Heads Of Psalms

Book 1.

In the first place we get, in Psalm 1, the righteous man; and, in Psalm 2, the counsels of God as to Messiah. Then, in general, Psalms 3-7 are the sufferings of Christ in the remnant, whether from enemies or from a sense of their own state; and in result, Psalm 8 is the Son of man set over all the works of God’s hands.

In Psalms 9 and 10 we have particulars of God’s executing judgment against the heathen in Zion, in favour of the needy; and, in particular, the ways of the wicked one, the man of the earth. Then follow, in Psalms 11-15, the sentiments and spirit of the remnant—the moral movements of their heart in this time of trial.

Psalm 16 is the place Christ Himself takes in His dependence, trusting in the time of humiliation, but ending in His joy in God’s presence in resurrection. Psalm 17 is His appeal to right, which ends in His being displayed in glory—as man, of course; a lower kind of thing, but still a part of His glory.

In Psalm 18 the sufferings of Christ are made the centre of all God’s ways in Israel, from Egypt to the manifestation of the glory of Messiah.

Psalm 19 is the testimony of creation and of the law; according to the letter of which the remnant presents itself in conscience before God.

In Psalm 20 the remnant prophetically see Christ in His day of trouble, and in His sufferings from man; in which God hears Him, in order to His establishment in His royal rights. In Psalm 21 He is answered with length of days for ever and ever, and excellent majesty; and judges His enemies. In Psalm 22 He is in sorrow, in which no remnant can enter; in which, through all the concentration of evil from without, He finds the forsaking of God within, instead of answer to His confidence. But, when He had drunk the whole cup, He was answered in resurrection, and all flows forth in unmingled blessing: first, to the remnant, immediately consequent on His resurrection saluted as “brethren,” with whom He unites Himself in spirit, as He says, “In the midst of the congregation will I praise thee”; then, to all Israel; then, to all the ends of the world, the testimony of that which is done going down to other generations.

In Psalm 23 He takes the place of the sheep on earth; in Psalm 24 He is saluted as “Jehovah of Hosts,” and “King of glory.”

Psalms 25-28 are, in general, the exercises of the renewed heart (in the remnant always): confidence in the Lord; consciousness of integrity through grace; consciousness of sin; and earnest desire not to be drawn away with the wicked, counting on the Lord’s having called them to seek His face.

Psalm 29 is God’s voice (not the still small voice) the answer to it all. Psalms 30 and 31 are enjoyment in the sense of this interference of God (still though in the trouble). Psalm 32 is forgiveness and guidance (still in the remnant). In Psalm 33 creation and the counsels of God in favour of His people give confidence. In Psalm 34 what God has been for them in their sufferings gives confidence. In Psalms 34-39 we find them in the presence of the power and prosperity of the wicked, with the sense of having deserved judgments and having been under chastening, though their cry is to the Lord who chastened them.

Psalm 40 is Christ undertaking the accomplishment of the divine will in perfect obedience: His perfectness shewn in waiting, etc. In Psalm 41 which is the last psalm of the book, we see all the humiliation and bitterness to which He exposed Himself in the accomplishment of it; but in which He is assured to be set before God’s face for ever.

There is a very distinct principle brought out in the Psalms, that while in connection with the Jews, yet the nation is not the thing owned. The distinction is made by moral character, and not by nation. It is a certain elect remnant in the midst of the mass that is owned, of whom Christ becomes the representative; Psalm 1.

As a general principle the government of God is looked for, and that that government will sanction and establish the righteous, in contrast with the ungodly. Another principle comes up—the counsels of God as to His Anointed, in spite of the heathen who rise up against them.

Psalm 2. As soon, however, as we get these principles laid down, we find that, outwardly, it is not happening so at all. Hence the discussion of this question in the Psalms that follow.

Psalm 3 is faith in what Jehovah is. In verse 7 he sees prophetically that He has done it; therefore he gives praise.

Psalm 4 is dependence in calling on God. Verse 3, the godly are marked out, not the nation.

