A Reading on the Psalms: Book 2

Psalm 42‑72  •  6 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Psa. 42 Commences the Second Book. The Remnant in this Book is seen as cast out of Jerusalem, hence “God” is the name used by the Remnant instead of the covenant name Jehovah; except where the Psalm speaks of the future, and then we find “Jehovah.” Hence we do not find Christ personally in this Book, as we did in the last.
May we not apply parts of this Psalm to Christ?
Only by analogy, and then it would apply only to the last days of His ministry out of Jerusalem, when He left Judaea, and went away again beyond Jordan, where John at first baptized. (John 10:40; 11:5440And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. (John 10:40)
54Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples. (John 11:54)
, and 12:36). It is not His sufferings that we have here, we have had that in Psa. 22 It is the Remnant cast out. “I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God.” (v. 4).
Psa. 43 The Remnant is in this Psalm in the midst of hostile Israel.
Psa. 44 Is the cry of Israel, that is in the Remnant, when cast out;
Psa. 45 Here the Spirit introduces the Messiah, coming in glory and power, taking the throne in judgment.
Psa. 46 Consequently the Remnant say, now that Messiah is come, “God is our refuge and strength.” He whom they had looked at abstractedly as God, is become their covenant God, and they can say, “The Lord of hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge.” God is in the midst of her, and He is Jehovah of hosts.
We may notice a beautiful progress in these Psalms. In Psa. 42 The remnant first say, v. 5, “I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance,” and at the end of the Psalm, “I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance.” The light of God’s countenance shining upon him makes his own face shine.
Psa. 47 Messiah being come, and as Jehovah becoming their refuge, they look for the bright results of God’s glory on the earth, in subduing the nations under them.
Psa. 48 Zion is set up now, and becomes the praise of all the earth, and the kings that assembled together against her are troubled and haste away.
Remark a beautiful progress in this Psalm. In Psa. 42 They remember when cast out of Jerusalem, how they used to go “To the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.” In this Psalm they are there. In Psa. 43:33O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. (Psalm 43:3), they cry, “O send out thy light and thy truth, let them lead me, let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles;” now they say, in v. 9, “We have thought of Thy loving-kindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple.” Again in Psa. 44:11<<To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, Maschil.>> We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old. (Psalm 44:1), they say, “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.” Now in v. 8, their language is, “As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts; in the city of our God.”
Psa. 49 This Psalm is a kind of divine commentary on it all; showing that men have been set up and put down, just as God pleases. Human power cannot redeem from death, the pride of this world is nothing, This Psalm gives us the putting down of man; all that he is in honor death lays hold of.
What is the meaning of v. 8. “The redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth forever?”
That man cannot redeem from death. He must “give it up as a bad job,” as we say, and there is an end of it— “it ceaseth forever.”
Do we get resurrection in v. 15?
The preservation is left vague here. The immediate hope would be of preserving life, but it would meet those that might be slain with the fullest and securest hope. But does not God redeeming the soul from the power of the grave imply resurrection? No; you may redeem, by hindering from death, or bringing up from it. The saint is preserved on earth, it is not heaven.
Psa. 50 God summons all the people to judgment, when He comes. Psa. 51 Here we have the Remnant taking upon themselves the sin of the nation in rejecting Christ and putting Him to death. It is the confession of blood-guiltiness.
Psa. 52-67 Is a series, containing general principles expressed by the Remnant consequent upon the circumstances they are in, in Ps. H. Towards the end, we see that they are getting out of their difficulties; so in Psa. 65 they are going to Zion, and praise is waiting for their God there. In Psa. 66 they are let in, and they begin to praise.
In Psa. 67 blessing stretches out to everyone else, though here it is prophetic only.
Psa. 68 Christ is ascended, and is going to dwell amongst them as Jehovah. Paul stops halfway in quoting v. 18 in Eph. 4. Here we have gifts for the rebellious also, i.e. for Israel, that the Lord God might dwell among them. v. 24-29, we find that their Processions are restored. The people are really established.
Psa. 69 Here we have the sufferings of the Lord as the foundation of all the blessing. They are Christ’s sorrows from the beginning to the end of His glory: v. 5 is Christ, as the High Priest, confessing the sins of the people on the day of atonement. He is taking the Remnant’s place. What does it mean, “Then I restored that which I took not away?”
Why, that Christ is taking the place of others? We should all have been lost if Christ had not taken these words into His mouth. The sufferings of Christ are the foundation of all the blessings in the Psalms.
Do we have the atonement here?
The Psalm does not take up that view of the sufferings, we have had that in Psa. 22; but though we have not the atonement here, we get that which made atonement, and the Psalm ends with the glory and blessing of Israel.
Psa. 70 You get back from the glory of Israel to the poor man; in Psa. 71 it is the poor man still. Then in Psa. 72 we have Christ as Son of David in His Solomon character, looked at in His reign of glory.
What is the force of v. 15? “Prayer also shall be made for him continually?”
They are aspirations, the whole Psalm is prophetic. Psa. 8 goes out wider, for there Christ is Son of man. Here He is Son of David, and so the Psalm ends, for when David’s Son reigns in glory, David’s prayers are ended.
Why is Son of Jesse added? Because Christ was David’s Son after the flesh.
This book gives us the Remnant driven out of Jerusalem, and in the end their rest anticipatively and prophetically under Messiah as Son of David. We have their condition as driven out in the first part, and at the end, their rest under Messiah.