Tuesday 29 September 2015

"The Flow of the Psalms" by O. Palmer Robertson

This new book by the publisher Presbyterian and Reformed seeks to discover the structure and the theology of the Book of Psalms. It is a fresh and in many ways a unique contribution to the field of study of the Psalter. It is universally agreed that the Psalter is formed from five books and these were collated over around a 500 year period. This stems from the time of king David until the return from exile in Babylon.

Robertson seeks to bring out the reason for the topical arrangement of the Psalter in a most enlightening and pastorally helpful way. He summarises the major themes of the five books as such.

Book 1 (Psalms 1-41): Confrontation
Book 2 (Psalms 42-72): Communication
Book 3 (Psalms 73-89): Devastation
Book 4 (Psalms 90-106): Maturation
Book 5 (Psalms 107-150): Consummation

It is beyond the scope of this blog to say much more, but I unreservedly commend this book.

One final comment is that Palmer brings out that Psalm 1 and 2 are pillars through which we enter into the temple of the Psalter. Most scholars agree that Psalms 1 and 2 are foundational, but we must see that their teaching is foundational to Christian discipleship.

The Christian disciple must love all of God's teaching (Torah) as in Psalm 1, but also love God's Son as revealed in Psalm 2. Does this describe you?

Psalm 1:1-2 "Blessed is the man ... but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night".

Psalm 2:12 "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".

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