THE FOOTSTEPS OF MESSIAH IN THE PSALMS. BOOK TWO. Introduction. There is only one way to open this second book. The last stanza of Psalm forty-one, the last Psalm of book one needs to be, without hesitation, the opening words of this book. Let the strings of the heavenly harps ring it out loud and clear in our spiritual ears once again: Psalm 41:13. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen and Amen. In reverence and awe we kneel down before Him to praise, adore and magnify His holy Name! Just as the first book of the Psalms ends with a promise and a blessing, the book of Genesis also ends with a blessing and a promise. And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die; but God will surely visit you, and bring you up out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. (Gen. 50:24&25). The book of Exodus starts with the record of the names of the children of Jacob and gives record of â€œall the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob (they) were seventy souls: and Joseph was in Egypt already. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we:
come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor: And they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field, all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigor. And the king of Egypt spake to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah: And he said when ye do the office of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and sees them upon the birth-stool; if it be a son, then ye shall kill him; but if it be a daughter, then she shall live. But the midwives feared God, and did not as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the men-children alive. And the king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said unto them, Why have ye done this thing, and have saved the menchildren alive? And the midwives said unto Pharaoh, because the Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women; for they are lively, and are delivered ere the midwife come unto them. And God dealt well with the midwives: and the people multiplied, and waxed very mighty. And it came to pass, because the midwives feared God that he made them households. And Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, every son that is born ye shall cast into the river, and every daughter ye shall save alive. (Exodus 1 verses 5 to 22). Between the death of Joseph, and this part of Scripture we have quoted above, a period of almost 300 years have lapsed. This time span could have been the reason for the new king not knowing Joseph. This however was the set time for God to bring 2
His Word in to fulfillment, which He spoke to Abraham in Genesis 15 verses 13 and 14: â€œAnd he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be sojourners in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict those four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.â€? This is where the first Psalm of the second book of Psalms begins. Psalm 42 is this Psalm. If we listen carefully with our spiritual ear we will hear the heartbreaking cries of a people under heavy burden, fear and punishment. Deep from within comes the cry for deliverance, protection and freedom. As the lashes and scourging from the Egyptian masters drain the blood from the Hebrew slaves and the ridicule echoes from the walls of the city, I am lifted up by the Spirit to the foyer of Pilot in Jerusalem and stooped down on my knees as I saw a MAN standing there, smitten, thorn crowned, ridiculed, mocked and rejected. A slave, sold for 30 pieces of silver, taking upon Him the faults, the wrongs, the mistakes and the sins of a fallen mankind. With this in our minds we will carefully and prayerfully walk into Psalm 42 to pick up the so easily missed and forgotten footsteps of our precious Lord Jesus Christ. May His wonderful Holy Spirit lead you, guide you and enlighten you as you work through this second book on the footsteps of Messiah in the Psalms. Peace be unto you! 000000
PSALM 42. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? (v.1&2). In using the panting deer as a simile, the Psalmist is taking us on the wings of time into the vastness and endless sphere of Godâ€™s provision, protection, love and surety. Yes, the panter is overwhelmed by fear, distress and brokenness but he is just the same overwhelmed with the fact that there is a safe haven, a harbour of rest and a place of protection from all harm. The deer identifies the water brooks as a safe haven to hide from the hunter and the psalmist finds it as the safe haven in the presence of his God. This holds a vast store of illumination for us to discover. First of all we would look at the deer as being very thirsty in the dessert land, longing for the cool water of the brook over yonder. If he could only make it against the heat of the day and perhaps the fury of the bloodthirsty hunter, he would be safe. He would not only find a place where he could quench his thirst but also a sure place of cover and protection. While visiting the land of Israel in 1995 I was told the following illuminating story on this subject. While I was looking at some deer wandering the barren hills on our visit to the dead see, I softly sang this Psalm which I learned by heart at Sunday school. A bystander overheard me and introduced himself to me as a South African Jew who now lives in Israel. Then he told me this amazing story. â€œYou see the hart? This Psalm is not referring to thirst for water, as you may think. You see, when he is confronted by the hunter or any other predator he knows that the only safe place of sure survival is the flowing stream of the brook. The hart has the ability to swim under water for hours with just its nostrils above to breath, to escape from his persecutors, and thus to stay alive! He panteth for the waters of PROTECTION and safety!â€? I stood there for some time in absolute silence and awe. I thanked him for giving me this wonderful insight concerning the hart. Then I also 4
understood the assurance of the Psalmist. He knew his safe haven, his God! And we? Do we know? Do we really know? Why then, when the going is tough and the storms severe, doubt and fear grip our hearts and we lose faith and trust in our never changing Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ? Then instead we turn to the world and the worldly things for help and comfort. While I was writing this down I felt an urge to read some commentaries to find some proof for the story I heard that day in Israel in 1995. In reading Clarke’s commentary I came across the following: Psa 42:1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks - The hart is not only fond of feeding near some water for the benefit of drinking, “but when he is hard hunted, and nearly spent, he will take to some river or brook, in which,” says Tuberville, “he will keep as long as his breath will suffer him. Understand that when a hart is spent and sore run, his last refuge is to the water; and he will commonly descend down the streame and swimme in the very middest thereof; for he will take as good heede as he can to touch no boughes or twygges that grow upon the sides of the river, for feare lest the hounds should there take sent of him. And sometimes the hart will lie under the water, all but his very nose; and I have seene divers lye so until the hounds have been upon them, before they would rise; for they are constrayned to take the water as their last refuge.” - Tuberville’s Art of Venerie, chapter 40: Lond. 4th, 1611. The above extracts will give a fine illustration of this passage. The hart feels himself almost entirely spent; he is nearly hunted down; the dogs are in full pursuit; he is parched with thirst; and in a burning heat pants after the water, and when he comes to the river, plunges in as his last refuge. Thus pursued, spent, and nearly ready to give up the ghost, the psalmist pants for God, for the living God! For Him who can give life, and save from death. My deepest heart cry is that you, as you read now, will pick up the footsteps of Messiah and follow suit until the victory breaks upon you as the sudden dawn of the morning. I hear Him as the Pharisees and the Scribes earnestly sought to kill Him: Behold the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. (John 16:32). 5
We are gripped at our hearts as we listen to the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah: “Moreover thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; shall they fall, and not arise? Shall he turn away, and not return? Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented him of his wickedness, saying, what have I done? Every one turned to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle. Yea, the stork in the heaven knoweth her appointed times; and the turtle and the crane and the swallow observe the time of their coming; but my people know not the judgment of the LORD. (Jer. 8:4 to 7). Yet, gloriously engraved on the golden walls of eternity and irrevocably written in the Holy Word of God which you and I have at hand, we read: “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (Heb. 13: 5&6). The wind of the Holy Spirit brings to us His deepest heart cry as He hung upon the cross: “I THIRST!” This was a thirst not for water but a thirst to reconcile falling, fainting and faltering mankind with God. To purchase their redemption with His precious blood once and for all and open the way to the Holy of Holies. He thirsts for us to answer His call in Isaiah: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Ch.55:1) (With reference to the Holy Spirit water of life and the unadulterated milk of His Word). Then, so many years later, as He walks the dusty roads of Galilee we hear Him: Matth.11:28:- Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. To the millions who are queuing up to fill their pitchers with water from the world’s 6
“wells of Jacob”, we hear His tender sweet voice, “You’ll thirst again if you drink that water, but the water which I offer you will be come within you a well of living water and you will never thirst again”. Let me close this verse with a beautiful chorus which says: “There is a river that flows from God above, There is a fountain it’s filled with God’s own love. Come to these waters there is a vast supply; There is a river, which never shall run dry”. In verse two the Psalmist clearly identifies his God as the living God over and above all the idol gods that are worshipped in the world. It is as if the Psalmist is standing on a high prophetic mountain watching Messiah in His earthly ministry and in advance recording verses two and three. His divine thirst was to accomplish that which He came for into this world. An existing covenant, that of the sacrifices of animals and the sprinkling of their blood on the mercy seat once a year together with all the different ordinances to be abolished and a new covenant to be set up between God and man where Messiah wil be the sacrifice for the sins of this world and where He will become the Mediator to appear before God. We hear Him as He confirms the prophetic cry in this psalm: “But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it is accomplished!” (Luke 12:50). Let us just listen to the Message: “I've come to change everything, turn everything rightside up--how I long for it to be finished!” Then when the joyful, Hossanah singing multitude accompanies Him down the Mount of Olives on their way to the temple, He remembers His tears and brokenness over a people who have not recognised Him. While they were rejoicing His soul was cast down with in Him as He cried out AMIDST THE SINGING THRONG: “ And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. (Luke 19:41&42).
The Psalmist picks up the trail of a cast down and broken Messiah as He kneels down in the garden of Gethsemane, bearing the sins of the world present, past and future in His body, praying for the cup of death to pass from Him. We are reminded that the death penalty for sin came upon humankind in a garden and it had to be removed in a garden so that the Sinbearer, our precious Lord Jesus Christ, could take away the sin and the curse on the cruel cross of Calvary. The Holy Spirit confirms this cast down and heart renting cry of Messiah as we read Hebrews 5:7-9:“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” He was cast down so that you and I may be lifted up. He was broken so that you and I may be completely healed. He bore our sins so that you and I may be set free and pardoned. He died so that you and I may inherit eternal LIFE. How wonderful was it when He went with the multitude into the temple where He displayed His divine healing power and unconditional grace and forgiving love. The silent stone walls and wooden structure of the glorious temple recorded His voice as He cried out, “put forth your hand,” to the man with the withered hand and to the woman whom they accused of adultery, He lovingly and passionately said, “I do not condemn thee, go and sin no more”. Yet they sought to kill Him and accused Him of having a devil! Shall we ever phathom how cast down He was as He watched them selling the sacrificial lambs and doves, not recognizing Him as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world, once and for all. This brought on them the overturned tables and being chased out of the temple. How casted down and rejected must He have felt when they rejected Him as the stone from which their fathers drank in the wilderness? The capstone they so much needed to complete their spiritual temple could not fit into their agendas, programs and religious interpretations. But the stone they rejected became the 8
chief cornerstone of divine love and grace unto redemption for all those who will believe on His name. Can our mind ever grasp how casted down He was as deep calleth unto deep when He went down into the deepest dungeon to deliver the vilest sinner and redeem those who were disobedient in the days of Noah. Yet, verses eight and nine sounds out the victory as, He triumphantly cried on the cross, “it is finished,” and rose the third day from the grave. Verse ten displays once more the ordeal at Calvary where they mocked Him and ridiculed Him that He must deliver Himself from the cross. Then there was the flash of a spear that pierced through His side and into His heart. As the sunset over Jerusalem that day, the body of the Man in the middle on the cross sagged low down with His head sideways bowed on His chest. The final announcement came: “He is dead!’ With not a thread of clothing to cover His nakedness and shame, for all who stood there and pass by to see, He became the perfect LAMB OF GOD to take away the sins of the world. The weeping rays of a setting sun tried to kiss away the scourged torn scars across His body. For the Pharisees and Scribes, everything was finally over. No one will ever again question their religious views. Now everything will come back to normal. The powers of darkness sang out the same refrain. BUT, in the spiritual realm we hear the victorious cry of, “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” In His humanity He was casted down, felt the pain and endured the suffering to purchase our redemption, but in His divinity we hear Him full of praise and glory as He stood amongst the multitude, prophetically proclaiming: John 10:17&18. “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again? No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” It is this abovementioned scripture, from the mouth of our precious Lord Jesus Christ, which is so beautifully, prophetically portrayed in the last verse of this Psalm. Let me highlight this specific phrase: 9
“hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” It is awesome to witness that the word, “health” so used here is recorded in the Hebrew text as, “Yeshuah”. We all know that this is the Holy Covenant Name! Strong’s H3444 gives us the following translations: “something saved; deliverance; victory and prosperity”. The Good news Bible gives us the following translation: “Why am I so sad? Why am I so troubled? I will put my hope in God, and once again I will praise him, my savior and my God. “ Prophetically the psalmist sees the victory of our precious Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross and even His resurrection from the dead and His ascension into glory, sitting at the righthand of the Majesty on high. What an awesome finish to this Psalm! To you and me the Holy Spirit wind breathes the words of Hebrews chapter twelve and verse two: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (The Scriptures quoted in this second book of the Footsteps of Messiah are taken from the King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise quoted). Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of the earth Will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace! ooooooooooo
PSALM 43. The spirit, in which this psalm is written, as well as the fact that there is no composer introduced, causes us to feel that it could be a continuation of Psalm 42. On the other hand it signals a benediction to that Psalm. It is as if the psalmist comes to the conclusion that there is still something very important which has been left out and has to be said. As if the psalmist is placing himself in the footsteps of Messiah, crying out, “Judge me, oh God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation. (Verse 1). A nation that rejected him, persecuted him, and finally nailed him to a cross. So ungodly they were that when they said, “God is our father”, He accused them of having the devil as their father because they did not believe that He was the Messiah. Let us just flashback as Jesus stands in the temple surrounded by the Pharisees, elders and scribes and listen carefully to the discourse: “Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? Even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (Joh.8:42-44). We will never be able to fathom the extent of how rejected He must have felt during those three and a half years in which He ministered to them. Not even from the circle of His disciples He was spared this cunning and vicious rejection. The psalmist prophetically highlights this specific scenario in the last part of verse one: “O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.” Did our precious Lord ever referred to this “man” so that we can emphatically proof the footsteps of Messiah in this psalm? We must never lose track of the fact that He is Emanuel, God with us. The Holy Spirit connects us with Him as we silently and in awe listen to John 6:64: “But there are some of you that believe not. 11
For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? (Verse 70). He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.” (Verse 71). As if this is not all to be added to this benediction, verse two hails Messiah’s unadulterated and steadfast faith in His mission to be accomplished, as we read: “for Thou art the God of my strength.” But in His deepest desire to be accepted by His own people as their Messiah and King just to be rejected, we hear His mourning because of their oppression in Luke 19:41-42: “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.” “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt. 23:37). Should we not just tarry for a moment and allow those words, spoken more than two thousand years ago, to ring in our ears! There are so many things that belong unto our peace! Do we still know them, His endless love, grace, mercy, compassion and forgiveness? Shall we not leave our own ideas, programs, agendas and our will and crawl back under His everlasting wings where there is save protection and peace? Hear Him once again, how often would I gather you! Would you allow Him to gather you now under those loving and caring forgiving wings! Then verse three bursts forth like a springing well, from the lips of the psalmist, to confirm all the above, proclaiming Messiah as the light of the world and the only truth, “O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles!” The Holy Spirit confirms this by the mouth of Isaiah as he echoes it out, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” (Is.9:2). More than six hundred years later we hear it fresh from the mouth of Messiah: John 8:12: “Then 12
spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Do you observe His indelible footprints in this psalm as He prophetically announces His glorious victory over darkness and untruth although He was despised and rejected? He rejoiced in His victory when He cried out, “IT IS FINISHED,” and rose triumphantly from the grave on the third day and ascended in to glory as the mighty victor over the dark domain, now seated at the right hand of the majesty on high! Verse five closes this psalm with the last scene that was almost lost in the jubilance, it is as if the Holy Spirit takes the psalmist back to a place he did not witnessed before and we hear him as if he now for the first time witnesses this scene in the garden of Gethsemane. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.” This word “disquieted” also means to mourn. The night is loaded with anguish and sorrow as the Son of man crosses over the Kedron into the garden of Gethsemane. Then he said unto his disciples, “sit here while I go and pray yonder.” Jesus then took with him Peter and John and James. Then he said to them, “my soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death, tarry ye here and watch with me.”I And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou will. (Matt.26:36&39). That the above scripture relates to what the psalmist said in verse five is undeniable true. Whether it was recorded before or not it is to be recorded again and again until we all are saturated with the infinite truth that the prayer of Jesus WAS heard in Gethsemane. That our precious Lord Jesus Christ was the second or last Adam is proved by the Holy Word of God: “And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” (1Cor.15:45). Now the Scriptures say that as in Adam all die, even so in Christ 13
(the last Adam), shall all be made alive. (1Cor. 15:22). The death penalty fell upon mankind in the Garden of Eden, and was to be removed in a garden again. This is what happened in the garden of Gethsemane (the oil press)! The soul that sinneth it shall die was the ultimate claim of the law! (Ezek. 18:4&20). As He walked into that oil press bearing the sins of the whole world, past, present and future in His body, death was there to claim his prey. Then He prayed for “this cup to pass by!” He did not pray for THAT cup of death on the cross to pass by, no, but for the cup of death in the garden otherwise He could never purchase the world with His precious blood that was to be shed on the cruel cross! As He resisted death in the garden until the veins busted in His body and His precious blood, painted on the doorposts of eternity, (for He said, I am the door), death was conquered and eternal life restored! The “HOPE” the psalmist prophet saw is so jubilantly recorded in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”Even Isaiah, the prophet, standing on the prophetic pinnacles 2600 years ago, saw this “hope in God who is the health of my countenance,” as he recorded chapter 53 verse 10 &11:- “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.” Yet the hardest of critics and doubting Thomas may still ask whether all this is possible, then the Holy Spirit seals it all by the pen of the writer of Hebrews chapter 5 and verses 7-9:- “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.” Dear precious reader, never ever think again that the prayer of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane was not answered. It was 14
answered and the cup did pass by. This is proof that He will answer your prayers come what may. In the darkest hour He is the Light. When you feel alone and rejected He is the closest to you because He promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Put your trust in Him, He is always present. Have faith in God for your miracle, have faith in God! oooooooooooooo
PSALM 44. The first three stanzas hallow the greatness of God’s miraculous power of deliverance and provision. It briefly tells how miraculously the Lord has taken the inhabitants out and settling Israel in safety. It however hails the greatness and magnificent power of Almighty God, His mighty right hand and arm that achieved it. It was not by their sword or their own power that they possessed the land. The psalmist knows exactly where the glory must go. All the glory and honour unto the highest God! It is the last part of stanza three that slightly lifts the curtains to let the light of the Sun of Righteous through so that we again can pick up the footsteps of Messiah. “For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them”. Touching the surface we will just continue reading, leaping with joy in the power of such a great God. If we search deeper we make the awesome discovery that the “arm, righthand and light of His countenance” is none else than our precious Lord Jesus Christ! Please, do not close the book now! Continue with us into this brilliant Light. It is the prophet Isaiah who, illuminated by the Holy Spirit, brings the following to us! “And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones”. (Is.30:30). The word, lighting down” so used here is basically explained by Strong’s from the Hebrew word, nachath, as: Descent that is imposition; unfavourable (punishment) or favourable (food). The descent of Messiah into this world was not a descent of punishment but a descent unto salvation, as the bread and water of LIFE! Please tarry with me while we search the Holy Scriptures to proof this statement! “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” (John 3:17).
