Chapter 19: Psalms
Ps:1:1: Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Ps:1:2: But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Ps:1:3: And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Ps:1:4: The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
We have seen that the "law of the LORD" was not a good thing on the whole. How would meditating on it cause one to "prosper"?
Let's look at a scene between two businessmen: Joe and Ted, and see how this might have a practical application:
Joe: "C'mon, Ted, it's time for our weekly financial meeting."
Ted: "Sorry, Joe, you'll have to make my excuses: I'm too busy meditating on the law of the Lord."
Joe: "Okay, whatever works for you, I guess. What part of the Lord's law are you meditating on today?"
Ted: "I'm on the part that says, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." (Ex. 22:18)
Joe: "Whatever. But the big boss is getting a little concerned about you. He told me he wants to take you to lunch this afternoon and talk about it."
Ted: "Well, I don't know. Over lunch I was planning on meditating on the part of the law that says a woman's hand should be cut off if she touches the genitals of a man who is attacking her husband." (Deut. 25:11-12)
Joe: "I gotta be honest with you, Ted. You're gonna get fired over this. Why do you keep wasting your time with this crap?"
Ted: "Don't worry about me; Psalms says that the man who meditates on the law of the Lord shall prosper."
A month later finds a homeless Ted digging through trashcans. He has lost his job, his wife has left him, and he is suffering from pneumonia. A year later, during a blizzard, Ted dies in his own home: a cardboard box.
The plain truth is: meditating on such "laws" will get you exactly nowhere in life. However, dealing honestly and justly with others, and developing your sense of empathy will usually lead to a happier more fulfilling life. Parts of the "law" do, in fact, touch upon such matters. But the motivation is wrong: fear of a terrible God rather than a sense of compassion.
Ps:2:1: Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
Ps:2:2: The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
Ps:2:3: Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
Ps:2:4: He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
Ps:2:5: Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
Ps:2:6: Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
Ps:2:7: I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
Ps:2:8: Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
Ps:2:9: Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.
Ps:2:10: Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.
Ps:2:11: Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
This psalm is ascribed to king David. In it, he referred to himself as God's son and as his anointed (remember when Saul anointed David as king in 1 Sam. 16:13?) In Greek, the word for anointed is Christ. So, David was calling himself Christ: the son of God. Elsewhere in the Bible we are told that there is only one son of God: Jesus.
Jn:3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
But one cannot believe "in the name of the only begotten Son of God" unless one throws out the above psalm which claims that David was another begotten "Son of God".
In the above psalm, David looked forward to God helping him to "dash to pieces" anyone who rebelled against his rule. This seemed especially directed towards those nations that the Israelites had overpowered and made vassals.
David cautioned such freedom fighters to serve the Israelite's god "with fear". Even if they should find occasion to rejoice, it should be done with "trembling." Obviously David wanted people to fear him, and the best way to do that was to invent a wrathful, violent god who had selected David to be king, and who helped David dash rebels to pieces.
Ps:3:7: Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
How nice to worship a god who breaks people's teeth!
So, are the "ungodly" those people who don't break other people's teeth? If so, I hope everyone I meet is "ungodly"!
Ps:5:6: Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
This is pretty ironic if people believe that David wrote it! David was certainly a bloody and deceitful man. Even his own god said so. When David wanted to build his god a house, he was told that his son Solomon would have to do it because David was too bloody:
1Chron:22:7: And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God:
1Chron:22:8: But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.
The Bible tells us that David was also a deceitful man. It was only through deceit that David managed to live in Philistine territory, off of Philistine hospitality, while massacring entire Philistine villages (1 Sam. 27:5-12).
Ps:5:10: Destroy thou them, O God; let them fall by their own counsels; cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions; for they have rebelled against thee.
Here, the writer had the effrontery to tell God what to do. In fact, most of this book of Psalms consists of the writers telling God what to do -- as if God needed instruction, and mere mortals knew better than the supreme being what should be done!
