Christ and the Temple in the Book of Psalms (Come, Follow Me: Psalms 1-46) – powered by Happy Scribe
Hello. I’m Lynn Hilton Wilson, and today we get to talk about the Psalms. I’ve been assigned Psalms 31 and 32 for part of our Come Follow Me. But the Psalms, I’m so glad we have three weeks to talk about them, because the psalms need to be read once a day, not a hundred at one time. And I hope from now until the end of the year, you can just choose two or three psalms to read every day, and hopefully they will bring the Spirit into your life.
It’s as beautiful as singing a hymn in your life. As you know, there are 150 psalms in the Old Testament. Most of them that we have in author are written by David. We have 72 listed in our text, and then there’s two more in the New Testament. There are three more, so possibly, possibly 75.
It’s interesting. Also, when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and finally published in about 2000, we realized that the names that say who wrote the psalms were even in those which are 10 years older than any other scripture we had. So we’re pretty confident that the ones that are attributed to David probably were attributed to him a long time ago. We also have other ones. Almost one third of them are anonymous.
And later on we’ll get to one to ask off and the Sons of Korat, which are the priests, that they would be doing the singing or the praying. And then there’s just two to Heman, and then one to Ethan and one Solomon and one Moses. As people study the Psalms altogether, they realize that there appears to be a little short introduction of two chapters and then a conclusion that is very consistent with five Psalms of praise. And then there’s five books, and each one ends with these beautiful Psalms of praise. And you can go through and study them, each as a book and find a lot of continuity.
But today chapters 31 and 32 fall right into that first book. And in here we see poetry, not like rhyming in English, but like in Hebrew, where they use a lot of parallelism and metaphor and image. We see a lot of typology, either of the temple or of Christ. In fact, I feel like these two psalms today have a beautiful message of both the temple and our Savior. They are also used in prayer, some songs, some prayers.
Sometimes we get little notes like Taylor. But I just want to give you an example here of that parallelism in Psalm number 31. In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust. And then down in verse six, I trust the Lord. And in verse 14.
But I trusted in thee, O Lord. And then verse 19, for them that trust in Thee. These repetitive themes are beautifully tied together with other parallels in this chapter as well. And this is one of those poems of praise. We either have poems of praise or poems of lament.
But there are more on the praise side than the lament. Often the laments also have cursing. But one thing that I love about the psalms is that when I study them and look for these symbols of the temple, you can see them on different levels. Be thou a house of defense to save me, therefore, for thy name’s sake, lead me and guide me. This is the message of the temple, that if we will put our hand in the Lord’s hand, he will lead us to enter into his presence.
And here we are in the middle of the Old Testament. Very few people have their higher covenants, but some do. And the temple was filled with ordinances, including your washings and anointing and clothing of the priests, and especially of the one reigning high priest at a time. But as we look at these psalms, we can see that David understood some of these higher ordinances or some of the other authors. Today we’re looking at David’s, but he has a love for the temple, he has a love for the music that’s there, and he has a love for the Lord, and he’s pleading out the Lord to lead him and guide him.
You know, when I go to the temple, I often go seeking inspiration. For me, it is a house of revelation, and I believe that David is doing that as well as he’s seeking out, asking the Lord for guidance in his life. I also like to read other translations. When I’m reading the psalms. I love finding ones that are actually lined up in their poetic parallels so I don’t miss anything.
I’m going to read you three different translations here of the first couple of verses in Psalm 31, verse one and two. This is from the NIV. Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them, and whose Spirit is no deceit. Now, the word covered is also used in the King James translation, and it comes from the Hebrew Kafar.
And remember, the word endow, or endude, is also a covering. And Kafar, a tone, is also a covering that the Lord will clothe us in his robes of righteousness. Sometimes they are described as or in the New Testament, putting on the armor of God. But this beautiful imagery of covering is an imagery of the atonement. And we’re not without the need for repentance, but it’s when we repent with a broken heart and contrast Spirit that this comes.
