2001-12-29 - Messiah: His Final Call to Israel
Psalm 72 is a Messianic prediction. In verses 5-11 the writer describes, in glowing terms, the unquestioned sovereignty of King Messiah over all the nations. But He will never force Himself against anyone's will. He will wait for the people of Israel to call upon Him. When they do, He will come and deliver them out of all their troubles.
(Psalm 72:13-15) He will have pity on the poor and needy, and the souls of the needy he will save. He will redeem their soul from oppression and violence. And precious will their blood be in his sight. And they shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba. And men shall pray for him continually. They shall bless him all the day long.
Humanly speaking, God is disappointed in Israel.
(Psalm. 81:8-12) Hear, O my people, and I will testify unto thee: O Israel, if thou wouldest hearken unto me! There shall no strange god be in thee. Neither shalt thou worship any foreign god. I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. But my people hearkened not to my voice. And Israel would none of me. So I let them go after the stubbornness of their heart, that they might walk in their own counsels.
Notwithstanding God's marvelous deliverance of Israel from Egyptian servitude, and His making provision for their needs and comfort in their trek through the wilderness, they went after the stubbornness of their own hearts (Ps. 81: 12). Then, as with a sigh, the psalmist, speaking for God, declares that the lord would subdue all their enemies if they would only hearken to Him.
(Ps. 81:13-16) Oh that my people would hearken unto me, that Israel would walk in my ways! I would soon subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their adversaries. The haters of Jehovah should submit themselves unto him. But their time should endure forever. He would feed them also with the finest of the wheat. And with honey out of the rock would I satisfy thee.
Whenever Israel really hearkens to the Lord, He will answer. God is still waiting. It is now Israel's move.
In Matthew, Chapter 23, is recorded Christ's discourse against the hypocrisy of certain scribes and Pharisees. He concluded His message with the following words:
(Matt. 23:37-39) O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, "ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, 'blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.'"
These words were spoken to official Jerusalem who, at various times in the history of the nation, killed prophets and stoned those that had been sent unto her, the literal Jerusalem.
Very significant is the statement, "How often would I have gathered thy children together, evenas a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye willed not." According to this statement, the Lord Jesus, who has all power in Heaven and on Eearth, would have gathered the people of Israel and restored them to their land--- but they willed not. The Lord willed to regather them, but they willed otherwise; He therefore did not force their will. He is still waiting for them to yield their will and call upon Him. Whenever they do so, He will deliever them. Then Israel's problems will be solved, and Israel will become the head of nations instead of being the tail.
Psalm 24 is a dramatic hymn. It is one of the most thrilling and vivid prophecies of the conversion of Israel and the return of Messiah, the King of Glory. No discussion of Israel's returning to God would be complete without this poem.
(Ps.24) The earth is Jehovah's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. Who shall ascend into the hill of Jehovah? And who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto falsehood, and hath not sworn deceitfully. He shall receive a blessing from Jehovah, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek after him, that seek thy face, even Jacob. Selah Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting doors. And the King of glory will come in. Who is the King of glory? Jehovah strong and mighty, Jehovah mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates.Yea, lift them up, ye everlasting doors. And the King of glory will come in. Who is this King of glory? Jehovah of hosts. He is the King of glory. Selah
This Psalm falls into two natural divisions: The first section deals with the citizens of Zion (vv.1-6) ; the second calls upon the nation of Israel to welcome the King of Glory into her midst.
The inspired writer calls the reader's attention to the fact that the Earth with its fullness and the people living thereon are Jehovah's. The word Jehovah has four different connotations: Sometimes it refers to the Holy Trinity (Deut. 6:4); on other occasions it refers to God the Father (Ps. 80: 4, 8). In still other connections it is the name of God the Son (Isa. 33:17-22). And in other places of the Scripture, the name signifies the Holy Spirit (Isa. 61: 1). We are told that the Earth and its fullness belong to Jehovah (John 1:1-4). The world and all things therein belong, therefore, to God the Son, by virtue of His having created them.
The universe belongs to God the Son, by virtue of His having purchased all things, paying, as the price thereof, the blood of His Cross (Col. 1:19,20). All things will belong to the Son by virtue of His conquest when He appears in fulfillment of the prediction in Deuteronomy 32:39-43. The last picture coming of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords is in Revelation 19:11-12. (See also Ps. 24:3). Several passages of Scripture refer to the mountain of Jehovah's house. Isaiah speaks of this mountain in Isaiah 2:1-4. It is described in Ezekiel, Chapter 48. In the great Kingdom Age, the Holy Land will be like a valley that reaches afar (Num. 24;6). As valleys are they spread forth. As gardens by the riverside, as lign-aloes which Jehovah hath planted, as cedar trees beside the waters.
Who will be granted the privilege of ascending into the hill of Jehovah and standing before the Lord--approved by Him? This question is answered in verse 4: (Ps. 24:4). This verse includes the people living at the time which the Psalmist in vision sees, the good moral indviduals Corneliuses (Acts, chapter 10). A full description of this class of people is found in the following Psalm:
(Ps. 15) Jehovah, who shall sojourn in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart; he that slandereth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his friend, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor in whose eyes a reprobate is despised. But who honoreth them that fear Jehovah -- He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not; he that putteth not out his money to interest, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
The people of whom we are studying in these passages shall "recieve a blessing from Jehovah, And righteousness from the God of his salvation" (Ps. 24:5). Such a person or persons "receive" a blessing from Jehovah. What is it that they shall receive? The answer is "a blessing from Jehovah." In what form is the blessing? The second line of this verse, which is parallel with the first line, shows of what the blessing consists, namely righteousness from the God of his salvation. Since it is a righteousness from God, it is not something that a man does. Rather, it is imputed righteousness. The righteousness of a man--a clean moral life and good deeds performed in his unregenerated state--is as filthy rags (Isa. 64:6) in the sight of God. The righteousness of Psalm 24:5 is the righteousness of God. In Romans 1:16,17 the Apostle Paul speaks of the righteousness of God which is revealed in the gospel. The Apostle enlarges upon this doctrine in the following passage:
(Romans 3:21-26) But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe. For there is no distinction; for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus -- whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God. For the showing, I say, of his righteousness at this present season, that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus.
This is the righteousness of which Paul also speaks in Philippians 3:2-11: Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workers, beware of the concision: For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I myself might have confidence even in the flesh. If any other man thinketh to have confidence in the flesh, I yet more -- circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. As touching the law, a Pharisee; as touching zeal, persecuting the church; as touching the righteousness which is in the law, found blameless. Howbeit what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death, if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection from the dead.
In His Service,