Psalms 5 and 6 are a great deal more the remnant. In Psalm 5 there is more sense of the evil that is pressing on them; in verse 9 Christ’s judgment of the then condition of the wicked. It goes on to the last days. Psalm 6 is quite in the latter day in Israel; it is a question of cutting off. Verse 3, “How long!” is the spirit of prophecy in the remnant. (See Isaiah 6.) The cessation of this is indicated in Psalm 74, there being no one who knew “How long.” They were in circumstances like as if cast off for ever; and faith, knowing that it cannot be so, says, “How long!” Verse 4; in the psalms in which the remnant speaks, mercy comes before righteousness. In Psalm 4, where it is more the Lord Himself, righteousness comes before mercy.

In Psalms 3-7 it is much more introductory, and certain general principles. It is Messiah who first speaks, because He has first fully taken, nay, He alone could rightly take apart the place of the remnant, as apart from, and in contrast with, the people. Others had felt it—as having His Spirit, and, as prophets, had portrayed it in Him—but He alone could rightly take it by intrinsic righteousness. Yet in Him it was as forced to it; that is, this righteousness forced out the wickedness in the others, and He wept over Jerusalem when it was done; but then He entered into all that concerned Israel, according to the purpose, love, and revelation of God. The Psalms are the perfect display of all that a divinely perfect heart in the circumstances could feel of, and as to, the relationships of God with Israel, and Israel with God.

Psalm 9 is more the heathen—man; Psalm 10 is more the wicked one among the Jews.

Psalms 11-41 are the development of faith in Christ, or the remnant as associated during the time of tribulation; but before the last half-week. Therefore Psalms 9, 10 come in as a general preface. Psalm 11:2. It is not “privily” in last half-week. Verse 4 is the answer to verse 3.

Psalm 12 is the holy wisdom of owning Jehovah. In verse 6 the words of the Lord are a stay, when everyone speaks vanity with his neighbour. In verse 7 the second “them” should be “him.”

In Psalm 16 Christ comes in to give its full character to hope and faith. This psalm is like a stake in the midst of all these psalms. The moment we get Christ, we get the spirit of calmness and grace.

Psalm 17. Specially Christ in the beginning. In verse 11 the remnant comes in.

In Psalm 16 we have Christ’s own joy in God; Jehovah shews Him the path of life, and at His right hand are pleasures for evermore. Psalm 17. In presence of the wicked and the prosperity of the men of this world He beholds God’s face in righteousness, and is satisfied in waking up after His image. Most interesting is it to find that we have what is analogous in the church—the taking up for its own joy, and the display in glory as the reward of righteousness.

Psalm 18:4-6 is evidently the death of Christ. The words may have an application, used hyperbolically, to Israel in Egypt. Verse 15 is the Red Sea.

Psalm 19. The creation testimony is used as a figure of that now given by the gospel, inasmuch as it is universal. The testimony had been given of God, whether man saw it or not. (See Rom. 1.) They did not see it as we find. Verses 12, 13, they are kept in detail, and so kept from the great apostasy.

In Psalms 20, 21, we see human enemies, and judgment, but in Psalm 22 divine wrath and perfect grace. In verse 12, bulls, that is, violent men, who do their own will; in verse 16, dogs, that is shameless ones. In verse 21, the lion’s mouth, that is, Satan’s power over death. Verse 22 is the congregation, that is, the remnant, which afterwards became the church; only here looked at as the remnant of Israel. In verse 25 is “The great congregation,” as in Solomon’s day. Verse 30, is the remnant who pass through the trouble. Verse 31, is the millennial people.

Psalm 23. Thesis—Jehovah is my Shepherd; I shall not want. It is not—He has given me good things, and I shall not want; but Jehovah is my Shepherd, etc. Verse 3 is the weakness of man, which needed restoring. We need restoring, because of sin as well as weakness.

Psalm 24:3, 4. “Who?” Verses 7-10 shew the King of glory; verse 6, the remnant coming in when the earth is the Lord’s.

Psalm 25 is important as shewing that the remnant do not ignore sin, but look from it to God.

