Psalm 38:1–40, Trials because of sin, resulting in divine judgment and followed by true repentance. This chapter discusses the nacham or sorrowing, grieving or anguishing side of repentance or teshuvah. Bible teachers seldom discuss this aspect of repentance. Verses 4–8 and 18 exemplify the Hebraic concept of nacham as it relates to repentance from sin.
Psalm 39:7, Wait. Heb. qavah meaning “to twist, bind or stretch (like a rope) and the tension resulting therefrom, to be strong or robust, the tension of enduring or waiting; to look for with eager expectation, waiting with steadfast endurance., enduring patiently in confident hope.”
Psalm 40:6, A Messianic prophecy. Verses six to nine are a Messianic prophecy foretelling of Yeshua, the gospel message and the canonization of the Testimony of Yeshua (or New Testament).
The passing of the Levitical sacrificial system is implied (verse 6).
- The coming of Yeshua the Messiah, and writing of the Testimony of Yeshua Scriptures are foretold (verse 7a).
- Yeshua is the one who did the will of his Father in heaven (verse 7b).
- The Torah being written on the hearts one’s heart is prophesied (verse 8). Yeshua promised that the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) would do this for his disciples.
- The same Messiah would proclaim the good news (or gospel) of righteousness (verse 9).
Psalm 40:6, Mine ears hast thou opened. This phrase in the LXX reads, “a body thou hast prepared for me” and has been quoted thusly by the author of Hebrews (Heb 10:5).
Psalm 40:7–8, Volume/scroll of the book …delight. This verse prophesies the canonization of the Tanakh, and is a messianic prophecy pointing to Yeshua who would “delight to do the will” of Elohim, which this verse equates with the Torah!
Psalm 41:1–3, Blessed is he who considers the poor. This passage makes it clear that helping the poor is like a spiritual insurance policy that pays off in one’s own time of need. The old adage, “What goes around comes around” applies here. The only difference is that this law of reciprocity isn’t chance driven, but YHVH instituted and orchestrated, for verse one says that YHVH will deliver the one who blesses the poor in one’s own time of trouble.
From verse one to verse three, YHVH promises to care for those who help the poor in the following ways:
- Protect and preserve one’s life (verse 2).
- Deliver one from one’s enemies (verse 2).
- Sustain and restore one who is sick (verse 3).
This is an insurance policy that pays rich dividends in YHVH’s spiritual economy.
Psalm 42:1–2, As the deer pants. The Bible is full and running over with concrete analogies from everyday life that help us to understand otherwise abstract spiritual concepts. Our soul (i.e., our mind, will and emotions) dying of thirst for Elohim and longing for his refreshing presence like a deer panting for water in the hot desert is another example this. Scripture’s use of beautiful poetic imagery helps to draw us closer to Elohim by showing us what we need to do and how to act in ways that are pleasing to him.
Psalm 42:2, When shall I appear? The hope of the resurrection and an afterlife spent with Elohim has incentivized the saints to keep seeking him from the earliest times. Other psalms that speak of the saints’ eternal inheritance include Psalms 17:15; 50:4–5; 71:20; 73:24; 90:10. Also see Job 14:14–15; 19:25–27; Prov 14:32; Eccl 3:21.
Psalm 42:4, I used to go. The psalmist writes that “I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the houses of Elohim, with the voice of joy and praise….” This begs a question: Why does he no longer go? There could be several reasons for this. Congregational life is not always available. Churches come and go. There are many reasons for this. A chief reason is the lack of leaders who are willing to carry the workloads, often with little or not help from others, that are necessary to keep a congregation going. This is because most people are takers, not givers. Another reason is that people’s zeal for Elohim usually diminishes over time and people tend drift into spiritual lukewarmness and apostasy. This is the natural downward progression of all things. In physics it is called the law of entropy, which informs us that everything goes from a state of order to disorder unless some outside influence injects energy into the system and keeps things going in an orderly manner. The same is true with a congregation, fellowship or church, and the same was true in the psalmist’s day as it is now. This is because human nature is the same today as then; it has never changed.
