Can Jesus Christ be found in the book of Psalms? Find out with guest Joseph Crider and hosts Tim Moore and Nathan Jones on the television program, Christ in Prophecy!
Air Date: May 29, 2022
Key Verse Commentary
Psalms B – “Hymns of Confession and Praise”
The Psalms have long been a source of comfort and inspiration to the people of God. That is because they capture the whole range of human emotion and channel it positively toward praise to our great God and Savior.
Many of the Psalms were written by King David himself. They convey his sense of wonder and awe for God, his contrite heart, his penitent spirit, and his appreciation for God’s forgiveness and redemption. David does not hold back in expressing his own discouragement, frustration, or anger when appropriate. Yet he does not merely percolate in those feelings; he turns them over to God and consistently gets his mind right in his relationship with the Almighty.
Other gifted writers and musicians also contributed Psalms, from Asaph and the sons of Korah to King Solomon. Some of the Psalms are uncredited, but all of them evoke a spirit of praise and worship—which is why they were sung by Jews as part of their reverence of God. Although most of us cannot sing in Hebrew, many portions of the translated Psalms have been put to music and are beloved hymns of the Church.
We have highlighted a number of Psalms over the years for their Messianic overtones, including Psalm 2, 14, 22, 24, 31, 46, and 118. We’ll undoubtedly revisit those wonderful passages again in the future, but they merely highlight the prophetic insight given to the writers of Scripture to anticipate the coming Messiah. We have hindsight to know that He has come—and the discernment to recognize that He is coming again.
In recent months, I’ve personally encouraged fellow believers to apply the wisdom of Psalm 73—especially verses 15-17. Sometimes we are tempted to voice the dark thoughts and fears that trouble our hearts. But doing so without discretion can undermine the budding faith of those around us, “betraying the generation of Your children” in the words of Asaph.
Donald Whitney’s book Praying the Bible offers a simple tool for getting our minds right as we seek communion with the living God. He recommends that we pray through the Psalm corresponding to the day of the month (Psalm 1 on the 1st of the month, etc). If that particular Psalm does not prick your heart, skip forward 30, 60, 90, or 120 Psalms and try those (for instance, considering Psalm 32, 62, 92, or 122 on the 2nd of the month). By reading and prayerfully uttering the very words of Scripture up to the Lord, we are allowing His Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts and shape our hearts. I have found this to be a very helpful technique for focusing my own prayers.
While we share 2 key verses below, we would simply encourage you to pick out some of your own favorite Psalms that have touched your heart. In terms of Key Verses, find passages that point specifically toward Jesus Christ and God’s providence, protection, and plan of salvation. Then, take time to lift up your voice—in song or in prayer—to our great God and Savior!
Tim Moore: Welcome to Christ in Prophecy! I’m your host, Tim Moore, and I’m joined by my co-host, Nathan Jones. Our Jesus in the Old Testament series is spending a second week in the book of Psalms, a book that could be the focus of many episodes. In fact, we have dedicated entire episodes of Christ in Prophecy and published pamphlets to focus on single chapters of this wonderful book.
Nathan Jones: The Psalms capture the confession and adoration that is at the heart of Jewish worship. We lose some of the cadence and flow of the original Hebrew poetry in translation, but thankfully the gifted men and women who translated God’s Word into English endeavored to capture its beauty and musical quality in our own language.
Tim Moore: Several Psalms have obvious Messianic overtones. Psalm 2 says that God laughs as the kings of the earth take their stand against Him and His anointed and warns us all to “do homage to the Son” lest we perish in the way when His wrath is kindled.
Nathan Jones: As Jesus hung on the cross, He cited Psalm 22, from the opening anguished lament “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” To the final verse “He has performed it” or “It is finished.” And when the Jewish people ascended to Jerusalem to observe the Passover each year, they sang the Pilgrim Songs of Ascent, which is Psalm 120-134.
Tim Moore: Many of the Psalms were written by David, while others were written by Solomon, Asaph, the sons of Korah, and other named authors. Several are anonymous. But whether they express adoration of God, confession of a contrite heart, or the pain of suffering and desperation, all the songs are expressive of a heart wholly devoted to the Lord. Which is why we can rightfully say when our hearts are full, “Then sings my soul.”