"Theology" of the Psalter

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Puritan Board Freshman
Good evening:

Has anyone worked through the Psalter to the point of coming up with an short, dense statement of its theology - "in the nut-shell"?

I have been working through the books of the Psalter for 15 years now and would be interested in the communities insight. Thanks in advance.

Grace and peace
Good evening:

Has anyone worked through the Psalter to the point of coming up with an short, dense statement of its theology - "in the nut-shell"?

I have been working through the books of the Psalter for 15 years now and would be interested in the communities insight. Thanks in advance.

Grace and peace

Although I am not sure I can give you as concise a summary as you request, I would highly recommend Geerhardus Vos' "Eschatology of the Psalter" as the finest and most stimulating theological reflection on the Psalms I have read. It is an article and may be found as an appedix to "The Pauline Eschatology".
Here is an excerpt from a work I spent much time on just after Seminary, which may be of some interest.

D. The current work endeavours to look at the whole Psalter from beginning to end as a composition which is theologically uniform throughout. It is understood that there is a development within the Psalter, but this is regarded as organic; so that the Psalter presents a unified message which is brought to maturity through a prophetico-theological process. This message binds together the five books of psalms and smaller groupings within those five books, and has had a significant effect in the final arrangement of the Psalter. Evidence for this unity is examined in chapter 2, while an explication of it is provided in chapters 3 and following.

The word message is important as a definition. It bespeaks a single entity, and yet leaves room for a variety of ideas as incorporating that message. This theological message is, as would be expected, grounded in the fundamental fact that the worshipping community of Israel were a people in covenant with Yahweh. The covenant of law, or Mosaic covenant, overshadows the various themes comprising the religious experience of the psalmists of Israel. The Psalms are the response of a covenanted people who found themselves in a multitude of various situations — sometimes favourable, at other times adverse — and who, consequently, expressed their thoughts and desires in terms of their covenantal privileges and responsibilities.

Furthermore, to carry on the thought of F. Delitzch, the community of Israel had come to base their eschatological hope and desires upon the developed covenant of the kingdom, the Davidic covenant. Consequently, there is a uniting of the Mosaic and Davidic covenants within the Psalter. David is seen as the one par excellence who delights in the law, and whose experiences of blessing (as well as of temporary chastisement) are an example to all faithful covenanters. Meanwhile, his experiences were as much shaped by the covenant Yahweh had made with him and with his house after him; so that the expectation of covenantal blessing, based upon the Mosaic provisions, was strengthened by this further consideration of an everlasting seed and throne. David’s sufferings and glories are not merely occasioned by his endeavour to be faithful to the stipulations of Israel’s covenant, but are also the self-conscious manifestation of his divine calling as king over Zion.

It is important to stress that because the Mosaic and Davidic covenants meet in the one person, they cannot be considered as two distinct arrangements in the Psalter. The Davidic economy is the historic fulfilment of the Mosaic. Joseph Alexander makes a pertinent point in this regard:

The Mosaic system reached its culminating point and full development in the reign of David, when the land of promise was in full possession, the provisions of the law for the first time fully carried out, and a permanent sanctuary secured, and, we may even say, prospectively erected.

In David’s faith and experience, the Mosaic and Davidic provisions are intertwined so as to give the appearance of a single thread, one which binds together all of the psalms. There can be no sense in which the Mosaic covenant rivals the Davidic. The Davidic covenant is a historico-theological development of the Mosaic germ. As far as the worshipping community of Israel was concerned, the Davidic kingship brought with it a historical fulfilment of the blessings promised in the Deuteronomic code. Henceforth, without this institution, the Deuteronomic hope would be left unfulfilled.

Specifically, it shall be argued that the five-fold Psalter explains the dynamics of the Davidic covenant as the five-fold Pentateuch does for the Mosaic economy. Book 1 serves as a prologue which provides the historical perspective necessary for understanding the rest of the structure. As Abraham was chosen from the mass of rebellious mankind, so also was David, Ps. 2. It explains the election of David (3-18) as a servant of Yahweh (19); as well as the establishment of his house (20-30) under the sovereignty of Yahweh (31-41). Thereby, it defines the subservience of the kingdom to God; Yahweh is the absolute king who has ratified the covenant.

