The Psalms: The Five Books

Psalm  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 9
There is another very important point I notice. In every way the first Book is characterized by Christ's position when on earth. The first two Psalms no doubt take up the Remnant, and the purpose of God as to Christ, Son of God and King in Zion, but He is seen as rejected in fact, and all the Psalms go on from this point-in that part closing with His place as Son of Man, Jehovah having set His glory above the heavens. But, all through, Jehovah is looked to in the celebration of what takes place, not King Messiah on earth. The only allusion to it is in Psa. 18, where all the history is gone through, but the subject is His humiliation, and the latter part is prophetic of His David victorious character. But Christ's glory is heavenly (as Psa. 25) as a thing celebrated, and Jehovah the Deliverer.
In the second Book we have Him as the King, forming the center of the first part of it in Psa. 45, and then Jerusalem is delivered. Psa. 51 starts afresh, not with confession of sins against Jehovah, but with blood-guiltiness, i.e., Christ's being put to death, and thence all is “God" not "Jehovah." Psa. 68, Christ has been exalted, and the Lord God is to dwell among them, and the summons of. Numbers is used for the dispersion of all enemies. In Psa. 69 we have Christ's sorrows down here in connection with Israel—Israel grown old (David) is not to be forgotten, and the King's son, Solomon, is set up in the millennium. It is Messiah, Son of David, and Jewish deliverance, not Christ's heavenly exaltation on His rejection—that had taken place, and was, for Jah, Elohim dwelling among the rebellious.
The first Book is the gospel view of Christ's position on earth and on high—such as Peter might preach.
The second Book is prophetic, and the cast out Jews, with whom He has had sympathy, looking for restoration.
The third Book, as often noticed, is the general expectation of Israel (as well as Judah) where blood-guiltiness indeed was not. They are in the land, as in Isa. 18, but suffering under the Gentiles and the judgment of God, but conscious that God has interfered in their favor, judging " among the gods," the lofty ones "set in slippery places," and they going up to the tabernacle of God, or at least looking to it with desire—Zion, the center of all their hopes, His foundation. In the last two Psalms of the Book we have the distress of the soul, though looking to Jehovah for salvation, under the terrors of the Law, and the sure promises of David in grace, and faithfulness in Christ as remarked. “Holy One” (verse 19, Psa. 89) is the singular of the word translated “mercies" in verse 1.
In the fourth Book we have Jehovah, Israel's dwelling place always. But now they have been long afflicted, and they look for present mercy in a short life from Him with whom time is nothing. In Psa. 91, “Most High” being the supreme and millennial name of God, the question is “Which is the Most High?” He who can tell will have the blessing of Abraham's God. The godly man, Messiah especially, takes Jehovah; and Israel, and Jehovah Himself own the secret of faith, and blessing is found. This introduces, in the well-known secret which follows, millennial blessing and glory. But it is “Jehovah" who comes, “Jehovah " all through; Psa. 101 and 102 bring in Messiah as Man, but owned at the end of Psa. 102 as Jehovah Himself. All this is remarkable. As in Dan. 7, so everywhere, this wonderful truth of Christ being Jehovah shines out more and more in Old and New Testaments. In t John, for example, there as God; Psa. 103; 104; 105; 106, the ways of Jehovah—first grace and mercy with Israel, then Creation glory, and judgment to deliver them—His faithful mercy from Abraham—His mercy to them after failure, and looking to Him for restoration—Psalm lot, and partly 102; it is Jehovah, not His anointed.