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The Psalms (Vol. 1 - Psalms 1 to 41): Rejoice, the Lord is King - Preaching the Word (Johnston)

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The Psalms are treasured poetry that reflect the prayer and praise of ancient Israel. Every generation opens the Psalms for inspiration, comfort, hope, and encouragement.

They’re also are a rich source of truth about God, humanity, and salvation. The authors of the New Testament understood this, quoting the Psalms more than any other Old Testament book to establish key doctrines. The Psalms tell the story of God’s anointed king, his kingdom, and his people. They point forward to the Messiah—David’s Greater Son who reigns forever and ever.

In the first volume of a three-volume commentary on the Psalms, pastor James Johnston walks readers through Psalms 1 to 41, offering exegetical and pastoral insights along the way. Accessible and engaging, this resource will help anyone interested in studying, teaching, or preaching the Bible read the Psalms in a deliberately canonical and Christ-centered way.

Table of Contents:

  1. Blessed Is the Man (Psalm 1)
  2. Let Earth Receive Her King (Psalm 2)
  3. God Save the King (Psalm 3)
  4. Trusting God in a Bad Economy (Psalm 4)
  5. The God Who Hears Prayer (Psalm 5)
  6. How Long, O Lord? (Psalm 6)
  7. A Prayer for Justice (Psalm 7)
  8. How Majestic Is Your Name! (Psalm 8)
  9. Praise Him for His Justice (Psalm 9)
  10. God, Where Are You? (Psalm 10)
  11. Faith or Flight? (Psalm 11)
  12. Deliver Us from Deception (Psalm 12)
  13. How Long? (Psalm 13)
  14. I Am the Problem (Psalm 14)
  15. The Ultimate Question (Psalm 15)
  16. An Easter Psalm (Psalm 16)
  17. Lord, Hear My Prayer (Psalm 17)
  18. The Lord Is My Rock (Psalm 18)
  19. The Skies and the Scriptures (Psalm 19)
  20. The Faith of Israel (Psalm 20)
  21. Jesus’ Joy (Psalm 21)
  22. The Psalm of the Cross (Psalm 22)
  23. The Lord Is Christ’s Shepherd (Psalm 23)
  24. The King of Glory (Psalm 24)
  25. He Will Never Let You Down (Psalm 25)
  26. The Man of Integrity (Psalm 26)
  27. My Light and My Salvation (Psalm 27)
  28. My Strength and My Shield (Psalm 28)
  29. The Lord of the Storm (Psalm 29)
  30. Resurrection Song (Psalm 30)
  31. Be Strong and Wait for the Lord (Psalm 31)
  32. The Blessing of Forgiveness (Psalm 32)
  33. Shout for Joy! (Psalm 33)
  34. Taste and See (Psalm 34)
  35. My Savior Will Defend Me (Psalm 35)
  36. God’s Steadfast Love (Psalm 36)
  37. Don’t Envy the Wicked (Psalm 37)
  38. A King’s Confession (Psalm 38)
  39. Waiting in Silence (Psalm 39)
  40. He Set My Feet on a Rock (Psalm 40)
  41. The Blessing of Christ (Psalm 41)



James Johnston (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is senior pastor of Tulsa Bible Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma and a visiting faculty member at Jordan Evangelical Seminary. He has led workshops on expository preaching for over 15 years and is an instructor for the Charles Simeon Trust. He and his wife, Lisa, have four children.


“Johnston is a pastor who rightly deserves the title ‘pastor-scholar,’ and his scholarly abilities and studies, as well as his pastoral sensibilities and sensitivities, are on full display in his commentary on the Psalms. As Johnston helps you exegete, illustrate, and apply the heart of the Old Testament in light of the person and work of Christ, I trust that your heart—like the men on the road to Emmaus—will burn within.” — Douglas Sean O'Donnell, Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies and Practical Theology, Queensland Theological College; author, The Beginning and End of Wisdom

“While being sensitive to the original historical context of the Psalms as the prayer and songbook of the Jews, Johnston is keenly aware that there is a Christocentric end to which the Psalms point and a Son in whom they find fulfillment. Because of this, Johnston recognizes all the Psalms are messianic, and understood in this way means the Psalms are also the Christian’s prayer, song, and life book. Reading this commentary results in thanksgiving and worship. Johnston’s excellent commentary is a great addition to the Preaching the Word series. I commend it to you as both an aid to your preaching and as a companion to your devotional reading and praying of the Psalms.” — Gregory C. Strand, Director of Biblical Theology and Credentialing, Evangelical Free Church of America

Psalms will be a treasured volume in this series. The original text is taken seriously and the gospel is made clear. In reading it, my own affections for Christ were delightfully energized. Johnston weds his love for God’s poetry to his heart, which is so joyfully pledged to God’s people.” — David R. Helm, Pastor, Holy Trinity Church, Chicago; Chairman, The Charles Simeon Trust

“More excellent fodder for sermons from this first rate resource for preachers.”  — Josh Moody, Senior Pastor, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois; author, Journey to Joy: The Psalms of Ascent