In book 2, a different kind of history continues; one which stresses not so much the covenant relation of the kingdom to God, but the power of Yahweh as God to fulfil the promises made in the Davidic covenant. This may account for the predominate use of Elohim instead of Yahweh. As with Exodus, this book opens with oppression and complaint, together with the need for redemption (42-44). The king is presented at this point as the deliverer to whom the people are to submit themselves (45). Thence, the kingship of God is pronounced (46-48), with the promulgation of the law (49, 50); the Davidic “prayers” which close the book parallel the construction of the tabernacle in the building up of the walls of Jerusalem (51-72). This is with the sin of David in the background (51:1), as the idolatry of Israel overshadowed the erecting of the tabernacle. Finally, as the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle, so the glory of the Lord is beseeched to descend upon the whole earth as a result of the establishment of his righteous kingdom in the dynasty of David (72:20). Thus book 2 stresses that God blesses his people through the covenantal representation of David. The guarantee of deliverance, the perpetuity of the law, and the safety of the sanctuary depend upon Israel being obedient to the leadership which God has ordained.

The songs of the levitical singers, Asaph and the sons of Korah, predominate book 3, with a central concern for the holiness of the sanctuary. The book begins (73) with one who has washed his hands in preparation to go into the sanctuary, i.e., to present offerings; which offerings consume the first chapters of Leviticus. It then proceeds to bewail the desecration of the sanctuary (74), the consecration of which is the concern of Leviticus’ subsequent section. There is the issue of just leadership (75) with a testimony against Israel’s unfaithfulness and the choosing out of David to lead the people (78). The note of just leadership brings the Asaph collection to a close (82) with a plea that God would put down the confederated uprising of the surrounding peoples against the nation (83). Pss. 81-83 reflect the blessing/curse formula of Lev. 26, and employ language reminiscent of it. Meanwhile the Korahite Pss (84-88), centred by the sole Davidic psalm (86) – an intercessory prayer which exalts the grace of God – continue to focus on the fortunes of the sanctuary with a variation of individual and communal praise and lament. It is worthwhile also noting the closing similarity. Leviticus ends with an emphasis on making vows and sanctifying houses. Ps. 89 concludes Book 3 with the oath God swore to David concerning his house. Throughout book 3, then, the emphasis is upon how Yahweh’s people are to live in holy dedication to the stipulations of the Davidic covenant. By so doing they will confirm their status as a holy nation, and enjoy the privileges which are connected with that status.

The context of Book 4 is rbdmb, and it begins and ends with Moses, as well as has repeated allusions to the wilderness with its provisions, temptations and wanderings. The tension between promise and rest is prominent (particularly Ps. 95), as it is with Numbers; and like the fourth book of the Pentateuch, the fourth book of Psalms reiterates the continuing validity of the promise as the people recommence moving towards the promised land. This comes to a fitting climax in the 106th Psalm where the sins and punishments of the wilderness wanderings are viewed in contrast to the Lord’s unfailing covenant mercies. As Numbers concludes with an emphasis upon the perpetual inheritance of the promised land; so does the fourth book of the Psalter conclude with the Lord’s continued regard to his inheritance. Overall, the promise/fulfilment motif stresses that Yahweh, as Lord of the covenant, is just in cursing the transgressors of his covenant, and merciful in his continued blessing of those who sincerely endeavour to be faithful to his covenant.

Book 5 correspondingly centres upon the perpetuation of covenantal blessings. This is brought out by the repetitive use of Mlwel, particularly in the 136th. The blessings of the Davidic covenant are to continue from generation to generation. It opens with “redemptive gathering” (107), contains a rehearsal of covenant dealings with David as king of the nation/s (108-118), is overborne by a publication of the law of the kingdom (119), represents the ongoing requirement for covenant faithfulness in the royal possession of the land (120-134), and foresees the conquering of the nations by a covenantally faithful people (135-137) under the divine blessing of David (138-145). The final anthem of praise serves as a fitting doxology to the book, as if to say: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel who has blessed us with all covenantal blessings in David.”

In this covenantal schema, it is obvious that the torah theme, enlarged upon by recent scholars, can be easily incorporated, as this formed the core element of the Mosaic covenant. It only needs to be shown that torah is not a distinct organisational principle in the composing of the Psalter. Rather, torah is enlarged in the experience of David, and includes – besides the ancient word of instruction to the nation – the word which Yahweh had spoken unto David. The two are almost inseparable after the torah of Psalm 1 has been coupled with the decree of Psalm 2.

