A Transcript Of The Video Study
This is the thirty-first study in the series, and we are looking for the last time at the book of Psalms. In our previous studies, I have pointed out the book of Psalms has been divided into five sub-books, often called the Five Books of Psalms.
Book 1: Psalms 1-41 (1 hr, 5 min to read)
• Total 41: David (37); Anonymous (4)
Book 2: Psalms 42-72 (51 min to read)
• Total 31: David (18); Asaph (1); Korah (7); Solomon (1); Anonymous (4)
Book 3: Psalms 73-89 (36 min to read)
• Total 17: David (1); Asaph (11); Korah (3); Ethan (1); Heman (1)
Book 4: Psalms 90-106 (31 min to read)
• Total 17: David (2); Moses (1); Anonymous (14)
Book 5: Psalms 107-150 (1 hr, 10 min to read)
• Total 44: David (15); Solomon (1); Anonymous (28)
For this study, we are looking at the fifth book of Psalms, beginning with Psalm 107 and ending with Psalm 150. It takes one hour and ten minutes to read in a single sitting. This is a total of forty-four Psalms, fifteen of which are ascribed to David, one to Solomon and twenty-eight are anonymous.
In preparation for your reading of this fifth book, I would like to say three things about it.
First, the New Testament quotations.
Of the forty-four Psalms, the New Testament writers quote from seven of them.
Psalm 109—Psalm 109:3 (John 15:25); Psalm 109:8 (Acts 1:20)
Psalm 110—Psalm 110:1 (Matthew 22:24); Psalm 110:1 (Mark 12:30); Psalm 110:1 (Luke 10:27); Psalm 110:4 (Hebrews 5:6)
Psalm 112—Psalm 112:9 (2 Corinthians 9:9)
Psalm 116—Psalm 116:10 (2 Corinthians 4:13)
Psalm 117—Psalm 117:1 (Romans 15:11)
Psalm 118—Psalm 118:6 (Hebrews 13:6); Psalm 118:22,23 (Matthew 21:42)
Psalm 140—Psalm 140:4 (Romans 3:13)
As I have pointed out in the previous studies, the book of Psalms is a gospel book, which is why the New Testament writers quote from it so frequently. The gospel of the New Testament is the gospel of the Old Testament. There is one gospel, and both Testaments proclaim it. As I have emphasized week by week, if we are to derive spiritual benefit from this book of the Bible, then we must read it within the context of the gospel of Christ.
Second, the characters mentioned.
There are five names recorded in the inspired text of the fifth book. Two of them belong to God’s elect people—David and Aaron; the other three belong to the non-elect—Pharaoh, Sihon and Og.
Aside from the names recorded in the inspired text, there are two names mentioned in the inscriptions. Both belong to God’s elect people—David and Solomon.
These are the characters mentioned in the fifth book of Psalms.
Third, the leading message.
As you should know by now, the leading message of the book of Psalms is the masterplan of God for the ages. I believe it is helpful to understand God’s plan for the ages by viewing it according to the Framework of Sovereign Grace. Of course, we understand the TriUne Jehovah exists apart from time and creation. He is an eternal spirit being, self-existent and therefore autonomous, self-sufficient and independent. He exists in Himself, whereas time and creation has its existence in God, their Maker. Time and creation are therefore dependent upon God, but God is not dependent upon time and creation. This applies not only to the being of God, but also to His will and works. All that God purposes to do from eternity, and all that God does in time, is according to His free and sovereign will. There is one true and living God, and His name is Jehovah Elohim. Now, this great truth is underscored throughout the Psalms. Allow me to give one example from the fifth book of Psalms. We read in Psalm 115:2-8: “Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: they have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: they have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them.” Do you see that, my friends? Here is a clear and distinct declaration of the one true and living God, the Maker of heaven and earth, compared to the images and idols of man, created by them according to their own image.
