Psalms 65:3



Psalms 65:3says, “Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, Thou shalt purge them away.

         In some ways the book of Psalms is like studying the New Testament. It is full of doctrinal information regarding the teaching of salvation. When we look at Old Testament Teachings and compare them to New Testament teachings we can easily see that God’s plan of salvation has never changed. It has always been the same through the ages. The only difference is that as time has moved on God has revealed more and more truth about salvation to us.

         When we take what was revealed about salvation to Adam and Eve and compare it to what believers in the Old Testament know and then take it even a step further and compare it to what believers in these New Testament days can know we can see the progression of God’s revelation of truth.

One thing remains the same throughout all this time, it is those who believed God that were counted righteous. Another way of saying it is that they believed in the greatest revelation of God’s promise concerning salvation. For example in the time of Adam and Eve the name of the son of God had not yet been revealed.

But Adam and Eve did have some understanding of the need for a sacrifice for sin and a promise that God would provide that sacrifice. This is what God was illustrating when He killed an animal to clothe them. Genesis 3:21, “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”

We also know that God taught Adam and Eve to make sacrifices on an altar to God. We know this because of the story of Adam and Eve’s children Cain and Abel.

Genesis 4:3-11, “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground. And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother's blood from thy hand.”

Where did Cain and Abel learn that they should make sacrifices unto God? They most likely learned it from their parents. Of course we also see in the story of Cain and Able that God wanted a sacrifice of blood from an animal not a sacrifice of works.

Even before the time of the children of Israel even before the time of Moses, at the beginning of human history right after man fell from grace one of the first things God did was to teach mankind that man needed a sacrifice for his sins.

Of course concerning the sacrificing of animals Cain made the mistake that most people make He did not understand the symbolizing behind sacrificing an animal. He trusted in His own works that is why he gave an offering of the work that he had done in the tilling of the ground.

The problem of man not understanding salvation or the difference between being saved by grace and not being able to be saved by your works is not a new problem or a new false teaching in the world. This problem has been around since the days of Cain. That is one reason God included this story in the Bible to help us clearly see the difference.

         Man in His reasoning will only ever be able to conclude justification by works and works can never undo the sins that we have done because you can’t undo the past. You can’t undo the harm that you caused other people. Only God can through the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

When look at sacrifices, which began in the time of Adam and Eve and continued through the time of Abraham and through the time of Moses and the giving of the law you will see that the need for sacrifices ended when Jesus came because Jesus was the real sacrifice for sin. All the animal sacrifices ever done from the time Adam and Eve until the time of the end of the Old Testament period all of those sacrifices were purely symbolic. The book of Hebrews explains this for us when it says in Hebews 10:1-10, “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

In these verses some of the key phrases are found in verse 4 and verse 10 which says, Hebrews 10:4,For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” Hebrews 10:10,   “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Anyway to reemphasize the point, what we see is that Adam and Eve believed God. They believed the truth about salvation that was revealed to them.

    The same is also true for Abraham. Romans 4:3, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

This verse in Romans 4:3 is a quote from the Old Testament. Genesis 15:4-6 says, “And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

So in a way you could say that God’s truth comes in progressive revelations. Or in other words over time God has revealed more and more truth to man. This does not mean that God’s plan of salvation has changed. It has always been the same that is why in the book of Revelation Jesus is revered to as: Revelation 13:8, “the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world.”

God’s plan had always been that He would send His only begotten Son as the perfect sacrifice for sin. God for reasons that God only knows chose to reveal His truth to man over time and not all at once. We do not know why God did not reveal the name of Jesus Christ to Adam and Even or to Abraham or even to Moses. God has His reasons for what He does, His reasons for revealing truth when He does and the way He does.

Romans 11:33-34, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counselor?

One thing is for certain God has a plan for mankind that involves all of eternity. He has a way in which He has tenderly and with lovingkindness been revealing and unfolding that plan. God is all powerful. God can do whatever He wants to do and He can do it however He wants to. He does not have to tell us the reasons why for everything? It may be that in Heaven God will answer many or all of these kinds of questions.

God is not man. When man says, I, I, I or me, me, me, or I will, I will, I will it does not go well for the world because man is weak and sinful. When God says I, I, I, I will, I will, I will, It is always righteous and those I’s and I wills are accompanied by great power and majesty.

God can even take the pronoun I and put it in a name for Himself and that name becomes such a beautiful and majestic name which teaches the most profound spiritual truths. Just think of the name Jehovah which means I am. Oh when God says I, when God says I will, we just know that great and wonderful things are going to happen things, marvelous works of splendor and righteousness that will last for all eternity. Can man do that when He says I, or I will?

A great example would be for man to say, “I am jealous.” What happens man is jealous. He gets bitter. He treats people with unjust anger and cruelty. He opposes people and tries to tear them down in life. He even commits murder.

What happens when God says I am jealous? Zechariah 1:14-16, “So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.”

When God gets jealous He plans and does great and terrible works in the world. A great example of this is God’s jealousy over the souls of men and how He planed out the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. Another great example is this passage in Zechariah and what God has planned for Israel and Jerusalem in the future. Actually here in Psalms 65, its going to talk some about the terrible works of righteousness which God does.

