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The Numbers Book = Psalms Concerning The Nations

The fourth book of Psalms is filled with anonymous psalms.  These 17 psalms also include one written by Moses (Psalm 90) and two written by David (Psalm 101,103). These psalms, like those in book three, were composed for public worship.  Many of them may have been written by the Levitical priests.

Psalms: Book Four relates to the book of Numbers. The general theme of this section concerns Israel and the Gentiles on earth.  Numbers describes the Kingdom of Israel in relation to its neighbors.  In a similar way, these Psalms reveal that God’s kingdom rules over all, but that His people should praise His name among the other nations. It begins with Israel in the wilderness taking account of themselves (Psalms 91, related to Numbers 1-8), continues with instructions for the future (Psalms 91-94, related to Numbers 9-14), and discussion of the anticipated rest (Psalms 95-100, related to Numbers 15-26), and the basis for entering into rest (Psalms 101-106, related to Numbers 27-36).

Most of these psalms direct our eyes to the Lord who rules over all the earth.  Several of these psalms begin with simply, “The Lord reigns,” or “Praise the Lord!” They remind us that the Lord is above us.  They also reveal that God is good, kind, and righteous.  The Lord of heaven deserves our worship and praise.  Scholars are quick to point out that there are also pre-captivity sentiments expressed in these psalms, but the emphasis on praise toward God for His blessings even in difficult circumstances.  This book uses Yahweh exclusively. 

The introduction to the section declares confidence in God as Protector of His people (Psalm 90). Several of the psalms describe the steadfastness and faithfulness of God.  The doxology praises God for the way He has led Israel until the present day, and declares that He never changes (Psalm 106).  We are reminded that He is “from everlasting to everlasting.” The book closes with Amen and Hallelujah, rather than a double “Amen” like the previous books.

The psalm of Moses is of a particular interest to me (Psalm 90). This is the oldest of the Psalms and was written around 1400 BC.  Moses may actually be the first psalm writer!  We have three psalms penned by Moses: (1) Exodus 15:1-15 is a song of triumph following the crossing of the Red Sea. (2) Deuteronomy 32, 33 is a song of exhortation to keep the Law after entering Canaan (3) Psalm 90 is a song of meditation, reflection, and prayer. We would do well to consider the words of this great psalm. Have a great week!

You are loved.

Ray Reynolds, PhD

#HolySpirit #Christianity #Scripture #onpoint #dailyBiblereading #Psalm

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