Psalm 26:2. Examine me, O Lord, etc. Verse 3. For Thy loving kindness is before mine eyes.

Psalm 27:1-6 is the thesis; verse 7 and onward, prayer founded on it.

Psalm 29. In the midst of all these exercises of the heart of the remnant, God comes in. The voice of Jehovah comes in, and puts everything in its place.

In the psalms that follow, they have more to do with God; they are more occupied with the Lord Himself than with the circumstances.

Psalm 30 is more God’s anger, and so confession; Psalm 31 is the enemies, so insisting on integrity. We constantly find these two things.

Psalm 32. “Be glad,” not in the forgiveness, but “in the Lord,” etc.

Psalm 34. A call to the remnant to bless Jehovah in their worst sorrows, “at all times,” not when they get the blessing, but now.

Psalm 35 is Christ’s spirit, in its perfectness, supplying a vent for their feelings in their weakness.

In Psalm 36 the wickedness is such that there is no conscience in the adversary. Verse 5. The answer—God is above it all.

Psalm 37:34. “Wait on Jehovah, and keep his way.” The whole secret of what we have to do.

Psalm 38. An important principle in this psalm—the difficulty of looking to the Lord for deliverance from the wicked, when sin is on the conscience. Nevertheless, God is the refuge from the enemy. It is beautiful to see this integrity of heart, when he has not a word to say for himself.

Psalm 39. This leaning on Jehovah, with faults, breakings down, and everything, is very beautiful.

Psalm 40. Beautiful how, in the midst of all these exercises in the former psalms, waves of every kind, Christ is brought in; and He says, I will tell you how I got on. Verse 17, as in Matthew 5, Christ is just giving a description of Himself. And herein is the difference between Matthew and Luke. Matthew tells who enter; Luke says, Ye are the very ones. He gives them the place of the remnant. In this psalm Christ sets aside the Jewish figures, and lays the ground of righteousness Himself.

Psalm 41 is more the Spirit of Christ than Himself personally, though applied to Him in the treachery of Judas.

Book 2.

The second book begins not with Christ, but with the condition of the remnant; and hence has more for its subject the facts of the latter day, Israel being driven out. It is not going through all these states of soul, so that Christ might be brought in. It is like the position, when Christ went out to a place called Ephraim. (John 11:54.) There was a kind of hoping for good, from the multitude before; but now He has done with the wicked, and come out. So now it is not Jehovah, but God. One is cast more simply on God. He is not trusting in the relationship, but in God, in the nature of Elohim.

Psalms 42 and 43. In the two first psalms of this book, Christ takes the place of the godly remnant as cast out of all Jewish privilege by the power of the enemy and the apostasy of the Jews themselves—a nation “Lo-chasid;”— ungodly.

Psalm 42 is more the Gentiles.

Psalm 43:1. “Ungodly nation,” more than Jews. “The deceitful and unjust man” is Antichrist. The whole of this book is applicable to the period during which Antichrist has been received, that is, the last three and a half years.

In Psalms 44-48 we have the appeal of the remnant to God, as the One who, at the beginning, had delivered them, with all the consequences consequent on the intervention of Messiah in Psalm 45, Psalm 49 being a moral comment on human grandeur in view of this.

In Psalm 50 God has summoned all in judgment, and shines out of Zion, owned the “perfection of beauty.” Psalm 51. The Jews own their guilt in connection with the death of Christ.

In Psalms 52-58 we see the wickedness and violence within, that is, among the people. In Psalm 59, it is more the heathen without come against them at the same time. But in Psalm 60 in the midst of this distress, there is the assurance that God Himself will interfere, and claim His own rights in the midst of them.

In Psalm 61 Messiah identifies Himself with the outcast remnant; and, in Psalm 62, expresses His confidence in God so as to lead theirs, and that of all men.

All these psalms are to God, and not to Jehovah; that is, they depend on what God is in Himself.