Ps:6:5: For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?
Here, the writer clearly showed that he did not believe in an afterlife. Christians would later invent the idea that "remembrance" of God was, in fact, the chief concern of the dead: either in a heaven where they would constantly sing his praises, or in a hell where they would eternally regret their separation from him. But such notions were obviously foreign to the writers of the "Old Testament".
Ps:6:6: I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
I must give credit where credit is due. There are some good poetic turns of phrase in parts of this book, such as the above verse.
Ps:7:8: The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
This sounds reasonable: a person should be judged according to their deeds. However, the writers of the "New Testament" would later repudiate such notions. They would claim that people back in David's time were not judged according to their righteousness, but rather on whether they followed the Law. They would go on to claim that people would be judged on their beliefs, not on their actions:
Rom:2:11: For there is no respect of persons with God.
Rom:2:12: For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
Rom:2:13: (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
Jn:3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Jn:3:17: For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Jn:3:18: He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
So, David's praying for God to judge him according to his righteousness must've been an exercise in futility. Other than historical interest, of what use, then, is this Psalm to us today? Since its underlying assumptions are repudiated elsewhere in the Bible, doesn't its inclusion in the Bible tend to lead the seeker of truth astray?
Ps:8:3: When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
Ps:8:4: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Ps:8:5: For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Ps:8:6: Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
Ps:8:7: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
Ps:8:8: The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
Here, the writer claims dominion for humans (specifically "men") over all other animals. How convenient! This gives humans carte blanche in the realm of its treatment of other animals and the environment. According to this and other verses in the Bible, there can be no moral question regarding strip mining, leg-hold traps, veal crates, animal tests for cosmetics, fur coats, etc. God gave humans "dominion" over the earth and all the animals, so we can do as we please.
In sharp contrast to this, true ethics are based on empathy. Here, the suffering of others (human and non-human) matters a great deal, and all of the above cruelties perpetrated by Christians on their fellow creatures are immoral. This points out some of the practical consequences of believing or not believing that the Bible is true.
Ps:9:16: The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.
If the above statement is true, then if we find that there are wicked people who have prospered, then we know that there is no LORD. Consult any history book, or your local newspaper.
Ps:10:4: The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
Ps:10:5: His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
Ps:10:6: He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.
Ps:10:7: His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity.
Ps:10:8: He sitteth in the lurking places of the villages: in the secret places doth he murder the innocent: his eyes are privily set against the poor.
According to the above verses, it is the "wicked" who engage in deceit, and who murder the innocent. This is stating the obvious. But if you've been reading the Bible up to this point, you know that God's favorite people were deceitful and engaged in the murder of the innocent on an incredible scale. One has but to think of Jacob (aka Israel), practicing deceit on his blind old father Isaac (Gen. 27). Or of Moses ordering the murder of countless children (Num. 31:14-18). According to this Psalm, these men were wicked, and I agree with that conclusion one-hundred percent.
Ps:11:5: The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.
If the above is true, then the LORD must have hated King David. By his actions, David proved himself a "lover of violence":
2Sam:12:29: And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it.
2Sam:12:30: And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.
2Sam:12:31: And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.
Ps:14:1: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
It is easy to call someone a "fool" when they disagree with your beliefs. It's much more difficult to demonstrate why your own beliefs are not foolish. Nowhere in the Bible is an argument put forth justifying the belief in God. I would say that believing in something without any good reason is foolish. Suspending one's belief until the facts are carefully weighed is the mark of a wise individual, not a fool. Nowhere in the Bible are the facts weighed, instead, the writers stoop to simply hurling insults at those who would use their hearts and minds to distinguish truth from lies. Here, the author of this Psalm accused all atheists of having done "abominable works"! Yet, when we read the Bible, it is the God-fearing "chosen people" who have done the abominable works. These "abominable works" included: sacrificing their own children, sawing people asunder, murdering entire villages, and raping young girls (Ps. 106:37; Judges 11; 2 Sam 12:31; 1 Sam. 27:9-11; Num. 31:14-18). Based on the Bible's own testimony, one could hardly claim that a belief in God keeps one from committing abominable acts!
