Friday, October 3, 2014

Songs of a Suffering King

Songs of a Suffering King: The Grand Christ Hymn of Psalms 1-8Songs of a Suffering King: The Grand Christ Hymn of Psalms 1-8 by J.V. Fesko
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have, after much encouragement from multiple pastors, begun to really be ministered to through the Psalms.  In the not-too-distant past, I did not see much value in the Old Testament.  Jesus, John, and Paul--and that was all.  I guess you could have called me a "red-letter guy"....historically I believe the more accurate term would be "Marcionite."  But, through the beautiful grace of our beautiful God, I have seen the worth of "the Scriptures" and have become enamored with large sections of the Old Testament.(Confession: The prophets still befuddle me at many points and I struggle with understanding how to read wisdom literature without turning into a borderline-TBNer but, by God's grace, it is my hope that I will soon look at those passages how I now look at the Psalms.)

Fesko helps the reader to see multiple things.  One, the psalms that comprise the Psalter are more like tracks on an album than they are a top 150 list on iTunes.  Reading them in isolation limits our understanding because the Spirit of God that inspired them was telling one main story.

And that story is the same story we find throughout Scripture: the story of the Savior.  The Psalms are about Jesus.  And not just those Psalms we have historically labeled as "Messianic".  The Psalter, in its entirety, is about Jesus.  

There were many questions that were addressed and much encouragement to be found in these pages.  Who is the righteous man of Psalm 1?  What are we to do we imprecatory Psalms like Psalm 3?  How does the submission of enemies in Psalm 2 apply to me--even now?  When David cries out about his enemies attacking him in his innocence, do I relate to this as if I am David or do I look to see the greater Son of David in all of it?

I have gotten to the point where J.V. Fesko is a go-to author for me and this book on Psalms 1-8 will be a work I return to again.  It is not just the way Fesko handles the Scriptures, but the topics he chooses to engage and the thorough but clear manner in which he deals with these topics that allows me the opportunity to read, enjoy, learn, and worship--all at the same time.  He took me through the Westminster Standards a few months back and it was a joy.  Now he has taken me through the first eight Psalms and left me hoping that this becomes the first in a long series of books reflecting on God's songbook.

I received a review copy through Cross Focused Reviews.

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