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Vos on Psalm 25:14

July 18, 2008
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Read a sermon by Geerhardus Vos on Psalm 25:14 here.

The Psalter is of all books of the Bible that book which gives expression to the experimental side of religion. In the law and the prophetic writings, it is God who speaks to his people; in the Psalter, we listen to the saints speaking to God. Hence the Psalter has been at all times that part of Scripture to which believers have most readily turned and upon which they have chiefly depended for the nourishment of the inner religious life of the heart. I say that part of Scripture and not merely that part of the Old Testament, for even taking the Old and the New Testament together the common experience of the people of God will bear us out in affirming that there is nothing in Holy Writ which in our most spiritual moments–when we feel ourselves nearest to God–so faithfully and naturally expresses what we think and feel in our hearts as these songs of the pious Israelites. Our Lord himself, who had a perfect religious experience and lived and walked with God in absolute adjustment of his thoughts and desires to the Father’s mind and will; our Lord himself found his inner life portrayed in the Psalter and in some of the highest moments of his ministry borrowed from it the language in which his soul spoke to God, thus recognizing that a more perfect language for communion with God cannot be framed.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 18, 2008 5:16 pm

    The use of the Psalter in the NT reveals to us a first century reading of these texts. It is part of my hope over the next 2 years to pursue this reading and try to tease out some of the ways in which it would change or comfirm our traditional religious piety.

    Hebrews reveals one reading – Romans another – and the Gospels yet another. 1 Peter also has a higher density of direct allusions to the Psalms than many the 15 books of the NT where allusions are evident.

    Perhaps on our two psalms blogs we will interact on this I think rather difficult inferential problem.

  2. July 18, 2008 6:11 pm

    Hi Bob,

    I must confess that I find the NT’s use of the Psalter to be fascinating and so I look forward to the results from your studies.

    I have been working through Hebrews the past few months and was struck by the subtle, and yet powerful, use of the ‘messianic’ psalms by St. Paul (or whosoever it was who penned the book).

    What strikes me is that the Psalms are most often used when the apostolic church was interacting with Jewish believers (Cf. James, Peter, Paul).

    What do you mean by “the ways in which it would change or comfirm our traditional religious piety”?

  3. July 19, 2008 9:51 pm

    Great quotation… Vos encapsulates the great mystery of the Psalms. Is this sermon included in his Biblical Theology?

    Commenting on the comments: I have found that it even if the NT epistles are not directly quoting the OT Psalms they are making close allusions to them. I Thess. for example uses very similar terminology to the LXX in relation to the eschaton. One resource I have found helpful is Beale and Carson’s Commentary on the NT use of the OT. This work shows possible hints of the OT (esp. the Psalms from the LXX) throughout almost every major passage in the epistles.

    The language of Paul is littered with words and thoughts that are used to show the true meaning of the Psalms. The way the NT authors quoted them argues greatly in favor of a unity between the peoples of God.

  4. July 20, 2008 2:59 pm

    Hi Timothy,

    Thanks for your comments. If you are referring to Vos’ book then I am not sure if it is included. Beale and Carson’s book is on my ‘to buy’ list.

    God bless!

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