause God to oppose or hinder us.

Book 2 teaches us to thank God for his blessings in our lives and how to build our trust in him, knowing that He will help and sustain us in all things.

Book 3 takes our faith (reliance on God in all things developed from previous books) and pits it against the encroaching evil of the ungodly world system.

Book 4 shows the protection God has for the believer who trusts in him and how to take full advantage of his protection while living in an ungodly world.

Book 5 Having given us spiritual power for our own growth and defense, we are now taught how to go on the offensive by Praising God. When we learn to use the many tools and methods to boldly praise God, we can push back the evil of this world and save others, who can then also be blessed by God.

Feel free to share your observations of the Psalms!

John,

I think you have some fine thoughts on the Book of Psalms being used as a source of Christian growth and understanding of the scriptures. It is my hope that you develop it further for all of us to enjoy and meditate on.

Alan

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, Alan said:

It is my hope that you develop it further

Amen. Most sources tend to do well on teaching the psalms separately and individually in their historical context and general applications for that particular psalm but only allude to the possible reasons for them being in one collected work. As I study the psalms collectively, their arrangement makes more sense and less arbitrary.

I do have it as one of my projects to develop a "whole psalms view" and use that view for developing a Christian handbook from the psalms. As I am able I'll share any solid development in the project here.

If anyone knows of good material dealing with psalms as a whole work (and not just in its individual parts, which is great too), please let me know.

Edited by John Young
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