Module 37: God the Redeemer - Perfected Worship
Module Guide: Psalms Book 5 Ps. 107-150 - Jehovah, The Redeemer (Perfected 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 - Again in this final book, "Jehovah" is the predominant name. It occurs in every Psalm but two, in some of them many times - 236 in all. "Jah" is found 32 times.
God - The name "God" is absent from 22 of these Psalms. It occurs 40 times, 10 in the singular (El), and 30 in the plural (Elohim).
Lord - The general title "Lord" (Adonahy) is found 12 times.
The Dominant Thought
Jehovah Redeeming - In this book, as an examination of the doxology will show, the worship of Jehovah is consumated. It rises in volume and beauty until in the closing words of the doxology ultimate purpose is declared. "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Hallelujah". Still the songs are those arising out of experiences. A large section is devoted to Songs of Ascent which are those of the pilgrims as they gathered by many ways and along different paths to the place of Divine Glory.
Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary! Praise him in his heavens for his acts of power! Praise him for his mighty acts! Praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet! Praise him with harp and lyre! Praise him with tambourine and dancing! Praise him with stringed instruments and flute! Praise him with loud cymbals! Praise him with resounding cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD! - Psalm 150
The Title - In this Doxology which occupies the whole Psalm the name of God only appears:- (i) as "Jah" in the perfect note of praise, "Hallelujah" twice repeated, "Jah" being in such case a contraction of Jehovah. (ii) as God in the singular for "El", which is always significant of His Might.
The Quality - Praise Him.
The Place - In the Sanctuary (Centre) In the Firmament (Circumference).
The Reason - For his Mighty Acts.
The Measure - According to His excellent greatness.
The Means - With instruments of music.
The Condition - Everything that hath breath.
The analyses are intended to help in the study of the collection, as to the conceptions impelling to worship.
Part A: SONGS OF THE HOPE - Psalms 107-112
A.1. The Hope - Psalm 107-109
- Assurance of Faith: Jehovah the Redeemer - Ps. 107
- Fixity of Faith: Jehovah the Anchorage of Hope - Ps. 108
- Triumph of Faith: Jehovah the Vindicator of the persecuted - Ps. 109
A.2. The Reason - Psalm 110-112
- The Coming One: Jehovah and His Messiah - Ps. 110
- The Greatness and Grace of Jehovah: Jehovah the Great and Gracious - Ps. 111
- The Blessedness of the Trusting Man: Jehovah the Blessedness of the trusting - Ps. 112
Part B: SONGS OF THE PROCESS - Psalms 113-118
B.1. Jehovah's Activity - Psalm 113-114
- His humility: Jehovah the High and Lowly - Ps. 113
- His accomplishment: God the mighty Presence leading His people's exodus - Ps. 114
B.2. Jehovah's Servant - Psalm 115-116
- The Passion. The Glory of His name: Jehovah and the glory of His name - Ps. 115
- The Experience. Darkness and Deliverance: Jehovah the Deliverer from death - Ps. 116
B.3. Jehovah's Praise - Psalm 117-118
- The call of the Ideal Servant: Jehovah the Centre of earth's worship - Ps. 117
- The Song of the Redeemer: Jehovah and His enduring mercy - Ps. 118
Part C: SONGS OF THE WILL - Psalms 119
C.1. Jehovah and the Perfection of His Revealed Will - Psalm 119
- (Aleth) The Perfect Law - 1-8
- (Beth) The Way of Cleansing - 9-16
- (Gimel) The Fountain of Joy - 17-24
- (Daleth) The Strength of Trial - 25-32
- (He) The Medium of Guidance - 33-40
- (Vau) The Inspiration of Testimony - 41-48
- (Zain) The Comfort of Sorrow - 49-56
- (Cheth) The Medium of Fellowship - 57-64
- (Teth) The Key of Affliction - 65-72
- (Jod) The Depths of Desire - 73-80
- (Caph) The Confidence of Darkness - 81-88
- (Lamed) The Fountain of Faith - 89-96
- (Mem) The Delight of Life - 97-104
- (Nun) The Light of Pilgrimage - 105-112
- (Samech) The Line of Rectitude - 113-120
- (Ain) The Hope of Distress - 121-128
- (Pe) The Light of Life - 129-136
- (Tzade) The Knowledge of God - 137-144
- (Koph) The Inspiration of Devotion - 145-152
- (Resh) The Principle of Life - 153-160
- (Shin) The True Wealth - 161-168
- (Tau) The Perfect Law- 169-176
Part D: SONGS OF THE PILGRIMAGE - Psalms 120-134
D.1. The Far country - Psalm 120-121
- Desire: Jehovah the Hope of the pilgrim - Ps. 120
- Assurance: Jehovah the Help of the pilgrim - Ps. 121
D.2. The Start - Psalm 122-123
- Anticipation: Jehovah the Glory of the pilgrim - Ps. 122
- Confidence: Jehovah the Support of the pilgrim - Ps. 123
D.3. The Journey - Psalm 124-131
- Escape: Jehovah the Deliverer of the pilgrim - Ps. 124
- First Glimpse of City: Jehovah the Protector of the pilgrim - Ps. 125
- Approach; Laughter and Penetence: Jehovah the Restorer of the pilgrim - Ps. 126
- Approach; The Family Strength: Jehovah the Home-maker of the pilgrim - Ps. 127
- Approach; The Family Responsibility: Jehovah the Home-keeper of the pilgrim - Ps. 128
- Approach; A backward look: Jehovah the Confidence of the pilgrim - Ps. 129
- Approach; Penetence and Confidence: Jehovah the Redeemer of the pilgrim - Ps. 130
- Approach; Rest in the Will of God: Jehovah the Satisfaction of the pilgrim - Ps. 131
D.4. The Entrance - Psalm 132
- Jehovah the Assurance of the pilgrim - Ps. 132
D.5. The City and Worship - Psalm 133-134
- By Day: Jehovah the Gatherer of the pilgrim - Ps. 133
- By Night: Jehovah the Rest of the pilgrim - Ps. 134
Part E: SONGS OF THE EXPERIENCE - Psalms 135-144
E.1. Sufficiency of Jehovah - Psalm 135-139
- Jehovah the Object of His people's praise - Ps. 135
- Jehovah the God of mercy - Ps. 136
- Jehovah the God of judgment - Ps. 137
- Jehovah the Perfecter - Ps. 138
- Jehovah the Omniscient and Omnipresent - Ps. 139
E.2. Helplessness of Man - Psalm 140-143
- Jehovah the Defender of the defenceless - Ps. 140
- Jehovah the Keeper of the trembling - Ps. 141
- Jehovah the Refuge of the overwhelmed - Ps. 142
- Jehovah the Confidence of the desolate - Ps. 143
E.3. Sufficiency answering Helplesness - Psalm 144
- Jehovah the Rock of strength - Ps. 144
Part F: SONGS OF THE PERFECTED PRAISE - Psalms 145-150
F.1. Introductory - Psalm 145
- Jehovah the Object of perfect praise - Ps. 145
F.2. Jehovah - Psalm 146-147
- Jehovah praised as the Helper of His people - Ps. 146
- Jehovah praised as the Governor of the world - Ps. 147
F.3. The Worship - Psalm 148-149
- Jehovah praised by the whole creation - Ps. 148
- Jehovah praised by His saints - Ps. 149
F.4. The Doxology - Psalm 150
- Jehovah praised in perfection - Ps. 150
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.