“This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:50&51). Further proof of the descent of the arm of the Lord is found in Isaiah 52:10: “The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.” Two words need to be highlighted in this stanza and they are “bare” and salvation.” Strong’s 2834 gives the Hebrew word for “bare”, as “chasaph” and it means, amongst others: “to strip off; to make naked; to uncover.” In this uncovering the salvation of God will be seen. Strong’s 3444 reveal a remarkable Hebrew word to us. This word is, YESHUAH! So powerful has the zeal of the Lord been to reveal the promised SEED that will bruise the serpent’s head that the Holy Spirit doesn’t leave it there. We are taken on divine wings to Isaiah 63 verses 1 to 5 where the coming Messiah is so gloriously portrayed by the prophet: Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine vat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.” This powerful prophetic revelation of Messiah needs no comment, just a few moments of silent meditation until the true light beams through our darkened misconceptions and ignorance. Yet, before we can try to raise some opposing arguments, the Holy Spirit takes us to still a higher level in this same book and we read:
“And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and a helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.” (Is. 59:16&17). Still it is not the end! The Holy Spirit wishes to cement this awesome prophecy, almost 600 years before that day that Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. Yes, the ARM is to be identified so that there will be no doubt or misconception who He is.! Let us read it carefully as the Holy Spirit raises the final prophetic curtains in Isaiah 53: “Who hath believed our report? (About the virgin birth of Messiah and that He shall be called Immanuel. (ch.7:14) and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? (That a child is born and a Son is given and that He shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of peace! Do we believe this REPORT?) For he (the arm), shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he (the arm) hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, (the arm), there is no beauty that we should desire him. He (the arm of the Lord) is despised and rejected of men; a man (the arm of the Lord is a man) of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. If we now return to Psalm 44 we understand the vastness and the greatness of our God captured in one verse! We cannot but to allow the Scripture in Hebrews 1:1-3 to seal all we have read with the brightness of the light of His countenance. â€œGod, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his (or as a) Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;â€? Verses 4 to 8 hail the mighty victory of Messiah over the powers of darkness and sin, crowning Him as the King of kings. Faith and childlike trust in Messiahâ€™s redeeming blood and Covenant Name wins us our salvation by His infinite grace and mercy and not by our good deeds. Verses 9 to 26 give us a prophetic glimpse of the fierce and brutal persecution of the early Apostolic Pentecostal church. So true this is that the apostle Paul quotes from verse 22 as he speaks to the 19
Romans in chapter 8:35 and 36: â€œWho shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.â€? The constant cry for help and remembrance which we pick up in these last stanzas are cries of faith and trust in the everlasting love, compassion, grace and mercy of an ever caring Saviour. The galleries of heaven are filled with these great faith warriors who endured to the end, cheering us on to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus who is the Author and Finisher of our faith! Great is the promise of His faithfulness. Therefore He will arise for our help and redeem us for His mercies sake! 00000000000000000000000
PSALM 45. As the curtains are raised upon this psalm the atmosphere is filled with jubilant songs of praise from the writer. The words of his song are about “the King”. It is not just any king he is singing about. No, he is singing and describing a special King! Because of this, we are anxiously following the pathway the psalmist is opening to us by his “tongue as the pen of a ready writer”. (Verse 1). In verse 2 he hails some amazing and divine attributes of this King. “Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee forever.” The first phrase exalts Him far above any human being, placing Him in an incomparable realm! The second phrase overwhelms and saturates Him with sublime and divine GRACE. The last phrase of the verse hails Him as being BLESSED by the everlasting God, FOR EVER! The third verse is leading us still closer to the identification of this wonderful King. “Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty.” The first phrase of this verse, superficially noted, places this King on a war path with His girded sword. If we, however, allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding the following are brought to our mind: the sword points to WORDS. Let us investigate and search the Scriptures! “And he hath made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand hath he hid me, and made me a polished shaft; in his quiver hath he hid me.” (Isaiah 49:2). “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (Heb. 4:12). The mission of this King will be to cut out and eradicate sin from our lives and turn the two edged sword to cut from His bountiful supply of grace, pardon and remission by His blood to all those who will 21
believe on His Name! The last phrase of this stanza brings us closer to His identity when we read: “...o most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty!” The trumpets sound out this description to overflow as Isaiah the prophet looks beyond the horizons of time : “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (ch.9:6). These five names describe the might, glory and majesty of this King. Worthless to say that by now every literate person would have picked up that all that is written above is written about our precious King and Lord, Jesus Christ! Yet, still clearer His everlasting footsteps will be seen as we continue. Stanzas four and five ad more valuable attributes to this conquering King as they usher Him in: “And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of TRUTH and MEEKNESS and RIGHTEOUSNESS; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.” Truth, meekness and righteousness can only, justly and faithfully, be ascribed to one King. Let us carefully listen to the Holy Word of God and then follow the footsteps of Messiah with a song of praise and thanksgiving. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6). “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am MEEK and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matt.11:29). “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and RIGHTEOUSNESS, and sanctification, and redemption:” (1Cor. 1:30). As they anxiously pursued Him in the garden of Gethsemane to arrest and later kill Him, His words like arrows pierced their hearts and caused them to fall to the ground, as verse five prophesied. “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.” (John 18: 4-6).
God forbid that we never will doubt the truth of the infallible and never changing Word of God, for His Word is the truth! It is true however that the unbelievers, faultfinders and doubters may argue that all of the above is just coincidence and may describe any other king. Yet, it is stanza six that fully raises the curtains and turns on the spotlights which awesomely identifies this glorious King in all His splendour and beauty. “Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Finally this King the psalmist is telling us about is none else than the great and almighty God, Creator of the heavens and the earth! Almost a thousand years after this psalm was written, the Holy Spirit takes us on the wings of illumination in the book of Hebrews chapter one stanzas eight to ten: “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;” “And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” Clearer than this Messiah, our precious Lord Jesus Christ cannot be described and revealed. Blessed are those who believe His report! Thousands of eyes scanned this remarkable prophetic psalm through the ages and just as many so eagerly awaited His appearance during their life time. Then almost as if forgotten, He was born in a manger in Bethlehem almost a thousand years later. Call it coincidence, no, not in a million years! The Holy Spirit trumpets it out in Hebrews 1 verses 1 and 2:- “IN MANY separate revelations [each of which set forth a portion of the truth] and in different ways God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets, [But] in the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of 23
a] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order]. (Amplified Bible). Now let us once again listen to stanzas eight and nine as if we have never read them before, sealing and cementing this infallible prophetic truth concerning Messiah: - “But as to the Son, He says to Him, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever (to the ages of the ages), and the sceptre of Your kingdom is a sceptre of absolute righteousness (of justice and straightforwardness). You have loved righteousness [You have delighted in integrity, virtue, and uprightness in purpose, thought and action] and you have hated lawlessness (injustice and iniquity). Therefore God, [even] Your God (Godhead), has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy and gladness above and beyond Your companions”. (Amplified Bible). Are there still shadows of misconception, tradition and teachings of men that veil our spiritual eyes from beholding His glory and who He really is? Let us then allow the Holy Spirit to paste the clay of illumination on our spiritual eyes as we read Hebrews one stanza three: - “He (the Son) is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high”. I cannot but burst out in jubilant praise with the songwriter as he paints this awesome scenario. Once our blessed Christ of beauty, Was veiled off from human view. But through suffering, death and sorrow, He has rent the veil in two. Chorus: Oh, behold the Man of sorrows, 24
Oh, behold Him in plain view! Lo, He is the mighty Conqueror, Since He rent the veil in two, Yes He is the mighty Conqueror, Since He rent the veil in two!” The psalmist hails the victorious Messiah as he uplifts Him in stanza eight with the description of His garments. Blood stained garments were left in the tomb. The resurrected Messiah is now portrayed with “garments (that) smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad”. Messiah’s resurrected, incorruptible body and garments are eternally scented with myrrh, aloes and cassia. The myrrh speaks of the sweet fragrance and aroma of His eternal love, grace, mercy and compassion as a gift to a dying mankind. Myrrh tastes bitter signifying the scourging, nailing to the cross and death He was to suffer for our sins. But the sweet fragrance busted from the open tomb as He rose in triumph over grave and hell, sealing our acquittal and eternal preservation! The aloes speaks of the healing virtue, the blood, which flowed from the brutal marring of His body. By His wounds we are healed. The cassia speaks of His body as sacrifice for our sins to redeem us and set us free, as the bark is stripped from the Cassia tree to be used in its medicinal essence. Stanzas nine to fifteen may easily be ascribed to king David or even to king Solomon in all their pomp, wealth and pride. Who so ever wishes to do so is welcome. We, however, wish to be elevated to a higher plain to see what the psalmist saw and experienced from the prophetic mountain tops. The excellence and beauty of the bride of Messiah is clearly portrayed in these verses. She is seriously, yet elegantly requested: “Hearken, O daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; So shall the king greatly desire thy beauty: for he is thy Lord; and worship thou him”. (Verses 10 and 11).
The divine choice of the bride is majestically encoded in the Holy Scriptures. Although we will not be able to quote all the relevant Scriptures due to lack of space, there will be enough proof beyond all doubt, who the bride is and where she comes from. The prophetic allegory concerning the bride of Messiah which we find in the Old Testament is clearly portrayed in the choice of the bride of the son of promise, Isaac, the son of Abraham. Abraham gave the following strict instructions to his servant. “And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac”. (Gen.24:3&4). This is exactly what Abraham's servant did. Upon his arrival he saw Rebecca. This scene unfolds majestically as Rebecca makes the final decision to leave her father's house and family to become the bride of Isaac, the son of promise. (Gen. 24:58&59). Upon her arrival in the land of Canaan, Isaac took Rebekah into his mother, Sarah’s tent and she became his wife. If we rightly divide the Word of Truth and really believe that the Holy Scriptures is true, the Holy Spirit, in the book of Galatians chapter 3 verses 16 enlightens us with the following revelation: “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, and to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ”. From this we clearly understand that the bride of the Messiah cannot come from the heathen nations but from the house of His Father. We are, however, confronted with a very serious question. Do we have proof to substantiate a statement like this? The proof is encoded in the holy Word of God. Concerning Messiah and His bride we wish to highlight the following with an earnest request that if you disagree with the forthcoming statements, please do not close the book, just keep on reading and allow the Holy Spirit to provide enlightment on the Scriptures.
The Old Testament Scriptures are full of glorious truths to prove that Israel is God's wife. “The Lord told me to go to Jerusalem and tell everyone that he had said: when you were my young bride, you loved Me and followed Me through the barren desert. You belonged to Me alone, like the first part of the harvest and I severely punished those who mistreated you”. (Jer. 2:1-3.CEV). It is most important to remember the line, “like the first part of the harvest”, in stanza three, as this is a type and allegory of the bride as portrayed in Leviticus 23:9-11. “The LORD told Moses to say to the community of Israel: after you enter the land I am giving you, the first bundle of wheat from each crop must be given to Me. So bring it to a priest on the day after the Sabbath, he will lift it up in dedication to Me, and I will accept you”. (CEV). The bride is likened unto that first bundle of wheat from the Promised Land. As Rebecca was to come from Abraham's family for his son Isaac, as bride, so the bride of Messiah is to come from Israel and not from the heathen nations. Israel, as a human nation, could not come into a full and complete subjected relationship with God, who is Spirit. They continuously searched for the visible and lacked the faith for the invisible. The final outcome was that they ran after the idols of other nations until the Lord seriously and earnestly asked them by the mouth of the prophet Isaiah 50:1:“Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement, whom I have put away? Or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away”. Sin was the cause of this divorcement and the putting away. Therefore the sovereign God had to deal with sin in a different way than by the blood of animals. This situation could only be rectified by purging the bride, cleansing her from all her sins, through a better and divine sacrifice, once and for all. Then, when she becomes like Him, He will take her into Sarah’s tent.
You may ask now, but how can something like this ever come to pass? With man it is impossible but not with God, for with Him all things are possible! This will come to pass that day when the Eternal God Himself will become the REDEEMER of the human race. That will be the day of which Job prophesied:“But my witness will plead for a human in front of God. The Son of Man will plead for His friend”. (Job 16:21). The Holy Spirit confirms this statement as Isaiah saw Mount Zion and specially Calvary concerning the bride and her redemption: “Fear not, for thou shalt not be a shamed; neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame; for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer”. This great and Everlasting God will become the REDEEMER, the SAVIOUR and the SON OF MAN, when the “small moment of judgement” is passed and everlasting kindness, grace, love and mercies dawn a new day upon His chosen people and the whole world. When in the lowest place, the stable in Bethlehem, in the fullness of time, a virgin will be of child who will be called, Emanuel, God with us! (Is.14:7). “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us”. (Matt. 1:21-23).
For three and a half years He walked the dusty roads of Palestine proclaiming the Good News of the heavenly Kingdom, healing the sick and forgiving their sins. But they did not recognised Him and requested that a murderer should be set free and He, the guiltless, spotless Lamb of God be crucified! Although they called for His blood to be upon them and their children it could not stop Him to accomplish His mission! He will bring the bride to Sarah’s tent! As He hung upon that cross, carrying our sins and that of the whole world in His broken and whipped torn body, darkness set upon the face of the earth. With a cry that kindled a severe earthquake which rented open the graves of millions of sleeping saints He ushered in the bundles of the first harvest in a New Kingdom: “ELI, ELI, LEMANA SHABAKTHANI! MY GOD, My GOD FOR THIS I WAS SPARED/THIS WAS MY DESTINY.” (Matt. 27:46. From the Aramaic of The Peshitta. Page986). This is what the Holy Scriptures say: “Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, this man calleth for Elijah. And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” What happened to them, you may ask. Let us follow the drama as it plays off at the tomb, according to John 20 from verse 10, carefully. We find Mary Magdalene alone at the grave after Peter and John witnessed the empty tomb. She suddenly saw two angels in white sitting in the tomb. They asked her why she was crying. Her heartbroken response was that someone had taken away her Lord and she did not know where they had laid Him. Then Jesus asked her the same question but she thought that it was the gardener. 29
Upon calling her name, she turned around and recognised Jesus. Her outcry of “My Master”, caused her to stoop down at His feet but a stern warning came from Jesus: “Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (V17). One statement from the mouth of our precious Lord Jesus Christ illuminates, brighter than the sun, the pathway of the true bride into the final destination, the tent of Sarah! Jesus was not talking about the ascension from the Mount of Olives in 40 days time. No, He was talking about an immediate ascension with the first fruits of the new harvest, the wave offering. This first bundle, as it was explained in Lev. 23, were none other than these resurrected saints who came out of their graves when Jesus rose. The Abraham seed, the very Christ, the only begotten of the Father, had now redeemed a bride from Abraham’s household. The Veil was rented! Worship will now be in Spirit and in truth. The Holy Spirit, by the mouth of David confirms this great mysterious phenomenon in Ps. 24 verses 7-10: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.” He did not ascend empty handed. No, he had the wave offering, the resurrected souls of these saints, His bride, to take them into the New Jerusalem! This King of glory is the LORD of hosts!! This is not the end yet. We still need proof that the tent of Sarah is the New Jerusalem. That will settle all controversy about the bride of Christ. Share with me some verses by the mouth of the Apostle Paul, driven by the Holy Spirit from Galatians 4: 22-26:-“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise.
