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Songs of a Suffering King: The Grand Christ Hymn of Psalms 1–8

ISBN: 9781601783103
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Our Lord has given Psalms, the songbook of the Bible, for the benefit of the church. But for many people, Psalms’ contents are mysterious because they no longer have a place of prominence in the Church’s worship. Author J. V. Fesko hopes to awaken the Church to the majesty, beauty, and splendor of Psalms through a devotional exploration of Psalms 1–8, a “grand Christ hymn,” in which David, as the suffering king, prefigures the King of kings, Jesus Christ. To encourage readers to come to a greater appreciation for Psalms, the author includes with each chapter questions for further reflection and study and a metrical version of each psalm. He also recommends internet resources that provide digital files of the tunes.

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Top Highlights

“First, the entire Psalter is connected to the person and work of Christ.” (Page 2)

“The psalmist tells us that a person can be blessed as he steers clear of ungodliness and wickedness. In his famous book The Screwtape Letters, C. S. Lewis characterizes the road to hell as a gradual decline rather than a cliff face, and similarly, the psalmist presents a gradual descent into evil. Notice that the blessed man does not walk, stand, or sit with the wicked, sinners, or scoffers. In other words, a person’s engagement with the wicked begins as he walks with them, becomes more involved as he stands with them, and finally results in a close relationship as he sits down with them.” (Pages 14–15)

“So often the Gospels record Christ in times of prayer, but we never know the specific content of His prayers. And while we ultimately cannot know the specific content of Christ’s prayers, except for what is recorded in the Gospels, the book of Psalms can give us an idea of the types of things that Christ might have prayed. It can provide a divinely inspired window into the heart of Christ. Ultimately, the Psalter as a whole trumpets the person and work of Christ, and we can examine a small slice of the Psalter’s grand Christ hymn in Psalms 1–8.” (Pages 8–9)

“Second, I suspect that most Psalter readers assume that the book is randomly arranged, like a potpourri or grab bag of theological observations. But there is a specific organizational structure to the whole Psalter that is most readily observable in its fivefold division. In fact, according to ancient rabbinic tradition, Moses gave Israel the five books of the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy), and David gave the nation the five books of the Psalter (Book 1: Psalms 1–41; Book 2: Psalms 42–72; Book 3: Psalms 73–89; Book 4: Psalms 90–106; Book 5: Psalms 107–150).” (Page 4)

  • Title: Songs of a Suffering King: The Grand Christ Hymn of Psalms 1–8
  • Author: J. V. Fesko
  • Publisher: Reformation Heritage
  • Print Publication Date: 2014
  • Logos Release Date: 2017
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subject: Bible. O.T. Psalms 1-8 › Devotional literature
  • ISBNs: 9781601783103, 1601783108
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T03:03:42Z

J.V. Fesko is an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and is also academic dean and associate professor of systematic theology at Westminster Seminary California.


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  1. Maxim Farocanag

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