Just like the third book, the fifth begins with a reference to Yahweh’s goodness: Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good (Psalm 107:1); but this time it doesn’t question His goodness as in Psalm 73; instead, the psalmist has learned to take refuge in Yahweh’s eternal mercy: For his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 107:1) And he doesn’t simply wait for Yahweh’s mercy; he has experienced it anew, as the next verse tells us, “Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble” (Psalm 107:2).
And he celebrates a specific salvation. The fourth book ended with a petition for Yahweh’s mercy, “Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations (Psalm 106:47). Now Psalm 107 celebrates His answer, “He [the LORD] has redeemed [us] from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south” (Psalm 107:3). After a long and difficult wait, Yahweh’s people have experienced His salvation and therefore wait with even more confidence and longing for new manifestations of His mercy: “Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go out, O God, with our armies. Oh grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man! With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes” (Psalm 108:10-13).
As we find in Psalm 108, the references to Yahweh’s anointed one have returned, the references to the Davidic covenant which nearly disappeared through the fourth book. But here it is a transformed covenant, one that uncovers new and more glorious vistas than any seen during David’s reign. We find that the future Anointed One will surpass even David: “The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool’” (Psalm 110:1). Jesus observes, “If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” (Matthew 22:45; see also Mark 12:37 and Luke 20:44) That is to say, how may an ancestor, especially an ancestor as great as King David, bow in submission to one of his descendants? This descendant must be far more glorious and exalted than previously imagined. David recognizes this in Psalm 110; the future Anointed One, Jesus Christ, is prior and superior to him and will reign in righteousness with complete victory over His enemies. What David experienced personally and historically in Yahweh’s covenant is simply a reflection of the glorious covenant between the Father and the eternal Anointed One.
A heart grateful for salvation responds in praise and worship, and therefore the fifth book of the Psalms dedicates ample space to worship in psalms which call upon all Yahweh’s people and even all of creation to worship Him: “Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD from the heavens; praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels; praise him, all his hosts!” (Psalm 148:1-2). Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! (Psalm 150:6) May our reading of all the Psalms and even all the Bible strengthen our faith in spite of tribulations and stir us to joyful worship of our Lord and Savior.