Which things is an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the Mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” This proves to us that the New Jerusalem represents the tent of Sarah. Let us prayerfully turn to the book of Revelations 21 verses 1, 2, 9 &10:- “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God” In closing I wish to put your mind at ease with regards to the Invisible Blood washed Church of Jesus Christ. For years many believed that the Church is the bride and that at the rapture Jesus will come and fetch the bride. We now clearly understand that the Church is not the bride and that the bride is already in the New Jerusalem waiting for the Bridegroom. If we carefully and prayerfully study the following Scriptures we will be illuminated with Scriptural revelation. As we are not going to elaborate on these Scriptures we humbly ask you, the reader, to study them, ponder and meditate on them until the light shines through that you and I can prepare ourselves for God’s highest calling. “For as we have many members in one body and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.”(Rom.12:4&5). 31
â€œFor as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ and members in particular.â€? (1Cor. 12:12-27). â€œThe eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 32
Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set Him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the HEAD over all things to the CHURCH, which is HIS BODY, the fullness of him that filleth all in all”. (Eph. 1:18-23). “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones”. (Eph. 5:25=30). This last Scripture is used by many to tell us that the church is the bride. The Holy Spirit is talking about LOVE and not a wife. Husbands should love their WIVES (and not another man), as Christ loves the Church for which He died. All those, Jew and Gentile, who are washed in His precious blood, obey His Word, serve Him in Spirit and in truth are grafted into the True Vine, our precious Lord Jesus Christ, by thus to become a worthy member of the body of the Bridegroom. THE BRIDEGROOM WILL POSSESS THE BRIDE IN THE NEW JERUSALEM!! All this may still sound mysteriously strange to some of us but may we put your mind at ease when we listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit by the pen of the Apostle Paul: “For we know in part, and we 33
prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known”. (1Cor. 13:10-12). We shall see Jesus just as they saw Him. There is no greater promise than this. When He return in power and glory, We shall see Jesus just as He is! The last two stanzas of this glorious Psalm prophetically portray the redeemed Israel together with the blood washed saints reigning in the thousand years of peace with Messiah who is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Israel who, for thousands of years, was the thorn in the flesh and the splint in the eye of so many nations will now becomes the head of all ruling nations! “And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them”. (Deut. 28:13). To finally proof all this, the Holy Spirit takes us back to Daniel In chapter seven verse 13, 14 and 18: “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever”.
As the members of His body we shall reign with Him! “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years”. (Rev. 20:4&6). As the curtains are lowered and the final notes of this glorious Psalm, fades away, we finally recall the last stanza: “I will make thy NAME to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee forever and ever”. How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear, It sooths its sorrows, heals its wounds, And drives away all fear. oooooooooooooooo
PSALM 46. If there were no numbers attached which separated the psalms, the last paragraph of the previous psalm should have read as follows: As the curtains are still raised to their limits, the notes of this glorious psalm reaches a crescendo in stanza 17 when it says, ‘Therefore the people shall praise you forever and ever, FOR God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble!’ (The first line of Psalm 46). How awesome is this! This should be the very criteria of our praises! Oh, for a mankind to turn back to this great God and our Saviour as their refuge and strength and not trusting in their own abilities, agendas, wisdom, finances and strength. We have a divine guarantee that our precious Lord Jesus Christ will be there for us if we are in trouble, He WILL be present and not absent as so many of us feel and believe, when the going is hard and difficult. In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word stands. Now we read in Matt. 28:20: “and lo, I am with you ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE, AMEN”. Hebrew 13 verse 5: “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU”. How can we ever doubt His awesome presence? Because of this double assurance the psalmist now states: “Therefore we will not fear!” We are taken to the most dreadful situations ever expected but in all of them God is still present, and you and I fearlessly protected. Let us listen to them in silence with God fearing, unwavering faith in our hearts. “though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof 36
roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Ps. 46:2&3. The writer takes us back to the situation of the first world that was destroyed and buried in water due to the fall of Lucifer. Even if such a situation may occur the Psalmist beholds Godâ€™s presence and protection as a RIVER which streams shall make glad the city of God. (V4). Deeply embedded in this phrase lies the footsteps of Messiah. We are not going to go to lengthy explanations. Let us allow Scripture to explain Scripture so that we can stand on a firm foundation in divine awe, witnessing the greatness of our God displayed in and through our Lord Jesus Christ. Messiah the river of water. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto Him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:10-14). Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. (Isaiah 55:1&2). And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1Cor. 10:4). Words are compared with water. 37
And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. (Rev. 14:2). And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. (Rev. 19:6). This last verse powerfully and beyond all doubt confirms to us that our Lord Jesus Christ is in full control of all creation. These myriads and myriads of blood washed saints will flow like a mighty river into the holy city, the New Jerusalem, the city of God. In verse 5 the Psalmist quotes as follows: “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early”. This is not tradition, laws, statutes, ordinances or manmade agendas and programs. No, a million times no. This Supreme, omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent and Sovereign God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, present in a human body to accomplish His everlasting plan for a dying mankind. On a cruel cross this human body, the only begotten Son of God will purchase the redemption of mankind with His precious blood as the Lamb of God. This fifth verse holds more than what we just read on the surface. God is in the MIDST (heart, bowls, purtenance) of her; she shall not be MOVED (fall, slip, or be out of course); God shall HELP (protect, surround) her and THAT RIGHT EARLY (face it at dawn). The expectations of all Israel was that the Messiah will come and redeem them from the Roman rule and set up a sovereign independent Israel with Messiah as their King. The spiritual, however had to be established first before the natural could be founded. This message was sounded out by John the Baptist and Jesus of Nazareth Himself. The message was: “repent ye: for the kingdom of HEAVEN is at hand”. (Matt. 3:2). John did not speak 38
of the kingdom of Israel but of the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN! “From that time Jesus began to preach, and say, ‘Repent; for the kingdom of HEAVEN is at hand’. (Matt. 4:17). This glorious KINGDOM could not be obtained by animal sacrifices, laws, ordinances and rituals. Entrance into this Kingdom could only be obtained by the sacrifice of DIVINE BLOOD of a PERFECT LAMD, selected by God Himself on an altar which HE had chosen, to redeem earth’s fallen race from sin, shame and eternal damnation. God the Eternal Spirit will be the High Priest and His only begotten Son the perfect Lamb to be slain on a cruel cross to remove the CURSE of sin. While all of this lies deeply embedded as awesome prophetic footsteps in stanzas 5 and 6 the Lighthouse of God’s infallible Word sheds further light so that we can understand this Psalm better. “The blood of bulls and goats is powerless to take sins away. Hence, when He [Christ] entered into the world, He said, Sacrifices and offerings You have not desired, but instead You have made ready a body for Me [to offer]; In burnt offerings and sin offerings You have taken no delight. Then I said, Behold, here I am, coming to do Your will, O God--[to fulfil] what is written of Me in the volume of the Book. [Ps. 40:6-8]. When He said just before, You have neither desired, nor have You taken delight in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings--all of which are offered according to the Law-- He then went on to say, Behold, [here] I am, coming to do Your will. Thus He does away with and annuls the first (former) order (Law) [as a means of expiating sin] so that He might inaugurate and establish the second (latter) order (Grace). [Ps. 40:6-8] And in accordance with this will [of God], we have been made holy (consecrated and sanctified) through the offering made once for all of the body of Jesus Christ (the Anointed One). (Heb. 10:4-10. Amplified Bible). Now we read: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new. And all things of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself,
not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation”. (2Cor. 5:17-19) KJV. The Jewish community as well as the Roman Empire, with Pilate and Herod on the forefront, raged against Him and nailed Him to that cross. But when He cried out in the darkness of night at midday, “My God My God, this is my destiny,” the earth trembled and quaked and the graves of sleeping saints were torn open. The kingdom of darkness and its powers and principalities were moved beyond recognition, overpowered and were put openly to shame. The kingdom of laws, precepts and ordinances was nailed to the tree and the Kingdom of HEAVEN, founded on DIVINE LOVE AND GRACE was ushered in sealed with the divine blood of the Son of God as He victoriously cried out: “IT IS FINISHED.” When the Psalmist, as he was standing on the mountaintop of prophecy experienced this awesome and glorious phenomenon, he penned down the last five stanzas: “The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come; behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.” Our precious Lord Jesus Christ broke the power of the spear and bow of sin and condemnation by nailing it to the cross. The chariot of fire of the curse, that still carries so many away today, He already destroyed on the cross of Calvary and made it null and void as the Holy Spirit seals it in BLOOD: “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, the just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, the man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that
we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Gal. 3:11-14). As the harp strings of this amazing Psalm spreads the footsteps of Messiah with heavenly flowers of everlasting love, we hear Him in Matth. 28:20: “I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD”. As if I see the Psalmist, stepping down the pinnacle of prophecy in his spirit, he once again murmurs the sweet refrain: THE LORD OF HOSTS IS WITH US, THE GOD OF JACOB IS OU REFUGE. The work of eternal salvation is completed. The precious Holy Spirit has been poured out. The Comforter is here! Love so amazing, so divine is poured out upon mankind in the fulfilment of Isaiah 7:14, He shall be called Emanuel – GOD WITH US. There is a river that flowed from God above; There is a fountain it’s filled with God’s great love. Come to these waters there is a vast supply. There is a river that never shall run dry! Ooooooooooooooooooooooo
PSALM 47. As the Psalmist is still filled with glorious ecstasy as he descends the prophetic pinnacle of revelation, he is met by a wave of jubilant choruses from the valley below where the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley are blooming. It is a host of witnesses, summoned in the Victor’s march, with:”O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph. For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth”. (Ps. 47:1&2). The psalmist, many, many years before Messiah walked the dusty roads of Galilee, ascribes three sovereign attributes to Him. He is KING, LORD and GOD. Pilate, a heathen ruler recognised him as: This is Jesus, the KING of the Jews. The jubilance the Psalmist describes in stanza one is far more than just the attributes he describes and the inscription of Pilate on the cross. It is as if the writer was taken into the glorious procession that came down the Mount of Olives by the Holy Spirit. He must have experienced the clapping of hands and the jubilant songs as we read: “Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest”. (Matt. 21:5-9). 42
Mark. 11:9&10; - “And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest”. “On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. (John 12:13-15). Zech. 9:9. “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass”. His coming brought subjection of darkness to Light, the claims of the law to Grace and a “tooth for a tooth” to “love your enemy as you love yourself”. The glorious inheritance, stanza four speaks about, which He has chosen, was to take away the animal sacrifices and the spilling of blood, to become the perfect Lamb of God. He blotted out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross. He spoiled principalities and powers. He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. This was the EXCELLENCY of Jacob, for from his loins came, via Judah his son, the promised Messiah, our precious Lord Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords! It is the last phrase of stanza four that stirs our hearts to ecstasy and jubilance as we hear: “...whom He loved”. Many of us have forgotten Jacob’s Bethel experience. Just to bring us in line with the prophetic mountaintops and what the Psalmist experienced, let us just listen to Genesis 28:13-15: “And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: 43
the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of”. What an unadulterated love, mercy and grace beams forth from this Scripture! As the ages rolled by and few notice was taken of all the great prophetic promises and blessings God gave, the Holy Spirit wind reminds us again as we hear His sweet footsteps, like music to our ears: FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE”. John 3:16. All of this becomes more irrevocable and without controversy when stanza beams it out that this great and infinite God Himself “SHALL CHOOSE OUR INHERITANCE FOR US”! This is not determined by manmade laws or church creeds, rules and regulations. This is holy and sublime! Let us carefully listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to us as we read 1 Peter 1:3&4: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.” The Psalmist is adamant in his statement that God is the only one to decide on this inheritance. Prophetically he must have walked in the footsteps of Messiah and heard Him confirming this inheritance at the Last Supper in the upper room: “Do not let your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places. But if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you! And if I go and prepare a 44
place for you, I am coming again and will receive you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:1-3.) (LITV). This is the seal to our salvation and the cause of our clapping and rejoicing in Messiah’s finished work upon the cross. There are not enough words in our vocabulary to describe the earnest call of the Holy Spirit by the Psalmist: “Clap your hands, ALL YE PEOPLE”! SING PRAISES TO GOD! SING PRAISES UNTO OUR KING! GOD IS GONE UP WITH A SHOUT! Messiah’s glorious ascension prophetically portrayed here! Jew, Greek, Gentile, you and me are all included and become heirs of this MESSIAH BLESSING! An inheritance the Law could not accomplish and good works could not fulfil, only His infinite love and grace have cemented and secured everlasting life for all who believe and accept His shed blood upon the cross as the atonement for their sin. The Psalmist saw it. Isaiah confirms it by the Holy Spirit as he jubilantly echoes it out: “The people who walk in darkness have seen a great light. The ones who dwell in the land of the shadow of death, light has shone on them.” (Is. 9:2. LITV). The Apostle Paul enlightens as follows by the Holy Spirit: “For if they that are of the law are heirs, faith is made void, and the promise is made of none effect: for the law worketh wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there transgression. For this cause it is of faith, that it may be according to grace; to the end that the promise may be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God. (Rom. 4:14-16. ASV). “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him. (Rom.8:17. ASV). “Which in other generation was not made known unto the sons of men, as it hath now been revealed unto his holy apostles 45
and prophets in the Spirit; to wit, that the Gentiles are fellowheirs, and fellow-members of the body, and fellow-partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, (Eph. 3:5-6. ASV). As if the valleys have swallowed up the sounds of jubilance and clapping the Psalmist urges the multitudes on in stanzas six to nine to keep on singing praises to the Most High God, sing praises to the King, sing praises. Our precious Lord Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords now is in full control of the whole world. He alone is God on the throne and God of the Universe. He is the Mighty Conqueror and the Victor over the dark domain. He is also our Saviour, Mediator, Intercessor, High priest, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, Lamb of God and soon coming King. Cover yourself with His shield of faith. Faith in the Father, and faith in the Son. Faith in the Holy Ghost, victories are won. Demons will tremble and sinners awake; Faith in Christ Jesus makes everything change.
PSALM 48. To understand this awesome prophetic Psalm, its predictive message and final purpose which is a “city of our God, in the mountain of His holiness,” we are to trace the footsteps of the King and the location of this city. So majestic and awesome are the sound waves of the jubilance and clapping from the previous Psalm that the footsteps of Messiah are elevated to the highest heavenly realms. We are once again joined by the myriads of singing angels as we read the glorious ascension of Messiah from Psalm 24:9&10: “Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah.” The Old Testament talks about this King in more than 40 places. We do not have the space to quote all these Scriptures but to proof that all the Word of God stands on two and three witnesses we invite you to read and study the following Scriptures with us. Listen to the words of Balaam, the prophet who was hired by Balak to curse the people of Israel: “God is no mere human! He doesn't tell lies or change his mind. God always keeps his promises. My command from God was to bless these people, and there's nothing I can do to change what he has done. Israel's king is the LORD God. He lives there with them and intends them no harm”. (Numbers 23:19-21. CEV}. When Israel desired a king like the other nations around them Samuel received the following instruction: “The LORD answered: Samuel, do everything they want you to do. I am really the one they have rejected as their king”. (1Sam. 8:7. CEV).
