ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
Note: Many ministry sites are increasing their number of email transmissions, some with multiple daily output, some less massive. We have sought to keep all correspondence to a minimum by remaining a monthly edition. Hopefully, you are like me, I would rather have less communication and greater content. Each month in this New Year, our aim is a separate Bible Study with illuminating text. Since we have no "agenda," no appeal for "must-have financial support" and no religious "steering" for a goal --- the emphasis will remain simply a message prayerfully led by the Spirit. This month's emphasis is Psalms.
January 1, 2005
HAPPY NEW YEAR ! !
PSALMS, A THOUSAND YEAR TRAIL OF TRUTH
Sometimes it is difficult to keep in mind, while studying in the Psalms, that it is a book sectioned into approximately five areas, spanning a thousand years and encompassing contributions all the way from Moses to Ezra and Nehemiah. Because of its diversity in time and complexity of experience-base, the most interesting of studies is to find truths that are integral to each division. It might not stand to reason that repetition of theme is a method of emphasizing a particular truth, but it just might be.
(The five books or sections of the Psalms are Book 1,Chapters 1-41; Book 2, Chapters 42-72; Book 3, Chapters 73-89; Book 4, Chapters 90-106; Book 5, Chapters 107-150.)
One overwhelming truth is that God not only initiated, but continues to control the universe. Passages from each of the five divisions lay the foundational belief that God not only created the heavens and the earth, but continues to be active in them. (So primary is this teaching, one can readily see why Darwinism and the current battles in education and the legal structure have risen to such intensity. Secularists don't want the name of God mentioned. Destroy this truth and all other truths fall. This of course was the basis of the book, Capitalism and the Protestant Ethic. The author denounced governmental desires to export capitalism as an economic answer to the world dilemma without first exporting the Protestant Ethic which brought it into existence. A belief in a personal God, hard work [giving a full day and honorable effort for a full day's pay], for family and education based on the Word of God was principle before all other considerations. There can be no capitalism without this base. These are the very aspects which are now hated, despised and corrupted by society, its educators, secularist government and mass media. Each of their footprints is in every aspect of daily life. The rapidity of their actions serves to debilitate the national resolve in maintaining the foundations laid by my and your forefathers.)
Every theme under attack today is a major theme in the Psalms.
Look at the profundity of the following passages:
Ps 148:4-6 Praise Him, you heavens of heavens,
And you waters above the heavens!
Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For He commanded and they were created.
He also established them forever and ever;
He made a decree which shall not pass away.
Psalms 74:16-17 The day is Yours, the night also is Yours;
You have prepared the light and the sun,
You have set all the borders of the earth.
(It is the God of Israel, who "stationed the territories enclosed.")
Here are similar passages in each of the five sections:
- Section I, Ps.19:1
- Section II Ps. 65:5-7
- Section III, Ps 74:16-17
- Section IV, 93:1-2; 104:9
- Section V,148:4-6
Psalms 65:5-7 You, who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth,
And of the far-off seas; (You), Who established the mountains by His strength,
Being clothed with power; You, who still the noise of the seas,
The noise of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples.
(Reference to the "tumult of the peoples," is a connective passage which links the universe, its creation and its continuance to the multitudes who occupy it.)
Without making this study a lengthy enterprise, let me mention just a few of the universal themes throughout the five sections:
- His Plans: Ps 33:8-12 Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
For He spoke and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.
The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
- His Covenant: Ps. 111:5,9
- His Word: Ps 119:152
- His Saints: Ps 110:30
- Jesus, the Messiah: Ps. 40:7
- Jerusalem: Ps.87:5
- Throne of David: Ps. 89:3
There are others, but again as you search through these sections, let the Spirit emphasize them. You will be aware of how current attacks on our fundamental rights given by God are developed around what the Psalms deems most precious.
Now, the Psalms is a cache of power when viewed with this small excerpt which is really a discussion based on the fundamental belief that God controls the universe and all that is in it. History is religious history; time is held in sealed power by Him alone and no Plan of God need ever be modified because of new circumstances. Without these proponent, all other moral, ethical and spiritual issues lose their validity.
Here is a section from a Chassidic discussion on Chai Elul, in which the Rabbi lays emphasis on the cyclical nature of time:
"Chai Elul, in Hebrew corresponds to the month of Tishrei, the
first month, which like Rosh HaShanah is all-inclusive in nature.
Thus, on this day, the potential to affect a range of time far greater
than our immediate moment of existence receives greater emphasis.
The above sheds light on a statement of the Previous Rebbi, "Chai Elul
introduces chayos ("life-energy") into the service of Elul." Life is
reflection of G-dliness. The physical substance of every entity is governed
by the rules and limits of nature. Its life, however, is a Divine potential
that is not confined within those bounds.
Previously, it was explained:
The Rabbis taught "the beginning is rooted in the end and the end in
the beginning." Thus, the end of the year, the month of Elul, is also
of general significance, including the life-energy for the entire year.
The Baal Shem Tov teaches that creation is a continuous
phenomenon. The world has no independent existence and at every
moment, G-d brings into being the totality of existence anew. Therefore,
every moment includes all previous and all subsequent moments of
existence just as the first moment of creation included all time. Structurally, the expression ÅàÖÇÿ ìàë, "the first day," would have been more appropriate. The Torah, however, calls it âçÇ ìàë, to imply that it
was a day of oneness. "G-d was one with His world." The totality of existence, all time and all space, were united with Him."
As you stand on the threshold of a New Year, 2005, know that everything rests on Him, and this simple life of belief is extremely complex in import. We are not existentialists who believe life is a question mark between two voids. We declare what the Psalms declare: "You are my refuge, My Portion in the land of the living." Ps. 142:5.
Until Next month,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.
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