Book 2: Psalms 42-72

Psalm 42‑72  •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Overview. The remnant is viewed as driven out of Jerusalem and the city given up to wickedness. In the end of the book their rest is anticipated and prophetically viewed 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. It is Christ who restores them to lost covenant blessing and relationship to Jehovah. The godly remnant is severed from the multitude with whom they used to pass along to the house of God. They are stricken with sorrow and ask God to do them justice against an ungodly nation.
Christ takes this place with them of being cast out, and this gives to them the true place of hope for them. In this way the first two books are somewhat distinguishable from the last three. In the first two books Christ is more personally among the Jews; in the last three it is more national and historical.
Divine Names. As the remnant is seen as cast out of Jerusalem, “God” (Elohim) 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. The faithful are cast more entirely on what God is in His own nature and character, when they can no longer approach where Jehovah has put His name; the Antichrist prevails there.
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Psalm 42. We may notice a beautiful progress in these psalms. In Psalm 42 the remnant first says in verse 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.
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 Judea and went away again beyond Jordan where John at first baptized (John 10:40; 11:54; 12:3640And 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)
36While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them. (John 12:36)
). We do not have His sufferings here; we had that in Psalm 22. It is the remnant cast out. “I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God” (vs. 4).
Psalm 43. The remnant in this psalm is in the midst of hostile Israel.
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Psalm 44 is the cry of Israel that is in the remnant when cast out.
Psalm 45. The Spirit introduces the Messiah coming in glory and power, taking the throne in judgment.
Psalm 46. Consequently, the remnant says 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.
Psalm 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.
Psalm 48 is Zion set up now, and it becomes the praise of all the earth. The kings that assembled together against her are troubled and haste away.
Notice a beautiful progress in this psalm. In Psalm 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 Psalm 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 Psalm 48:99We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. (Psalm 48:9), “We have thought of Thy loving-kindness, O God, in the midst of Thy temple.” Again in Psalm 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 Psalm 48:88As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God will establish it for ever. Selah. (Psalm 48:8) 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.”
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Psalm 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; death lays hold of all that he is in honor.
What is the meaning of verse 8, “The redemption of their soul is precious, and it ceaseth forever ” ? It means 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 verse 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, in redeeming the soul from the power of the grave, imply resurrection? No, you may redeem by hindering from death or by bringing up from it. The saint is preserved on earth; it is not heaven.
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Psalm 50. God summons all the people to judgment when He comes. The remnant accepts God’s chastening, but looks for victory.
Psalm 51. Here we have the remnant taking upon itself the sin of the nation in rejecting Christ and putting Him to death. It is the confession of blood-guiltiness. The godly one cries “from the end of the earth” (and it is mainly for his soul and the king’s life).
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Psalms 52-67 contain general principles expressed by the remnant consequent upon the circumstances in which they are found in Psalm 51.
In Psalm 52 the cry is with enlarging expectation.
In Psalm 53 the praise and blessing and soul-satisfaction rise, though he is still an outcast from the sanctuary.
Psalm 54 spreads before God the deadly craft and evil of that day, but the godly one is sure of God’s intervention; then in Psalm 55, the outburst of praise, long silent in Zion.
Psalm 56 expresses the confidence of the righteous in God and His Word, and in Psalm 57 he finds God as a refuge until the evil is past and God’s glory is displayed.
In Psalms 58-59 the remnant look to God to establish His government by judging the wicked and making it known that God rules in Jacob to the ends of the earth.
In Psalm 60 the remnant owns that God, though He has cast them off for their iniquities, is their only hope.
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Psalms 6168. In this series the godly remnant is seen suffering under the Antichrist during the great tribulation. Toward the end we see that they are getting out of their difficulties.
Psalm 61. The outcast, though overwhelmed, looks to God as his Rock to save from the surrounding floods.
Psalm 62 expresses the confidence that looks to God alone and rests in Him, waiting for His deliverance, and in Psalm 63 the godly one longs after God in a dry and thirsty land.
Psalm 64 describes the wicked and the judgment that will overtake them, leading to the fear of God and the joy of the righteous in the Lord.
In Psalm 65 they are going to Zion and praise is waiting for their God there. In Psalm 66 they are let in and they begin to praise.
In Psalm 67 blessing stretches out to everyone else, though here it is prophetic only.
In Psalm 68 Christ is ascended and is going to dwell among them as Jehovah. Paul stops halfway when quoting verse 18 in Ephesians 4. We have gifts for the rebellious (Israel) also, that the Lord God might dwell among them. In verses 24-29 we find that their processions are restored. The people are really established.
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In Psalm 69 we have the sufferings of the Lord as the foundation of all blessing. They are Christ’s sorrows from the beginning to the end of His glory.
“Then I restored that which I took not away” (vs. 4) is Christ taking the place of others! We should all have been lost if Christ had not taken these words into His own mouth. Verse 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.
Do we have the atonement here? This psalm does not take up that view of the sufferings. We have had that in Psalm 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.
In Psalm 70 you get back from the glory of Israel to the poor man.
In Psalm 71 it is the poor man still.
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In Psalm 72 we have Christ as Son of David in His Solomon character, looked at in His reign of glory.
What is the force of verse 15? “Prayer also shall be made for him continually.” They are aspirations; the whole psalm is prophetic. Psalm 8 goes out wider, for there Christ is Son of Man. Here He is Son of David, and so the psalm ends: 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.