In Psalm 63 it is the earnest desire of the godly soul after God, as he has known Him in the sanctuary. Psalm 64 is the confidence of the Spirit of Christ in God, though obliged to wait for Him till the judgment is executed. In Psalm 65 his faith is pressing: God has only to give the word, and He will have the praise that waits for Him; while in Psalm 66 God’s intervention in judgment is celebrated, and their state described until it come. In Psalm 67 the face of God, shining on His people, carries His saving health among all nations. In Psalm 68 the heavenly exaltation of Christ is the source of the blessing of His people. In Psalm 69 is all the depth of His distress as man—not exactly the cup of wrath, though it is on the cross. In Psalm 70 he looks for deliverance; and that those who seek God may be able to praise God because of it, however needy he may be. In Psalm 71 he speaks as the representative of the family of David—all dying out. In Psalm 72 we see the son of David in his new glorious reign on earth. This closes the book.

Psalm 44 is the cry of the remnant. Their present confidence is in God, through looking for Him to take the place of Jehovah.

In Psalm 45 Messiah comes in. Verse 6: His divine title is owned. Verse 9: when we have the kingdom on earth, Jerusalem is the bride. Verse 14: the virgins are the cities of Judah. In verse 16 the old thing is not remembered; but the new, which grace has introduced.

Psalm 46. The remnant find that they are owned as the nation, when they have settled in Zion. Messiah having been introduced, God is the God of Jacob.

In Psalm 47 He is subduing the peoples under their feet. The consequence of God’s establishment in Zion is His stretching out His hand over the nations.

Psalm 48. Zion takes her place. She is established in blessedness. Verse 8: “As we have heard, so have we seen.” It is not merely that He has come there, He is settled there. Not “I had gone with the multitude,” but, “in the midst of thy temple.” Verse 10: “According to the name,” etc. They had trusted the name, and now so is it. Verse 14: Unto death—that is, all their life long. Death not destroyed. The desire of Psalms 42, 43, and 44 is fulfilled in Psalm 48.

Psalm 49 is a moral sermon; a kind of “improvement” of Psalms 44-49. Verse 15 is resurrection, or preservation from death.

Psalm 50. They now come into the covenant “by sacrifice”; not by obedience, as at Sinai. Verse 3 is the way He gets to Zion.

Psalm 51. Their confession. Verse 19: When the heart is set right, their “sacrifices of righteousness” are acceptable. Mercy coming before righteousness is always a sign of the remnant.

As in Psalm 42 we had Israel cast out, and in Psalm 45 the temporal deliverance; so in Psalm 51 is the deliverance within. The secret of the whole we get in Psalms 68 and 69 on to Psalm 72. In Psalm 50:6, the heavens declare His righteousness: in Psalm 68:18, we find that Christ has ascended there; in Psalm 69 we learn how He got there: whilst Psalm 72 gives His royal place in Zion as Solomon.

As Psalm 52 gives faith in God’s enduring goodness for the righteous whilst He would destroy the wicked, so in Psalm 53 we see the wickedness of the people judged by God; and Psalm 54 is the cry to God as such for deliverance, before His name of Jehovah is praised.

Psalm 55 is the horror of Spirit of Christ at seeing the total iniquity at Jerusalem—Judas and Antichrist. Verse 10, Jerusalem. Verse 20, Antichrist.

Psalm 56 is more outward. Verse 8, “wanderings”; that is, up and down, not knowing what to cry; as Psalm 57 directs to heaven for the true source of deliverance.

Psalm 58:11 is the meaning of judgment, establishing God’s government of the earth.

Psalm 59:6. Not within the city yet.

Psalm 60:3. “Hard things” shewn the people. Verse 4, “a banner” given to them that fear, that it may be displayed because of the truth.

Psalm 61. All is outside; when Jesus went beyond Jordan and abode there—the hill Mizar and Hermon.

Psalm 62 is the cry of confidence in God.

Psalm 68 is the cast-out king; and (v. 2) the desire is not as in mysticism after a thing never known, but “to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee,” etc. Verse 3: his life was all sorrow, yet, “because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.”

