Module 05: God the Governing King - Submissive Worship
Module Guide: Psalms Book 4 Ps. 90-109 - Jehovah, The Governing King (Submissive Worship)
This pre-read guide is taken from the public domain source "The Analysed Bible in 3 Volumes" by G. Campbell Morgan.
The word "Psalms" is the Anglicized form of a Greek word, which really means a poem set to music. The Hebrew title of the book was simply Praises, or Book of Praises. It is pre-eminently the worship book of the Hebrew people, and consists of a collection of songs which express the attitude of the soul in the presence of God, when contemplating past history, existing conditions, or prophetic hopes. The whole collection consists, in the Hebrew Bible, of five books. In the English and American Revisions this subdivision is shown.
We have no definite proof who the editor was. His method becomes evident by an examination of the grouping of the psalms. It is perfectly clear that neither authorship nor chronology was in his view. Eusebius declares that "the psalms are disposed according to a law of inward affinity," and Dr. Anderson says: "It must be remembered that every attempt to classify and arrange the psalms apart from the division of the whole Psalter into the five books as found in our Hebrew Bible, in the Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate Versions - every such attempt is confessedly imperfect, and more or less arbitrary."
The key to the method of the editor is to be found in the doxologies with which the books close. Each of the five has such a doxology, and an examination of these will reveal a certain conception of God, and an attitude of the soul in worship resulting from such conception. They may be grouped thus:
- Book 1 Psalm 41:13 - Worship of Jehovah as the Becoming One, Who is the Helper.
- Book 2 Psalm 72:18-19 - Worship of Jehovah as the wonder-working God.
- Book 3 Psalm 89:52 - Worship of Jehovah ceaseless.
- Book 4 Psalm 106:48 - Worship of Jehovah rendered.
- Book 5 Psalm 150:1-6 - Worship of Jehovah consummated.
The individual psalms are natural expressions by many authors, at various times, under differing circumstances, of the consciousness of God. The editing gathers these individual songs around the notes of truth dominant in each.
These notes are indicated in each book by the particular title of Jehovah which preponderates. The subject of the Divine titles is too great a one to be discussed at length now, but as an introduction to the study of the Psalter, recognition of difference is necessary. The proportion in which the four titles are used in the book of Psalms, as indicated in the diagram, is a somewhat rough one. That is to say, under Elohim are included El and Eloah, because while there is a minor difference of suggestion between the singular and the plural, the underlying thought is the same. So also with reference to Adonahy and Adon.
In the ancient Hebrew Scriptures this particular title was always written in the form of a tetragrammaton - YHYH - and there are differences of opinion as to what the actual form of the word should be. Without entering into any discussion of the varied interpretations, I adopt that of Mr. Joseph Bryant Rotherham in the "Emphasized Bible," both as to spelling and significance. He claims that the word thus abbreviated is Yahweh, and interprets it as meaning "the Becoming One." In his Bible he says, "Yahweh is almost always regarded as the third person singular, masculine, imperfect tense, from the root Hawah, an old form of the root Hayah. The one meaning of Hawah is 'become.' So that the force of Yahweh, thus derived as a verb, would be, 'He will become,' or, as expressive of use and wont as a noun, it is, 'He who becometh,' 'The Becoming One.'" In a letter written to me in the course of correspondence on the subject, referring to this meaning, Mr. Rotherham says, "'He becometh'; that is, 'He who becometh,' The Becoming One': becoming to His people whatever in His rich favour He pleases, in order to meet their need, and at last becoming Man." The truth therefore suggested by the use of this word is always that, first of the essential Being of God which enables Him to become; and by deduction, that God in infinite grace does become whatever man needs.