The movement from orientation through disorientation to reorientation, likewise, requires no untenable hypotheses in order to fit the developed covenant framework. The original orientation is in terms of covenantal obedience, Ps. 1; but to this should be added the dominion agenda of Ps. 2. Disorientation is due to the prosperity of the wicked, contrary to covenantal expectation, Ps. 73; but this is seen as existing in tension with the exalted promises to the son of David in Ps. 72. Disappointment and reorientation is the result of a commitment to praise Yahweh as the universal king who is faithful to his covenant people, Pss. 146-150; but again, this is a possibility only because of the final universal victory which is envisaged for David and his seed in the last Davidic corpus, Pss. 138-145.

Meanwhile, Gerald Wilson’s original thesis which posited a movement from human to Divine kingship will require modification. When the fourth book enunciates the kingship of Yahweh it must do so in the recognition that his rule is the foundation of the Davidic reign. Rather than reduce the positive elements of human kingship to exemplary features, it will be necessary to attribute to them their full covenantal aspect as a divine provision for the blessedness of Yahweh’s people.

Similarly, the element of democratisation cannot be regarded as an essential movement within books four and five. If the people do appropriate royal privileges to themselves, it cannot be at the expense of the royal figure. The people of the fifth book are undoubtedly accorded a commission which belongs to the king in the first two books; but at no point are the people portrayed as executing this commission independently of David. They are undoubtedly blessed in a fuller way, but they are blessed in him, in accord with the provisions of the Davidic covenant. The exposition of books four and five shall give particular attention to substantiating these points.
Matthew: What is the name (and author) of that work you quoted from? I found it very interesting. Is it still in print?
Matthew: What is the name (and author) of that work you quoted from? I found it very interesting. Is it still in print?

Richard, the title is "The Theological Composition of the Psalter." The author is Matthew Winzer. Regrettably the work was not completed due to ministerial commitments, but it continues to be a subject of continued study.
Richard, the title is "The Theological Composition of the Psalter." The author is Matthew Winzer. Regrettably the work was not completed due to ministerial commitments, but it continues to be a subject of continued study.

Hey, he's got the same name as you! What a coincidence...;)
Luther said the Psalms could be called "a little Bible."

:amen: E.S. McKitrick noted that as well in his essay on "Christ in the Psalms," found in The Psalms in Worship, ed. J. McNaugher.


By Pastor E. S. McKitrick, D.D., Pasadena, CA

Martin Luther used to call the Book of Psalms "a little Bible." Bishop Horne describes it as "an epitome of the Bible." These terms are fully justified in the fact that in the Psalter we find concentrated all the truths which are elsewhere elaborated and enforced in all the divine Word. It thus possesses an internal completeness not found in any other single Book in the inspired volume. Having, evidently, this thought in mind, Thomas Scott, the eminent commentator, says, "There is nothing in true religion—doctrinal, experimental, and practical—but will present itself to our attention whilst we meditate upon the Psalms. The Christian's use of them in the closet, and the minister's in the pulpit, will generally increase with the growing experience of the power of true religion in their own hearts."

One essential reason for this internal completeness of the Psalter is that Christ is the central figure in it, as He is in the entire Word of God. Every Book, indeed, of the Old Testament is intended to lead directly or indirectly to Jesus Christ. But in this respect the Book of Psalms stands preeminent among the entire thirty-nine. Of this the illustrious Edwards said, "The main subjects of these songs were the glorious things of the Gospel, as is evident by the interpretation that is often put upon them, and the use that is made of them, in the New Testament. For, there is no one Book of the Old Testament that is so often quoted in the New as the Book of Psalms. Here Christ is spoken of in multitudes of songs." To the same purport is the testimony of a memorial from the Presbytery of Detroit presented to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, New School, in 1856, as quoted in Clokey's "David's Harp in Song and Story." The memorialists say, "It is the thought itself, the grand and sublime, the tender and touching, the thrilling and affecting truth of redemption through Christ, and the coming glories of His Coming and Kingdom, that give to the Book of Psalms its value and power when intelligently employed for purposes of religious praise." By the inspired writers of the New Testament the Psalter is used chiefly as a storehouse from which to bring forth Messianic prophecies to be expounded and applied. Indeed it has been affirmed that it would not be much beyond the fact, if any, to say that there are more references to the Psalms, as speaking of Christ, than to the whole of Moses and the Prophets taken together.

