How are we to read and profit from the Book of Psalms? Is it simply a collection of 150 poems randomly thrown together, or is there some kind of order and structure to the book as a whole? What are the unifying themes of this book, and how does it speak of the person and work of Jesus Christ? On this program, Michael Horton discusses these issues with W. Robert Godfrey, author of Learning to Love the Psalms.
“In a profound sense, the Psalter is about the king as he is an individual in fellowship with God, and yet he represents the whole community in relationship to God, and that theme of kingship then is what carries the Psalms into the new covenant. Because in the new covenant, our king, our savior, is Jesus, great David’s greater son. So, everything that was said about the king in the Old Testament is in a sense anticipatory and is fulfilled in the coming of Jesus.”W. Robert Godfrey
TERM TO LEARN
Old Testament events, offices, and institutions (hereafter OTEOI) are invested by God with spiritual significance as integral steps in his history-long project to reverse sin and its effects… these OTEOI point beyond themselves, symbolizing the comprehensive, eschatological salvation that is God’s purpose for history and that has been inaugurated by Christ in his first coming and that will be consummated by Christ in his second coming.
To understand how any OTEOI preaches Christ and finds its fulfillment in him, we first must grasp its symbolic depth in its own place in redemptive history. Then we need to consider how the OTEOI’s original symbolic depth (the aspect of redemption to which it pointed in shadow-form) finds final and complete fulfillment in Christ. Finally, we must identify and articulate how its message applies to ourselves and our listeners. The apostles’ proclamation of Christ as the fulfillment of all God’s promises provides abundant direction for the grateful outworking of this good news in personal discipline, family life, church life, and public life in the marketplace—and, if necessary, in a prison, like Paul.
(Dennis Johnson, Him We Proclaim, pp. 234–237)