Ps:14:2: The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
Ps:14:3: They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
How would the writer of these verses have known if everyone on earth refrained from "doing good"? Did he personally know every living person on earth, and all of their actions?
The author of these verses could only have been aware of all of the actions of one person: himself. This then is really a confession of his own "filthiness" and lack of good works. Would it be wise to turn to such an author for moral instruction?
Ps:15:1: LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
Ps:15:2: He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
Ps:15:3: He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
Ps:15:4: In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
This is one of those rare instances in the Bible where moral actions are praised. However, the last sentence claims that God approves of those who swear oaths. Jesus reputedly contradicted this statement:'
Mt:5:34: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:
Mt:5:35: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.
Mt:5:36: Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
Mt:5:37: But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus is represented as having said that swearing oaths should not be done because it "cometh of evil". But in Psalms, a person who swears an oath is honored with an abode in the Lord's tabernacle. Which part of the bible do you believe? "Both" is not a valid answer as it would require accepting two contradictory statements. "Neither," however is the most logical answer.
Ps:16:10: For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
A common Christian belief is that going to hell is a one-way ride: once there, always there. It's an eternal lease that can't be broken.
But according to the above verse, that belief about hell is in error. The psalmist declared that God would not leave his soul in hell.
Why would the psalmist assume that his soul would be going to hell? Another common Christian belief holds that only the wicked go to hell. If the psalmist were wicked, why would his soul ever get out of hell?
Some Christians contend that the psalmist was not writing about himself at all here, but rather was making a prophecy about Jesus. (Acts 2:27 does represent Peter as applying this verse to Jesus.) According to this theory, Jesus would go to hell after he died, but God wouldn't leave his soul in hell, but would resurrect him after 3 days. In accordance with that, the Catholic Apostle's Creed states: "Jesus… descended into hell". We also read:
Eph:4:9: (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
1Pt:3:18: For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
1Pt:3:19: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
1Pt:3:20: Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
Why would Jesus -- a sinless individual -- go to hell after death? Was it to preach to the other souls in hell (the "spirits in prison" referred to in First Peter)? But why would Jesus waste his time preaching to the eternally damned souls in hell? If there was no escape from hell -- no hope of ever improving one's lot or lessoning one's eternal suffering -- what would there be to preach about? What point would such preaching serve?
The fact is, mainstream Christianity does not officially hold these common beliefs about hell. The official belief is that hell is a common staging area for both the good and the wicked. In other words -- and this may come as a shock to many Christians -- the official mainstream Christian belief is that everyone is going straight to hell when they die! When Jesus died -- the official legend continues -- he divided hell into two parts, calling one "paradise" and the other "Gehenna". It is only after the "final judgment" and the "resurrection" that those in the "paradise" part of hell will journey to heaven, while the others will be consigned to eternal damnation in hell.
So, only by consigning all of humankind to hell, has the church been able to resolve the riddle of this verse!
This means that whenever a minister tells a bereaved family member, "your loved one is in heaven with the angels," that minister is stating something that he or she does not believe. In other words the minister is telling a deliberate (albeit comforting) lie.
But even resorting to this ruse does not resolve all of the logical flaws. The Bible does not state that Jesus was preaching to the souls of good men whom he was releasing from their "prison" and ushering into the newly opened "paradise wing" of hell. It states that he was preaching to the disobedient spirits who had lived prior to Noah's flood. These then were the souls of those whom God had sought to "wipe out" in the flood. Presumably he sought to wipe them out because he was so disgusted with them that he never wanted to look at them or deal with them again. Why then would Jesus devote his limited time in hell to preaching to them? It makes no sense.