Not only has Christ been found in the Psalms by eminent divines of ancient and modern times, and by the pious in all the intervening ages, and by the inspired writers of the New Testament, but that He is revealed in them is declared unto us by our Lord Himself. In the evening of the day of His resurrection, when He appeared in the midst of His astonished disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem, having first convinced them of the reality of His bodily presence, He said unto them, "These are My words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled which are written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me." And that they might be able to grasp the revelation of Himself therein contained, "then opened He their mind, that they might understand the Scriptures," [Luke 24:45] and thus enabled them to see in the Psalms, as well as in Moses and the Prophets, the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, which they were thenceforward to proclaim. "And He said unto them, Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem." [Luke 24:46-47] This wonderful discourse of our Lord evidently made a profound impression upon the minds of the Apostles, for we find the substance of it embodied in their sermons and Epistles. One cannot read Peter's Epistles, for example, or his sermon on the Day of Pentecost, without feeling that he availed himself of this exposition which he heard from the Master, and especially that portion of it which pertained to the Psalter. The same is true of all the discourses and writings of those who heard Christ in the upper room, and of those of the Apostle Paul as well, who tells us that he delivers unto us that which he also received, "that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." [1 cor 15:3] The same characteristic appears in the Epistle to the Hebrews, which, in Heb 1, in order to show from the Scriptures the transcendent dignity of Christ's person and office, quotes at least six of seven passages given from the Book of Psalms. That there is Messianic prophecy in the Psalter, therefore, is positively asserted both by Christ Himself and His inspired Apostles, and must have credit, upon their testimony, from all who are not prepared openly to reject the authority of their teaching.

In referring briefly to a few of the Messianic Psalms it will be convenient to group them in two divisions—first, those which are directly Messianic, and, second, those which are typically Messianic.

I. The directly Messianic Psalms. There are some Psalms which are applicable to none but Jesus Christ, and which relate to Him directly and exclusively. Of these we may take Ps 22 as an example. The title refers it to David as the writer, but nothing in David's life, so far as recorded, corresponds to the experiences which the sufferer in this Psalm here records as his own. David's hands and feet were never pierced, nor did his enemies part his garments among them, or cast lots upon his vesture. Moreover, this sufferer, rising above his present pain and desertion, rejoices that his agony will result in bringing the nations of the earth to God, and no such result ever flowed from the persecutions of David. The only adequate explanation is that which hears in this Psalm the voice of the Man of Sorrows, and sees in the picture here so vividly portrayed the sufferings of the Messiah and the glory that was to follow. The scene described is just such a scene as was witnessed on Calvary. The sufferer is surrounded by scornful enemies, who heap reproaches upon him in his agony. They pour out derision upon him in terms almost exactly identical with those which, the Gospel writers tell us, were used by the heartless crowds that gathered about the cross of the Nazarene. And this crucifixion scene is described, not merely in vague and general terms, but in unmistakable detail. The burning thirst making the tongue cleave to the jaws, the strength dried up, the bones protruding so that they might be counted, the staring crowd, the piercing of hands and feet, the parting of garments by lot among the executioners—surely all these, written more than a thousand years before the event, present to us the very cross of Christ as vividly and as accurately as do the descriptions of the same scene written in the Gospels. It is not strange, therefore, that Jesus, when suffering under the burden of the sins of the world, cried out in the very opening words of this Psalm, and thus claimed it forever as pertaining to Himself. And as corroborating this view, though this Psalm is a cry from the depths of distress by one who is not only bitterly persecuted by man, but who seems to himself to be, for the time, forsaken of God, yet there is no confession of sin, no compunction, or remorse. If David, or any other saint of old, had written it concerning his own sorrows, surely there would have been in it somewhere some word of contrition. Such sad lament, without note of confession, can be appropriate only upon the lips of the Man of Sorrows. The Psalm is in two parts, one pointing to the sufferings, and the other to the glory that should follow as consequences of the sufferer's woes and deliverance, and these results are such that it is impossible to suppose that any mere man's experiences could ever be so important and far-reaching. The whole congregation of Israel is to learn more of God's name through him. Yea, more—his anticipations embrace all lands and all ages, and assume that through his sufferings "all ends of the earth shall remember and turn unto Jehovah." [Ps 22:27] This language can be appropriate to but one mouth. Such worldwide and lasting consequences can follow but one life. The sorrows of the first part of the Psalm can only be a description of our Lord's passion, and the glories of the second can only be a prophetic vision of His universal Kingdom, extending to the remotest generations of mankind. To understand this Psalm we must keep in mind that "He hath made Him to be sin for us," [2 Cor 5:21] "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree." [1 Pet 2:24] To reach the golden treasures of this Psalm, as of many others, we must follow the leading of the Crucified One.