Psalm 64:3. “They bend their bows to shoot their arrows”; but (v. 7) “God shall shoot at them with an arrow.”

Psalm 65:4. The Jews are blessed; verse 8, then all the earth.

Psalm 66 shews righteous intervention before all; and Psalm 67 the blessing of the remnant as the way of blessing for the nations.

Psalm 68:18 is the secret of it all—Jehovah received up into glory—the mystery of godliness.

Psalm 69 is the utmost distress of Christ in the midst of Israel. Verse 26: The fact of atonement, though not directly stated as such. He is looking at sorrows from the reproachers (not as in Psalm 22), and therefore the judgment of men.

Psalm 72:16 does not touch heaven; so it is not the Son of man’s dominion, but the King’s Son’s.

Book 3.

I think that the third book gives the ways of God with Israel, not with Judah merely (“unto which [promise] our twelve tribes hope to come”); the result being, Psalm 73, that God is good to Israel, but to the clean-hearted among them; while the prosperity of the wicked is a long sore trial to faith. Hence, in Psalm 74, all that on which their natural hopes rest is smashed and broken down. Flesh cannot build up what God has put under the power of judgment; but faith can wait on God, till He glorifies Himself. Psalm 75: His judgment is clearly unfolded, and Messiah declares the principles on which He will govern in respect of God. Psalm 76: thus God is known in Judah, His name great in Israel, and Jerusalem the seat of His power and glory. Psalm 77: the believing heart blames all distrust of this, as its infirmity, and remembers the previous days of God’s right hand.

In Psalm 78 all the perverse ways of Israel are discussed; and the electing grace of God, in the house of David, presented as its only resource.

In Psalm 79 the excesses of the heathen, in the latter days, are brought under God’s eye, that He may favour His people, and not remember their iniquities against them.

In Psalm 80, the connection of God, as the dweller between the cherubim of old, and the manifestation of His power as Son of man, are brought together as the deliverance of the vine once brought out of Egypt.

Psalm 81. On the reappearance of Israel, that is, on the new moon, God shews the rectitude of His ways with that people in judgment.

In Psalm 82 He judges among the gods.

In Psalm 83 we have the last conspiracy of the Assyrians, and those that dwell within the limits of the land, where judgment displays that Jehovah is Most High over all the earth.

Up to this, we have had God, in His nature and character, as such. Now, in Psalm 84, the people in connection with Him as Jehovah think of the joy of going up to His sanctuary, that is, to worship Him.

Psalm 85. In the favour He has shewn to His land, mercy and truth, righteousness and peace, have all been verified and brought together.

Psalm 86 is a celebration of the character of Jehovah, in respect of the needy, bringing all nations up to worship before Him.

Psalm 87. The excellency of Zion is celebrated as a defiance to the whole world, specially because Messiah is reckoned amongst her children.

Now we come to what Christ gets amidst all this. Psalm 88 is the curse of the broken law, which rests on the remnant, entered into by the Spirit of Christ: while in Psalm 89 all the mercies of God are centred in Him.

In the first Book of Psalms we get Christ more as an object: for example, Psalms 2, 16, 20, 22, 40. In the second book, He is presented more as an answer. So it is more the remnant, and how they are to be delivered; there is as much of Christ, but more in the way of Deliverer. In the third book, it is more entirely the remnant, for it is not David, but Asaph. There is a great deal more of grace here, than of righteousness, for the remnant, and not so much of Christ. We get Israel in the old associations of Egypt, and not Christ Himself in the midst of the thing.

Psalm 73 is Israel beloved for the fathers’ sakes, modified by the necessity of personal righteousness. It forms a kind of thesis for the whole book.

Psalm 77 is exercise of soul in this state of things. Verses 13, 19: if you get into the sanctuary, there you will be sure to find God’s way; but if you look [for it] outside, it is “in the sea.” Verse 16 is the Red Sea.

Psalm 78 is an account of how they behaved under these mercies. Verse 67 is the natural heir refused. Even if God is good to Israel, it is God who is good, not that Israel has claim. Verse 68, He chose Judah.

