Book Two underscores the importance of the king and the kingdom of God’s people.  Every psalm in this book [Psalms 42-72] except one mentions the king and either Jerusalem or the temple.  While the king is central in Book One [Psalms 1-41], especially in his personal struggles of faith, he is central in Book Two in relation to the kingdom of God.  This Book seems to have a greater concentration on the corporate dimensions of the life of the people of God than Book One.  The opening psalm, to be sure, continues the very personal expression of spiritual concern in very eloquent terms: “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42.1-2).  Yet, that personal concern is immediately linked to the temple in the national capital: “When shall I come and appear before God?” (verse 2).  The psalmist’s longing for God is a longing for the temple and its worship: “These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival” (verse 4).

From: Learning to Love the Psalms by W. Robert Godfrey (Orlando: Reformation Trust, 2017), p. 87.


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