Another example of the directly Messianic Psalms is Ps 110. That it is a prophecy is intimated in its opening words, "Jehovah saith,"—a formula almost identical with the "Thus saith Jehovah" used by the prophets to introduce the messages of God which they were commissioned to deliver. Two facts are announced concerning the promised Messiah, which, at that time, were but dimly understood—His exaltation to God's right hand, and His perpetual and royal priesthood. That this Psalm was understood by the Jews in our Saviour's time to refer to the Messiah, even though it may have been but imperfectly apprehended, is evident from the fact that when He cited it to prove that David's Son was also David's Lord, the Pharisees were not able to reply. If its Messianic reference had not at that time been generally conceded, if there had been difference of opinion in regard to it, no doubt the wily Pharisees would have been very ready to avail themselves of that fact in order to escape the dilemma into which the Master's question led them. Besides, it is only when read as a prophecy of the Messiah that the understanding of this Psalm becomes possible. David, who was unquestionably the writer, upon the testimony of both our Lord and the inspired writers of the New Testament, could hardly have written of himself as "My Lord," and nowhere in all the Scriptures is an earthly king invited to sit at the right hand of Jehovah as His fellow. Neither do we find in the history of David, or of any other king, that the people are represented as following him in holy vestments as an army of priests as they follow the One here spoken of, and of Whom in the Revelation we read that His "armies followed Him, clothed in fine linen, clean and white." [Rev 19:14] And whether David ever offered sacrifices with his own hand or not, he assuredly was never priest in such sense as the one here celebrated—"Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek." [Ps 110:4] A priest without predecessor or successor, one whose priesthood is forever, and to whom his office has been confirmed by the solemn oath of Jehovah Himself—this can be none other than the Great High Priest Who has passed into the heavens. This is the Psalm from which the New Testament writers preach Christ more than from any other single passage in all the sacred Scriptures, and the wonderful conqueror, whose portrait is here painted in such glowing colors, so far transcending any possible original among the sons of men, this priest enthroned at God's right hand, who is both Son and Lord of David, can be none other than the Son of God. These are but two instances of directly and exclusively Messianic Psalms. Of the same character are Ps 2, Ps 45, and others.

II. In the second group which we are to consider are those which are typically Messianic. We find in the Psalter numerous passages, which, though written with primary reference to David and his kingdom, were intended to turn our minds forward to the person and kingdom of that Son and Lord of Whom David was a conspicuous type. Hence in his writings, under the Spirit's influence, he frequently rises above his personal experiences, and speaks in terms which, though applicable in a limited sense to himself, are only applicable in their full meaning to our Lord. Such, for example, are the words in Ps 61:6—"Thou wilt prolong the king's life; His years shall be as many generations; He shall abide before God forever"; and similar words in Ps 21—"He asked life of Thee, Thou gavest it Him, even length of days forever and ever." [Ps 21:4] These statements are made concerning a king, and have a certain application to David, but can only be applied in their full meaning to the King Who is enthroned in the skies.

