A Review of Fesko’s Songs of a Suffering King

It has been said that the New Testament is in the Old Testament, concealed; and the Old Testament is in the New Testament, revealed. Christ, when confronting the teachers of His day said it this way: “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me…” Did you catch that? Our Christ is the Christ of both the Old and New Testaments. The Scriptures then, should be understood as Christ-centered drama of redemption.


This includes the Psalms. And should one go mining in the Psalms, it doesn’t take long to see our Christ on every page. Pastor and Professor J.V. Fesko does exactly that in his newest work, “Songs of a Suffering King” published by Reformation Heritage Books. Pastor Fesko takes the reader on a devotional journey through the first 8 Psalms with one purpose in mind: to shine the spotlight on our Christ, to illuminate the reader to His presence in these stirring songs of worship.

The book is divided into chapters reflecting the first 8 Psalms. Each chapter takes a look into the historical context of the song but quickly invites Christ to His rightful place: front and center. For Fesko, Christ is the central figure in Psalms, and I appreciate that about him. The historical context may have been about David, but the inspiration from the Holy Spirit was to tie David’s experiences to Christ. To see Christ as the righteous man (Psalm 1). As the rightful judge (Psalm 2). As the shield and defender (Psalm 3). As our hope (Psalm 4). As our protection (Psalm 5). As our forgiveness (Psalm 6). As our vindicator (Psalm 7). As the majestic creator and sustainer (Psalm 8).

This book is a must for pastors and Bible students, anybody interested in digging thoughtfully into the text to see Christ on every page. If you are going to be leading your church through Psalms, do yourself a favor and read this book. If you lead a small group, this book will be great as it has much to say, but in a way that is easy to digest. Each chapter ends with some questions for reflection and discussion.

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