Psalm 82. If all the deputy-judges go wrong, God judges among the gods.

Psalm 84:4 is the “house” and “praise.” Verse 5 is the “ways” and “strength”; both “blessed.” Verse 6, “Baca” “weeping”; so, “rejoicing in tribulation.”

Psalm 86 is David. A great deal more personal; the consciousness of standing in the gap for Israel.

Psalm 89:1. “Mercies” celebrated. Verse 19 shews them summed up in the person of Christ, Verse 49, Israel is cast oyer on the certainty of mercy in God’s promise to David.

Book 4.

In Psalm 90 Jehovah has always been the dwelling-place of Israel; and His greatness, and their nothingness, are used as a plea for His compassion towards them: while in Psalm 91 Messiah comes in, and owns the God of Israel, even Jehovah; and all the blessings of the name of Almighty and Most High are manifested in connection with Him.

This brings in Psalm 92, the celebration of His name in the rest—the Sabbath—of Israel.

The from Psalms 93-100, we have the thesis of Jehovah’s reigning brought out from the cry of the remnant, who seek deliverance from the wicked one; the call to Israel to listen; the call to the heathen; the coming in glory to judge; the execution of the judgment; God’s establishment in Zion between the cherubim the summons of the world to come and worship there with joy.

Then in Psalm 101 the principles of Christ’s government; and in Psalm 102 the expression of His isolated sorrows; and to the inquiry how He, who was cut off in the midst of His days, could have part in the re-establishment of Zion, it is revealed that He is Himself the everlasting Jehovah.

In Psalm 103 he blesses Jehovah as the Forgiver and Healer of His people; in Psalm 104 as the glorious Creator; in Psalm 105 as faithful to His covenant with the fathers, and to His promises.

In Psalm 106, we see His dealings with them in chastening, but His abundant readiness to hear their cry which they now address to Him.

Psalm 90 is a supplication for mercy—a kind of introduction to the book. Verse 9: We are poor and fading things. Verse 14: Make haste to mercy.

Psalm 91. Now comes the deliberate statement of Messiah’s taking up the case of Israel; not merely His being found in the position, but a kind of public announcement of it. Verse 1: Whoever takes the secret place, gets the Almightiness. Verse 2: Messiah says, I will take Jehovah as my refuge, etc. Verse 3: The Spirit declares the consequences of this. In verse 9 the remnant address Messiah. In verse 14 Jehovah comes in, and sets His seal on the whole.

Psalm 102 shews the consequence on earth of the trust of Psalm 91.

Psalm 93 has for its thesis, “Jehovah reigneth.”

Psalm 94. Mercy of the remnant.

Psalm 95 is the summons to Israel. “To-day” goes on till Christ comes.

Psalm 96 is the summons to the heathen—the everlasting gospel of Revelation.

Psalm 97. He is coming.

Psalm 98. He has come, and executed salvation or righteousness in favour of Israel.

Psalm 99. He is actually sitting between the cherubim, taking His place on the throne.

Psalm 100. Gentiles are called to worship Him. “Rejoice, ye Gentiles,” etc., is fulfilled.

Psalm 101 is a kind of supplemental psalm, shewing how Christ will guide His house when He takes it.

Book 5.

In Psalm 107 we get the celebration of the ways of the Lord in the restoration of His people (it is not what they are looking for), which they are specially called to notice; together, with Psalm 108, the celebration of His praises as their Redeemer.

We have then, Psalm 109, at once introduced the sufferings of Christ under the apostasy, whether of Judas or Antichrist: while, in Psalm 110, He is called to sit at Jehovah’s right hand, until He makes His enemies His footstool, for the accomplishment of the purposes of this redemption—when His power shall go forth from Zion—while, because of His humiliation, He is exalted for the destroying of him who elevates himself against Him.

Psalm 110:6. “He shall wound the head over a great country.”

Psalms in, 112. Then the Lord is praised for this redemption, and the display of His character in it; and the portion of the righteous consequently.