This is a plural noun, but it is plural in a sense peculiar to the Hebrew language. Canon Girdlestone says: "It is well known that the Hebrews often expressed a word in the plural, so as to give it a special or technical meaning, as in the case of the words blood, water, wisdom, salvation, righteousness, life. ... It is implied that the word in the singular number is not large enough to set forth all that is intended; and so, in the case of the Divine Name, the plural form expresses the truth that the finite word conveys an inadequate idea of the Being Whom it represents. Other names of God will be found to be plural also, and it is worthy of notice that in the well-known passage in Ecclesiastes (12:1) the Hebrew runs thus, 'Remember now thy Creators in the days of thy youth.'" The root idea of the word is that of strength or might; and the thought of God suggested by it is that of His strength as revealed in creation, and in all the operations of His power.
This is again plural in form. Its simple signification is "Master" or "Lord"; and the thought it suggests is that of sovereign supremacy.
This is the shorter form of the name Jehovah, and is only found in Scripture; twice in Exodus, a few times in Isaiah, and in thirty- five passages in the book of Psalms.
These names reveal the doctrine of God, which creates the worship of man. Recognizing that Jehovah and Jah have the same essential significance, there are three lines of thought suggested. First, the essential Being of God, and the fact that He becomes in grace what man needs. Second, the essential Might of God, and the fact that it operates in power. Third, the essential Lordship of God, and His consequent sovereignty over man.
The Divine Name
Jehovah - The dominant name in this book is again "Jehovah." It occurs more than once in every Psalm, and in two as many as 11 times. "Jah" is found 7 times.
God - The name "God" is absent altogether from five, and occurs only 27 times, 9 of them being singular (El), and 18 plural (Elohim).
Lord - The general title "Lord" (Adonahy) only occurs twice.
The Dominant Thought
Jehovah Governing - In this book the worship of Jehovah is rendered by all people. They are songs of His government and administration, for which the heart is lifted in adoration.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting, and let all the people say, Amen, Praise yet the Lord - Psalm 106:48
The Title - Jehovah: The essential Helper.
The Relation - The God of Israel.
The Quality - Blessed. Hallelujah.
The Quantity - From everlasting to everlasting.
The Extent - And let all the people say, Amen.
The analyses are intended to help in the study of the collection, as to the conceptions impelling to worship.
Psalms (Module 05 consists of Psalms 90-106 only)
Part A: THE PRINCIPLES - Psalms 90-92
A.1. The Age-abiding Fact - Psalm 90
- Man's Failure: Jehovah the Eternal Dwelling Place of man - Ps. 90
A.2. The Unshaken One - Psalm 91
- Man's Hope: Jehovah the Sanctuary of the Perfect One - Ps. 91
A.3. The New Realization - Psalm 92
- Man's Restoration: Jehovah praised for His Righteous dealing - Ps. 92
Part B: THE PRACTICE - Psalms 93-100
B.1. The Enthroned King - Psalm 93-96
- The Fact: Jehovah the King; the Fact - Ps. 93
- The Courage of Faith: Jehovah the King; Faith's affirmation - Ps. 94
- The Caution of Faith: Jehovah the King; A warning - Ps. 95
- Worship: Jehovah the King; Worship - Ps. 96
B.2. The Activity of the King - Psalm 97-100
- His Judgements: Jehovah the King; His Judgements - Ps. 97
- Worship: Jehovah the King; Worship - Ps. 98
- His Reign: Jehovah the King; His Reign - Ps. 99
- Worship: Jehovah the King; Worship - Ps. 100
Part C: THE PRAISE - Psalms 101-106
C.1. The Attitude of Praise - Psalm 101
- Submission: Jehovah recognised in public and private life - Ps. 101
C.2. The Benefits: - Psalm 102-106
- The Age-abiding God: Jehovah the eternal God - Ps. 102
- The Loving Father: Jehovah the loving Father - Ps. 103
- The Creator and Sustainer: Jehovah the Creator and Sustainer - Ps. 104
- The True and Mighty One: Jehovah the true and mighty One - Ps. 105
- The Faithful and Patient One: Jehovah the faithful and patient One- Ps. 106
Note: To the best of our knowledge we are of the understanding that the above material, being published in 1907 and freely available elsewhere on the internet in various formats, is in the public domain.