Let us listen to David. “You are my King and my God. Answer my cry for help because I pray to you”. (Ps.5:2. CEV) The LORD is King forever and ever. The nations have vanished from his land. (Ps. 10:16. GW). The LORD sat enthroned over the flood. The LORD sits enthroned as King forever. (Ps.29:10. GW). The LORD rules as King! He is clothed with majesty. The LORD has clothed Himself; He has armed Himself with power. The world was set in place; it cannot be moved. (Ps.93:1. GW). “The LORD is our Judge. The LORD is our Lawgiver. The LORD is our King. The LORD is our Savior”. (Is. 33:22. GW). Please take note of the awesome attributes assigned to the LORD in these stanzas. The Holy Spirit is prophetically inspiring the prophets little by little, and it will become more and more clearer, so that when the LORD God makes Himself visible His people can identify Him! “I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King”. (Is. 43:15. GW). “The LORD is Israel's king and defender. He is the LORD of Armies. This is what the LORD says: I am the First and the Last, and there is no God except me”. (Is. 44:6. GW). “But the LORD is the only God. He is the living God and eternal King”. (Jer. 10:10. GW). Dear reader, please bear in mind that God is Spirit. (John 4:24). More and more the revelation of this great KING becomes clearer and clearer as the Holy Spirit unveils the hidden secrets of His visible appearance to His holy prophets, little by little. “Rejoice with all your heart, people of Zion! Shout in triumph, people of Jerusalem! Look! Your King is coming to you: He is righteous and victorious. He is humble and rides 48
on a donkey, on a colt, a young pack animal”. (Zec. 9:9. GW). Almost five hundred years before Messiah was born, the Holy Spirit, by the mouth of the prophet, tells us that He will take on a human body and will ride on an ass, and not on a horse or a chariot as all other kings did! What an awesome identification! “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD and his name one”. (Zec. 14:9. KJV). We all know and are of full assurance that the New Testament is the fulfilment of the Old Testament. It is therefore with great expectation and hope that our eyes are lifted up in anticipation to the Holy Spirit to raise the curtains to a world bound by sin, deception, idolatry and slavery. The great and glorious King is to be revealed! Between Malachi in the Old Testament and the birth of Messiah, plus minus four hundred years lapsed. The New Testament opens the stage with the detailed announcement of the generation of Jesus Christ and the physical visit by the angel of the Lord to Mary, the virgin, that the Holy Spirit will overshadow her and that she will bring forth a son and shall call His Name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins. (Matt. 1:21). Verse twenty three confirms Isaiah seven verse fourteen that this Jesus will be called EMMANUEL, GOD WITH US. We are to understand this clearly. The one and only true God took on a human body, as a Son, but He DID NOT FORFEIT HIS DIVINITY, HIS SOVEREIGNITY, HIS OMNISCIENCE AND OMNIPRESCENCE! Then suddenly and without expectation a group of strange men appeared at the palace of Herod the ruling king over the Jews who was appointed by Caesar of Rome . Let us listen to their enquiry: “Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him”. (Matt. 2:2). They were the Magi from the East. There is no trace in all of the Old Testament that these wise men will be the first to identify the new born King. Our God always works to the contrary to prove to
us that His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts. Their visit to Joseph and Mary revealed to the entire world that this newly born Child is not only Emmanuel but also the KING of the Jews as prophesied by the Holy Spirit inspired prophets. Then, at a time no one expected prophecies came in fulfilment, and the KING was revealed! Truth can never be challenged, because truth is truth and it excels far above all else! Let us arm ourselves and bow reverently to the truth of God’s Word as we read: “As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives. There Jesus sent two of the disciples on ahead with these instructions: "Go to the village there ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied up with her colt beside her. Untie them and bring them to me. And if anyone says anything, tell him, 'The Master needs them'; and then he will let them go at once." This happened in order to make come true what the prophet had said: "Tell the city of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you! He is humble and rides on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a donkey." So the disciples went and did what Jesus had told them to do: they brought the donkey and the colt, threw their cloaks over them, and Jesus got on. A large crowd of people spread their cloaks on the road while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road”. (Matt. 21:1-8. GNB). “Philip then found Nathanael and said, ‘We have found the one that Moses and the Prophets wrote about. He is Jesus, the son of Joseph from Nazareth.’ Nathanael asked, ‘Can anything good come from Nazareth?’ Philip answered, "Come and see’. When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said, ‘Here is a true descendant of our ancestor Israel. And he isn't deceitful’. ‘How do you know me?’ Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, ’Before Philip called you, I saw you under the fig 50
tree.’ Nathanael said, ’Rabbi, you are the Son of God and the King of Israel!’ (John 1:45-49. CEV). “The next day a large crowd was in Jerusalem for Passover. When they heard that Jesus was coming for the festival, they took palm branches and went out to greet him. They shouted, "Hooray! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! God bless the King of Israel!" Jesus found a donkey and rode on it, just as the Scriptures say, "People of Jerusalem, don't be afraid! Your King is now coming, and he is riding on a donkey." At first, Jesus' disciples did not understand. But after he had been given his glory, they remembered all this. Everything had happened exactly as the Scriptures said it would.” (John 12:1216. CEV). “But they cried out, Away, Away! Crucify Him! Pilate said to them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king except Caesar. Therefore, then, he delivered Him up to them, that He might be crucified. And they took Jesus and led Him away. And He went out bearing His cross, to the place called Of a Skull (which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha), where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, on this side and on that side, and Jesus in the middle. And Pilate also wrote a title and put it on the cross. And having been written, it was: JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (John 19:15-19. LITV). How marvellous and how wonderful is the fulfilment of the Holy Scriptures. Beyond all doubt and without controversy we now know that the King of Israel mentioned in the Old Testament is none else than the great and living God manifested in Jesus Christ our Lord! What we have read so far is not all. The end is not yet in this great manifestation of who our precious Lord Jesus Christ really is. Let us join the myriads of angels as the heavenly curtains are raised and we read:
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever.” (Rev. 11:15.KJVA). “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints”. (Rev. 15:3. KJVA). “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful”. (Rev. 17:14. KJVA). “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on His vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS”. (Rev. 19:9-16. KJVA).
The heavens are painted in Glory, Majesty and Ecstasy at the revelation of the only true God and Eternal Life as we bow in reverence and worship before the King of kings and the Lord of lords, our precious Lord Jesus Christ! This is the King this Psalm is singing about! The city of this great King is also graciously revealed, not the earthly city of Jerusalem, but the City Jesus talked about in John 14:1: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (Joh. 14:1-3.KJVA). “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, it is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely”. (Rev. 21:1-6. KJVA). We do not have the time and space to quote all about the City. Please take the time to read the whole of chapters 20 and 21.
It is of most importance that we shall understand that in a kingdom there can only be ONE king, ONE Lord, ONE God, One who is the FIRST and the LAST. Let me close with two more Scriptures to seal and cement who the true God is. “And he said unto me, these sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.” (Rev.22:6. KJVA). “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last”. (Rev. 22:12&13. KJVA). “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star”. (Rev.22:16. KJVA). Verse 16 gives the final identification of our God mentioned in verse 6. His Name is JESUS! I cannot but call to mind that beautiful chorus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there’s just something about your Name. Master, Saviour, Jesus like the fragrance after the rain. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, let all heaven and earth proclaim, Kings and their kingdoms they will all pass away, But there’s just something about your Name! Kings looked upon the earthly Jerusalem and destroyed it several times. But kings will look upon this great City and pass by together, marvel at it and tremble, bringing their glory and honour into it. (v4. Rev. 21:24). God Himself is now ruling the world from this City which He has established forever. “And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” “ And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” (Rev.21:22&23. KJVA).
In the closing stanzas of this Psalm it is as if the Psalmist is comforting his people that in that city there will be no ships from Tarshish to off load attacking armies’ for in the new earth there will be no sea. He invites them to look at the city buildings and bulwarks for they can never be compared to the glory of the City of gold! Verse 14 sets the seal to an eternal promise and covenant, not only to Israel but to every blood washed, Holy Spirit filled believer: “For this God is our God forever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.” Oooooooo
PSALM 49. From the lofty heights of Mount Zion, the vision of the New Jerusalem and the victorious footsteps of the Messiah, the Holy Spirit, by the pen of the Psalmist brings us right down to the valley of our daily life. We are soon to discover the values of real life, the folly of putting our hearts on earthly possessions in contrast to the heavenly and the solid, directive footsteps of Messiah who will guide us along the narrow path to eternal life. As the sound of the trumpet calls all to attention, the Psalm echoes it out, “HEAR THIS.” The Hebrew word so used here for “hear,” is, “shawmah”and means to hear intelligently; show obedience and understand. From this we understand that we must not only listen but that we must be able to discern the correctness and meaning of what is going to be said. We must also be willing to OBEY the instructions we are given with an open mind, fully understanding the precepts and consequences. We are clearly informed who the listeners are to be: “all ye people, GIVE EAR, all ye inhabitants of the world.” We suddenly come to the shocking conclusion that this is not written for Israel only, no, this is also written for you and me dear reader. We are not excluded! So serious and transparent is the call that the Psalmist not only calls all the people to hear but he makes it more significant by personalising the call: “GIVE EAR.” The Hebrew word is “azan,” and means, to broaden out the ear by using the hand.” What is to be said needs our full and undivided attention so that we will not be able to excuse ourselves by saying, ‘I did not know or misunderstood the instructions.’ With still greater clarity to identify the hearers, he does not only speak to the people but also to the “world.”
This word is for the intelligent, the obedient and those who understand. Strong’s explain “world” in the Hebrew, “cheled,” as glide swiftly; life (as a fleeting portion of time)! The Holy Spirit is not speaking to the trees or the animals. He is speaking to you and me who are created after God’s image and has His breath in our nostrils! Unequivocal and crystal clear is the call to you and me and all those who come to realise that we do not live here forever but that our days are like the grass of the field which blossoms today and are thrown in the fiery furnace tomorrow, just a fleeting portion of time! As if the Psalmist is not yet satisfied concerning the clarity of his audience, verse two stipulates it out further: “Both low and high, rich and poor, together.” (KJVA). We can so easily excuse ourselves by saying that this is not for me or it is Old Testament. None of us are excluded! Stanza three tells us how the instructions will come to us. The Psalmist will bring forth a spoken word under the unction of the Holy Spirit. This WORD will be a word of wisdom supported by the meditation of the HEART, and not of the human brain. Our heart is not just an organ which pumps blood through our veins. Science has proved that the heart also has a brain! Let me quote from the book, ”Deadly Emotions,” written by Don Colbert, M.D. (New York Times best selling author), page 141: “In recent years neuroscientists have discovered that the heart has its own independent nervous system. At least forty thousand nerve cells (neurons) exist in a human heart. That’s the same amount found in various subcortical (beneath the cerebral cortex) centres of the brain, In other words, the heart is more than just a mere biological pump. These abundant nerve cells give it thinking, feeling capability.” Therefore it is our Heart which is to bring forth WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING. The source of wisdom and understanding is none else than our precious Lord Jesus Christ. It is absolutely essential that our hearts are linked to this source. By the pen of the Apostle Paul, the Holy Spirit confirms the footsteps of Messiah in this verse, as we read: “But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. But of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, 57
who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1Cor.24&30. KJV). The Holy Spirit never leaves us in the dark, but by repetition confirms the TRUTH so that no man can be without excuse. Psalm 19:14 reads as follows: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O LORD, my Strength, and my Redeemer.” Already here the Psalmist is calling the LORD his Strength and his Redeemer. Our speech and meditation must be Jesus Christ and His fullness, and nothing else. Let us listen to the Apostle Paul when he continues in 1Cor. 2: 2&4: “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” We must be wide awake and prepared to rightly divide the Word of Truth as it sometimes comes to us in parables, metaphors and similes. This is what verse four is warning us about. It will not be our human brain that will be able to bring these parables and dark sayings (puzzles or conundrums), to wisdom and understanding. It will be the heart to make the interpretations by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit! The Psalmists starts his parable in verse five. While the curtains raise for the first scene to start we hear the following announcement: “I will tell in song accompanied by harps the answer to one of life’s most perplexing problems: THERE IS NO NEED TO FEAR WHEN TIMES OF TROUBLE COME, EVEN THOUGH SURROUNDED BY ENEMIES.”(Living Bible). This is the problem and soothsaying many people encounter in this life. The rest of the Psalm is an explicit answer to this problem. The Psalmist identifies those who say that there is no need to fear in time of trouble, to be those who trust in their riches and boast how wealthy they are. (v6). The PROBLEM however, which they have, he pinpoints in stanza seven: “yet none of them, though rich as kings, can RANSOM his own brother from the penalty of sin! For God’s forgiveness does not come that way. For a soul is far too precious to be ransomed by mere earthly wealth. There is 58
not enough of it in all the earth to buy eternal life for just one soul, to keep it out of hell!” (Living Bible v7-9). How wonderful, how marvellous does the prophetic footsteps of Messiah appear in these verses so many thousand years before He walked the dusty pathways of Galilee! As He steps on the stage of life we hear Him as follows in His conversation with the rich young man: “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 19:21-23).” KJVA. Allow me to quote stanza 24 from the Aramaic Peshitta Translation of the Bible: “Again I say to you, it is easier for a rope to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” The KJV uses the word “camel.” The Aramaic word “gamla,” Jesus used here, qualifies both meanings. (Peshitta page 974). “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luk.12:15-21. KJVA). (Ps.49:10). “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full 59
of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.â€? (Luk. 16:19-31. KJVA). (Ps.49:7-20). Verses seven to nine of this Psalm, reading it from the Good News Bible, speaks volumes of divine truth. Let us just consider it again: â€œWe can never redeem ourselves; we cannot pay God the price for our lives, because the payment for a human life is too great. What we could pay would never be enough to keep us from the grave, to let us live forever.â€? Clearer than this the footsteps of Messiah cannot be seen as Many of us would see these three instances as three different rich men Jesus was talking about. Shocking to say it was only one man Jesus was talking about, painting three different stages in his life; the young man who visited Jesus at first and boasted in the fact that he was blameless as far as keeping the law was. The ONE thing he lacked he could never overcome, his love for money which 60
exceeded his love for God. What Jesus has exhibited in these three scenarios is exactly as the Holy Spirit prophesied it by the pen of the Psalmist! We are wonderfully comforted by the Holy Spirit as we read stanzas 16 and 17: “Do not be afraid when someone becomes rich, when the greatness of his house increases. He will not take anything with him when he dies. His greatness cannot follow him.” (GW). Jesus spoke it as follows: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul”? (Matt. 16:26 KJVA). Money cannot buy it and wealth cannot secure it for “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Rom.2:23&24. KJVA). Stanza fifteen highlights the footsteps of Messiah as we read: “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave: for he shall receive me.” Christ conquered death and hell, rose from the grave and redeemed us with His precious blood so that whosoever believe on His NAME shall not perish but have everlasting life! ( John 3:16&17 and John 1:12). The benediction to this wonderful Psalm beams from 2Cor.8:9:“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.” As the harp strings ring out the closing of the last scene, we cannot but join the fading melody, “ the blood that Jesus shed for me; way back on Calvary, the blood that gives me strength from day to day, it shall, never, never ever, loose its power”!
PSALM 50. If we are searching the darker sides of the prophetic pinnacles of this Psalm, the footsteps of Messiah will clearly come to the fore and brighten up in its full splendour. ll mankind, from East to West, is officially summoned by the eternal and everlasting God to appear before Him. His awesome glory shines from his temple on Mount Zion. He has come to judge his people. He calls on heaven and earth to gather His people who, by their sacrifices upon His altar, have promised to obey His voice. His judgment will be in all fairness because he is a just God. Now when we read the word, “judge”, we always regard it as passing sentences in a bad way. It does not only mean a bad verdict but also a good verdict giving just and fair direction in God's final plan for man's salvation. In stanza seven we hear God's heart cry towards His people. “Listen! for I am your God. Listen!” In His address to the people, He gives them credit for all the sacrifices which they have to bring to His altar. In verse eight the Lord says: “I have no complaint about the sacrifices you bring to my altar, for you bring them regularly.” In stanzas 9 to 13 we find the very heartbeat of a God so much in love with mankind. Sacrifices and offerings, goats, sheep and bullocks are not what He actually requires. In affirmation He tells them that the cattle on a thousand hills, all the animals and birds on the mountains belong to Him. Then He reveals the secret of His earnest call to them to listen: “If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High. And call
upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” (v12-15 KJVA). Verses12 and 13 take us deep in to the innermost parts of the hearts of the people of Israel. They have adopted the culture and ways of the heathen nations around them who brought their sacrifices to the idols as FOOD for them to eat. They did not bring them as ransom for their sins and transgressions anymore. That is why the Lord brought this important and firm instruction to them. As if He said to them, “You cannot feed Me with your sacrifices, for I am not human and do not become hungry. However if I would be hungry I would not require any food from your hands for everything in this world belongs to Me!”They were to bring their sacrifices with a repentant, broken heart to have their sins covered and to be thankful for that grace and mercy which befell them. Stanza fourteen is the very criteria of the instruction to Israel and also to us today. “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High.” Maybe the people of Israel did not understanding the prophetic message concealed in this Scripture. Offer thanksgiving for unmerited grace, love, favour, mercy and forgiveness of sins. Offer thanksgiving for the coming of a Saviour that will be the sacrifice for your sins, removing the curse and purchase your salvation on a tree! Pay your vows, honour your promises to God. How many times do we, in stressful situations, make a promise to the Lord that if He helps us through we will give Him all the glory but at the end we have either forgotten to do so or blow our own successful trumpet! The sacrifices of animals and their blood spilled to cover the sins of the people were soon to disappear. In advance the people are called upon to burst out in jubilant thanksgiving for the heavenly Passover Lamb who will not only cover but take away the sins of the world. It is here where we once again trace the footsteps of Messiah, how faint they may be. Biblical truth can only be substantiated by Biblical evidence and testimony as given by the Holy Spirit. Psalm 40 stanzas six to eight raise the curtains as we read: “Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required. Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me, I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” 63
Holy Spirit confirmation breaks through the darkness of doubt, disbelief and coincidence as the writer of Hebrews, so many years later, pens it down: “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure there in; which are offered by the law; Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first that He may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb.10:4-10.) The Holy Spirit is urging all those who have read this Psalm and all those who will still read it in future to OFFER THANKS to God for the perfect sacrifice, our precious Lord Jesus Christ. Those who lived during Old Testament times were admonished to look ahead and thank Him in advance. We are continually reminded, every Sunday, that He came, paid our ransom and rose from the grave victoriously to seal our redemption! The thanksgiving offered for such a perfect sacrifice for our sins becomes the foundation stone of love and mercy to a fallen mankind. Thanksgiving so offered is the key to unlock the door of faith to verse fifteen: “And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” Thanksgiving asks no questions, offers no excuses, points no fingers and registers no claims. True thanksgiving, for the unmerited free gift sacrifice of Messiah upon the cross, is the sacrificial fruits from the lips of those who have come to Him for the cleansing there is in His precious blood! “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name”. (Heb.13:10). “These sufferings of ours are for your benefit. And the more of you who are won to Christ, the more there are to thank Him
for His great kindness, and the more the Lord is glorified.” (2Cor.4:15. The Book of life). “Be anxious about nothing, but in everything by prayer and by petition with thanksgivings, let your requests be made known to God.” (Phi.4:6) “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, being rooted and being built up in Him, and being confirmed in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” (Col.2:6&7). “Steadfastly continue in prayer, watching in it with thanksgiving.” (Col.4:2).