But, was the psalmist really writing about Jesus when he referred to "my soul"? For hundreds of years, the Jews would have read this Psalm and assumed that the author was referring to no one but himself with the words "my soul". If the author was not referring to himself, the Psalm would simply have led all of these people astray for all of that time.
Ps:18:9: He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.
Ps:18:10: And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.
If God is omnipresent, how could he "come down" out of heaven? Why would the Supreme Being require the assistance of a cherub in order to fly?
Elsewhere in the Bible we are told that no man has seen God at any time (John 1:18). Therefore, the psalmist must've made this up.
Ps:18:20: The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.
Earlier in the book of Psalms, we were told that no one was clean or righteous (Ps. 14:3). But here the psalmist claimed that he was clean and righteous. How can this be?
Ps:18:34: He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.
Ps:18:37: I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.
Ps:18:38: I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.
Ps:18:39: For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.
Ps:18:40: Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.
Ps:18:41: They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.
Ps:18:42: Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.
Ps:18:43: Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.
Ps:18:44: As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.
Ps:18:45: The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.
Ps:18:46: The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.
Ps:18:47: It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.
Obviously this is a song of praise to a god of war. King David is represented as having composed this. If you've been reading the Bible up to this point you are all too aware of the types of war crimes David was guilty of. His attitude towards others is easily seen from the verses quoted above. He delighted in beating people to dust and obliterating those nations who did not willingly submit to his imperialism. It is because he believed that this god helped him in his warring ways, that he sang this god's praises. That is the bulk of what this "holy book" of Psalms is all about.
Elsewhere in the Bible, we are told that Jesus -- the one who "declared God" to us -- required us to love our enemies and to do good to those who hate us. Yet here, the "God who cannot change" is represented as having aided and abetted David in destroying those who hated him! (John 1:18; Mt. 5:44; James 1:17) How can this be?
Ps:19:7: The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
Ps:19:8: The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
Ps:19:9: The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
In what sense could the Law be called "perfect"? The wanton slaughter of animals for religious sacrifice? The stoning to death of one's own children for the crime of stubbornness? The trials by ordeal? The selling of one's daughters? The stoning to death of a rape victim? How could any sane individual with an ounce of moral sense agree that such things were "perfect"? (Deut 21:18; Num. 5:12-28; Deut. 22:23-24)
Ps:19:13: Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
Here, the psalmist asked God to interfere with his freewill by keeping him from committing "presumptuous sins". If God is willing to do this, then there would have been no need for "original sin" to have ever occurred. Religionists are quick to point out that evil exists in the world solely due to God's giving humankind freewill. But if God can interfere with freewill, then he could have stopped the "original sin" of Adam and Eve, and thus saved his son the trouble of having to be crucified.
One would assume that saving his son from such torment would have been a great incentive for God to interfere with freewill -- certainly a greater incentive than the desire to grant the psalmist's prayer. Since God did not interfere with freewill to save his son, the psalmist's prayer would seem not only futile and naïve, but presumptuous. Why, then is it included in the Bible? Is it just to serve as a bad example?
Ps:22:16: For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.
Ps:22:17: I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.
Ps:22:18: They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Obviously the writers of the "Gospels" were familiar with this Psalm, and to make it look like a prophecy concerning Jesus, they used it as a source of some of the incidents in their fabricated biographies. Yet Christians will read these verses and conclude that the Gospels must be true since they show Jesus fulfilling these "prophecies"!
Not only does the Christian take on this involve convoluted logic, it also carefully ignores the verses which immediately follow in this very same Psalm:
Ps:22:19: But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.
Ps:22:20: Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.
Ps:22:21: Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
Of course, God did not help Jesus when they pierced his hands and feet and cast lots for his garments. That is why Jesus instead quoted from another Psalm and cried: "My God, my god, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mt. 27:46)
Nor was Jesus' soul ever threatened with a sword (Jesus claimed that a sword could not harm the soul in any event. Mt. 10:28)
Nor did Jesus have a "darling" who was threatened by the power of a dog.
