'This warm and wonderful book will be a tremendous help to very many'
Christopher Ash, Writer-in-Residence, Tyndale House, Cambridge.
What does it mean to walk in the way of Jesus?
What if reading the same scriptures that he read, and praying the same prayers that he prayed, made following Jesus easier?
The Psalms are intended for people who would follow Christ along his path of trust and obedience. Andrew Shead shows us that we can follow Christ through the book of Psalms, a journey through many hardships that ends in joy. He combines an appreciation for the overall story of the book of Psalms, the art of reading poetry well, and the discipline of biblical theology to invite you to follow Christ more faithfully.
Walk in the way of Jesus, by following the same path to wisdom he did, through the Psalms.
List of illustrations xi
1 Psalms 1 and 2: the journey begins 1
Through the gates of the library 1
Psalm 1: the path 2
Psalm 2: the journey 12
Travelling in the footsteps of the Messiah 17
2 Psalm 32: weakness and gratitude 21
Finding a plot in the Psalms 21
Part 1: David's story 23
Part 2: living the forgiven life 32
Forgiveness and the Christian life 34
3 Psalm 69: suffering and hope 39
The Psalms as prophecy 39
The art of lament 40
Step 1: the cry for help 43
Step 2: the prayer for salvation 49
Step 3: the praise of David's God 55
On suffering with the Messiah 57
4 Psalm 88: despair and endurance 61
Living with the absence of God 61
The competing realities of Psalm 88 62
The context of Psalm 88 71
Death, Jesus and us 72
5 Psalm 91: the Lord is with you 78
Book IV of the Psalms: after the fall 78
Introducing Psalm 91 79
The faithful Israelite 80
Words of assurance, part 1 82
Words of assurance, part 2 86
The Lord speaks 90
Being confident in Christ's service 93
6 Psalm 118: his love endures for ever 97
Psalm 118: the big picture 97
The hero triumphs 106
The hero is honoured 111
The hero is followed 114
Jesus our hero 117
7 Psalm 147: what your breath is for 120
The end of the journey 120
Praise the transcendent Creator 123
Praise the benevolent Sustainer 126
Praise the Lord whose ways are hidden 130
Expanding circles of praise 135
Further resources and acknowledgments 141
This warm and wonderful book will be a tremendous help to very many Christians seeking to understand and to pray the Psalms in Christ. In my experience books about the Psalms tend either towards dry scholarship lacking in the richness of Christ or to popular devotion lacking in depth. This book is built on careful scholarship and grapples with the text in the context of the whole Bible with Christ at its centre. But it combines these scholarly foundations with a warm pastoral tone and an understanding of how the Psalms engage with the life of faith in Christ today. I am so thankful for it and warmly commend it.
Having had the privilege of hearing the talks on which this excellent book is based, I am delighted to be able to study them further in written form. This book will be a blessing to all who read it carefully and will draw you closer to the Lord.
With an ease that belies the expertise behind it, Shead fits each of his selected psalms into the grand history of Israel and into the grander history of those who follow Jesus. Satisfying to both scholar and common reader, here is a series of exquisitely crafted meditations that will delight the mind, nourish the heart, and quicken feet to Walk His Way.
The psalms are always spiritually refreshing, but it is easy to read them superficially. This book shows us how to read the psalms deeply, in their Old Testament and biblical context, as poetry full of imagery and emotions. It brings scholarly understanding (of course) but more than that, it takes us through a spiritual story and shows us how walking in Christ's way is deeply satisfying and worth any sacrifice. Reading this, we are brought to the God who walks every step of the way with us. If you want to be the tree whose leaf does not wither, this book shows you how.
As I read the Psalms I often wish to have a spiritual tutor next to me, showing me the deeper meanings of what I am reading, how the Psalter is prayed by Jesus and with Jesus, and how some difficult texts may be reconciled with my own Christian experience. This small book by Andrew Shead serves the role of such a tutor. Through a selection of key psalms, the author offers a valuable lens through which to reflect on the Psalter theologically and prayerfully!
In Walk His Way, Andrew Shead shows himself to be the best of travel guides. Wise and superbly informed, but also compassionate and companionate. Recognising that the Psalms rate as many people's favourite part of Scripture, Shead unveils for us with clarity and sympathy the riches of God's 'hymnbook' for his people. One finds oneself continually refreshed and delighted by sparkling insights, not least of all concerning God's King, the Christ, the promise of whom is fulfilled in Jesus. The Psalms selected for in-depth exposition (the chapters were originally given as talks) traverse the breadth of human experience, and the tension of living (or walking) by faith in a world wrecked by sin. The volume is worth having for the chapter on Psalm 88 alone. Here is a book on the Psalms that will cause you to treasure, and meditate upon them, all the more.