The Septuagint, which is a translation that was used most widely at the time of the Lord reads, blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven and whose sins are covered. And in the Anchor Bible, which is one of my favorite translations in the modern world, how blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin has been remitted instead of covered. Remitted approaches the definition that we have to go before the Lord and seek forgiveness, and he will wash them from us. Psalm 31 is also filled with typology of our Savior, and you’ll recognize some of the phrases that the Lord uses when he quotes the Psalms. The psalms are the most quoted book after the deuteronomy in the New Testament.
Here’s verse five. Into thy hands I commit my spirit. Now we know that phrase from the Lord, quoting it in Luke chapter 23 when he’s on the cross. But I love the fact that King David is saying it, because then I, as a disciple of Christ, can enter into difficult situations and also use that beautiful phrase, oh Lord, into Thy hands I commit my spirit. I want to commit my life, I want to commit my time and my talents and my energy into thy work.
For my life is spent with grief and my years with sign. I believe this also typifies of our Savior as the suffering servant is described to Isaiah that we’ll talk about in a few weeks. Verse eleven I was reproached among all my enemies, but especially among my neighbors. And he continues on in this allegory imagery that can be used both for King David and for our Savior, they took counsel together against me and they devised to take away my life. There are over 16 messianic psalms, or they call sometimes the royal psalms.
They fit very well into David’s life, but if we look at them symbolically, they also are a type of Christ. And I have a whole list of them here. Well, I have a list of some of them here that the Savior quotes. And on my chart you can see that Psalm two is quoted in Matthew chapter three, and Psalm eight in Matthew 21 and Psalm 16 in Matthew 28. But the majority of them come in Psalm 22.
And I hope you can take a lot of time to carefully go through these psalms looking for types of Christ and seeking our Savior. In all the imagery we’re told in the Book of Mormon repeatedly, starting with King Benjamin sermon, actually starting in Nephi, that we are to look for Christ, that things in the Old Testament are to point to the coming Messiah and if we look hard enough, we can find Him. I think the psalms are rich in that, but they’re also rich in discipleship. This one by David especially. I’m going to read to you from a couple of my favorite verses starting in verse 22.
For I said, in my haste I am cut off from before thine eyes. Nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications. And when I cried unto thee, o love the Lord and ye his saints. For the Lord preserveth the faithful and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.
This is just such an encouragement for those of us that feel like our prayers are not answered as quickly as we’d like them. Perhaps we need a little more humbling, a little more repenting, a little more learning, a little more meekness. But when we do learn what we need to learn, the Lord is there. And then we can rejoice when we feel his presence again. Oh, love the Lord like David did.
As we move on to Psalm 32, it’s interesting to realize that this psalm was used by the Greek Orthodox right before baptism. This psalm is also read by the Ashkenazi Jews on Monday nights. They recite it as a prayer. Many of the prayers in Judaism are recited prayers or memorized prayers, and the psalms fit into that category. I also see Psalm 32 as a temple text.
It reminds me of some of the instruction that was given in the temple. In the book of Leviticus, in the book of Exodus, we introduced the temple priests and the power that God’s grace can offer them as they repent and are forgiven. And then there’s instruction and the liturgical conclusion at the end of chapter 32. But I’ll just read some of the beautiful verses here and I hope that in your mind you can hear the music that’s put to text on some of these. Or if any of you are musicians, I hope you put more of these to music.
It’ll be much more beautiful when we can appreciate the psalms in the same manner that David did when he was actually singing them and singing praises to the Lord. 32, verse 511 I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and my iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord and thou forgavest my sin. Be glad in the Lord and rejoice ye righteous and shout for joy all ye that are upright in heart. We know that the prophet has asked us each to repent at least daily, and for me it’s usually hourly.
I feel like these are some of the things that we can go before to remind us and to humble ourselves, to look at the areas in our lives where we need to change. Continuing on in chapter 32, verse eight, we see some beautiful temple symbolism. I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go, and I will guide thee with mine eye as we look at the way that the Lord has guided us and the Lord instructs us in the temple. It begins as we go back to the creation text and learn how to rejoice in the creation and some of the times that I have the happiest feelings in my heart when I want to praise the Lord or when I am out in nature. This one fits beautifully.
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, ye righteous and shout for joy, ye that are upright in heart. Mary, the Lord bless you as you study the psalms to feel his love. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. Amen.