In Ps 118, which is probably a song of the second temple, a rejected stone which was ultimately given the place of honor as the cornerstone represents primarily the despised remnant of God's people honored in the great plan for saving the world, but at the same time typifies the advancement of the One Who was "despised and rejected of men" [Isa 53:3] to the supreme place in the wonderful plan of God—"The stone which the builders rejected is become the headstone of the corner." [Ps 118:22] The Apostle Peter, in his address before the Sanhedrin, fixes the ultimate meaning of these words when he says with reference to Christ, "He is the Stone which was set at nought of you builders, which was made the head of the corner." [Acts 4:11]

Another typically Messianic Psalm is Ps 72. In it the reign of Solomon is evidently in mind, but only as a type of the wider reign of the king's greater Son, and hence as the Psalm progresses we find our thoughts carried far beyond the young king to another Son of David, Whose dominion is to extend to "the ends of the earth." [Ps 72:8] "His name shall endure forever; His name shall be continued as long as the sun. And men shall be blessed in Him; all nations shall call Him blessed." [Ps 72:17] The type gradually recedes as the song advances until our thoughts come to be concentrated entirely upon the great Antitype, the glorious Prince of Peace. To this typically Messianic group belong Ps 8, Ps 16, Ps 18, Ps 40, Ps 55, Ps 69, Ps 89, Ps 109, and others.

But how are we to understand those confessions of sin found in Psalms which are distinctly applied to Christ by inspired writers in the New Testament? This difficulty practically disappears when we remember that "Him Who knew no sin He made to be sin on our behalf," [2 Cor 5:21] and that "Jehovah hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." [Isa 53:6] Only upon this ground can we understand the Father's desertion of His suffering Son, and the unutterable anguish of the innocent victim. And if He bore our sins in His own body on the tree, if He carried and expiated the awful load of our guilt, why should not the expression of this fact be found in those Psalms which voice His agony and His victory? Moreover, Christ and His people are one body, He being the head and they the members. He so identifies Himself with His people that what is done to them He recognizes as done to Himself. It is possible, therefore, to affirm concerning Christ mystical many things which would be true of the body, but not of the head, and vice versa, just as we frequently make affirmations concerning our fellowmen which may be true of the body or of the spirit, but not of both. To say that a man is six feet in height does not refer to his spirit, and to say that he is kind does not refer to his body, and yet both statements may be strictly true concerning him. Christ and His Church constitute one body in a union more intimate than that of the human body and spirit, and why should not the voice of Christ mystical speak in the Psalter, so that in some passages we hear the voice of the Head, and in others the voice of the members, both being the voice of the one Christ? And thus confessions of sin and claims of innocence may both be true and appropriate in the mouth of the one mystical Person.

The offices of Christ as mediator are as truly set forth in the Psalms as in the New Testament. As a prophet He says in Ps 22, "I will declare Thy name unto My brethren" [Ps 22:22]; and in Ps 40, "I have proclaimed glad tidings of righteousness in the great assembly. ... I have declared Thy faithfulness and Thy salvation." [Ps 40:9-10] As to His priestly office, the Father says to Him in Ps 110, "Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." [Ps 110:4] In Ps 40, we find Him entering upon the work of this office: "Lo, I am come; In the roll of the book it is written of Me: I delight to do Thy will, O my God." [Ps 40:7-8] His kingly office is declared in Ps 2—"Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion," [Ps 2:6] and in Ps 45, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. A scepter of equity is the scepter of Thy Kingdom." [Ps 45:6] These are but a few of the references to the threefold work of our Redeemer.

