DIVISIONS OF THE BOOK
All the 150 Psalms are divided into five separate books, each of which is composed of a number of Psalms with a distinctive point of spiritual significance.
Book I: composed of Psalms 1 to 41, indicates how God’s intention is to turn the seeking saints from the law to Christ that they may enjoy the house of God.
Book II: composed of Psalms 42 to 72, indicates how the saints experience God and His house and city through the suffering, exalted and reigning Christ.
Book III: composed of Psalms 73 to 89, indicates how the saints, in their experiences, realize that the house and the city of God with all the enjoyments thereof can only be preserved and maintained with Christ properly appreciated and exalted by God’s people.
Book IV: composed of Psalms 90 to 106, indicates how the saints, being joined to Christ, are one with God so that He can recover His title over the earth through Christ in His house and city.
Book V: composed of Psalms 107 to 150, indicates how the house and city of God become the praise, safety, and desire of the saints, and how Christ comes to reign over the whole earth through the house and the city of God.
By looking into the main points of the five books, we can easily realize that they are not only in a very meaningful sequence, but also with a consecutive progress or improvement until they reach the climax of the divine revelation they afford us.
The first Psalm of each book represents the concept of that book. For instance, the first Psalm of Book I represents the concept of the law. Look into the first Psalm of each book, and you will see the improvement. Let us consider several verses from these Psalms. Book II begins, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God” (Psa. 42:1). Compare this verse with the beginning of Book I, and you will see the difference. There is further improvement with the beginning of Book III: “Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a pure heart” (Psa. 73:1). There is even more improvement when we come to the beginning of Book IV: “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations” (Psa. 90:1). Do you see the difference? Finally, Book V begins on the highest plane of all: “O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever” (Psa. 107:1). And the last, glorious word of the Psalms is, “Praise ye the Lord.” That is, “Hallelujah!” I am afraid the last word of the Psalms of many Christians is, “Blessed is the man who keeps the law.” But in the real Psalms, the closing word is, “Hallelujah, praise ye the Lord!”
BOOK I—PSALMS 1 TO 41
As Book I indicates how God’s intention is to turn the seeking saints from the law to Christ, so at the beginning it presents a contrast between the first two psalms. Read Psalms 1 and 2 together. Do you see the difference in these two psalms? One is concerning the law and is according to the human concept of the godly saints, whereas the other is concerning Christ and is according to the divine concept of God.
(Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)