Saturday, April 29, 2017

JESUS the King and Judge (Ps.89, 96)

David reminds God about His covenant to him and the Israelites in Psalm 89...
(Psalm 89:19-29)  Once You spoke in vision to Your godly ones, and said, “I have given help to one who is mighty;  I have exalted one chosen from the people.
20 “I have found David My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him,
21 With whom My hand will be established;  My arm also will strengthen him.
22 “The enemy will not deceive him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him.
23 “But I shall crush his adversaries before him, and strike those who hate him.
24 “My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him, and in My name his horn will be exalted.
25 “I shall also set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers.
26 “He will cry to Me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the rock of my salvation.’
27 “I also shall make him My firstborn, the highest of the kings of the earth.
28 “My lovingkindness I will keep for him forever, and My covenant shall be confirmed to him.
29 “So I will establish his descendants forever and his throne as the days of heaven..."

Not that we need to remind God of anything...  I believe it's more about reminding ourselves what God has said and done.  This then can give us more faith and confidence in going to God with certain requests.  Throughout many of these psalms, David asks God for deliverance (not just from trials and tests, but also from sin).  As well, David writes many praises to God, not only for what He has done, but what He is going to do - how God has delivered and how God will deliver in the future...

 (Psalm 96:11-13)  Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;  let the sea roar, and all it contains;
12 Let the field exult, and all that is in it.  Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy
13 Before the Lordfor He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth.  He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness.

We know this is prophetic.  We see Jesus coming from heaven to judge the nations after the battle of Armageddon in Revelation 19:11-17, which is also described in Matthew 25:31-46.  Jesus will also act as judge at the Great White Throne Judgement...

(Revelation 20:11-15)  Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

He is just and faithful - and loving.  God wants to have a personal relationship with each one of us.  He wants to adopt us as children of God, and save us from His judgments.  This is why He came to die for us!

(John 3:16-17)  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

And so, He provides redemption, so that we can avoid that judgement and that eternal punishment...

(Acts 10:42-43)  "...And He (God) ordered us to preach to the people, and solemnly to testify that this is the One who has been appointed by God as Judge of the living and the dead. 43 Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”

Friday, April 28, 2017

JESUS the Groom (Ps.45)

After studying this, and a few other people's notes (which is okay, but we must always defer to God's Word's and God's guidance to interpret correctly).  Taking everything into consideration, and putting the entire Bible into context, this is what I'm seeing...

(Psalm 45:1)  My heart overflows with a good theme;  I address my verses to the King;  my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

David seems to be writing a song to another king (maybe his son, Solomon) - but is using God and "God" (the Jesus of the Old Testament) as an inspiration... which is also prophetic in nature.  So David is writing something to a king, but has written more of a poem about God talking or writing to His Son.

KIND OF LIKE when my husband and I were married, instead of saying our vows to each other - we prayed our vows to God... We felt this carried more weight and meant more.  We heard each other's prayers to God, and UNDERSTOOD that these vows to God were then obviously encompassing a vow to each other.  The point of saying vows is to publicly state your commitment.  Having God's strength and guidance behind our vows held a greater meaning to the both of us.

Interestingly, David mentions "grace" and eternity in the second verse, which also includes "Your" and "You" in caps (I do prefer Bibles that do this so it is easier to keep things in context)...

(Psalm 45:2)  You are fairer than the sons of men;  grace is poured upon Your lips;  therefore God has blessed You forever.

If it were not for grace, there would not be eternal salvation for believers!

(John 1:17)  For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

Because Jesus paid the price for sin and was victorious over death, we can be victorious.  And one day, Jesus will return to fight the battle of Armageddon, then lead the Israelites (and new believers from the Tribulation) into the Millennium to as their King.  David writes about this right here...

(Ps.45:3-7)  Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,  in Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously, for the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;  let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;  the peoples fall under You;  Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;  a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;  therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of joy above Your fellows.
Besides seeing this played out in John's prophecy (in Revelation 19:11-16),  Hebrews 1 explains it very nicely while quoting Psalm 45:6-7 in verses 1:8-9.  We also see the prophecy given to the virgin Mary as the angel gives her the news that she is about to give birth to the Messiah...

