"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want." "Thy word is a lamp to my feet." "Search me, O God, and know my heart!" Such phrases leap to mind each time a Christian lifts his heart to God. For many, in fact, the Psalms are the richest part of the Old Testament. Derek Kidner provides a fresh and penetrating guide to Psalms 1–72. He analyses each psalm in depth, comments on interpretative questions and brings out the universal relevance of the texts. He also gives special help on the psalmists' cries for vengeance. Together with its companion volume (Psalms 73–150) this introduction and commentary will inspire and deepen personal worship.
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“The mind was the first bastion to defend, in verse 1, and is treated as the key to the whole man. The law of the Lord stands opposed to ‘the counsel of the wicked’ (1), to which it is ultimately the only answer. The psalm is content to develop this one theme, implying that whatever really shapes a man’s thinking shapes his life.” (Page 64)
“The Lord, as often in the Psalms, occupies here the first and emphatic place, and the my reveals a pledged relationship which dares to link The Lord (is) … with the incongruous I shall … Everything in the psalm flows from that. In the word shepherd, David uses the most comprehensive and intimate metaphor yet encountered in the Psalms, preferring usually the more distant ‘king’ or ‘deliverer’, or the impersonal ‘rock’, ‘shield’, etc.; whereas the shepherd lives with his flock and is everything to it: guide, physician and protector.” (Page 127)
“So the two ways, and there is no third, part for ever.” (Page 66)
“In our verse, the deliberate echo of the charge to Joshua reminds the man of action that the call to think hard about the will of God is not merely for the recluse, but is the secret of achieving anything worthwhile (cf. prospers, here, with Josh. 1:8). Law (tôrâ) basically means ‘direction’ or ‘instruction’; it can be confined to a single command, or can extend, as here, to Scripture as a whole.” (Pages 64–65)
“Jeremiah 17:5–8. The phrase its fruit in its season emphasizes both the distinctiveness and the quiet growth of the product; for the tree is no mere channel, piping the water unchanged from one place to another, but a living organism which absorbs it, to produce in due course something new and delightful, proper to its kind and to its time. The promised immunity of the leaf from withering is not independence of the rhythm of the seasons (cf. the preceding line, and see on 31:15), but freedom from the crippling damage of drought (cf. Jer. 17:8b).” (Page 65)
The works of Derek Kidner (MA, Christ's College, Cambridge) are full of the marks of both professor and pastor with his evenhanded scholarship as well as his devotional insight. These qualities have made his commentaries in the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series and The Bible Speaks Today series some of the most beloved and popular of recent decades. Kidner had a long career in both the church and the academy in England. He studied at Cambridge University and then served in the ministry for several years before becoming a senior tutor at Oak Hill Theological College. Kidner began his writing career while serving as warden of Tyndale House in Cambridge from 1964 to 1978, publishing his ninth and final book, The Message of Jeremiah, in 1987.