Alright, well, we have the TriUne Jehovah, eternal and self-existent. What is His masterplan for the ages? It is the administration of His grace to the members of the human race. The grace of God is nothing other than His favor and good will, and He certainly has a favor and good will towards everything that He has made. This is what we often call the common grace of God—a common grace of God unto creation, which extends to the elect and non-elect alike. In addition to the common grace of God, there is also a special grace of God—a special grace God unto salvation, which extends only to the elect. Now, very often these demonstrations of God’s grace are blurred, leading many people to draw the false conclusion that God’s grace unto salvation is not special, designed only for the elect, but common, designed for the elect and non-elect alike. This, of course, is a great error, and we must guard against it. However, while guarding against the error of mixing God’s special and common grace together, we must also resist the knee jerk reaction to reject the common grace of God altogether. And you know, some people have done that. In an effort to preserve the special grace of God unto salvation designed for His elect people, they flat out deny that God has any degree of favor and good will towards any other creature than His elect people. I do not believe that view can be sustained by the testimony of scripture. Surely, we must all acknowledge, not only the testimony of scripture, but the witness of our own observation in the world around us, God does extend a degree of grace (favor and good will) towards all His creatures, among which are the non-elect. Whereas the elect are the recipients of God’s special grace unto salvation, having all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ bestowed upon them, the elect and the non-elect are together recipients of God’s common grace unto creation, having all temporal and material blessings bestowed upon them. Now, while reading the through book of Psalms, I believe it is quite easy to see this point. Allow me to share one example from the fifth book of Psalms. While I read Psalm 148:1-14, please consider the explanations I have given regarding the common grace of God unto creation—“Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights. Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon: praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the LORD: for he commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: he hath made a decree which shall not pass. Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl: kings of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth: both young men, and maidens; old men, and children: let them praise the name of the LORD: for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. He also exalteth the horn of his people, the praise of all his saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto him. Praise ye the LORD.” The words are self-explanatory, are they not? Look at how the Lord is credited with creating, and sustaining, and blessing all His creatures, and this is why the Psalmist calls upon all creatures to praise their Maker—the angels, the sun, the moon, the stars of light, the heaven of heavens, the waters that are above the heavens, the dragons, the creatures in all the deeps, fire, hail, snow, vapor, stormy wind, the mountains, the hills, the fruitful trees, all the cedars, the beasts, the cattle, the creeping things, the flying fowl, the kings, princes and judges of the earth, all people in the world, the young men and maidens, the old men and children—let them all praise the Lord, “for He commanded, and they were created. He hath also stablished them for ever and ever: He hath made a decree which shall not pass.” And then, in the midst of God’s common grace unto creation, is His special grace unto salvation, for “He has also exalted the horn of His people, the praise of all His saints; even of the children of Israel, a people near unto Him.” Let them all Praise the LORD!
Alright, well, there is one other thing I wish to highlight from the fifth book of Psalms, as it relates to the masterplan of God for the ages. There are frequent references to the third branch of the gospel, namely, the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit. And, in particular, the Psalms emphasize the rule of conduct for the believer’s life, which is none other than the Gospel Law. What is the Gospel Law? The Gospel Law is the soul’s union with Christ, by virtue of which the life and graces of Christ flow into the soul. This spiritual operation occurs through the new birth, indeed, this spiritual operation is the new birth itself. When a soul is born again, the Spirit of God unites the soul with Christ, and it is in that union Christ is made unto that soul all things in saving grace—redemption, righteousness, sanctification and wisdom. Now, this is the only way sinners throughout the course of history have been experientially brought into relationship with God. This is precisely how the Psalmists were brought into relationship with God—they had been born again. And that is why they frequently speak of the new birth and of the new nature imparted to their souls, throughout the Psalms. I wish to give you one example of this from the fifth book of Psalms. We read in Psalm 147:10,11: “[The LORD] delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man. The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” It is clearly stated in verse 10 that the Lord does not delight nor does He take pleasure in the strength and self-efforts of man. That is, God does not delight in the sinner who attempts to make himself right with God on the basis of his own works of righteousness, or in accordance with his own will and strength. This, of course, is the pronouncement of condemnation upon all free will works religion, which includes that insidious doctrine of progressive sanctification peddled out by mainstream evangelicals today. However, according to verse 11, the Lord does take pleasure in them that fear (or reverence) Him and hope in His mercy. Reverence, of course, is that love and admiration a child has for his father, and it is that same type of love and admiration to which the Psalmist is referring as that which the Lord takes pleasure. From whence does this love and admiration come? Only through the new birth, when the Spirit of God unites to the soul to Christ, and the graces of Christ, among which is spiritual love and admiration of God, are poured into the soul. And you see, it is only then the eyes of the sinner are opened to behold the glory of God in Christ, and to see his/her justification before God through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, which causes the regenerate sinner to hope in the mercy of God—or to hope in the special grace of God unto salvation. Do you see, my dear friends? This is the Gospel Law—Christ in you, the hope of glory!
Well, my time is up for this study, and I am delighted you will be finishing your reading of the book of Psalms this week. This is the twelfth book in the chronological order of Bible books. I look forward, in our next study, to introduce the book of 1 Kings.
Jared Smith served twenty years as pastor of a Strict and Particular Baptist church in Kensington (London, England). He now serves as an Evangelist in the Philippines, preaching the gospel, organizing churches and training gospel preachers.