But the person of Christ is fully presented in the Psalter, as well as His work. Indeed, it has been asserted, and not without reason, that out of the Psalms one could compile a biography of Jesus. His eternal Sonship is declared in Ps 2: "Jehovah said unto Me, Thou art My Son; This day have I begotten Thee." [Ps 2:7] His incarnation is foretold in Ps 40 as applied in Heb 10: "Sacrifice and offering Thou wouldest not, but a body didst Thou prepare for Me," [Heb 10:5] and in Ps 22: "Thou art My God since My mother bore Me." [Ps 22:10] It is at least suggestive of the supernatural birth of Jesus that, while He speaks repeatedly and tenderly in Ps 22 of a human mother, there is not a word concerning a human father. His favorite name, "Son of Man," is taken from Ps 8, as well as from the Book of Daniel. As we have seen, He is presented in Ps 2 as the "Son of God," and in the same Psalm He is called the "Anointed," that is, "the Christ," while Ps 23 is evidently the origin of "the Good Shepherd." All the usual names applied to Him in the New Testament are given in the Psalms, except the name Jesus, and it is given frequently in substance, if not in form. His trust in God and obedience to Him are beautifully set forth in the whole of Ps 18; His moral beauty in Ps 45—"Thou art fairer than the children of men" [Ps 45:2]; likewise His anointing of the Holy Spirit—"Grace is poured into Thy lips." [Ps 45:2] His life of self-sacrifice is shown from Ps 69 by the Apostle Paul, "For Christ also pleased not Himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached Thee fell on Me." [Rom 15:3] In this Psalm we have His passionate devotion to God's service—"The zeal of Thine house hath eaten Me up." [Ps 69:9] His taking sinners into union with Himself—a truth which underlies the whole Psalter—is stated in Ps 22, as interpreted in the Epistle to the Hebrews—"I will declare Thy name unto My brethren." [Ps 22:22] His rejection is mentioned in Ps 69—"I am become a stranger unto My brethren, and an alien unto My mother's children"; "They that hate Me without cause are more than the hairs of My head." [Ps 69:8,4] His triumphal entry into Jerusalem was foreshadowed in Ps 8—"Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast Thou established strength," [Ps 8:2] and in Ps 118—"Blessed be He that cometh in the name of Jehovah." [Ps 118:26] The conspiracy of His foes against Him is in Ps 31—"They took counsel together against Me, they devised to take away My life." [Ps 31:13] His betrayal by one of the Twelve is foretold in Ps 41, as He Himself pointed out—"He that eateth My bread lifted up his heel against Me." [Ps 41:9] The manner of His death is foretold in Ps 22—"They pierced My hands and My feet." Even the disposition of His clothes is mentioned—"They part My garments among them, and upon My vesture do they cast lots." [Ps 22:16,18] His cry of desertion was in the opening words of this Psalm, in which they are followed by a most accurate and pathetic description of the whole crucifixion scene. Ps 69 adds another line to the dark picture—"They gave Me also gall for My food; and in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink." [Ps 69:21] That His bones should not be broken, as were those hanging on either side of Him, is predicted in Ps 34, as applied in John's Gospel—"A bone of Him shall not be broken." [John 19:36] His dying words were from Ps 31—"Into Thy hands I commend My spirit." [Ps 31:5] His resurrection is foretold in Ps 16, as cited in Peter's sermon at Pentecost—"Thou wilt not leave My soul unto Hades, neither wilt Thou give Thy Holy One to see corruption." [Ps 16:10] His ascension, also, is mentioned—"Thou hast ascended on high" [Ps 68:18]; "God is gone up with a shout, Jehovah with the sound of a trumpet." [Ps 47:5] His kingdom and its ultimate triumph are described in the familiar Ps 72, and His coming in judgment in Ps 50 and Ps 98—"Our God cometh, and doth not keep silence"; "He calleth to the heavens above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people"; "For He cometh to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity." [Ps 50:3-4; Ps 98:9]

In these revelations of Jesus in the Psalter there is this advantage over all others—He speaks mainly in the first person, and tells us His own feelings while working and suffering and dying for our redemption. And these revelations are chiefly in the past tense, as if to indicate that they were intended more for the gospel age than for that in which they were written.

Within the narrow limits of the time allotted it has been possible to present but the merest outline of the Christology of the Psalms. Many fertile and inviting fields have been reluctantly passed by. But even with such a limited view of the subject, does it not seem remarkable that the use of these matchless songs in the services of praise should ever have been objected to as having no Christ in them by any who claim acquaintance with them, or with the application of them made by the inspired writers of the New Testament? Stanley declares of the Psalter, that "no one book has played so large a part in the history of so many human souls." And is not this chiefly because it is so full of Him Who is the light and life of men?

Hearing the voice of Christ so distinctly speaking in these wonderful Songs of Zion, and seeing His loving face so clearly mirrored in them, shall we not all respond heartily to the earnest words of Bishop Alexander: "Love and study the Psalter. You will discover that it will indeed


Studious regard with opportune delight.'

In it you will find Him Whom it is best to know—Jesus, your Lord and your God. And as time goes on—when you bow down in penitence; when you seek for pardon; when your head is bent in sorrow; when you lie on a bed of sickness; when your lips turn white and quiver as you kneel before your dead; as the solemn hour comes, when your spirit must pass into God's presence—it has treasures which will never fail you."
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