Nor was Jesus ever in a lion's mouth.
Nor was Jesus ever near any horns of unicorns, since such mythical beasts simply do not exist!
Despite all of these annoying facts, Christians will continue to point to this Psalm and claim that it proves something. Well, I guess it does prove something.
Ps:34:17: The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.
Ps:34:22: The LORD redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.
According to the Bible, Jesus was the most righteous servant of God who ever lived. If the above verses are true, then God would have heard his cry and delivered him. According to the "Gospels", however, Jesus' cry went unheard, and God left him desolate. So, the above verses cannot be true if the Gospel stories are true, and vice versa.
Ps:37:11: But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
The meek have never "inherited the earth".
Ps:37:25: I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.
The author of this verse must've lived a very sheltered life in order to make such a statement! Jesus was forsaken (according to Jesus) (Mt. 27:46). Was he not righteous? David resorted to begging for bread on more than one occasion (1 Sam. 21:1-3; 25:4-8). Some of Paul's epistles consist mostly of begging, and he complained of being in necessity (2 Cor. 12:10). Stephen, and the other Christians whom Paul had stoned to death (back when he was still "Saul") certainly must've felt as forsaken as Jesus had. The ones who were later tossed to the lions in the Roman arenas must've also felt forsaken. Today, one cannot listen to any "minister of the Gospel" for any length of time without hearing them resort to begging. To listen to them preach to their dupes, one would get the picture that they are always on the verge of bankruptcy. According to the verse above, they all must've had unrighteous fathers.
The verse also is damaging in that it implies that no beggar could be righteous. It would follow that if some people are in such dire straits that they need to beg, then this is what they deserve for being unrighteous, and we should not help them.
Yet, Jesus is represented as having said that we should feed his hungry "brethren" (Mt. 25:34-40). According to the above verse, then, Jesus' brethren must be unrighteous. But, in contradiction to that thought, Paul, in a letter addressed to his "brethren" (1 Cor. 1:10), stated:
1Cor:6:9: Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?
Yet it is the hope of Christians that Christ's brethren will, in fact, inherit the kingdom of God, so they must not be unrighteous. But if they are not unrighteous, then they would never need to beg for their bread (according to the Psalm), so how can Jesus represent them as being hungry and in need of a handout? It is a three-way contradiction.
Ps:40:6: Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.
It should be obvious to anyone who has read the Bible up to this point, that if the above verse is true, then most of the Biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, as well as portions of most of the other "Old Testament" books are lies. To show just a few examples:
Ex:20:22: And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.
Ex:20:23: Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold.
Ex:20:24: An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.
Ex:29:16: And thou shalt slay the ram, and thou shalt take his blood, and sprinkle it round about upon the altar.
Ex:29:17: And thou shalt cut the ram in pieces, and wash the inwards of him, and his legs, and put them unto his pieces, and unto his head.
Ex:29:18: And thou shalt burn the whole ram upon the altar: it is a burnt offering unto the LORD: it is a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD.
Ex:29:42: This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.
Lev:4:24: And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it is a sin offering.
Lev:23:18: And ye shall offer with the bread seven lambs without blemish of the first year, and one young bullock, and two rams: they shall be for a burnt offering unto the LORD, with their meat offering, and their drink offerings, even an offering made by fire, of sweet savour unto the LORD.
Lev:23:19: Then ye shall sacrifice one kid of the goats for a sin offering, and two lambs of the first year for a sacrifice of peace offerings.
Num:6:10: And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:
Num:6:11: And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day.
Num:15:25: And the priest shall make an atonement for all the congregation of the children of Israel, and it shall be forgiven them; for it is ignorance: and they shall bring their offering, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD, and their sin offering before the LORD, for their ignorance:
Num:28:1: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num:28:2: Command the children of Israel, and say unto them, My offering, and my bread for my sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me, shall ye observe to offer unto me in their due season.