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Before the curtains are lowered over this awesome instruction on sacrifice of praise we are suddenly called to another scene which unfolds from the Father’s bosom. A scene of harsh instruction yet impregnated with love, grace, mercy and compassion in the shadow of the footsteps of Messiah. In stanzas sixteen to twenty one the Lord is addressing the wicked in Holy rebuke. • "Why should you recite my commandments? Why should you talk about my covenant? You refuse to let me correct you. You reject my commands. You become the friend of every thief you see. You associate with adulterers. You are always ready to speak evil. You never hesitate to tell lies. You are ready to accuse your own relatives and to find fault with them. You have done all this, and I have said nothing, so you thought that I am like you. But now I reprimand you and make the matter plain to you. Listen to this, you that ignore me, or I will destroy you, and there will be no one to save you. (GNB). The reciting of God’s statutes and the taking of His covenants on their lips were worthless if they were not accompanied with remorse, repentance, confession and thanksgiving for His greatness, forgiveness, love and mercy. With one word He calls them to attention: LISTEN! LISTEN! We are also called alike today! How
guilty are we? We can never fathom the depth, height, breadth and width of the fullness of this one word. In it is hidden all eternal correction, direction, and all that is manifested in the fullness of the sacrifice of Messiah on the cross, His triumphant resurrection from the dead and His majestic ascension to the right hand of the Father. Never try to ignore Him. As if Messiah suddenly appears out of the mist of time to say: “If you ignore Me there is none who can save you.” Here is the secret, dear reader, and the only way unto full salvation once again beautifully displayed in the benediction stanza of this Psalm: “Giving thanks is the sacrifice that honors me, and I will surely save all who obey me." In listening obediently to the voice of Messiah, the end result in doing what He requires brings SALVATION. “And you must love God with all your heart and with all your mind and with all your strength; and you must love your neighbor as you love yourself. It is more important to obey these two commandments than to offer on the altar animals and other sacrifices to God." (Mark12:33. GNB). Anyone who comes to me and listens to my words and obeys them---I will show you what he is like. He is like a man who, in building his house, dug deep and laid the foundation on rock. The river flooded over and hit that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But anyone who hears my words and does not obey them is like a man who built his house without laying a foundation; when the flood hit that house it fell at once---and what a terrible crash that was!" (Luk.6:47-49. GNB). As the curtains slowly lowers to close this wonderful Psalm, the last stanza once again paints the footsteps of the promised Messiah as clear as daylight in the King James version: “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth His conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.” oooooooo
PSALM 51. What an exceptional Psalm this is, placed between fifty and fifty two. On the surface we recognize this Psalm as a penitent song by David according to 2nd Samuel chapter 12, and such it is. If we, however, allow the Holy Spirit to draw away the curtains of illumination to us, we stand in as the golden thread of Messiah’s footsteps links us to the last verse of Psalm 50: “to him who ordereth his conversation aright, will I show the SALVATION OF GOD”. In closer examination of these last three words, Strong’s analytical concordance takes us to the Hebrew, literally translated, as YESHA ELOHIM! If we go to the New Testament and we look at the name of Jesus, (Gr.2424), the Aramaic language gives it as Yeshuah and the Hebrew as Jehoshua (Strong’s Gr.2424). Thayer translates that name as “Jehovah is salvation”! It is as if that last stanza of Psalm 50 gives David the direction how to start Psalm 51. It is as if the Lord says to him, “choose the words of your conversation correctly and you will see my salvation.” How beautiful do we recognize the footsteps of Messiah in these words. In this Psalm David makes no excuses for he is wrong action. In stanza one he pleads for mercy according to God's multitude of loving kindness and tender mercies. As if he says yes Lord I am that man, but please blot out my transgressions. How correctly is he using his words in falling into his guilt and making his confession with remorse! Then he comes to the fore with a request which has never existed in the 67
Hebrew religion. The punishment for the sin which he had committed was the death penalty. Not even a sacrifice of the blood of animals could rescue him from such guilt. Then we hear him, the brokenness and heart sore came from deep within as we read stanza two: “wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” Then he continues in stanza three and four as he says: “for I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned and done this evil in thy sight, that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest and be clear when thou judgest.” He acknowledges his weakness and guilt as he tells the Lord in verse five that he was born into a world of sin and righteousness when his mother gave birth to him. It is important that we understand this Scripture very clearly. He was born into this world of sin and not conceived and born with sin. Sin can only be reckoned unto man when he or she has committed that sin. In stanza six he confirms his guilt and true confession. The true and sincere confession must come from the heart and must not be the language of our lips. When our confession comes with true repentance from the innermost parts of our heart we have learned wisdom. David’s confession is not just a superficial one. The need for forgiveness, cleansing and grace flows like a river over his lips as he cries out in stanza seven; “Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (V 9-12). We stand in awe as we read and meditate on this plea. He is not standing as a sacrificial altar, bringing animal blood as the remission for his sins. No, it is as if he is standing on mount Calvary, looking at the sacrifice, the Lamb of God on that cruel cross. As if he is watching the stream of blood flowing from the hands and feet of Messiah. Looking at the crown of thorns piercing His head and the silent sound of the flying spear busting open His side and His heart, witnessing the stream of blood and water flowing for the sins of this world. 68
Then we hear him in true acknowledgement, linking together verses 16 and 17: “For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” It is impossible not to see the footsteps of Messiah, prophetically displayed in this Psalm. What follows a contrite heart and broken spirit? Let us pick of these wonderful truths, from verses eight and fifteen: “Make me to hear joy and gladness that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. O Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise.” Praise with joy and gladness is the acceptable sacrifice unto the Lord. After receiving confidently the forgiveness of his guilt, he states he emphatically in stanza 13 that he will teach the transgressors the Lord’s ways and sinners shall be converted unto Him. The New Testament records numerous prophecies of David concerning the Messiah. For that reason we are anxious to look deeper into this Psalm as to witness the work of redemption accomplished by Messiah so beautifully displayed in this Psalm. In stanza one David requests the Lord to please blot out his transgressions. We know that in the Old Testament times the blood of goats and cattle could only cover sin and could not blot it out. David witnesses the miraculous work of Messiah upon the cross in his request. In Colossians chapter 2 verse 14 we read as follows: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;” in stanza to David requests the Lord to please wash him thoroughly from his iniquity and cleanse him from all his sin. Hebrews chapter nine verses fourteen and fifteen powerfully underwrites this request: “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance”. David prayed in advance for this cleansing and received it as such. His 69
acknowledgment of his guilt and sin takes us right into the message by the Holy Spirit in I John chapter 1 stanzas 7 to 9: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” In stanza four David confesses that he sinned against God alone. Luke chapter 15 and verse 21 correlates this particular confession. “And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” In stanza seven David specifically asked the Lord to purge him with hyssop. In Biblical times a bunch of hyssop was used to sprinkle the blood of the sacrifices where ever it was needed for cleansing and protection. Is it possible that David could have seen what happened at the cross of Yeshua according to John chapter 19 stanza 29-30? “Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to His mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, it is finished: and He bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.” In stanza eleven David asks the Lord not to take his Holy Spirit away from him. Would we be able to fit in Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 30 into this request? “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” In stanza 12 David specifically requests the Lord to please restore his joy and upholds him with His free spirit. In second Corinthians chapter 3 verse 17 we read the following: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” As the final notes of the Harp strings of David song fades away, we still hear him praying that the Lord will still build the walls of Jerusalem in spite of his mistakes. In this Psalm we have seen the prophetic footsteps of Messiah gloriously and majestically revealed. Grace, mercy, loving kindness and forgiveness, beams from this Psalm towards you and me who today enjoy this wonderful gift of God's forgiveness sore the shed blood of His Son upon the cross. Would you humbly bow with me in thanksgiving and praise for such 70
a wonderful Savior who died in our stead and rose from the grave for our justification, ascended into glory as our Mediator and Intercessor the right-hand of the Father. Looking unto him our soon coming King, on the clouds of heaven, we cry out, come Lord Jesus, come! oooooooooo
PSALM 52. As the curtains are raised in this Psalm we find three players on the stage. There is the ruling king of Israel, king Saul, the Persecutor, Doeg the Traitor, whose name means anxious, the chiefest of the herdsmen of Saul, and then the annointed king elect of Israel, David, the Prosecuted. This Psalm is called a “Maschill” which means it is an instructive or didactic Psalm. It is a cryptic portrayal of 1 Samuel 21 and 22. King Saul was pursuing David to apprehend and kill him. David fled without weaponry and came to Ahimelech, the priest at Nob. David acquired from him five loafs of showbread, which were hallowed unto the Lord as well as the sword of Goliath whom he slew. On the same day, Doeg was in detention before the Lord at Nob and he saw David in the presence of Ahimelech. The Scriptures does not tell us why Doeg was in detention. After his release he told Saul that he saw David with the priest. Saul then summoned Ahimelech and all the other priests to appear before him. The king called upon his servants to kill the priests but they refused. He then instructed Doeg to turn on them and slay them . He slew on that day 45 men and smote the inhabitants of Nob, including the animals with the edge of the sword. “Why do you glory in evil, you scandalous liar? All day long you plot destruction; your tongue is like a sharpened razor, you skillful deceiver.
You love evil rather than good, lies rather than honest speech. Selah You love any word that destroys, you deceitful tongue. (verses 4-6 NAB). These five verses, as a preamble to David’s charge, reveal the heart of the traitor. In careful examination of the scriptures we will find that Doeg must have told Saul that Ahimelec enquired from the Lord on David’s behalf against king Saul. That is clear from Saul’s accusation against Ahimelec: “Saul asked him, "Why did you conspire against me with the son of Jesse by giving him food and a sword and by consulting God for him, that he might rebel against me and become my enemy, as is the case today?” (1Sam.22:12 NAB). Ahimelec denied it emphatically and hailed David as Saul’s most loyal and faithful subjects. (v14). Doeg is charged of being a liar who glories in evil. He plots destruction with the skilful tongue of a deceiver. He loves evil rather than good and lies rather than honesty. Prophetically David was standing amidst the multitude that thronged around the Son of Man in Jerusalem. The Doegs of His day were the Scribes and Pharisees who sought to kill Him and falsely accused Him of being Beelsebul. This is how He addressed them: “They answered and said to him, "Our father is Abraham." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would be doing the works of Abraham. But now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God; Abraham did not do this. You are doing the works of your father!" (So) they said to him, "We are not illegitimate. We have one Father, God." Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and am here; I did not come on my own, but he sent me. Why do you not understand what I am saying? Because you cannot bear to hear my word. You belong to your father the devil and you willingly carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks in character, because he is a liar and the father of lies. 72
But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me. (John8:39-45. NAB). Furthermore the portrait of Judas Iscariot the thief, liar and betrayer of our precious Lord comes to the fore, personified in Doeg. He killed Ahimelech, the priest and all those with him by for honour from Saul. Judas Iscariot betrayed the Son of God, our eternal High Priest, for honour with the Sanhedrin and thirty pieces of silver. He sealed his own fate according to stanza five. Scripture tells us that Judas fell headlong, burst asunder in the midst and all his bowls gushed out. (Acts 1:16-19). Verses six and seven is descriptive of this very incident that happened so many years later. We must never forget that David was the seed bearer and that Messiah was called the Son of David. As the harp strings swell out the awesome victory of Messiah over His enemies the prophet David, standing on the mountain tops of prophecy utters it out, not about himself but about the all conquering, resurrected and ascended Messiah, our precious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ: “But I, like an olive tree in the house of God, trust in God's faithful love forever. I will praise you always for what you have done. I will proclaim before the faithful that your name is good.” (Verses8&9 NAB). How sweet the Name of Jesus sound, In a believer’s ear. It sooths its sorrow, heals its wounds And drives away all fear. oooooooo
PSALM 53. With a few exceptions, this Psalm is almost word for word the same as Psalm 14 which we covered in the first book. Why would this Psalm appear a second time? The Holy word of God states it clearly that every Word stands by two or three witnesses. “One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” 9Deut. 19:15; 2Cor.13:1. KJVA). The great and awesome God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, gives confirmation beyond all doubt that He exits and that He alone is God who is to be worshipped! It is only a FOOL who says, there is no God! Involuntarily the question is asked: “Why would people go so far as to say that there is no God?” The answer is clear and simple: to shake off their guilt feelings so that they can continue in their wrong doing. Stanzas two to four bring us within the midst of these people. “God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge?” (KJVA). Did God look down from heaven? Yes, Oh Yes, He looked down from heaven and said, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear HIM”. What did He see? He saw the Pharisees, Scribes and so called religious leaders of His day thronging the Messiah, accusing Him of being insane, Beelzebub, illegitimate and a friend of tax collectors and sinners. They did not become wise when they beheld the miracles they saw. 74
They did not search the Scriptures to find out about His birth place, for if they did they would have understood Micah five stanza two: “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” If they had thoroughly made their investigations they would have found out that Mary was the virgin Isaiah prophesied about in chapter seven stanza fourteen: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Exactly this is that which Jesus accused them about: “And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive”. (John5:38-43. KJVA). Likewise we can quote many Scriptures to prove their rejection of Emmanuel, God with us. They ultimately nailed Him to a cross. By that they demonstrated, so to speak, that “there is no God”. By rejecting our precious Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ we reject the only true God and Eternal life. “And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. Little children, keep your selves from idols. Amen. (1John 5:20-21). Stanza five gives the fate of Judas Iscariot who betrayed Messiah for thirty pieces of silver, hung himself and went to his own place. Even this heartbreaking phenomenon is beautifully described in Zechariah 11:12&13: “And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD”.
