Before we begin, let us pray.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.(Psalm 19:14)
We begin a new book to study for a sermon series. We study the Book of Psalms. In Hebrew, the book is called the Book of Praise. The Book of Psalms is the Hymn book of God’s people. It is God’s word used by the congregation when worshipping God publicIy every Lord’s Day. We respond to God in singing and prayer using God’s word in Psalms.
But before examine each of the Psalm, let us first familiarize ourselves with the whole book and relate it to the whole Scripture, and interpret in the light of the New Testament fulfilment of the Old Testament promises in Christ.
What is the redemptive-historical view of the Psalms? How does the covenantal view of Scripture informs the overall intrepretaton of the Book in relation to the New Testament fulfillment in the Christ as its mediator?
This Lord’s Day morning we are going to hear from Dr. Godfrey’s book “Learning To Love The Psalms “. On Chapter 5 of his book, Godfrey explains how the whole of Psalms’ was mentioned by Jesus as part of the Old Testament Scripture pointing to his death and resurrection. He also demonstrates how in the New Testament book of Hebrews uses the Psalms to prove that Christ is indeed greater than the angels, King David, Moses, Joshua, The Law, the temple, and even the priesthood of Aaron.
So as part of the our introduction, let study Scripture and discover how the Book of Psalms is Christ’s Psalms, Our Psalms. We focus on the first part this Lord’s Day and next week, we will explore the next part. Our sermon points are: 1) Christ’s Psalms; 2) Our Psalms.
Jesus tells us the whole of OT Scripture including Psalms points to his person and work. Luke recorded Jesus saying these things to his disciples. During Christ’s walk in Emmus, he reveals to his disciples the inspired way of interpreting Old Testament Scripture, looking at it as whole, and connecting it to the promise of God ‘s redemption through the Messiah, the divine king, God’s Son, hor Mediator of the New Covenant.
Luke recorded Jesus saying:
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (Luke 24:27)
This is redemptive-historical approach of interpreting all of Scriptures. It is the covenantal way of understanding the connection of the Old and New Testaments. It is by a relationship of promise-fulfilment or in Biblical Theology terms by the relationship type and anti-type or shadows and realities.
Jesus specified the Book of PsaIms as part of the list from Old Testament Scriptures pointing to him. Luke continues:
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures…(Luke 24:44-45)
This means the Book of Psalms as a whole points to Christ. We all know that the Psalms as a book contains prayers and songs written for worship.The genre of the Book is poetry. However, we also need to consider its place in the whole of the Bible historically and determine its meaning theolologically as a part of the whole.
Historically speaking the formation of Psalms sit between the great Kingdom of David and Solomon and exile, and even continuing in Christ’s time. then theologically speaking, it contains themes related to God, kingship, and the promise-fulfillment of David’s eternal Kingdom. Under the rule of David’s king-messiah, Yahweh will reign perfectly and deliver his people from the kingdoms of this world. In covenantal terms, King David is the type that becomes the pattern of the future king who is the anti type of the Messiah.
This based on the promise, Yahweh gave David in 2 Samuel 7:16 where He says:
“And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.”
This means the promise of blessing given to Abraham by Yahweh from in Genesis 12 continues with David and this includes a Messianic king who in relation to Adam and Eve, he is the seed will strike the serpent’s head (Genesis 3:15).
So by implication, the book of Psalms, interpreted with the whole of Scripture, and in the light of Christ must have a redemptive historical approach.
How is this demonstrated in the Psalms exegetically?
Psalms 1 and 2 serve an introductory summary of the whole Psalter. Eschatologically speaking, it speaks of the divine-king who is to come, the heavenly man of God. It speaks of a type of man who righteous. He is the blessed one of God who according to Psalm 1: “who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night (verses 1-2)”. And at the same time, Psalm 2 clearly speaks of this king’s divine appointment and origin. Verse 6-7 reads, As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.” I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. And in Verse 12 David wrote about Yahweh saying, “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
And we know from Scripture, Adam was the man who represented mankind and yet failed but we also know Jesus is the second Adam who succeed where the first Adam failed (Roman 5:12-21). His perfect keeping of the law is the active obedience that earned eternal life for God’s people (2 Corinthians 5:21).
We know by the complete NT canon that the Psalms speak of God’s king who has been fulfilled by Jesus Christ. It speaks of Christ. Like what the author Terry Johnson concludes: “The whole gospel of the whole Christ is found in the whole Psalter”. That is why is called Christ’s Psalms because it is about him.
But at the same time, the Psalms is Christ’s because it is the book Christ himself sings. Jesus himself must have sung the Psalms during synagogue worship. We also from the New Testament Scripture how Jesus extensively quoted the Psalms to describe his person and work. Jesus uses the Psalms in his 7 last words.
However, I want us to focus on the use of the Psalms to theologically prove the point. The first two chapters of Hebrews quotes the Psalms in order to prove Christ’s divinity and humanity. In Hebrews 1 and 2, the preacher quoted the Psalms being spoken by the Triune God.
Specifically speaking, chapter 1, verse 8-13, the Father tells of his Son as the person greater than the angels. We also use these verses to prove the divinity of Christ because it says there: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.” And also “You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands”. These divine titles prove that Jesus is divine. We read Psalm 45 and 102 speaking of the Son’s divine kingship.
Then in Hebrews 2, the preacher proves the humanity of Christ by quoting the Psalms to demonstrate him as a representative of God’s people. In Hebrews 2:11, Jesus was quoted singing Psalm 22, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” It speaks of the Son’s earthly kingship as the representative of God’s people.
By implication Jesus not only calls us to worship as he himself is divine but he also together with God’s people respond in thanksgiving and praise. Jesus is both the subject and object of our worship. He is the only calling, leading, and enabling us in worship.
This makes worship while performed here on earth is heavenly in it origin. We worship in Zion and the book of Psalms is God’s Word we use in the worship of our Triune God. So let use encourage one another as we come every Lord’s Day worshipping God and responding in prayer and singing. Let us remember how the Psalms is Christ’s Psalms for it speaks about his person and work, and it is the Hymn book Christ himself uses to enable us to respond in faith and repentance.
Next week, we will learn about how the book of Psalms become our Psalms in Christ and by the Spirit. But for now, what have we learned so far?
God is faithful to his promises. He never backs out from word. He always does what he promises to do. His love never fails and he is steadfast until the end. Scripture reminds us that there is nothing on earth and even in heaven can stop God from doing his good and perfect will. He alone is God and his sovereign grace prevails. So let us encourage one another with these words.
ZCRC (Imus), the whole of Scripture teaches us how God fulfills all his promises in Christ. Let us respond to him in gratitude praising God for his faithfulness and love to his people. Amen.