It is almost comical think of man standing up and declaring I, I, I, I am, I will do this, I am jealous, I am angry, I am man. What is that compared to God when God says I am the LORD in the midst of the earth, the I am who shakes the foundations of the hills when He is wroth. What is man’s I, compared to God when God thunders in the heavens and gives His voice as the sound of many waters riding upon a cherub and bowing the heavens with darkness under His feet. What is man’s I, man’s I will or I am this or I am that compared to God when God says I am, I will, when God cometh from afar burning with His jealousy and His tongue as a devouring fire?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to know something. And asking a God a question is not the same thing as questioning God. But who am I to doubt why when and how God does what He does with His truth and His purposes and His will. Can I exercise my free will the way that God exercises His? NO. I will never have the unlimited majesty and power that God does.

Anyway I am saying all this to make this point, as we look at the book of Psalms we can learn a great many important truths in regards to the doctrine of salvation. Because Psalms is the Old Testament there many details not revealed in the way they are revealed in the New Testament. That is why The New Testament is the best commentary on the Old Testament. If you want to understand the Old Testament you need to understand the New Testament. To some degree the same is also true about the New Testament. The Old Testament is a great commentary on the New Testament. The New Testament is actually filled with quotations from the Old Testament. The New Testament and the Old Testament do not contradict each other but they compliment each other.

As we are going to see Psalms 65:3 is a great example of how The New Testament helps us to understand the Old Testament in greater detail. Psalms 65:3, “Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.”

The first phrase, Iniquities prevail against me” teaches us something very important in regards to the doctrine of salvation. The Apostle Paul talked this in greater detail in the book of Romans. Romans 7:18-25, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

So what exactly is Paul and David saying? They are saying that the free will of man is not stronger than man’s sinful flesh. Iniquities prevail against me”

We live in a world in which we are bombarded my certain ideas and philosophies from Hollywood. One of those ideas has to do with the strength of man or the strength of man’s will. Hollywood makes many, many movies, specifically action movies In which some man overcomes great obstacles simply by the sheer strength of his own will.  How unrealistic this is to what life is actually like.

It is too bad Hollywood does not make movies that teach this truth, Iniquities prevail against me”. It is not a popular truth to teach the weakness of the flesh, or the weakness of man.  Man likes to hear how strong he is, how great the things are that he can accomplish. Mankind does not want to hear how much of  failure he is because of sin, how much he has destroyed his own life or the lives of others because of sin, or how much opportunity he has thrown away because of sin. The message that man is weak and sinful and a failure is never going to be a popular message. It is about as unpopular of a message as a preacher warning of the judgment of God on a nation.

The message of judgment will never be a popular message it will always be seen by most as a negative message because man naturally want to hear good things about the future. However if you know the gospel and the grace of God and also understand the need for justice then the message of judgment you will realize is actually a positive message.

Psalms 65:3, “Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.” But to talk about the weakness of man and mans inability to overcome sin is only half the truth, the more important half is in knowing how Jesus Christ overcame sin and death. Consider the last half of  Psalms 65:3,as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.”

There are many words in the Bible to describe, to explain, to help us to understand and to picture the forgiveness of sins that we have in Jesus. Here in Psalms 65:3 we have the word purge, “Thou shalt purge them away.”

         The word purge is a word that is filled with meaning. In other places in the Old Testament the word is translated: forgiven, pacify, pardon, be merciful, atonement, and cleanse. The word is using many, many times in the Old Testament from being used in reference to the cleansing of lepers to the sacrificing of animals on the altar. There are many wonderful verses in the Bible that describe the forgiveness of sins. This is just one of them.  The idea of a purging is a thorough and complete cleansing.

         Psalms 51:7-8, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.”

         When we think of the forgiveness of sins we often think of words like forgiveness and redemption. But we should also think of the word purge.

         To really understand forgiveness and to appreciate if a person needs to first see how sinful they are. There are really two opportunities for this in life one is at the moment of salvation when the Holy Spirit convicts you of your sins and you turn to Jesus. The other opportunity is as you travel though this life. As you travel through this life especially if you try to follow Jesus and live by the standards of the Bible you are going to find that you will fail and fail and fail and fail. But these failures are opportunities to grow in your understanding of the power of God through the blood of Jesus Christ to purge you of your sins.

         One of the greatest feelings in the world is to feel clean and pure. It is not the way the world portrays it. There is great joy found in holiness, great pleasure. To have the vileness and filth and the guilt of sin completely washed away brings great joy and peace to the mind and to the soul.

         When we think about being purged from our sins what we should think about is the cost of being purged, that is to say the price that Jesus paid when He shed is blood on the cross. It is the blood of Jesus in which we are washed and cleansed. It is the blood of Jesus that purges us from our sins.

         That is why in the meaning of the word purge we find the words atonement and pacify. It is a complete cleansing, a purging. Therefore the wrath of God against sin is satisfied because it was poured out on Jesus when He hung on the cross.

Psalms 51:7-8, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.”

         In closing, I hope that you will examine your selves and search your own consciences. Have you ever been purged from your sins? If not you can turn to Jesus today and overcome the weakness of man through the power of God. You can overcome your own sinfulness and be washed as white as snow. Simply turn to Jesus and believe on His name. 


Description: C:\BibleGemsDoc\Image37.gif 


Copyright; 2017 by Bruce Creech
All Rights Reserved