Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 11:2 (Spring 1994)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous


Book Reviews

Biblical Studies

The Journey Isn’t Over: e Pilgrim Psalms for Life s Challenges and Joy, by Walter
C. Kaiser, Jr. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1993. Pp. 160.

Most evangelicals know and appreciate Walt Kaiser, Old Testament professor and former Dean at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. His writings are always well done, some at the academic textbook level, others (like this one) at the popular level. The study focuses on Psalms 120–34, the so-called “Songs of Ascent.” He includes the poetic interpretations by Isaac Watts as an added bonus.

The content of the chapters (one for each psalm) is primarily in terms of spiritual application rather than in terms of historical origins, but a survey of the historical options is provided in the introductory chapter. I was pleased to see how much weight Kaiser was willing to give to the hypothesis that these psalms are related to Hezekiah and events in his time, for that is the conclusion I had previously come to on independent grounds. Kaiser remains committed to a traditional reading whereas I have moved to a less traditional one, but I too believe Hezekiah produced a body of psalms which were combined with one by Solomon and some by David to construct this series. I believe the original liturgical usage was tied more to salvation and divine providence than to “daily work” issues, but I do not deny the legitimacy of applications such as are drawn here.

Kaiser warns us against slander and gossip (Psalm 120); he points to danger and the appreciation of divine protection (Psalm 121); he encourages us to worship along the way in the journey of life (Psalm 122). Kaiser knows about suffering (Psalms 123–24), about insecurity (Psalms 125–26), and about families and children (Psalms 127–28). We face enemies (Psalm 129), and our guilt calls out for forgiveness (Psalm 130). Humility (Psalm 131), remembrance (Psalm 132), and harmony (Psalm 133) must also prevail. Psalm 134 is then examined as a closing devotion.

I surely would urge a wide circulation for this study. Home Bible study groups or even family devotions could profitably use this book as a study guide. The work is aca...

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