Pilgrim feast [holyday, KJV; Heb. chagag]. Chagag means “to hold a festival, make a pilgrimage, celebrate, stagger, dance, to reel.” This is a reference to the three biblical pilgrimage or aliyot festivals of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks (or Pentecost) and the Feast of Tabernacles. The concept of chagag explain what should be the tenor of these three feasts: celebration and joy! When one understands what each of these feasts represent historical and prophetically in light of Yeshua the Messiah and the gospel message, rejoicing will be the result.
The concept of pilgrimage refers to the fact that on these three biblical feasts, the Israelites would make a journey or religious pilgrimage to the place where YHVH had placed his name. In former times, this was where the Tabernacle of Moses resided. In latter times, it was in Jerusalem where the temple was located. Now it is where YHVH’s Spirit-filled people are, for the saints are now the temple of the Spirit of Elohim, and YHVH lives in them through his Spirit. These three feasts (along with YHVH’s four other appointed times which are Passover, the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Eighth Day) are all listed in Leviticus 23.
Psalm 43:3, Your light and your truth. Light is a biblical metaphor for the divinely revealed Truth of Elohim. The reason I capitalize the word Truth is to distinguish divinely revealed Truth from truth in the natural world, which man is able to discover through his own investigation. Such small t truth would include the laws or truths of science and mathematics for example. While physical light helps to guide us in physical darkness, even so, the light of YHVH’s divinely revealed Truth leads us in the spiritual darkness of this world and will bring us to YHVH’s holy hill and to his tabernacle where his presence resides. That spiritual light is found in YHVH’s Word, the Bible, and Yeshua was the physical manifestation of that Word; hence, he was and is the Light of the world that leads us to his Father in heaven, even as he declared.
Psalm 44:20–21, Forgotten the name of our Elohim…he knows. Even if we forget the Hebrew names of Elohim and substitute them with other (often pagan) names for him, YHVH still hears the language of our heart if our heart’s intent is correct and directed toward him. This, however, cannot be used as an justification to keep using these substitute names for Elohim once we find out what his true, Hebrew name are. Once we see the light of his Truth, to not walk in it is willful disobedience and we risk turning his grace into licence to do that which the Bible instructs us not to do. The problem is that most people do not care, and will continue to walk in their slothful and stubborn spiritual ways even after they have learned the truth of a matter.
Psalm 45:6, The scepter of your kingdom. Ancient kings often carried a scepter, which had its origins in the shepherds rod, since kings were considered to be shepherds of the people. Thus the scepter became a symbol of protection, authority and power (Manners and Customs, p. 148).
Psalm 45:6–11, A messianic prophecy. This passage (verse 7) is difficult for non-Messianic rabbinical scholars to deal with since it seems to indicate so clearly the deity of the Messiah. For example, the Orthodox Jewish The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach renders this passage as follows: “…therefore has Elohim, your Elohim, anointed you …” (emphasis added)—a translationwhich, in effect, changes the whole meaning of the passage to deflect off of the Messiah any connotations of deity. Yet the word has does not appear in the original Hebrew. In fact, in The ArtScroll Schottenstein Edition Tehilim (The Book of Psalms With an Interlinear Translation) under the Hebrew word Elohim (Strong’s H430), which in English is translated simply as God, and means nothing more nor nothing less, appears the word has alongside of God. Quite clearly, as noted above, the word has was added, though it does not appear in the original language.
What is the upshot of this discussion? Very simply stated, Elohim is addressing Elohim-Messiah as Elohim. This passage witnesses to the fact that Elohim in Heaven is addressing Messiah-Elohim as deserving of the worshipful title of Elohim all of which speaks of the deity, incarnation and virgin birth of the Messiah. Furthermore, in verse 11 we see the imperative command to worship the Messiah as Lord (Adon), again showing the incarnation and deity, and by implication the virgin birth, of the Messiah.
Psalm 45:14, The virgins and her companions. This may be a prophetic picture of the bride of Yeshua (i.e. the wise virgins in Yeshua’s Matt 25 parable) accompanied by her non-bride companions (the foolish virgins in the same parable).