When first reading the book of Psalms, many people relate this text as worship and prayer towards the living God. However, many scholars indicate otherwise. They suggest that the book of Psalms relates directly to God’s covenant- David’s Covenant with God. Understanding the Davidic Covenant and the book of Psalms, one can recognize the relationship that God has with not only believers but the people of Israel.
In II Samuel 10-16, God establishes a new covenant with David and his lineage. This is similar to the covenant made with Abraham, Moses, and Noah. In this scripture, God reminds the reader of the Covenant made with the others that came before David, that the people of Abraham will be unnumbered and will have land to call their own (II Sam 7:10). However, in the covenant with David, God promises that “I will set up thy seed after thee which shall proceed out of the bowel and I will establish his kingdom” (II Sam 7:12). In these words, God promises David that his descendants will forever remain the head of the kingdom. David’s people will all have titles of authority and king of the people of Israel. It hints to the coming of Christ, suggesting that Jesus will come from the line of David. This covenant is important as it relates directly back to the book of Psalms.
Scholars indicate that Psalms represents the love that God has for Israel, (Boadt 235). His love for Israel is expressed through the covenant that he makes with David. This is because David symbolizes the people of Israel. It brings us to all the good things he has done for the Israelites. GOD did not destroy Abraham’s line in the great flood and later led the Israelites out of slavery into the Promised Land. Specifically, Psalms 89 reflects David’s linage. In this chapter, it references celebrations and feasts that occur in the New Year that is done to recognize and renew God’s covenant with David that fits into this theme (Boadt 283). By observing this covenant, believers understand the promise made to them as well as their acceptance as royalty and upperclassmen in the eyes of God.
Other scholars agree. Researchers such as John Walton indicates in his article that psalms is centered around the covenant of David and all things referenced in Psalms leads us back to God’s promise (Walton 24). The covenant with David remains referenced due to all that David symbolizes. This is because David is an example of the vindication of man as well as righteousness (Barne & Kselman 98). This is referenced in Psalms 23, which recall God’s covenant, his relationship with believers, and the exodus event. Therefore, through the Davidic Covenant one can observe the blessings, goodness, and kindness of God which endures to the end of time.
Boadt, Lawrence. Reading the Old Testament: An Introduction. Revised and Expanded ed. Richard Clifford and Daniel Harrington, eds. New York: Paulist Press, 2012. Print.
Walton, John. Psalms: A Cantana About the Davidic Covenant. Journal of Evantualical theology Society. March, 1991. Valume 34 Issue 1. Retrieved from: http://www.etsjets.org/files/JETS-PDFs/34/34-1/34-1-pp021-031_JETS.pdf
Barre, Micheal; Kselman, John. The New Exodus, Covenant, and Restoration in Psalm 23. A Biblical Echo of Mesopotamian Royal Rhetoric. Journal of Semitic Studies Volume 23. pp. 39-45. Retrieved from: http://www.legrandlbaker.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Psalm-23-goodness-and-mercy-guardian-angels.pdf