It goes beyond our comprehension that the intellectual Pharisees and Scribes could not bring these two scenarios together and by that had learned that the Man they had crucified was the Messiah! Could they have been so blind? Their blindness and hardness of heart could not change the plan of an everlasting God to save the human race by the death of our precious Lord Jesus Christ on the cross and His victorious resurrection from the dead. Yes, the salvation came out of Zion so that for all who are under the captivity of sin and unrighteousness there is acquittal by His shed blood, all who come confessing and believing. Love grew where the blood fell. Flowers of hope sprang up for men in misery. Sin died where the blood fell and Iâ€™m so glad His precious blood covers me. oooooooooooo
PSALM 54. From Psalm 52 to Psalm 64 we experience the most vehement onslaught on the life of David from Saul and his surrounding enemies. We must remember that Messiah was called the son of David. With this in mind we must allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten us on the footsteps of Messiah even where they may be obscured in the shadows of His Word. There is a golden thread clearly to be seen in the attempted build up to kill David and the persecution of Messiah until His crucifixion. We will prayerfully follow these Psalms one by one praying for guidance and illumination by the Holy Spirit to pick up Messiahâ€™s footsteps. 1Samuel chapter 23 relates the incident that has led to the writing of this Psalm. David went to fight against the Philistines to save the city of Keilah. He was betrayed by the same people he saved. They secretly sent word to king Saul that David and all his men were in the city. What they did not realise was that David had Abiathar, the priest, with him. He inquired from the Lord and David escaped from the hands of Saul. Messiah was ministering to His people in Nazareth on the Sabbath, letting them know, by the Scripture He read, that He was the Messiah. We pick up the threads from Luke 4:21 to 30:- â€œAnd he began to say unto them, this day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son? And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country. And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is 77
accepted in his own country. But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them went his way.” David’s unconditional and steadfast faith and trust in the Lord made him a man after God’s heart. That is how we constantly hear him after his prayers for help: “Behold God is mine helper, (verse 4) for He hath delivered me out of all trouble. (verse7). Our precious Lord Jesus Christ also found it fit, while on earth, to pray. Matt. 14:23;- “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” John11:41&42:- “And Jesus lifted up His eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which standby I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.” The God we serve, our precious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is not only the Hearer of our prayers and supplications but He is also the Answerer thereof! Trust Him, believe Him, no matter what tide it may be. Whether on the stormy sea or the hungry Galilean slopes, Jesus is there to speak peace and break the bread of life to all who diligently seek Him. He will walk the waves with you and quench the flames of persecution and hardships, yes He will shut the lion’s mouth and carry you through. Take courage, stand up and stand firm He is there, with you, all the time! Oooooooooooooo
PSALM 55. As the years went by the battle against David by Saul and others became more ferocious. Who it was in this Psalm we are not told. It may have been his son Absalom or Ahithophel, one of David’s trusted councillors who conspired against him and sided with Absalom. David’s cry for help is one of utmost sincerity and distress as we listen to him:- “Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise”. (Verses1&2). His outcry is more than just a request. In the first two words he is actually asking the Lord to put His hand to His ear as to broaden it out so that He could definitely hear him. In verse two David is asking the Lord to have a quick ear and please to pay attention and regard his mourning and heartbreaking complaint. “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company”.(v12-14). His supplication conveys the accusations of the enemy against him who cast iniquity upon him and in their wrath hate him. It is so severe that he finds himself in the valley of horror and death. Maybe this was the time when Saul and three thousand soldiers locked him and his men in the cave near Engedi without Saul knowing it. David 79
wished for the wings of the dove to fly away and be at rest. (v6). He however only cut off the skirt of Saul that day without him knowing it and spared his life. He played the harp in front of Saul, perhaps leading the procession to the house of God. Saul was his father in law, his family. Gloriously we pick up the footsteps of Messiah in this Psalm as we re-read stanzas twelve tp fourteen. It was Messiah’s close friend, Judas Iscariot who betrayed him. They were together in the Temple. Judas performed miracles as Jesus did. He was the first to be served at the Last Supper as a privileged guest and as a gesture from Jesus, ‘don’t you want to rethink your plan?’ That is what David saw in his spiritual, prophetic eye when he wrote stanzas nine to eleven. He saw violence and strife in the city. Mischief and sorrow were in the midst of it, while wickedness, deceit and guile ruled the streets. The Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes who were suppose to know the Scriptures ever sought to get something against Him to bring Him to trial and kill Him. And finally they cried out aloud, ‘crucify Him, crucify Him. Give us Barabbas, the murderer’. “Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.” (Matt.27:25&26). As David penned down stanza fifteen it is as if David was standing on a prophetic mountain pinnacle fourty years after the crucifixion and resurrection of Messiah to behold the result of their cry about His blood when the Roman Emperor Nero, destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 70AD, finally scattering the nation across the whole world. Messiah’s cry upon the cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”, was not that of vengeance but rather one of love, forgiveness and grace. The world only offers an arm of flesh but Messiah offers salvation, forgiveness and restoration through His shed blood upon the cross to all who will call on His Name and believe. He took our infirmities upon Himself to set us free. Therefore His splendid invitation in stanza 22 still stands today:- “Cast thy burden 80
upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved”. As the curtains lower over the closing scene of this Psalm we cannot help to echo with the song writer:Trust in the Lord and don’t despair; He is a friend so true. No matter what your troubles are, Jesus will see you through!. PSALM 56. The heading of this Psalm tells us that this was written during the time the Phillistines took David in Gath. These incidents are recorded in 1Sam21 and chapter 27. Judging from all the persecutions, turmoils, hatred and innocent accusations David had to encounter with for nine years of his life it is only fair to ask an intruding question upon a statement Samuel made in 1Sam. 13:14:- “But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought Him a man after His own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over His people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee”. Samuel was giving God’s message to king Saul about David. The contrast between David and Saul was encapsulated in that what was visible and what was invisible. Something special about Saul, when he was selected as king over Israel, was his stature. We read: “And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward. And Samuel said to all the people, See ye him whom the LORD hath chosen, that there is none like him among all the people? And all the people shouted, and said, God save the king”. (1Sam.10:23&24). When Samuel was sent to the house of Jesse to anoint a king, the Lord set out only one qualifying attribute which was decisive for such an anointing. Let us carefully pay full attention as we listen to the word of the Lord to Samuel: - “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but 81
the LORD looketh on the heart. There was nothing wrong with the outward appearance, however the heart was the place God looked at. Outward appearance cannot rectify an evil heart. To the contrary a good and upright heart can alter outward appearance. The sons of Jesse passed by in front of Samuel but not one was selected until David was brought in from the sheep fold. “And he sent, and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the LORD said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he.”(1Sam.16:12). Let us just read some more Scriptures about the heart to seal its importance in our relationship with our Lord and then trace these footsteps back to Messiah. “Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men :)” (2Chron.6:30). “Shall not God search this out? For He knoweth the secrets of the heart.” (Ps.44:21). “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jer. 17:9&10). Jesus said: - “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” (Matt.12:35). What do we find when we examine the fruits that came from the hearts of these men? In king Saul we find a heart which followed and made his own decisions, disobeying God’s instructions, there by doubting God’s integrity. The final outcome was that he lost his anointing as king and finally, his kingdom. Instead of a penitent heart with subjection to God’s authority, he visited a woman at Endor who had a familiar spirit to enquire from Samuel, who was already dead, about the future. Saul died in battle on the hills of Gilboa. (1Sam.28:7 and 1Sam. 31:8). To proof the above we shall touch on two important scenes in the life of Saul. “And he (king Saul) tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel HAD APPOINTED: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered 82
from him. And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him. And Samuel said, what hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. And Samuel said to Saul, thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee.” (1Sam. 13:8-14). For everything in life God has an APPOINTED TIME! We are never to run ahead of Him. This draws a line directly to the Garden of Eden where Adam, without counselling with God, ate from the forbidden tree. The result was that they lost the Garden of Eden. The last scene we are looking at is found in 1 Sam. 15. God’s command by the mouth of Samuel is overflowing with grace and mercy, giving Saul another chance to come into obedience to the Lord’s will. The command is given as follows: “Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” (v3). The command is clear and simple. The execution will be just as simple, for God will fight for them, even if He has to turn the enemy against themselves. Saul however followed his own heart and “Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but everything that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.” (V9). 83
Saul missed another golden opportunity to seal his kingship and kingdom by disobeying the Lord’s word, making his own interpretations and decisions to finally fulfil God’s instructions. “Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, it repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments.” (V10&11). Saul was confident that he had fulfil the commandment of the Lord. The moment he met up with Samuel he was jubilant and overflowing with confidence. Let us listen to his greeting Samuel: “Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.” (ch.15:13). Then Samuel answered: “What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?” (v14). Saul was still confident that he did what God instructed him to do and here is his reply to Samuel:- “They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.” (v15). Many of us would say, ‘what a brilliant idea to sacrifice the best to God, then all are utterly destroyed and God’s command executed. What is the difference whether they died on the battle field or on the altar.’ We cannot put our own interpretations to God’s instructions. His Word is yea and amen. In God’s instruction there was a phrase that holds the full criteria of the commandment. Listen to it again:- “and SPARE THEM NOT; but SLAY both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” Nowhere in this instruction Saul is told to bring a sacrifice and let king Agag live to be slain later, as Saul decided. Many will argue that the difference is so small. Was the end result not to have them all dead? The answer comes loud and clear: NO, NO, a thousand times NO! Let us listen to the Word of the Lord to Saul by the ministry of Samuel: “Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (v22&23).
Let this ordeal which manifested itself in the life of king Saul be a timely warning to us to do what the Word of God says and not to follow our own ideas, interpretations and dogmas. This scenario exemplifies the visible, the outward appearance. Let us now raise the curtains over the life of David and look at the heart God saw. We are going to look at two scenarios in his life. Reading 1 Sam. 17 we find David, a young man, listening to Goliath the Phillistine, defying the God of the armies of Israel. Refusing Saul’s heavy armour, he took his sling and five stones with his staff and went off to meet Goliath. What made him so confident? The secret is revealed in stanza 37:- “The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine.” Here we find a heart that had put his full and complete trust in his God, giving Him all the honour and the glory. This unfailing trust and confidence, not in his ability, skills or power moved him to a higher level of complete surrender. Every step he took was taken in full trust and confidence in his God. Let us listen to David as he addresses Goliath:- “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands”. (1Sam.17:4547). This is exactly what happened there that day. Drawing the line - if this scenario could be an analogy of what happened on Calvary David visualised Messiah’s victory over sin, Satan and death by not doing His will but that of the Father. Let me close with the words of the Holy Spirit by the mouth of Paul to prove the above in Col. 2:15&16:- “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the 85
way, nailing it to his cross; having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” This is the very essence of Psalm 56. What is happening in this Psalm to David happened to Messiah. Stanzas four and eleven seal David’s double trust in the Lord and likewise also that of Messiah. “In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” We hear the undertones in Messiah’s sermon on His calling:“Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said an angel spake to him. Jesus answered and said, this voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” (John12:27-31). Stanza five portrays the footsteps of Messiah brilliantly as He stood in Pilate’s hall and they accused Him of blasphemy concerning the breaking down of the temple twisting His words into lies. At the gates of the garden of Gethsemane stanza nine is fulfilled as they wanted to arrest Him and He manifested Himself to them:- “Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered Him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am He. And Judas also, which betrayed Him, stood with them. As soon then as He had said unto them, I am He, they went backward, and fell to the ground.” (John18:4-6). As the curtains lower and the stage lights are dimmed we hear the shofars from the walls of eternity hallowing stanzas eleven to thirteen in the prophetic footsteps of Messiah:- “Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?” What were the vows that were upon Him? John 3:16&17. 86
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.” Heb.10:7:-“ Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” How was His soul delivered from death? “Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.” (Acts 2:27-32). (See also Psalm 16). How awesome is our God! How undeniable and irrevocable the truth of His Holy Word! How can we not believe His word, accept His love, grace and mercy which He bestows upon us so undeservingly yet abundantly. Can I encourage you to surrender your heart and life to Him unconditionally, His blood still cleanses from all sin and His Holy Spirit power still availeth much. Trust in the Lord and don’t despair, He is a friend so true. No matter what your troubles are, Jesus will see you through! oooooooooooooooooo
PSALM 57. The caption of this Psalm takes us right into first Samuel chapter twenty four where the Lord protected David from Saul’s pursuit in the cave. In a previous Psalm we have touched on this incident already. This Psalm has eleven stanzas. Stanzas one, two, four and six reveal David’s deepest heart cry for help and protection during one of the darkest hours of his life. We must at all times realise and understand that Messiah was called the son of David! (Matt.1:1). It is from deep within, and not just words from his lips, that we hear him in this psalm. In stanza one he is pleading for mercy against this awful calamity which has befallen him. His plea is to be covered with the everlasting wings of the Most High, for in the shadow thereof the enemy will neither sees nor find him. This protection was so important to David that we read at least another five times in the Book of the Psalms about the shadow of arms of the Lord. Faintly we pick up the footsteps of Messiah as we see Him standing outside of Jerusalem so many years later. “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” (Matt.23:37). Dear reader where have we found our hiding place in this life? Are we under His wings, protected with His everlasting arms (Deut.33:27) or are we trying to work out our own salvation with protection by the world and the things of the world? David found that secret place and was saved. While he was covered in the shadow of the wings of the Almighty he could keep on crying unto 88
the Lord (verse 2) because he trusted and believed that the Lord will perform all things for him, (will let these things come to an end). The cry of Messiah on the cross, IT IS FINISHED, is a striking portrait and echo to David’s outcry. It was not only the work of redemption and salvation which He came to accomplish, bringing everlasting peace between God and man, which was finished, no, also the persecution and rejection of a Saviour by the Pharisees and the Jews was finished ,it was performed. When they will see Him again they will cry for Him whom they have pierced and sold for thirty pieces of silver, as the prophet has said: “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” (Zech.12:10). Those who were suppose to recognise Him as the Messiah, who searched and knew the Scriptures were the very ones David describes so perfectly in stanzas four and six. “My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword. They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves”. Selah. For three and a half years they swooped upon Him like lions, questioning Him, accusing Him, and condemning Him to be insane as well as the prince of the devils. “And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.” (Mark 3:22). These humiliating teeth and tongues like spears, arrows and swords were swung at Him daily. The net they prepared for His footsteps and the pit they dug for Him to fall into, became a snare to them and they fell into it forty years later. At His trial before Pilate, when they could not find two or more reliable witnesses, the High Priest declared Him guilty of blasphemy on His own statement that He is the Son of God. The pit they have dug for themselves came from their own mouths: “Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.” (Matt27:25). In the year 70 A.D Jerusalem fell to the Romans with its temple and was ruined
to the ground and the Jewish people dispersed over the whole Empire. Since that day until now, they have no Temple to worship in or altar to sacrifice at. This very sad phenomenon was foretold by Messiah. So serious was their deed of betraying and rejecting their Messiah that it is recorded four times in three Gospels. “And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.” (Matt.24:2). “And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? There shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down”. (Mark.13:2). “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation”. (Luk.19:41-44). “As for these things which ye behold, the days will come, in the which there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down”. (Luk.21:6). “Jerusalem, the time will come when your enemies will build walls around you to attack you. Armies will surround you and close in on you from every side. They will level you to the ground and kill your people. Not one stone in your buildings will be left on top of another. This will happen because you did not see that God had come to save you”. (Luk.19:43&44.CEV) All the things which befell David did not affect his unwavering trust in God or his anointing as king elect. In his victorious, faith filled worship he actually portrayed the footsteps of this God who one day will appear in a carpenter’s overall. As stanzas three, five, seven to eleven are written in the first person and we will regard this as pointing to David alone, he actually as a prophet, is assigning these glories to Messiah his Lord. In careful examination and prayerful meditation we listen again: “He shall send from heaven, and save 90
me from the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; let thy glory be above all the earth. My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds. Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: let thy glory be above all the earthâ€?. (V3,5,7-11). This stanza places our Lord Jesus Christ as being exalted to the right hand of the Father in heaven! No further comments are needed as we all know very well what happened at the crucifixion and the resurrection and the mighty Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Spirit of which we all our today the witnesses of His great and mighty salvation! How shall the harp strings accompany us in a love song, as the curtains are lowered? Can we follow on as the sweet tones softly ring it out: There is none like you. No one else can touch my heart like you do. I can search for all eternity long And find, THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU!
PSALM 58. This is one of David’s golden Psalms in which he pleads and warns against the destruction of justice and fairness during his time. Viewed superficially we will argue that these eleven stanzas are all about David and his experiences as king elect. On closer consideration however we must never forget that this great man was also a Prophet and that he was the root from whence Messiah would come. (Is.11:1&2; Rev.5:5). As the curtains are raised over this Psalm we anxiously await the illumination from the wonderful Holy Spirit to take us to those unphathomed depths and unconquered heights of His Holy Word. In the heading of this Psalm we find the Hebrew word, “Altaschith,” which means “thou shalt not destroy.” It is as if the Psalmist is pleading in advance for the safe keeping of good, righteousness, justice and fairness. These are the things he highlights in this Psalm as they have not been present in his time and also not in the time when Messiah walked the dusty roads of Galilee. Justice and fairness were under such extreme constant attack, to the extent where righteousness was actually obliterated. In the Living Bible we read: “Justice? You high and mighty politicians don’t even know the meaning of the word! Fairness? Which of you has any left? All your dealings are crooked: you give “justice” in exchange for bribes.” (v.1&2.) On the stage of time appears a tired Joseph of Nazareth and his betrothed wife, Mary, heavy with child, entering the gates of Bethlehem where they have to register for the first world census, called for by Caesar Augustus. As the evening sun was painting the buildings in golden array they asked for accommodation from 92
Inn to Inn. Every time they were refused. Nobody knows whether jealous and slandering, poisoned filled tongues blocked their way. Finally they were offered the stable and as the chariots of heaven carried the only begotten Son of God, via Mary into this world, she could lay Him down, our precious Lord Jesus Christ, in the manger. The Scripture says that there was NO PLACE IN THE INN! Was this fair? Beyond all doubt, every fair minded human being, even you and I, would have offered up our room or bed for such a situation. May be Joseph did not offer a bribe for such a place. When the Shepherds and Magi arrived to pay homage to the God Child and offered their presents, the Inn keeper did not change his mind. That did not change the plan of God for a lost and lawless society. It was His great and eternal love that made our Saviour come. Sometime later, when the Magi did not return to Herod to inform him about the new born King, he ordered all the boys of two years and under to be murdered. Was that JUSTICE? Jealousy and fear over ruled righteousness and fairness while Rachel wept for her children and refused to be comforted. (Matt.2:18; Jer.31:15). The Messiah Child was safely protected in Egypt until the death of Herod. How crooked and unfair were they in their dealings when Messiah miraculously fed the thousands with five loafs of bread and two fishes. “And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that He saith, I came down from heaven?” (John 6:40-42). When He humbly exposed Himself to them as the great SHEPERD, Emmanuel, in John 10 from verses14 to 20, they accused Him of being the devil and out of His mind: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No 93
man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye Him?” Was this judgement fair? Thank God for others who stood there and said: “These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” (v21). Dear reader what do you and I say about Him? Have you noticed that in this statement He foretold His death and resurrection? He explicitly told them that they will not be ABLE TO KILL HIM for He will lay His live down of Himself. He also had the power to RESSURECT Himself! How could it ever be possible that they did not recognise Him and justice could not prevail? “ And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and My Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, for a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. (John 10:22-33). Did they not know that Messiah would be God in a human body? How fair then was their justice? Have they had any? Now you and I dear reader also have a stand to take. Can you openly confess that our precious Lord Jesus Christ was God with us? That He is the only true God and eternal life! Can you underwrite and solemnly declare that “in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are 94
complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.” (Col.2:9&10). We can fill pages from the Holy Word of God on how poisonous their tongues were against Him until Judas Iscariot accepted the bribe of thirty pieces of silver from the High Priest in His betrayal which finally led to Messiah being nailed to a cross. Even after His resurrection from the dead their corruption, bribes and lies continued. “Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.” (Matt.28:11-15). Forty days after this great and wonderful day of the resurrection our precious Lord ascended into heaven, seated at the righthand of the Majesty on High as our Mediator, High Priest and Intercessor, King of kings and Lord of lords. But for those who had no justice and fairness, we read: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, 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.” (Matt.23:37&38). As the curtains lower and the stage lights are dimmed the Psalmist closes triumphantly with the sound of the harp: “The upright man will be glad when he sees their punishment; his feet will be washed in the blood of the evil-doer. So that men will say, Truly there is a reward for righteousness; truly there is a God who is judge on the earth.”(v10&11). He was nailed to the cross for me, He was nailed to the cross for me. On that cross crucified, in great sorrow He died. He was nailed to the cross for me.
Dear reader, I trust that as you read this it may also be your jubilant song and experience, being washed in the precious blood of Jesus. ooooooooooooo
PSALM 59. David wrote this Psalm after he escaped, with the help of his wife, from his house when Saul sent his soldiers to kill him. 1Sam.19:10&11:- “And Saul sought to smite David even to the wall with the javelin; but he slipped away out of Saul's presence, and he smote the javelin into the wall: and David fled, and escaped that night. Saul also sent messengers unto David's house, to watch him, and to slay him in the morning: and Michal David's wife told him, saying, If thou save not thy life tonight, tomorrow thou shalt be slain. So Michal let David down through a window: and he went, and fled, and escaped.” Saul knew very well that David was the annointed and future ruling king of Israel in his place. He had the obsession to eliminate him so that perhaps one of his sons could become king. The heading of this Psalm is clear that Saul was so desperate to get rid of David that he did not even regard David’s privacy in his own home neither did he respect his own daughter, David’s wife. It is verse nine that breaks the truth behind the actions of Saul:- “And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul.” Was he aware of the fact that Messiah, after the flesh, would come from the loins of David? We don’t know for sure. Yet, many years after this Psalm was written a strange phenomenon played off in the synagogue in Nazareth where Messiah grew up. The curtains are raised as He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath day according to His custom. They handed Him the book of Isaiah to read. He found Isaiah 61:1and read it:- “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the 96
broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luk.4:1819). After He closed the book He told them, “This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.” What was future prophecy had now become history. They marvelled at the gracious words which He spoke. Suddenly it dawned upon them that this was Joseph’s son. He grew up amongst them. Jesus told them that no prophet is accepted in his own country. He told them about Elijah who was send to the widow in Sidon; outside the boundaries of Israel although within Israel there were many widows, during the three years of drought. Although there were many lepers in Israel during the time of the prophet, Elishah, he only cleansed Naaman, the Syrian. They were furious because they wanted to see miracles and wonders instead of believing and hailing Him as Messiah, the Son of God! What happened? They arrested Him in the house of Worship and led Him out to the brow of the hill to be thrown down the cliff headlong and thus getting rid of Him, the King of kings! “But he passing through the midst of them went his way.” (Luk.4:30). Matt. 13:57&58 records this scenario as follows:- “And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house. And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Dear reader how do we react when things don’t work out the way we wish to see them come about? Do we fail in our faith and trust? Do we stop going to church or reading our Bible and praying or are we prepared TO KEEP ON BELIEVING His wonderful promises? That was David’s secret. He never doubted God’s unfailing presence and help. How many times, in the darkest hours of persecution, we heard him say:- “My soul trusteth in Thee!” That is why, in this Psalm, he is pleading for justice when he cries out in stanza one:-“defend me from them that rise up against me”. Very dimly, we pick up the prophetic footsteps of Messiah in Stanzas three and four. David says that they lie in wait for his soul. The mighty are gathered against him. Against Messiah it was the Pharisees and Scribes and the High priest. David claims his 97
innocence. Let us hear him:- “not for my transgression, nor for my sin , Oh Lord”. Likewise was Messiah! He the Sinless died on a cruel cross for the sins of the world, even for those who nailed Him to the cross, even you and me! It’s no wonder that He stumbled as He walked up Calvary’s brow. It’s no wonder that He cried out as the blood from His side flowed. It’s no wonder all heavens blackened as our sins crushed the Divine. It’s no wonder my life was transformed when I saw those sins as mine. Jesus asked His pursuers:- “Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?” (John 8:46). In stanza five David looked far into the future and saw Messiah in His earthly mission reaching out to the far lost heathen nations, “the people that walked in Darkness have seen a great light, they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.”(Is:9:2). It is as if David had a vision of Messiah standing in the foyer of Pilate’s palace with the multitudes accusing Him. He said not a word. Pilate was surprised that Jesus was so silent. “So Pilate said to Him, Do You not speak to me? Do You not know that I have authority to crucify You, and I have authority to release You? Jesus answered, You would have no authority against Me, not any, if it were not given to you from above. Because of this, the one delivering Me to you has a greater sin.” (John19:10-11. LITV). Verse nine in this Psalm echoes it out:- “For God is my defence, (my high place).” Where and in whom have we placed our trust and our defence when the going is tough and we stand alone? Make Jesus your Shield (v11) and your Ruler (v13); your Strong Tower and your Hiding Place! Let the last two stanzas be the very criteria of our daily devotion and worship:- “But I will sing of Your power; yes, I will sing of Your mercy in the morning. For You have been my strong tower, and my hiding place in the day of my trouble. To You, O my strength, I will sing; for God is my strong tower, the God of my mercy.” (LITV). Sing, oh, sing of my Redeemer; 98
With His blood He purchased me. On the cross He sealed my pardon; Paid my debt and set me free. ooooooooooooooooo
PSALM 60. The introduction to this Psalm raises the curtains over the widespread military victories of David as king of Israel. It relates to 2 nd Samuel eight verse three and 1 Chronicles eighteen verse three and further. Here we find the promise of the Sovereign God to Abraham almost completely fulfilled concerning the boundaries of Israel. “Now after this it came to pass, that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them, and took Gath and her towns out of the hand of the Philistines. And he smote Moab; and the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts. And David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah unto Hamath, as he went to stablish his dominion by the river Euphrates. (1Ch.18:1-3. KJVA). If we turn to Genesis chapter 15 and verse 18 we find the following promise: “In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” The people of Israel were in constant war against neighbouring nations who were not completely driven out when they entered the Promised Land. They were involved in continuous strive and battle, due to the idol worship of some. David is pouring out his heart to God as he stands on the prophetic mountain tops, watching his people been taken into captivity. Because of the loss of precious lives he is pleading with the Lord, “O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.” (v1). In verses 2 and 3 he sees the onslaught of Babilon and all the other nations who will take them into captivity and scatter them across the earth. Then the dark cloud of oppression turns into a golden array of God’s everlasting covenant 99
of grace and mercy to those who fear Him. It is as if he witnesses the presence of Messiah in all His fullness in stanzas four and five: “Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah. That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.” It is so important that we spend some time on these two stanzas to identify the footsteps of Messiah. Let us allow the wind of the Holy Spirit to breathe upon us so that we can rightly divide the Word of Truth. In stanza four the wings of prophecy shower us with brilliant illuminations. Thou hast given a banner.... The word “banner” in the Hebrew is “nes” and is translated by Strong’s concordance H5251 as a flag, by implication a flagstaff; generally a signal; figuratively a token, banner, sail, (en) sign, standard. This “given banner” David witnesses through his prophetic eye is beautifully ascribed to our precious Lord, the Messiah. Let us search the Scriptures for they bring testimony and witness to Him! The curtains are raised in Is.11:10;“And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign (banner) of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” Ex 17:15:- “And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah nissi.”(KJVA). The Amplified Bible gives us this beautiful translation:“And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The Lord is my Banner.” There are many banners which have been raised on the horizons of time since the beginning of creation, pointing in different directions and pegging off their claims of power and importance. All of these lie wasted, and forgotten in the archives of time. But there is one Banner whose flagstaff was planted in the manger in Bethlehem and raised on Golgotha’s hill, enduring the stormiest onslaught of hatred, jealousy, envy and scorn. For more than two thousand years this royal flag of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, is still victoriously flagging in the winds of time with not a sign of wastage. Its message of love, mercy and grace is just as fresh today as it was on that day it was raised the first time. His message is still the same, “come unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy and I will give you rest!” The blood of our precious Lord Jesus Christ has still the same power today, pointing the way to eternal Life and security. This is David’s prophetic “given Banner.” 100
Although millions in our day have turned their backs on Him, disclaiming Him of whom He really is; there will come a day when every knee shall bow to Him and every tongue shall confess that He IS LORD! Stanza four does not stop there. It reveals the secret of divine warranty. It is “To them that fear Thee.” The Psalmist reiterates that this “given Banner” is to them that fear Him. We live in a society today where God is shunted to the sideline and humanism has taken the front seat. The results are confusion, turmoil, strikes, dishonesty, corruption, war, violence, murder, immorality and much more. Governments who are making sin into law are facing the wrath of Almighty God, including South Africa! The reason is, there is no fear of God amongst the people. This is, however, what David has seen in this Psalm concerning those that fear God. “That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. (Deut.6:2). The Strong’s concordance gives the Hebrew word for fear as “yare,” with the following explanation: a primitive word; to fear; morally to revere; causatively to frighten. On page 462 Funk and Wagnall’s standard dictionary of the English language gives the following explanation of the word “fear”: Reverence for constituted authority, especially when accompanied by obedience there to; the fear of God; to look upon with awe or reverence. “Reverence” is explained on page 1078 of vol. 2 as A feeling of profound respect often mingled with awe and affection; veneration. Additional synonyms are adoration, awe, honour, homage and worship. “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire. (Heb. 12:28&29). Much can be said on these words but suffice it for me to say that every one of us will one day have to give account to God. Stanza four concludes with ecstasy, power and jubilance as the prophetic winds of time unfolds the glory of this heavenly Banner in the words of David: “that it may be displayed in TRUTH.” The misty vapour of ignorance and insecurity suddenly vanished as the bright rays of the Messianic reality beams through! With his spiritual 101
eye he beholds Him and with his spiritual ear he hears the sweet heavenly tones, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (Joh. 14:6). This is Messiah in His full revelation! Truth can never be questioned. Truth is truth and is settled on a firm, unmovable foundation. It cannot be denied, contaminated, defiled or compromised. A great fuss has been made of many great men and women who appeared on the horizons of time. Their greatness have been extolled and their praises sung with statues and peace rewards as true leaders of their time. But of them and all other human beings on the earth the Holy Spirit reiterates as follows: “For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” (Rom.3:3&4). Can we close this verse by saying that there is only one TRUE WAY, one TRUE LIFE and and ONE TRUTH and that is our LORD and SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST! Stanza five takes the illumination of the footsteps of Messiah to a glorious crescendo as the harp strings of praise and worship hail His victory over sin and death. From Gethsemane through Calvary, the open grave and His ascension into glory, “as the beloved (He) was delivered and saved”, to be seated at the righthand of the Majesty on high. With this wonderful vision in mind David gathers new courage and pluck to enjoy God’s promised victories over his enemies in stanzas six to twelve. Faith in the unseen, faith that bends the beam of the eye beyond the horizons of hope makes a breath taking statement in stanzas nine to twelve that should be on our lips continuously: “Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me into Edom? willt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies? Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for He it is that shall tread down our enemies.” Surveying this statement on the surface it seems as if David is accusing God of leaving them in the lurge at the times they need Hom most. But if we dig down deep into the depths of prophetic illumination we should read it as a whole in the context of David’s absolute faith in the Supreme God. If we would do that, something 102
like this will come to our spiritual understanding: Who will bring me into the strong city? Who will lead me into Edom? Willt not Thou o God, even if Thou are able to cast us off, and Thou o God, are not able to go with our armies, you will give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. Through God we shall do valiantly: for He it is that shall tread down our enemies. Was not this the undertone of the faith rewarding statement of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to king Nebuchadnezzar? “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Dan.3:17&18). David was confident that whatever the circumstances may be the Lord is with him because he trusted fully in the unfailing promises He gave. Messiah’s faith and steadfast will to accomplish His mission to bring salvation and victory over sin to a lost and dying mankind through His shed blood, took him through the dread of Getsemane’s bitter cup and the triumph of the cross when He cried out: It is finished!. It is this childlike faith that will carry you and me through whatever circumstances we are to face. In closing I invite you to sing with me in jubilance: I’m pressing on the upward way, New heights I’m gaining every day. By faith my heart cry let it sound, Lord plant my feet on higher ground. Lord lift me up, and let me stand, By faith on Heaven’s table land, A higher plain than I have found, LORD PLANT MY FEET ON HIGHER GROUND! oooooooooooooooooooooooooo
PSALM 61. The heading of this Psalm is addressed to the chief Musician upon Neginah, a Psalm of David! This is not just an ordinary Psalm written by David. If we perk our spiritual ears, the most beautiful song of praise concerning Messiah fills the arena. David cried to God continuously and many will say that this is just another time. From the galleries of heaven David is saturated with the melodies of praise as he symbolises some of Messiah’s earthly experiences. Let us join him in the eight short stanzas of this Psalm. “Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for thou hast been a shelter for me and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.” (V.1-4). That Jesus, during the time of His earthly ministry, prayed a lot is anchored in the Holy Scriptures. There were two outstanding incidences where Jesus cried out exceptionally which need to be highlighted. The first one we find where Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane for the cup of death to pass by. Let us listen to this cry: “Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou willt. (Matt. 26:38-39). As He stepped into the Garden of Gethsemane, with all the sins of this world, as well as yours and mine, past, present and future upon Him the claim 104
of the law came into action that the soul that SINNETH IT SHALL DIE. (Esech.18:20) Not that Jesus had any sin but He took upon Him the sin from Adam until the end of time to become Redeemer of the human race and the propitiation for all unrighteousness. Not like Adam who lost eternal life in Eden, Jesus as the, the second Adam had to overcome death in a garden to become our precious Saviour and Mediator. As it became more and more severe in His prayer resisting death at that rock, eventually the veins in His body busted and the blood started to filter from the pore in His skin. When death saw the blood on the DOOR through which Eternal Life will be restored and the path to the cross where the perfect Lamb of God will be sacrificed, without blemish, be secured. This is the exact allegory of the symbol which is written in Exodus chapter twelve. Jesus emphatically declared that He is the DOOR in John 10 verse 9. The Scripture teaches very clearly that His prayer in Gethsemane and all His other prayers which He has offered unto the Father during His earthly ministry have been answered! Listen to this: “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” (Heb.5:7-9). David experienced in the Spirit Messiah with an overwhelmed heart as we read stanza two, “lead me to the rock that is higher than I”. Here Jesus cried in His humanity as He is the Lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world. In His divinity the scriptures call Him that Rock. Let us meditate. “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea. And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. And did all eat the same spiritual meat. And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. (1Cor.10:1-4). The second one we find, was when they have nailed Him to the cross. “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, 105
why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mat.27:46). This heart renting cry makes us feel that the Father has left Jesus in the lurge in this crisis hour of His life. Verse 47 however places a question mark over the interpretation of this cry when we read: “Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.” The speakers here must have been Jews, as the Roman soldiers knew nothing about Elias. What do we gather from this? Jesus did not cry out in Hebrew but in His mother tongue which was Aramaic. The Peshitta, which is the Aramaic Bible translated into English, gives us the following: “And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice and said, Eli, Eli, lemana shabakthani! My God My God for this I was spared!” (This was My destiny). Suddenly the Sun of Righteousness dawns on our spiritual horizons in the darkest night of time this world ever experienced. How gloriously are we illuminated as the Holy Spirit to this higher Rock to gaze upon God’s greatest victory over sin and depth in Christ Jesus. We need to urgently meditate on the following Scriptures to fully comprehend the length and breadth, depth and height of God’s LOVE so amazing so divine! “For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Heb.13:5b). “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.” (2Cor.5:18&19). “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's, for this He did once, when He offered up Himself.” (Heb.7:27). “But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the 106
eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause He is the Mediator of the New Testament that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.” (Heb.9:11-15). Meditating on the first interpretation we now come to fully understand that the blood for an everlasting propitiation, reconciliation and redemption, could not be carried into the earthly tabernacle. The Holy blood of the divine human sacrifice, the Son of God, had to be carried into the heavenly Tabernacle. We know from Gen. 3:15 that the SEED was under constant threat of annihilation. The crucifixion of Jesus displayed the final stages of His earthly ministry. “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Col.2:14&15). Now we learn that Jesus offered up Himself unto God as that perfect sacrifice. As His Divine Spirit left His human body on the cross to take His Holy blood into the heavenly Holy of Holies the human body uttered a victorious cry of surrender and transfer in anticipation that there will be no resistance and no interception for a safe arrival. Then the towers of Jerusalem echoed the sublime cry from the cracked lips of the Saviour: “IT IS FINISHED!” God reconciled the world unto Himself in Christ! Jesus was not left in the lurge by God as many interpret the “why hast Thou forsaken Me.” The understanding of the Peshitta version is obvious. Here the human body expressing joy in full surrender to His calling as the SACRIFICE for the sins of the world. He did not die in Gethsemane and could thus complete His mission to purchase our redemption once and for all on the cross. The SEED was safely protected until His purpose was fulfilled. All this is beautifully portrayed by stanzas three and four of the Psalm. Verse five is hailed by the Holy Spirit in Hebrews chapter ten verses nine and ten: “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. 107
He taketh away the first that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” Messiah paid His vows in full and likewise you and I are cautioned to pay ours. He receives as heritage all those who fear the covenant Name, Yeshuah ha Mashiach, our precious Lord Jesus Christ! The Holy Scripture guarantees this and that is what David saw. Let us meditate: “Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put Him to grief: when thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied: by His knowledge shall My righteous servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities.” (Is.53:10&11). More than 600 years before Jesus was born, Isaiah confirmed, by the Holy Spirit, what David prophesied concerning Jesus in stanza five. He has a heritage, an offspring in the sacrifice He gave for the sins of this world for all those who fear His Name. Stanzas six and seven relates to Messiah’s resurrection and ascension into glory. “Thou wilt prolong the king's life: and His years as many generations. He shall abide before God for ever: O prepare mercy and truth, which may preserve Him.” These beautiful footsteps of Messiah are concealed in the words of Peter on the day of Pentecost as he quotes from Psalm sixteen: “For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope, Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised up, 108
whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear. For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand.â€? (Acts 2:25-34). As the curtains lower over the last episode in this Psalm the joy bells echoes it out in the last stanza. Not so much Davidâ€˜s singing and vow performing, but the Holy Messiah, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, roaring it out that in the heavenly Holy of Holies He is the Mediator, Intercessor and High Priest of a new and a better covenant. Let you and I now join the myriads of blood washed saints in singing the praise and glory of this great King of kings and Lord of lords who is seated at the righthand of the Majesty on high and soon will come on the clouds of heaven! Ooooooooooooooooooo
PSALM 62. Unwavering faith and unadulterated trust burst from this Psalm like a river overflowing its banks. If we could speak like this in the darkest hours of our lives, we would be regarded as most victorious. Upon the surface we would ascribe this to David for he truly was reckoned a man after God’s heart. The Scripture tells us that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Therefore, deep within me, I feel that David ascribed this Psalm to our precious Lord Jesus Christ. It is as if David, prophetically, was sitting at the feet of Messiah during His earthly ministry, listening to the hidden secrets of a victorious spiritual way of living from the mouth of Messiah, although He was so severely persecuted by the religious leaders of His day. Being a prophet and king, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, he wrote down what he heard and experienced, in the first person. Let us separate ourselves from everything carnally that can hinder us from hearing the voice of our Master as we now join in the conversation. “Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation.” (v1). The first word in this stanza says it all, beyond all doubt. Funk and Wagnell, in the Standard dictionary of the English language explain “TRULY” as follows: “In conformity with fact; with accuracy; with loyalty or fidelity; surely, verily; lawfully, legally.” Therefore, what follows will be without contradiction and controversy! This waiting upon God is far higher, wider and deeper than the trust in sword, shield, the strength of the horse and the skills of the soldier.
