Comfort From the Psalms
Have you ever taken comfort from the Psalms? In a time of need, have you ever turned there for insight, strength, refreshing or direction? How can any of us forget words like these:
The LORD (Yahweh in Hebrew) is my Shepherd I shall not want….
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil; for Thou art with me….
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of Yahweh forever.
Yahweh is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
Yahweh is the defense of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1)
Delight yourself in Yahweh;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to Yahweh,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psalm 37:4-5)
I waited patiently for Yahweh;
And He inclined to me, and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)
God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear… (Psalm 46:1-2a)
Evening and morning and , will I pray and cry aloud,
And He will hear my voice. (Psalm 55:17)
How lovely are Thy dwelling places,
O Yahweh of hosts! (Psalm 84:1)
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to Yahweh, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God in whom I trust!” (Psalm 91:1-2)
These words pierce our souls when we are hurting, when we are grieving, when we are seeking direction and truth. We cling to these Old Testament Scriptures to comfort ourselves, yet we reject the message we don’t like – the validity of Torah (the teaching and instruction of God, translated as “law”). We can’t have it both ways! If Torah isn’t for today, the neither are the Scriptures with which you comfort yourself!
So, why do we turn to the Psalms for comfort? After all, since we’re no longer “under the law,” they’ve no real power or direction to offer us since the church tells us that the Old Testament is just history but doesn’t apply as instruction for our living today.
What I find so interesting is that the church makes these statements of “grace vs. law” but then goes on to pick and choose just which portions they like enough to hold onto! What hypocrisy!! Either God is eternal and His Word – ALL of His words – are eternal, or none of them are.
So just what information on the Torah can we find in the Psalms? Let’s take a look and see:
7 The Torah of Yahweh is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of Yahweh is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of Yahweh are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of Yahweh is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of Yahweh is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of Yahweh are true; they are righteous altogether.
10 They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults.
13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; Then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
In this passage we can see that Yahweh has pronounced that His Torah is perfect, His testimony is sure, His precepts are right, His commandment is pure. Each of these comes with an end blessing. If we don’t see these blessings among believers today, could it be that the guidelines to bring these blessings to believers have been expunged? Why is the divorce rate of the “church” higher than the national divorce rate when we’re supposed to be “salt and light” to those around us? Why are Christian teens having more and more children out of wedlock? Could it be for this same reason?
At the end of this Psalm, David says that Yahweh’s commandments, precepts, Torah, and testimony, are more desirable than gold, warn Yahweh’s servants and bring a great reward. He also says that if he doesn’t sin, he’ll be blameless and acquitted of transgression. So what exactly does all of this mean? A New Testament Scripture tells us!
Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4
The instruction to not sin, to be blameless and not transgress is the law of God, also known as the Torah! This is what the writer valued and treasured more than gold! Can we substantiate this elsewhere? I’m glad you asked! Yes, we can:
1 How blessed are those whose way is blameless,
Who walk in the law of Yahweh.
2 How blessed are those who observe His testimonies,
Who seek Him with all their heart.
3 They also do no unrighteousness;
They walk in His ways.
4 You have ordained Your precepts,
That we should keep them diligently.
5 Oh that my ways may be established
To keep Your statutes!
6 Then I shall not be ashamed
When I look upon all Your commandments.
7 I shall give thanks toYou with uprightness of heart,
When I learn Your righteous judgments.
8 I shall keep Your statutes;
Do not forsake me utterly!
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By keeping it according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I have sought You;
Do not let me wander from Your commandments.
11 Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.
Indeed, Psalm 119 is all about the importance of the Torah (“law”)!
Remove the false way from me,
And graciously grant me Thy law. Psalm 119:29
34 Give me understanding that I may observe Thy law,
And keep it with all my heart.
35 Make me walk in the path of Thy commandments,
For I delight in it. Psalm 119:34-35
Establish Thy word to Thy servant,
As that which produces reverence for Thee. Psalm 119:38
Teach me good discernment and knowledge,
For I believe in Thy commandments. Psalm 119:66
Forever, O Yahweh,
Thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89
98 Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies,
For they are ever mine.
99 I have more insight than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.
100 I understand more than the aged,
Because I have observed Your precepts.
Thy word (Torah) is a lamp unto my feet,
And a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
Establish my footsteps in Thy word,
And do not let any iniquity have dominion over me. Psalm 119:133
Thy word is very pure,
Therefore Thy servant loves it. Psalm 119:140
Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness,
AND THY LAW IS TRUTH. Psalm 119:142
Thou art near, O Yahweh,
And ALL THY COMMANDMENTS ARE TRUTH. Psalm 119:151
THE SUM OF THY WORD IS TRUTH,
AND EVERY ONE OF THY RIGHTEOUS ORDINANCES IS EVERLASTING. Psalm 119:160
Let my tongue sing of Thy word,
For all Thy commandments are righteousness. Psalm 119:172
I long for Thy Y’shua (salvation) O Yahweh,
And Thy law (Torah) is my delight. Psalm 119:174
The writer said that he longed for Yahweh’s salvation (in Hebrew, Y’shua!), yet he delighted in the teachings and instructions (Torah/”law”)! He also wrote some interesting things about “sinners.” Please note what constitutes them being classified as opposite of the righteous in each verse:
Thou dost rebuke the arrogant, the cursed,
Who wander from Thy commandments. Psalm 119:21
Burning indignation has seized me because of the wicked,
Who forsake Thy law. Psalm 119:53
Depart from me, evildoers,
That I may observe the commandments of my God. Psalm 119:115 (which the “evildoers” apparently did not observe.)
Thou hast rejected all those who wander from Thy statues,
For their deceitfulness is useless. Psalm 119:118
It is time for Yahweh to act,
For they have broken Thy law. Psalm 119:126
My eyes shed streams of water,
Because they do not keep Thy law. Psalm 119:136
Those who follow after wickedness draw near,
They are far from Thy law. Psalm 119:150
Salvation is far from the wicked,
For they do not seek Thy statutes. Psalm 119:155
I hate and despise falsehood,
But I love Thy law (Torah). Psalm 119:163
Torah (“law”) is clearly seen as the opposite of falsehood in this last verse, as well as being a protection against becoming:
one of the wicked
far from salvation
So, from all of this, do you think this information might be important? If the comfort of the Psalms is for today, why isn’t all of the information the Psalms contain? I contend that all of the Psalms are valid for today, and even more, I contend that ALL of the Word of Yahweh is applicable today.
A pastor at a church in
58 If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, Yahweh your God,
59 then Yahweh will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses.
60 " He will bring back on you all the diseases of
61 "Also every sickness and every plague which, not written in the book of this law, Yahweh will bring on you until you are destroyed.
This pastor took this to heart and began to teach obedience to the “law”, not even understanding all that he was doing, and guess what? People are being miraculously healed in droves from the
What could happen in our lives if we decided to take God at His word, to apply the Old Testament teachings, which 1 John 3:4 clearly shows us are still in effect and treat them as valid for us as the New Testament? Could we see miracles of this sort? Since we’re told our God is no respecter of persons (Acts ) I believe that we will.
Why not take God at His word and begin to apply all that you can instead of the least amount that you can? You might be surprised at the results.