An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 115 – Singing Of Mercy and Judgment Through God Saved His People (Psalms 101-105)

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1. What subjects does Psalms 101 begin teaching that are good to sing about?
“I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O LORD, will I sing” (Psalms 101:1).

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).

2. What behavior did the Psalmist say he would carry in his life?
“I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart” (Psalms 101:2).

* Not that this Psalmist is David, but consider this for application:
“(14) And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him. (15) Wherefore when Saul saw that he behaved himself very wisely, he was afraid of him” (I Samuel 18:14-15).

“And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever” (I Chronicles 28:9).

3. Did the Psalmist write as though he would surround himself with those in sin?
“(3) I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. (4) A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. (5) Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. (6) Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. (7) He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. (8) I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD” (Psalms 101:3-8).

* Don’t even look at evil (
Proverbs 23:29-35). Such is true of God as well (Habakkuk 1:13).

“(4) I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. (5) I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked” (Psalms 26:4-5).

“Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God” (Psalms 119:115).

* See also:
Ephesians 5:1-11

4. What condition is the Psalmist in through the first eleven verses of Psalms 102?
Proverbs 15:29 and Isaiah 59:1-2 screams out after reading this: “(1) Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee. (2) Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily [It is a time of trouble and doubt for this Psalmist]. (3) For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth. (4) My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread. (5) By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. (6) I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. (7) I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top. (8) Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me. (9) For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, (10) Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. (11) My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass (Psalms 102:1-11).

5. When you read verse twelve through verse twenty-eight of Psalms 102, does the Psalmist think God will abandon Israel?
No: “(12) But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations. (13) Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. (14) For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. (15) So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. (16) When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. (17) He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer. (18) This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD. (19) For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; (20) To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; (21) To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; (22) When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD. (23) He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. (24) I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations. (25) Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. (26) They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: (27) But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. (28) The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee (Psalms 102:12-28).

“(For the LORD thy God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware unto them” (Deuteronomy 4:31).

6. What are some of the reasons given in Psalms 103 for blessing [praising] God?
“(1) Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. (2) Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: (3) Who (1) forgiveth all thine iniquities; (2) who healeth all thy diseases; (4) Who (3) redeemeth thy life from destruction; who (4) crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; (5) Who (5) satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. (6) The LORD (6) executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. (7) (7) He made known his ways unto Moses, (8) his acts unto the children of Israel. (8) The LORD is (9) merciful and (10) gracious, (11) slow to anger, and (12) plenteous in mercy. (9) He will not always (13) chide [scold]: (14) neither will he keep his anger for ever. (10) (15) He hath not dealt with us after our sins; (16) nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. (11) For as the heaven is high above the earth, so (17) great is his mercy toward them that fear him. (12) As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he (18) removed our transgressions from us. (13) Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD (19) pitieth them that fear him. (14) For he (20) knoweth our frame; (21) he remembereth that we are dust. (15) As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. (16) For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. (17) But the (22) mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and (23) his righteousness unto children's children; (18) To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. (19) The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. (20) Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. (21) Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. (22) Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul” (Psalms 103:1-22).

* While God does not directly talk with man today or perform miracles, we still have all things to be thankful for and ought to be thankful often (I Thessalonians 5:17-18).

7. What imagery is used, as the 104
th Psalm begins, to describe the figurative garments of the Lord?
“(1) Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. (2) Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: (3) Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind” (Psalms 104:1-3).

8. Are the angels of the Lord physical or spiritual beings?
Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire” (Psalms 104:4).

“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire… (13) But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? (14) Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:7; 13-14).

9. How can we know that Psalms 104:5 is not teaching that the earth will be eternal?
For one, we know that the earth is going to be burned up (II Peter 3:7-14).
Secondly, we know that the phrase “for ever” has to be contextually understood. For example, Solomon said He would be God a house to dwell in “for ever” (
I Kings 8:12-13). We know that God’s throne is in Heaven (Psalms 11:4). The Old Law said a Moabite would not come into the congregation “for ever” (Nehemiah 13:1). Yet, that really meant until the tenth generation (Deuteronomy 23:3), which is proven out in that Ruth was a Moabite who joined herself to God’s people (Ruth 1:4 and Matthew 1:5).

10. As you read Psalms 104:5-32, what do you see about God’s might?
For one, Acts 14:17 and Hebrews 6:7 sure comes to life when you read this: “(5) Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. (6) Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. (7) At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. (8) They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. (9) Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth. (10) He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. (11) They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. (12) By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. (13) He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. (14) He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; (15) And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart. (16) The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted; (17) Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house. (18) The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies. (19) He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. (20) Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth. (21) The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. (22) The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens. (23) Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening. (24) O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. (25) So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. (26) There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein. (27) These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season. (28) That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. (29) Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust. (30) Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. (31) The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works. (32) He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke (Psalms 104:5-32).

11. What can you tell, from the end of the 104
th Psalm, about the desire of this Psalmist to worship God?
He wanted to worship God all the days of his life. It was “sweet” to him: “(33) I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. (34) My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD (Psalms 104:33-34).

12. Who did the Psalmist want to see consumed?
“Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalms 104:35).

* Our mentality should be to convert, not consume, those who are in sin (
Luke 9:51-56).

13. Were the children of Israel supposed to keep quiet concerning God’s wonderful works?
NO: “(1) O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. (2) Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. (3) Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD. (4) Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore. (5) Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth (Psalms 1051-5).

* Sometimes it is missed that we teach by way of song (
Colossians 3:16).

14. What covenant did the Psalmist remind Israel of?
The covenant that began with Abraham about the promise land: “(6) O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen. (7) He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth. (8) He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations. (9) Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac; (10) And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: (11) Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance: (12) When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it” (Psalms 105:6-12).

15. What is the main point of Psalms 105:13-41?
The main point is stated in verses 13-15, while verses 16-41 just prove that God protected and cared for His people when they were in foreign lands: “(13) When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people; (14) He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes; (15) Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm” (Psalms 105:13-15).

16. Why did God take care of His people even when they did not deserve it?
“For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant” (Psalms 105:42).

17. Did God deliver His people grudgingly?
No, He did it with joy and gladness: “And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness” (Psalms 105:43).

18. Whose lands were given to Israel?
“And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people” (Psalms 105:44).

“He cast out the heathen also before them, and divided them an inheritance by line, and made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents” (Psalms 78:55).

19. What did God expect from Israel in return for what He had done for them?
“That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalms 105:45).