Book Review: Songs of a Suffering King

Colossians 3:16 exhorts us, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God”. Likewise, it is in the actual words of Christ that we hear the Psalms point to Him: “Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). It is clear from even the New Testament, then, the importance of the Psalms and how they relate to Christ. A mistake, however, is made when we hand-pick a chosen few soaskpsalms and deem them as pointing to Christ. The reality is the Psalms in full do that in some manner, which is the reason why J.V. Fesko has written an excellent book called Songs of a Suffering King. In it, he observes, meditates on, and explains the first eight psalms of the book.

This book does an immensely wonderful job at honoring the original context in David’s life while also moving toward a Christ-centered approach. The problem of bypassing the cross for a mere moralistic application is a concern for Fesko, so he opens the eyes of his readers to see how Christ has fulfilled the requirement for righteousness and how we can have hope because of the gospel. He also convincingly shows how the first eight psalms are intertwined with one another. These psalms are not isolated parts but a cohesive unit. The importance of reflection is noticed at the end of each chapter with the section “Questions for Further Study”.

Fesko states up front, “I hope this little book helps to awaken the church to the majesty, beauty, and splendor of the book of Psalms” (Preface). In the following 120 pages he does just that! I recommend to you Songs of a Suffering King if you desire to delve into the Psalms, see how they point to Church, and what the application is for the church.

I received this book for free from Reformation Heritage Books via Cross Focused Reviews for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own and are my honest review of the book.

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