Num:28:3: And thou shalt say unto them, This is the offering made by fire which ye shall offer unto the LORD; two lambs of the first year without spot day by day, for a continual burnt offering.
Num:28:4: The one lamb shalt thou offer in the morning, and the other lamb shalt thou offer at even;
Num:28:5: And a tenth part of an ephah of flour for a meat offering, mingled with the fourth part of an hin of beaten oil.
Num:28:6: It is a continual burnt offering, which was ordained in mount Sinai for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the LORD.
Deut:12:27: And thou shalt offer thy burnt offerings, the flesh and the blood, upon the altar of the LORD thy God: and the blood of thy sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of the LORD thy God, and thou shalt eat the flesh.
If God did not require burnt offerings (according to Psalm 40:6), then the verses quoted above are nothing but a pack of lies. If the above verses are a pack of lies, it makes one suspicious of the rest of the contents of the books these quotes were taken from. It calls into question the very basis of Judaism and Christianity.
Ps:51:4: Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest.
As we have elsewhere stated, it would be impossible to sin against God, since none of our actions could possibly hurt the supreme being. In a few verses we shall see why the psalmist's statement: "against thee, thee only have I sinned" could not be true.
The reason the psalmist gives for having sinned is interesting: "that thou mightest be justified" in speaking and rendering clear judgments. The implication is that if the psalmist had not sinned, God would still call him a sinner and judge him accordingly (since he belonged to the sinful species known as human) but God would then be wrong. So, the psalmist sinned in order that God might be truthful and just! In other words, the motivation for his sinning was his belief in a true and just God! This is an example of how a belief in such a god can cause people to act immorally.
Ps:51:5: Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
So, even if he hadn't committed a sin, the psalmist thought himself sinful for having been born. That's a very negative viewpoint, not to mention how denigrating it is to mothers. Let's set the record straight: there is nothing sinful about conceiving children. There is nothing sinful about being born. These activities are the very antithesis of sinful behavior.
Ps:51:14: Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation: and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness.
A few verses ago the psalmist claimed that he had sinned "only" against God. But here he asks God to deliver him from bloodguilt. Guilt follows after the commission of a sin. If the psalmist had spilled blood (and we assume that it was not God's blood) then he clearly had not sinned "only" against God, as he claimed. Note that he did not ask God to help him control his temper and so keep him from shedding blood in the first place. No: he just asked God to keep him from feeling guilty about it afterwards! Another fine moral example?
Then comes the familiar bargain: 'if you'll keep me from feeling guilty for being a murderer, then I'll tell others how righteous you are.' As if the supreme being needed the help of a public-relations man! Presumably, the ones he intended to inform of God's righteousness were not relatives of the ones whose blood he shed.
Ps:51:16: For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering.
Ps:51:17: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Once again the psalmist claimed that god doesn't want burnt sacrifices. (See my comments on Ps. 40:6, above as to how this contradicts most of the Bible.)
Instead of the burnt offerings which much of the "Old Testament" enjoins, the psalmist here claimed that God wants instead the "sacrifice" of a "broken spirit" and a "broken and contrite heart"! I have always been of the opinion that breaking someone's spirit is not a good thing. And much of our poetry, song, and literature detail the woes inherent in a broken heart. Yet, according to the Bible, this is how God desires us to be: broken!
The dictionary defines "contrite" as: " Feeling regret and sorrow for one's sins or offenses; penitent." If God wants us to have a "contrite heart" then he wants us to go around feeling regret and sorrow for our sins. If we are to live in reality (rather than reacting to what we only imagine) this means that we must commit sins in order to feel regret and sorrow over them. So, it follows from this verse that God wants us to sin in order to supply him with the type of "sacrifice" he desires!
Ps:53:1: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.
Feeling a sense of déjà vu here? Maybe that's because this, and the next few verses are a virtual copy of the first verses in Psalm 14. Is it really so "foolish" to disbelieve in a god who forgets what he has already included in his book, and ends up repeating himself?