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In a similar fashion, this is Abram trying to fulfill God’s promises through law. Despite God’s promise, Abram and Sarah decided to fulfill it in their own strength and way against the counsel of God. This is a recapitulation of the fall of Adam and Eve. It also predicates Israel’s rejection of the gospel to seek righteousness through the law (Rom 9:30-33). 

This psalm presents an interesting question: is this representative of a covenant individual or the covenant messiah? This individual is seemingly free from any sin. If read quite literally could this be applied to anyone but the messiah?

Though the symbolism of the “smoking firepot” can be linked to the darkness and smoke that Moses encountered on Mount Sinai (Exo 19:18), it is more likely that it along with the “blazing torch” are revisited in the pillar of cloud and fire (Exo 13:21). 

After establishing how the Lord is the covenant fulfillment for the psalmist, this psalm turns briefly to the assurances of the person seeking after God. It is the one receiving counsel and instruction (v. 7) from God that is not shaken (v. 8). Our “heart” and “flesh” can rejoice for our God is deliverer of both soul and body.

The importance of “and you” here cannot be lost within the context of this epistle. This is the designation of Gentile converts (Eph 1:12; 2:11; 3:1; 4:17). Paul’s discourse here is first and best applied to Gentiles.

Multiple symbolic events occur in the conclusion of this covenant making with Abram that it is fitting to focus on each of them briefly. Adam too was put into a deep sleep in the creation of his wife (Gen 2:21). This event ultimately looks forward to the burial of Jesus Christ and the resurrection of His body which is the church (John 11:25; Eph 1:22-23).

This psalm is different from the rest in that it does not have a portion about the unrighteous. Instead this psalm begins in a strongly covenantal way. The word “preserve” is used early in the OT with reference to covenant obligations (Gen 2:15; 17:9-10; 18:19). Here the request is from man to God to keep us within His covenant. Similar statements can be found even within the New Testament (John 10:29; Jude 1:24).

These two are not distinct descriptions! They are the same for “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt 12:34; Luke 6:45). Vocal ascent requires plenary obedience by fearing the Lord (v. 4). The man who does these things shall not be moved (v. 5). Again Christ taught this in the parable of the two houses (Matt 7:24-27).