His majesty and grace are celebrated in Psalm 113, as high above all, extending everywhere, and considering the poor and needy. In Psalm 114 God’s presence is the real strength of His people. Psalm 115: in contrast with idols, all the glory is given to His name.

Psalm 116. The afflicted one now praises the Lord before all, whom he had trusted in the time of his distress, when brought low. The Spirit of Christ, in the midst of His people, is especially shewn.

Psalm 116:10. In the presence of death, He goes in and speaks. So Paul in 2 Corinthians 4.

Psalm 117. The nations are then summoned to praise the Lord, because of His abiding mercy and truth to Israel.

In Psalm 118 Christ takes up the son of Israel in the great congregation, declaring that “His mercy endureth for ever.” The enemies encompassed Him, the adversary beset Him, Jehovah had chastened Him, but not given Him up. Israel now owns that the stone which the builders had rejected has become the Head of the corner, and their heart is prepared to say, “Save now,” “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of Jehovah”; and they worship with joy.

Psalm 119. The law is written in Israel’s once wandering heart.

Psalms 120-134. Then we get, in the Psalms of Degrees, various thoughts and feelings of Israel as now restored, whether as looking back and enjoying the blessing; or under the conviction of sin; or as David (that is, really Christ) establishing the sign of Jehovah’s presence in full blessing in Israel— the people being gathered in unity—closing with the blessing of Jehovah from the sanctuary.

Psalm 130. In this psalm they get into the depths, not from circumstances, but from sin. Instead of speaking of enemies as in Psalm 124 (“when man rose up against us”), it is between him and God. It is after the new moon they have the day of atonement.

In Psalms 135 and 136, we have the celebration of Jehovah’s praise for His election of Israel, in connection, on the one hand, with the original promise to Abraham, and the mercy connected with His judgments on the other (compare Ex. 3 and Deut. 32); with the formal declaration that His mercy endures for ever.

Psalm 137. Babylon and Edom come up in judgment before God; and Psalm 138, God’s word, the confidence of His people, is glorified in His ways towards them.

Psalm 139. None can escape the searching out of God; but if God creates for blessing, we can praise Him.

Psalm 139. The searchings of God throw you back on the thoughts that God had in meeting you in grace; and therefore you can ask God to “search,” etc. We are the creatures of His thoughts, as well as the subject of them.

Psalm 140. We have the cry for deliverance from the evil and violent man; the head of the faithful is covered in the day of his conflict, for God maintains his cause, and delivers him.

Psalm 141. The Lord is trusted to guide them—that is, the poor—in a right path, according to His mind, so as to avoid the snares of the wicked. In the utmost desolation he trusts Him. Then, Psalm 142, however overwhelmed, God knows his path.

Psalm 143. He pleads not to enter into judgment, for no man can be justified, for the enemy has trodden down his soul; but he still looks to the Lord, and trusts that He will guide him in uprightness, and looks to Him in mercy, to cut off all his enemies, that, Psalm 144, full blessing may come in.

Psalm 144 is different from Psalm 18 in not having the death of Christ as a centre; and, moreover, the heathen are not brought in.

Psalm 145. Messiah describes the millennium in the interchange of Jehovah’s praises between Him and the people that are blessed.

Then we get the great Hallel.

Psalm 146. Jehovah is praised as the God of Jacob, as the Creator of all things, the Keeper of truth, the Deliverer of the oppressed, and of all from affliction and distress. He shall reign as the God of Zion through all generations.

Psalm 147. Then He is praised as the Builder up of Jerusalem, taking pleasure in them that fear Him, ruling every element by His word; but giving His word, His statutes, and His judgments, to Israel.

Psalm 148. All creation is called upon to praise Him; who exalts the horn of His people (Israel)—a people near unto Him.

Psalm 149. Israel, above all, is called to praise Him in a new song. Judgment is put into their hands.

The last Psalm 150, is a kind of chorus. In His sanctuary, the firmament of His power, everything that has breath is called to praise Him.

In this book we have either the explanation of the Lord’s ways, or hallelujahs. It is a kind of sermon.