(Luke 1:32-33)  "...He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

Now David writes about a wedding celebration...
(Ps.45:8-17)  All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;  out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;  at Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.
10 Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear:  forget your people and your father’s house;
11 Then the King will desire your beauty.  Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him.
12 The daughter of Tyre will come with a gift;  the rich among the people will seek your favor.
13 The King’s daughter is all glorious within;  her clothing is interwoven with gold.
14 She will be led to the King in embroidered work;  the virgins, her companions who follow her, will be brought to You.
15 They will be led forth with gladness and rejoicing;  they will enter into the King’s palace.
16 In place of your fathers will be your sons;  You shall make them princes in all the earth.
17 I will cause Your name to be remembered in all generations;  therefore the peoples will give You thanks forever and ever.
The Jewish wedding celebrations happened like this:  first the bridegroom went to the bride's house to get her in order to have a private ceremony, THEN after some time, the bridegroom would bring his bride to his own home to hold a celebration, while collecting the guests along the way - so they needed to be ready, or they would miss the feast.

Just so, Jesus is the Bridegroom, and His bride is the Church (all believers of all time).  Jesus made several references to being the bridegroom, like in...

(Mark 2:19)  And Jesus said to them, “While the bridegroom is with them, the attendants of the bridegroom cannot fast, can they? So long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

And the Church is referenced here as the bride...

(Revelation 21:2)  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.

Interestingly, the Jewish wedding ceremonies parallel the events of the end times...

For the first part (see 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17)...
Jesus (the Bridegroom) will collect the Church ("His bride")
at the Rapture (the original Greek word used - meaning "to be caught up").

Then there is the waiting time (of 7 years during the Tribulation) until the second phase.

In the parable of the 10 virgins (see Matthew 25:1-13)...
the people in the Tribulation (the virgins) are waiting for the Messiah, Jesus (the bridegroom).
They must become believers (they must be ready) during this time,
so when Jesus comes (His Second coming)
(when the bridegroom is taking his bride to his home to celebrate);
the believers from the Tribulation (the virgins who are ready)
can enter the Millennium (to be part of the wedding celebration).

As Jesus says in another parable about the kingdom of heaven (the Millennium)...

(Matthew 22:2)  “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave wedding feast for his son."

Thursday, April 27, 2017

JESUS, THE Angel of the LORD (Ps.34)

In Psalm 34, David mentions his experience - (Daivd is "this poor man" crying out and being saved) - which is followed with a statement about THE Angel of the LORD (Jesus of the Old Testament)

(Psalm 34:6-7)  This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.  The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.

Just as Jesus is with those who put their trust in Him, and saves them...

(1 Timothy 1:15)  It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all.

Jesus is the only One who can save us (and preserve us), because of His work on the cross, which David prophetically refers to...

(Psalm 34:20)  He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken.

This is fulfilled as seen in John 19...

(John 19:31-36)  Then the Jews, because it was the day of preparation, so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath for that Sabbath was a high day), asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 So the soldiers came, and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Him; 33 but coming to Jesus, when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. 36 For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, “Not a bone of Him shall be broken.”

In this psalm, David focuses a lot on - fearing the LORD...

(Psalm 34:9)  O fear the Lord, you His saints...
(Psalm 34:11)  Come, you children, listen to me;  I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

David makes sure to tell us HOW (to fear the LORD)...

(Psalm 34:8)  O taste and see that the Lord is good;  how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

"Taste and see" would be like seeking out and experiencing.  And taking refuge would be like trusting and believing wholly in Jesus...  Then, to continue this "fear" after becoming believers...

(Psalm 34:13-14)  Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.  14 Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

David also tells us WHY...

(Psalm 34:4-5)  I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.  They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed.

Interesting that when we FEAR the LORD - we will have nothing to FEAR.  And we will be a light to the world.   AND there is no want of any good thing...

(Psalm 34:9-10)  O fear the Lord, you His saints;  for to those who fear Him there is no want.  The young lions do lack and suffer hunger;  but they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing...  
(Psalm 34:12)  Who is the man who desires life and loves length of days that he may see good?

And another WHY (should we fear) is that the LORD will protect and preserve us.  Doesn't mean we will not suffer or have troubles, but when we continue to fear God...

(Psalm 34:15-22)  The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against evildoers,  tcut off the memory of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry, and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
And the most important WHY is that believers will have eternal security!

(Psalm 34:22)  The Lord redeems the soul of His servants, and none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.

We are redeemed!  Our sins are remembered no more!  As God says in...

(Hebrews 8:12)  "For I will be merciful to their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

So what should our reaction be to all of this?  As David says right in the beginning of this psalm...

(Psalm 34:1-3)  I will bless the Lord at all times;  His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul will make its boast in the Lord;  the humble will hear it and rejoice.  magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.