Psalms of instruction in wisdom and the blessing of the wise life

Some psalms are called wisdom psalms because they make a case for the primary importance of wisdom or instruct readers in dealing with questions, issues, and doubts that arise in life (see Pss 1, 14, 25, 34, 37, 39, 49, 73, 78, 90, 91, 111, 112, 127, 128, 131, 133, 139). Many other psalms contain elements of wisdom teaching (see Pss 18, 27, 31, 32, 40, 62, 92, 94, 107, 144, 146). (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 36:12

Historical significance of wisdom
The way of wisdom is the way of godliness
Wisdom gives you a godly worldview
The contrasted way of the fool
Jesus Christ is wisdom personified

Psalm 1 — the eternal importance of godly wisdom

Introduction of wisdom psalms

They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
     bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
     and they prosper in all they do. (NLT) Psalms 1:3

Psalm 14 — the folly of humankind

Ps 14:1-7. The practical atheism and total and universal depravity of the wicked, with their hatred to the good, are set forth. Yet, as they dread God’s judgments when He vindicates His people, the Psalmist prays for His delivering power. (JFB) Psalms 14:1

Psa 14:1 Only fools say their is no God
Psa 14:3 No one does good, not a single one
Psa 14:4 Will those who do evil never learn?
Psa 14:6 but the Lord will protect his people
Psa 14:7 The Lord will rescue his people

Psalm 34 — the fear of the Lord brings wisdom

This psalm is a Hebrew acrostic poem; each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The acrostic is missing one letter (waw) and has an additional verse at the end (34:22). This wisdom psalm includes a thanksgiving hymn (34:1-7) that celebrates the Lord’s care for and protection of godly sufferers. It also includes an invitation to wisdom (34:8-14) and an exposition of wisdom concerning the Lord’s care for the needy and the suffering of the wicked (34:15-22). (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 34:1

I will praise the Lord at all times.
     I will constantly speak his praises. (NLT) Psalms 34:1

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
     Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him! (NLT) Psalms 34:8

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
     his ears are open to their cries for help.
But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
     he will erase their memory from the earth. (NLT) Psalms 34:15-16

Psalm 37 — blessings of wisdom vs. ruin of the wicked

37:1-9: The wise respond to evil by trusting in the Lord. Trust includes five dimensions: (1) renouncing irritability and envy (37:1-2); (2) delighting in the Lord (37:3-4); (3) submitting to the Lord (37:5-6); (4) practicing patience in hope (37:7); and (5) avoiding anger (37:8-9). (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 37:1

Ps 37:1-40. A composed and uniform trust in God and a constant course of integrity are urged in view of the blessedness of the truly pious, contrasted in various aspects with the final ruin of the wicked. Thus the wisdom and justice of God’s providence are vindicated, and its seeming inequalities, which excite the cavils of the wicked and the distrust of the pious, are explained. David’s personal history abundantly illustrates the Psalm. (JFB) Psalms 37:1

Trust in the Lord and do good.
     Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the Lord,
     and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
     Trust him, and he will help you. (NLT) Psalms 37:3-5

Psalm 73 — pondering the prosperity of the wicked

Introduction to Book Three
Questions about God's justice
Why do the wicked prosper?
God's perspective renews trust

For I envied the proud
     when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. (NLT) Psalms 73:3

Did I keep my heart pure for nothing?
     Did I keep myself innocent for no reason?
I get nothing but trouble all day long;
     every morning brings me pain. (NLT) Psalms 73:13-14

Then I realized that my heart was bitter,
     and I was all torn up inside. (NLT) Psalms 73:21

But as for me, how good it is to be near God!
     I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter,
     and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do. (NLT) Psalms 73:28

Psalm 78 — the warning of history against wickedness

78:1-72: This wisdom psalm exhorts the people to learn wisdom and faithfully pass it on. (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 78:1

78:2: The psalmist recites Israel’s story (78:5-72) in a parable in order to teach wisdom and insight. • Jesus quoted this verse to explain why he taught in parables (Matt 13:35). (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 78:2

O my people, listen to my instructions.
     Open your ears to what I am saying,
for I will speak to you in a parable.
     I will teach you hidden lessons from our past (NLT) Psalms 78:1-2

Psalm 112 — happiness of those who fear God

Ps 112:1-10. This Psalm may be regarded as an exposition of Ps 111:10, presenting the happiness of those who fear and obey God, and contrasting the fate of the ungodly. (JFB) Psalms 112:1

How joyful are those who fear the Lord
     and delight in obeying his commands. (NLT) Psalms 112:1

The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
     They will grind their teeth in anger;
     they will slink away, their hopes thwarted. (NLT) Psalms 112:10

Psalm 127 — success through God’s wisdom

The secret to success

127:1-5: Blessing and protection come from God. Without his presence, there is no success (127:1-2). This is particularly true for children, who are God’s gift (127:3-5). (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 127:1

Unless the Lord builds a house,
     the work of the builders is wasted. (NLT) Psalms 127:1

Psalm 128 — blessing through God’s wisdom

128:1-6: The godly, who fear the Lord, will know true happiness (128:1-2). The Lord is with them (see 127:1-2), building their home life (128:3-4) and blessing them across the generations (128:5-6). (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Psalms 128:1

Ps 128:1-6. The temporal blessings of true piety. The eighth chapter of Zecariah is a virtual commentary on this Psalm. Compare Ps 128:3 with Zec 8:5; and Ps 128:2 with Le 26:16; De 28:33; Zec 8:10; and Ps 128:6 with Zec 8:4. (JFB) Psalms 128:1

How joyful are those who fear the Lord—
     all who follow his ways! (NLT) Psalms 128:1

Psalm 133 — the real harmony of godly wisdom

Visible unity of all God's people

How wonderful and pleasant it is
     when brothers live together in harmony! (NLT) Psalms 133:1

Sadly, this verse and this Psalm have been corrupted by man-made religion to mean uniformness to their unique doctrines, and thus the exclusion of all other Christians. This is diametrically opposed  and completely opposite of the instruction of the Bible.

Proverbs 8 — the advantages of divine wisdom

Pr 8:1-36. Contrasted with sensual allurements are the advantages of divine wisdom, which publicly invites men, offers the best principles of life, and the most valuable benefits resulting from receiving her counsels. Her relation to the divine plans and acts is introduced, as in Pr 3:19, 20, though more fully, to commend her desirableness for men, and the whole is closed by an assurance that those finding her find God’s favor, and those neglecting ruin themselves. (JFB) Proverbs 8:1

8:1–9:18: The first part of Proverbs climaxes when the son encounters two women. Both invite the young man, and the reader with him, into an intimate relationship. The young man and the reader must decide between the woman named Wisdom, personifying the true wisdom of God (8:1–9:6), and the woman named Folly (9:13-18), representing the wisdom of the world (1 Cor 1:18–2:16). Both women’s houses are on “the heights overlooking the city” (9:3, 14), suggesting ancient temples; the choice is thus between the true God and false gods. (New Living Translation (NLT) Study Bible Notes) Proverbs 8:1

Related posts…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *