Christ in the Psalms

No formal rule can be given for distinguishing between those Psalms in which the Spirit speaks of Christ and those in which it speaks of others. Perhaps there is a sufficient rule in the one defined by Paul as "having senses exercised by reason of use to discern" (Heb. v: 14). The Psalms are mostly Messianic.

They doubtless originated in the first instance in David's individual experiences and impulses towards God, and were primarily the expression of these; but David was a prophet. The Spirit was upon him from the day he was anointed by Samuel (1 Sam. xvi: 13), and guided the utterances of his tongue (2 Sam. xxiii: 2).

Not only a prophet, David occupied, under the first and typical covenant, the position of the son and Lord of David under the new covenant, viz., warrior and king in the earth for God. Hence his experiences were typical and representative of those to which he stood related as the shadow; and by the Spirit, his utterances of them were rendered prophetic of that most marvellous of all human experiences, the history of God manifest in the flesh.

Close reading and meditation brought to bear on the word as a whole, will bring discernment of the import of the Psalms without the formal definition of rules of interpretation.

The Christadelphian, Dec 1898


The Psalms are all written to set forth the one point with­out which they are unintelligible, namely, an unceasing contest between two: the Righteous One, Christ; and the Wicked One, 'the man of the earth,' styled 'the Diabolos' in the New Testament, and vernacularly, 'the Devil' - and that all man­kind are ranged under one or other of these respective leaders.

Round the name of 'David,' all the Promises cluster. Prophets and Apostles exulted in "the sure mercies of David" (Isa. 55:3; Acts 13:34). He appeared in transfigured glory as the 'Beloved,' or 'David' (Matt. 17:5); and shall return again to build the Tabernacle of David (Amos 9:11; Acts 15:16), and to fill the Throne of David (Lk. 1:32).

These considerations should impress on our minds the necessity of endeavoring to ascertain wherefore the Name of 'David' is thus connected with all that is most important in the past history, or future expectations, of the faithful.

In the Promises made to him are found the germs, not only of the times of the Ecclesia now, but of the future dispensation of Messiah's times. These, implanted in the mind of David, effloresced in the Psalms to that luxuriance and fruitfulness which have made them the delight and nourishment of all succeeding ages of the family of Abraham after the Spirit.

And, they do also, when understood, throw the clearest and steadiest light on the unaccomplished Purpose of God.

Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, May 1859

The Psalms are divided into five books, like the books of Moses. This division is of great antiquity. The last psalms of each book are 41, 72, 89, 106 and 150, and each book ends with the words (or something similar):

"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen."

The final psalm is a fuller expression of this same praise.

Of the one hundred fifty psalms, seventy-three-about one half-are attributed in the heading directly to David, and about twenty-five more to men associated with him-Asaph and the sons of Korah. These latter could well be psalms of David for these singers to use, making about one hundred as attributed to David. (That is, the word translated "of" as, "A psalm OF Asaph," does not necessarily mean "by," but can mean "for.")

A very few are attributed to others-one to Moses, two to Solomon, etc., and about fifty are anonymous. These headings of the psalms are very ancient and are considered generally authentic, though not part of the inspired Scriptures.

The total number of direct quotations from the Old Testament in the New is 238. Of these, one half, 116, are from the Psalms. We see, therefore, the great doctrinal importance of the Psalms.

Psalms Chapter 1 + Hebrew: Tehillim-"Praise" ... The word "psalm" is from the Greek, meaning "A song sung to a harp," from the verb "To play on a stringed instrument."

In the Beginning

"Forgetting those things that are behind, I reach forward unto those things that are before" (Phil. 3:13).

Today we stand at a new beginning-the beginning of a new year. In our readings we begin Genesis: "In the beginning God created." We begin Psalms: "Blessed is the man . . " We begin the Gospel record: "The book of the generations of Jesus Christ"-Saviour of the world.

There is great power in a new beginning. It is a time for self-examination and renewed determination and dedication.

In the wisdom and love of God, our lives are divided up into little periods of activity and consciousness, separated by periods of rest and sleep. Each new day is a new beginning. If we are sincerely trying to serve God, we can each day, with complete confidence, forget the failures of the past, as long as we rise up and try again.

God assures us through the prophet Ezekiel (18:22) that all past failures will be forgotten if at last we overcome. We must daily begin again. We must greet each day with renewed faith and hope, thanking God for each new day's beginning as it comes, doing our best for that one day while we have it, and closing the account as each day ends, to arise once more and begin again.

And now another full year of days has ended and been laid away, and we start a fresh new chapter in our lives.

Bro Growcott - The Psalms

Yahweh's Songs

The book of Psalms differs from all other books in the Bible in one particular, namely, that each chapter (or psalm) is complete in itself. This being so, the opening words of each psalm may be taken as the key note to the whole inspiration.

 Tried by an index of first lines (such as there is in Bagster's Bible), and it will be seen that the whole psalm stands up before the mind in the first sentence, which is at once, as we have said, the key to the character of the whole writing. Reducing them to classes governed by the first line, they may in the main be thus summarised:—



Yahweh's songs—

"The mighty God hath spoken."

Beatitude psalms—

"Blessed is the man."

Hallelujah psalms—

"Praise the Lord."

Interrogatory psalms—

"Do ye indeed."

Personal psalms—

"I was glad."

Exhortatory psalms—

"Fret not thyself."

Royal psalms—

"The King shall joy

War songs—

"Let God arise.'

Thanksgiving psalms—

"O give thanks."

Supplicatory psalms—

"Hear my prayer."

Positive psalms—

"Unto thee, O God."

Negative psalms—

"Not unto us."

Exclamatory psalms

"O clap your hands."

Deep-water psalms—

"Out of the depths."

Lamentatory psalms—

"O God, the heathen."

Retrospective psalms—

"By the rivers of Babylon."

Love songs—

"I love the Lord."

Remembrance psalms—

"Lord, remember."

Appreciative psalms—

"How amiable."

Declamatory psalms—

"The fool hath said."

Sacrificial psalms—

"My God, my God."

Proclamation psalms—

"Hear this."

Loud-voiced psalms—

"Sing aloud unto God."

Distress psalms—

"In my distress."

Shepherd songs—

"The Lord is my shepherd."

Intercessory psalms—

"Plead my cause."

Comparison psalms—

"As the hart panteth."

Providential psalms—

"If it had not been the Lord.'

New-covenant psalms—

"O sing to the Lord a new song."

Psalms of nature—

"The heavens declare."

Challenge psalms—

"Why do the heathen rage?"

Property psalms—

"The earth is the Lord's"

Restoration psalms—

"When the Lord turned again."

Gospel psalms—

"Inditing a good matter."

Psalms of waiting—

"How long?'

Rejoicing psalms—

"Rejoice in the Lord."

Historic psalms—

"When Israel went out."

Prophetic psalms—

"Give the king thy judgments."

Psalms of mercy—

"God be merciful."

Practical psalms—

"Lord, who shall abide?"

Psalms of hope—

"The Lord shall hear thee."

Psalms of trust—

"In the Lord do I trust."

Examination psalms—

"Judge me, O God."

Yahweh-Shammah psalms—

"In Judah is God known."

The Christadelphian, Dec 1888