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A narrative through Pss. xxxi-xxxiii

March 21, 2008
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I have noticed a story through Psalms 31, 32 and 33. Here I will only briefly point to it, I shall develop it at some point later:

Psalm 31
(a) This psalm was prayed by Christ at his crucifixion as is clear from verse 5, “Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.” Christ prayed this just moments before he died (Cf. Luke 23:46).
(b) The psalm concludes with “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”

[For you to ponder: Seeing that the last words of Christ before he died were “Into thine hand I commit my spirit” I wonder if his first words upon his resurrection were “thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth”?]

Psalm 32
(a) Following straight upon this crucifixion psalm we read, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.”
(b) It declares the state of those for which the act of Psalm 31 was carried out.
(c) This Psalm then ends by saying “Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.”

Psalm 33
(a) Following upon this exhortation in the last verse of the previous psalm we read the psalmist crying out a hymn of praise – “Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright. Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings. Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.”
(b) The “new song” being the recognition of new mercies spoken of in Psalm 32 that are grounded upon the act referred to in Psalm 31 and is responding to the exhortation of the last verses of Psalms 31 & 32. The death of Christ provides the foundation for our courage.
(c) The Psalmist concludes beseeching YHWH – “Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.”

Let us learn from this, that we are to praise Almighty God for our redemption, a redemption wrought through the death of Christ! Sing unto him a new song for we are blessed indeed!

***

I think that the following illustrates the structural unity of Psalms 31, 32 and 33

31:21 Blessed be the LORD:For he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.
32:2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no guile.
33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; And the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, All ye that hope in the LORD.
33:22 Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, According as we hope in thee.

32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: And shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
33:1 Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: For praise is comely for the upright.

32:10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: But he that trusteth in the LORD, Mercy shall compass him about.
33:21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, Because we have trusted in his holy name.

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