Psalms Celebrating Redemption and Salvation by the Lord
“He makes firm the bars of thy gates.”
Hallelu-Jah! For it is good to sing psalms to our God,
For pleasant and comely is praise....3
Healing the broken in heart,
And binding up their griefs;4
Counting the number of the stars,
He calls them all by their names.5
Great is our Lord and of much power;
His understanding is without number.6
Jehovah sustains the meek;
He makes the wicked low, even to the earth....8
Who covers the heavens with thick clouds,
Who prepares rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains,9
Who gives to the beast her bread,
To the sons of the raven which call.10
He delights not in the might of the horse;
He is not well pleased in the thighs of the man....13
For He makes firm the bars of thy gates;
He blesses thy sons in thy midst,14
Making thy border peace;
With the fat of the wheat He satisfies thee.15
Sending out His saying upon earth,
His Word runs, even in haste,16
Giving snow as wool;
He scatters hoarfrost as ashes,17
Casting forth His ice as morsels;
Before His cold, who can stand?18
He sends out His Word, and melts them;
He causes His wind to blow; the waters stream;19
Telling His Word to Jacob,
His statutes and His judgments to Israel....20
|verses||topic||Summary of the Spiritual Sense|
|3-4||17||who reforms by knowledges of truth,|
|5||17||who alone is able to do this,|
|6, 8, 9||11||who teaches truths to those who are in ignorance.|
|10-11||11||One’s own intelligence is nothing, but that which is from the Lord is something.|
|13-15||16||The church will worship the Lord who protects her, and teaches her the Word.|
|16-18||11||The Lord disperses ignorance by means of the Word.|
|19-20||11||All this He does for His church.|
He makes firm the bars of thy gates (v. 13).
AC 2851:2. As regards the signification of a “gate,” there are in general two gates with every man. The one opens toward hell, and is opened to the evils and falsities from it; in this gate are infernal genii and spirits. The other gate opens toward heaven, and is opened to good and the truths from it; in this gate are angels. There is thus a gate which leads to hell, and a gate which leads to heaven. The gate of hell is opened to those who are in evil and falsity, and only through chinks round about above does anything of the light from heaven enter, by means of which they are able to think and reason. But the gate of heaven is opened to those who are in good and the truth from it.
AC 2851:3. For there are two ways which lead into man’s rational mind—a higher or internal one, through which good and truth from the Lord enter, and a lower or external one, through which evil and falsity come up from hell. The rational mind itself is in the middle, and to it these ways tend. That mind, from the goods and truths which are in it, is compared in the Word to a city, and is called a “city.” And because it is compared to a city and is called a “city,” gates are attributed to it, and it is often described as being besieged and stormed by enemies, that is, by evil genii and spirits; and as being defended by angels from the Lord, that is by the Lord....
AC 2851:4. When man is wholly natural, or not regenerate, evils and falsities occupy the gate; or what is the same, evil genii and spirits flow into it with lusts of evil and persuasions of falsity.... But when man becomes spiritual, or is being regenerated, then the evils and falsities, or what is the same, the evil genii and spirits, are driven away from the gate, or from the mind. Then goods and truths, or charity and faith, take their place.... This takes place in particular with every man when he is being regenerated; and in like manner in the other life with those who come into the Lord’s kingdom; and it also takes place in the general body, or in the church, which is composed of many.
Questions and Comments
- This psalm begins, “It is good to sing psalms to our God.” Why is it good to read, study, recite and sing the psalms?
- “Healing the broken-hearted and binding up their griefs” signifies the Lord reforming us by knowledges of truth. How does reformation heal our griefs?
- Have you ever felt as though your mind was being besieged by evil spirits? What can we do at such a time?
- This psalm speaks of the circle of the seasons, describing how the Lord disperses ignorance by means of the Word. What do you think is the correspondence of winter turning to spring?
- What is one of your favorite psalms?