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Links to Other Parts of Scripture

The psalms are, among other things, an instruction manual for worship the way YHWH wants to receive it. We may have our ideas about what worship is, but the Psalms leave us no doubt about His ideas of what worship should be.

Psalm 1

Psalm 19
To the chief musician;
A psalm of David.

1. The Heavens recount YHWH's glory;
The expanse [of the sky]sets forth the work of His hands.

2. Day after day speech pours forth;
Night after night knowledge is revealed.

3. There is no [articulate] speech, nor are there words;
Inaudible is their voice.

4. Their measuring line has gone forth
throughout all the earth,
And their testimony
to the remotest parts of the inhabited world.

5. For the sun He has set up
a dwelling place in them
and it is like a bridegroom
leaving his wedding canopy;
like a strong athlete, it is
enthusiastic to run its course.

6. The far reaches of the heavens
are its starting block; and
his circuit comes around
all the way to their other end.
and nothing is hidden from its heat.

7. The instruction of Yahweh is complete,
bringing the soul back again.
The scroll of Yahweh's prophecies is trustworthy,
making the open-minded wise.

Its precision of fulfillment shatters the notion that nothing is
certain and one should therefore tolerate all beliefs. He learns instead
to be wise and choose the one Word that is "firmly established in the
heavens" (119:89).

8. The rules by which He cares for us
fit us properly, making our hearts rejoice!
Yahweh's [individual] orders
are clearcut, enlightening [one's] eyes.

9. The reverential fear of Yahweh is undefiled;
it stands forever.
His decisions are true and just [when they are]
all [considered] together.

10. [They are] more desirable than gold,
even tons of pure, refined gold!
[They are] also sweeter than honey
and the drippings of a honeycomb.

11. Moreover, your servant
is forewarned by them;
in observing them [there lies] a great reward.

12. Who is able to perceive [it] whenever he makes an error?
[Please] don't punish me for the faults I can't recognize!

13. But also restrain Your servant
from acting presumptuously on sudden urges--
Don't let them take control of me;
then I'll be perfect, and emptied of great transgressions.

14. Let the words of my mouth
as well as [all] the musings of my heart
be well-pleasing before You,
O Yahweh, My Rock and My Redeemer!

Bullinger [Witness of the Stars] points out how this second stanza (vv. 7-14) parallels the first (vv. 1-6) in describing two forms of YHWH's
revelation. "He has not left Himself without witness" (Envoys 14:17) anywhere in the world. The stars, created in order to be signs (Gen.1:14) have communicated YHWH's glory--His crowning work, the promise redemption through the Messiah--since the beginning of time. The matzaroth (Iyov 38:32), of which the modern signs of the zodiac are a
corruption, gave many details about what He would accomplish, through the names of the individual stars (147:4; Yeshay. 40:26) and the ordering of
the constellations' positions. But now David says, YHWH's Torah (instruction) completes the revelation, "restoring one's soul", i.e., reviving it again with the assurance that YHWH has not left us to our fallen state, but along with the promise of redemption He has given us a manner of life through which we can keep the effects of sin at bay until the visible restoration is complete.
Psalm 81

1 Sing aloud unto YHWH our strength: make a joyful noise unto the Elohim of Yaaqov [Jacob].

2 Take a psalm, and bring here the tambourine, and the pleasant harp with the psaltery [small, ten-stringed harp].

3 Give a blast with the shofar on the new moon, in the time appointed, on our feast day.

Feast day: the Hebrew word is based on the word for "circle", since on them we dance in a circle. The festivals are also a repeating "cycle" that brings us back to their themes year after year so we can learn more, but this is not a vicious cycle. It spirals higher with each round, bringing us closer to our goal.

4 For this is a statute for Israel, and a law of the Elohim of Jacob.

5 This he ordained in Joseph as a testimony, when he went out into the land of Egypt: where I heard a language I did not understand.

Like Yoseyf our ancestor, the house of Efrayim was scattered throughout the whole world, among foreign peoples. What he learned there were things unfamiliar to Yoseyf. Egypt is often a picture of the church that mixed YHWH's truth with paganism.

6 I removed his shoulder from the burden: his hands were delivered from the pots.

7 You called in trouble, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder: I proved you at the waters of Meribah. Ponder this. [musical interlude]

8 Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto you: O Israel, if you will hearken unto me;

9 There shall no strange god be in you; neither shall you worship any strange god.

10 I am YHWH your Elohim, which brought you out of the land of Egypt: open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.

He wants to feed us with the heritage of Yaaqov (cf. v. 1).

11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would have none of me.

12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.

13 Oh that my people would have hearkened unto me, and Israel would have walked in my ways!

14 I should soon have subdued their enemies, and turned my hand against
their adversaries.

15 The haters of YHWH should have submitted themselves unto him: but
their time should have endured for ever.

Or, "their adversaries, the haters of YHWH, who feign obedience to Him;
but [Israel's] season [opportunity] would be the [messianic] Age."

16 He should have fed them also with the finest of the wheat: and with honey out of the rock should I have satisfied you.

This is the promise in Deuteronomy 32:13, which is the Torah portion read during this week of Yom Kippur and Sukkoth. Finest of the wheat: this
correlates with the last of the first group of festivals in the spring, Shavuoth, when the wheat harvest begins and the finest is brought to the
Temple to be given to the priests and Levites. But those who bring it share the feast with them, and have fellowship with YHWH there at the place He has chosen for His Name.
Psalms of Ascents

This categorization for Psalms 120-134 has been translated "ascents", "degrees", or "steps", based on the Mishnah's description of the Sukkoth festivities on the 15 steps leading down from the Court of Yisrael in the Temple (as also reflected in the Passover liturgy), though this is not stated explicitly. Some have thought they were those used
for the return of the exiles, but not all of them refer to this, but all of them may well have been sung on pilgrimages up to Yerushalayim (and by
extension, while "rising up" in the world by returning to the Land). They could therefore be called "pilgrim songs", whether national or
personal. [Hertz]
Psalm 126
[A Psalm of Ascents]

1. When YHWH returned the dwelling of Tzion, we were like dreamers!

Like dreamers: like those who cannot believe that what they are experiencing is real.

2. Then our mouths were filled with laughter and our tongues with joyful song. Then they said among the Gentiles, “YHWH has accomplished great things for them!”

3. YHWH has [indeed] accomplished great things for us, and we have begun to express joy!

4. Return our captives, O YHWH, like the streams in the Negev!

Streams in the Negev: seasonal rivers in Israel’s arid south that are dry most of the time, but are vibrantly renewed each rainy season. Yirmiyahu 31:9 says YHWH will bring all the tribes of Israel back, even those who have been “lost” among the nations, by dried-up riverbeds now filled with torrents of water and on level paths. This refers to the ancient paths (Yirm. 6:16) once carved by Torah, but deprived of it, now filled up again with the water of YHWH’s instruction.

5. Those who sow in tears will reap with ringing shouts of joy.

6. The one who goes away weeping, carrying seed [he has] acquired, will certainly come back with ringing shouts of joy, bringing his bound [sheaves].

Seed he has acquired: or valuable seed. In the context of dreamers in v. 1, this has to be a reference to Yoseyf’s dream in Gen 37: 7. This Psalm is thus a reference to the return of his house. Y’shua is the one who sowed the valuable seeds, the children of the Kingdom (Mat. 13:37), out into the world. He wept over Efrayim (Hoshea 11:8), but when they finally know YHWH, He will respond. (Hoshea 2)