This “waiting” is not for human deliverance from local enemies. It is a spiritual deliverance of eternal salvation! This wonderful word is given in Hebrew as Yeshuah. (Strong’s 3444). If we regard David as the speaker it is crystal clear that he is prophesying about the coming Messiah. If we hear the voice of Messiah we hear the fulfilment of John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” This is true SALVATION! As for David, salvation from his earthly enemies has not yet come to pass, no, not even unto this day, and he is dead long ago. Stanza two takes us to a higher level in the prophetic illumination of Messiah and His descriptive attributes. “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved.” In affirmation the attribute “salvation” is mentioned a second time. Messiah is our ONLY Rock. Funk and Wagnell, inter alia, explain “rock” as:- a firm or immovable support; refuge or defence. Messiah alone can fit this perfect description of safety. When all security systems have failed and the best of armour warfare have collapsed and ceased, Job reveals the secret:- “I know my Redeemer is living, and He shall rise on the earth at the last.” (Job 15:25). When Israel sojourned in the desert for forty years they drank from a rock, a rock which was struck by Moses twice. The Holy Scriptures tell us that this ROCK is Christ! “And all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank of the spiritual rock following, and that Rock was Christ.” (1Cor. 10:4). Jesus confirmed this truth when He spoke to the woman at the well in John four verses thirteen and fourteen: “Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” This Rock is also the safest source of defence. Without hesitation Proverbs trumpets it out: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” (Prov18:10). The Stone the builders rejected became the corner stone, the stone of anchorage and surety. Let us just listen to 1Peter 2 verses four to eight: “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, ye also, as 111
lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious and he that believeth on Him shall not be confounded. For you therefore which believe He is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, and a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” All the above answer the question of stanza three: “How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence.” The Pharisees and Scribes of His day thought that He was only a mere man, the carpenter’s son from Nazareth. What they did not want to believe and accept was that He Was Emanuel, God manifested in the flesh. By rejecting and nailing Him to a cruel cross and spreading the news that His body was stolen by His disciples when they found an empty grave, they were sure they have finally eliminated Him. But their walls were bent and their fences tottered, their temple destroyed until this day! He was risen the third day from the grave and ascended into heaven, seated at the righthand of the Majesty on high. His Kingdom and church He established on the day of Pentecost and opened the door of eternal salvation to all who believe Jew and Gentile. Stanza four is a clear prophecy how they tried to run Jesus down and mistrust His divine authority. They blessed Him with their mouths by calling Him Rabbi and Master. “And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.” (Matt. 22:16). Inwardly they cursed Him. “But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.” (Matt (:34). Whatever the people in the day of Jesus or in our day, have trusted in or what their expectations may have been are all made null and void as the Holy Spirit beams stanzas five to eight into our hearts: 112
“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.” The Psalmist is not talking about himself or his abilities to trust so unconditionally. He still has all Israel behind him, his mighty army and mighty warriors, his fortified cities and his possessions. No, here he is giving us a perfect view of Messiah, although rejected by His people, with myriads of angels at His disposal, going it alone to save a lost and dying mankind from eternal destruction by His sacrifice upon the cross, placing everything He has in the hands of our heavenly Father by saying, “I have come to do Thy will!” Therefore He and He alone could utter the words we read in stanzas five to eight. In the very first line He qualifies His dependence upon God by using the particle “only”. There is not a plan B if plan A fails. In this word, “only,” we find irrefutable affirmation with irrevocable limitation. The affirmation comes from the Hebrew word “ak” in the Strong’s concordance H389 and means, surely, indisputable evidence that the limitation is set that there is no other way out but, only God is the one Messiah waits on. Only God is His expectation. Only God is His ROCK, His STRENGHT, His SALVATION, His GLORY, His REFUGE! Oh Lord help us that we may get to that place in our lives where we can burn down the so many bridges we have built and block out the so many sidewalks we have carved out and just to look at you and you alone who have cried out on our behalf, IT IS FINISHED! Help us to surrender our all to Your perfect will and please transplant upon us Yourself, our ONLY ALL! We humbly pray this in Jesus Name. Amen! May we give heed to the instruction of the Holy Spirit’s instruction in verse eight: “Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.” All else we have is vanity, whether we are of low or high degree. Earthly possessions should never take away the lustre from our divine heavenly inheritance which our Lord Jesus purchased for us upon the cross. We have to remind ourselves continuously that POWER belongs to the Lord only. We are what we are by His power and grace. He will reward all of us according to our work.
As the curtains lower to close the last scene of this wonderful Psalm, I hear the Psalmist confirming the words of Messiah as He spoke in Matthew sixteen stanzas twenty six and twenty seven: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works.” All that I want is in Jesus; He satisfies, joy He supplies. Life would be worthless without Him. All things in Jesus I find!. PSALM 63. On close consideration this Psalm reveals the very depth of David’s trust and faith in God. This made him a man after the heart of God. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us to the mountain tops of prophetic illumination we will see that what David wrote in the first person he actually ascribes to Messiah than rather to himself. He prophetically witnesses the trial of Messiah in the wilderness. If a person will be in a dessert place for a long period of time without food and water what will the human factor long for? Will it not be for food and water to still the hunger and quench the thirst? The Psalmist describes a total different scenario, away from the human factor, as he enters onto the stage and listens: “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.” What an awesome, supernatural outcry this is! Is it possible that we can relate this to Messiah alone? Let us pick up the footprints of this amazing event from the Holy Scripture in Matthew four stanzas one to four: “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred.(The human factor). And when the tempter came to Him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 114
But He answered and said, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (The divine factor). What is important to notice is that directly after the baptism of Jesus He was led into the wilderness by the SPIRIT, not by the devil! After forty days He surely got hungry, but His hunger to accomplish what He was sent for was greater than the hunger for bread and water. Satan only saw the human part. He could not fore see the divine part of the Messiah’s mission. Although Satan was there to tempt Him in His humanity, he had no clue of what took place between Jesus and the Father in the heavenly realms during those forty days! For the first time in four thousand years since the ordeal in the garden of Eden Satan is faced with another Man, the Second Adam. The first one fell to his temptations in Eden where Satan cunningly stole Adam’s authority over the earth. The second Adam however will bruise his head and will spoil his principalities and powers, making a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Satan never expected the answer that came from the mouth of Messiah when he told Him to change the stones into bread: “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” As if Messiah took Satan back to that fatal day where Adam and Eve were tricked by his distorted words and thereby DISOBEYED the SPOKEN WORD God gave them concerning the trees in the garden. In my spirit I hear Messiah speaking and the echoes are still ringing out to this moment, OBEDIENCE, OBEDIENCE, OBEDIENCE to the WORD of God is LIFE EVERLASTING! That was what Messiah filled Him with during those forty days in the wilderness. That was how He answered the devil the other two times when he played his falsified Scripture cards on Him: “It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” In this event Satan left out the words, “to keep thee in all thy ways,” from Psalm 91stanza 11. In the last temptation Satan tried to force down his authority upon Messiah by showing Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory, offering them to Him if He would fall down and worship him. A sound mind cannot for one moment think that Satan could be so subtle in making such a request to the Creator of heaven and earth who stood in front of him in a human body. This is just to proof that he does not know everything. He is not omniscient! Then the words, like a thunderbolt, rolled 115
over His lips: “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” This is the fullness of the glory stanzas two to four talks about in this Psalm: “To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy Name.” The Seed of the woman (Gen.3:15), walked away triumphantly with the first blow given that will finally bruise and annihilate Satan forever! Angels came and ministered unto Him! (Matt. 4:11). Then Jesus went into Galilee and dwelt in Capernaum. Filled with the fatness and marrow of the Holy Spirit and under the shadow of the everlasting wings the words of Isaiah concerning Messiah came true: “The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt.4:16&17). What was lost in Eden is now to be restored by Messiah, a heavenly kingdom! Stanza six gives us a glimpse on an area in the life of Jesus. His bed was not always a comfortable one like ours may be. Listen to Him as He addresses this area of His earthly life: Matt. 8:20:- “And Jesus saith unto him, the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” His nights were spent in prayer. “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.” (Matt.14:23). “And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.” (Mark.6:46). The life and ministry of Messiah was characterized by persecution and rejection as also was that of David. Our precious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, bought our redemption on the cross of Calvary and justified us through His shed blood which He carried into the Holy of Holies to be our Intercessor, Mediator and Guarantor of eternal redemption. To all those who come unto Him, 116
confessing their sins, He graciously grants unconditional forgiveness because He is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. To all those who are not yet sure, here is a Word that proceeds from His mouth: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John3:16-18). Dear reader, have you made that quality decision in accepting our precious Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and Lord? Wont you read with me Romans 3:23&24:- “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” It is a free gift to you and me. If you have not done so before please just confess to Him now your sins and believe His forgiveness to make you a new creature in Him by His everlasting love, grace and His shed blood upon the cross! Now go your way rejoicing and praising His wonderful Name! His love is wonderful to me; For Jesus loved me so, He did to Calvary go; His love is wonderful to me. oooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
PSALM 64. It is very difficult sometimes to distinguish between what the Psalmist writes about himself and his sufferings and whether he is prophetically writing about Messiah and His earthly life’s experiences. Psalm sixty four is such a Psalm. In my deepest being I felt that this Psalm, like all the others, portrays the footsteps of Messiah, how faint and dim they may be. I also wondered what other Commentators had to say about this Psalm. After some thorough searching I came across John Gill’s exposition of the Entire Bible, INTRODUCTION TO PSALM 64. I quote with great compassion and gratitude a paragraph from his writing: “Moreover, the psalm may very well be applied to the Messiah, the son of David, and who was his antitype, and especially in his sufferings: he is the perfect man in the highest sense; the Jews were the enemies that took counsel, and searched for occasions against him, and accomplished their designs in a good measure; for which wrath came upon them to the uttermost. The psalmist also may be very well thought to represent the church and people of God; who in all ages have had their enemies and their fears; against whom wicked men have devised mischief, and levelled their arrows of persecution; though no weapon formed against them shall prosper”. May the Holy Spirit help us that when we read the Psalms in future we will have an open mind and eye to discern the footsteps of Messiah more accurate? 118
In the fourth stanza the footsteps of Messiah is painted in gold. Let us read:- “That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not.” It is the word “PERFECT” that stands out and need consideration. Strong’s analytical concordance H8535 gives the Hebrew word for “perfect” as, tawm, which means:- complete; pious; undefiled and upright. There was, is and will be no human being who can fit into this attribute, but our precious Lord Jesus Christ alone! He was, is and shall be the only PERFECT man. How precise is the prophetic word of our precious Lord when we diligently search the Scriptures to find how the enemy tried to kill our precious Lord Jesus Christ. When He preached the powerful sermon in the synagogue of Nazareth revealing to them His true identity, they wanted to cast Him off the cliff of the mountain. Truth can only be justified by the Scriptures so let us read the holy word of God. “And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast Him down headlong. But He passing through the midst of them went His way, (Luke 4:28-30). It is so true that our precious Lord Jesus Christ was hated without cause and many times falsely accused. “And as He said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge Him vehemently, and to provoke Him to speak of many things. Laying wait for Him, and seeking to catch something out of His mouth, that they might accuse Him. (Luke 11:53&54). “If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.(John15:22-25). When we read the Scriptures our hearts are filled with total disappointment just to think that those Scribes and Pharisees who knew the Scriptures and were anxiously waiting and looking for the 119
coming of the Messiah, did not recognise Him when He appeared on the scene. To the contrary they held Him for a Traitor, a Blasphemer, and the captain of the Demons. We see Him as He rides on the colt of the donkey down the beautiful slopes of the Mount of Olives, with the singing and shouting multitude with palm branches and hosannas, slipping off the young ass and standing looking at Jerusalem crying out, “That upon you may come all the righteous bloodshed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, 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. (Matt. 23:35-38). As He rode into the city that day, the city walls echoed the sound of praise and thanksgiving: “Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” The Pharisees, Scribes and the members of the Sanhedrin most likely stormed out of the boardroom questioning the commotion. Some bystander let it slip: “Ask the Man on the donkey.” They tried to fit Him into their programs, their agendas, their time tables and their religion but they could not fit Him in. They casted Him aside so that the Scripture may be fulfilled: “The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?” (Matt.21:42). In the foyer of Pilate they raised up false witnesses against Him but all failed. They contravened the law God gave to Moses that no man can be sentenced to death but on the testimony of two or three worthy witnesses. “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death”. (Deut. 17:6). They had no trustworthy witnesses but Messiah Himself. “Again the high priest asked Him, and said unto Him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high 120
priest rent his clothes, and saith, what need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned Him to be guilty of death.” (Mark14;6163). When they were given a second chance to choose, they chose the murderer, Barabbas instead of the Lifegiver, Jesus Christ! They were sure that everything concerning the Man of Nazareth ended that evening of the crucifixion. What they did not know was that everything concerning that Man started that evening! Stanzas nine and ten tell it all in a nutshell. “Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.” (Matt. 27:62-64). While they sealed the grave and stationed their soldiers and watchmen the Holy Spirit moved in a supernatural, invisible way: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.” (1Pet. 3:18-22). Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph over His foes! He arose the Victor over the dark domain and He lives forever with His saints to reign!
“In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men and the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead; and, behold, He goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see Him: lo, I have told you.” (Matt. 28:1-7). As the curtains lower over the final stages of this glorious and victorious scene we flow with the jubilant song of the Psalmist: “And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. The righteous shall be glad in the LORD, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.(V9&10). He’s alive for He is risen. He’s alive within my soul. He’s alive for He is risen, He has made me every whit whole! 0000000000000000000
PSALM 65. This Psalm can be crowned as one of the most beautiful worship songs about Messiah. Stanza one causes us to leap to our feet in adoration and worship. “Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed”. This little word “waiteth,” is explained by the English dictionary of Funk and Wagnell on page 1413 as follows: “To stay or remain in expectation, as of an anticipated action or event. To be or remain in readiness,” May be because of the continuous wars with the surrounding nations, worship convocations ceased to some extend in Zion. But that was not what David saw. He saw and heard in the Spirit the thronging multitudes with palm branches and their impassioned worship and praise songs to Messiah, which Zion stayed and remained in anticipation and readiness for, so long! “And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, 123
and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, And said unto Him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” Great and famous men and kings passed through the gates of Jerusalem with great pomp and splendour on their decorated chariots. The cheers in ecstasy flagged from the city’s stonewalls and the mountain ridges. But never in living memory, a man riding on a colt, had such a hero’s reception and welcome than Messiah. Never since creation a man rode into Jerusalem and was officially announced by the people with: “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” Now Jerusalem is to perform her vows. Which vows? The prophetic word spoken by Moses has come to pass. The Prophet of all Prophets has arrived. The vows to be performed are listed in the prophecy of Moses: “The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto Him ye shall hearken.” (Deut.18:15). The last phrase in the prophecy lists the vows to be performed. “UNTO HIM YE SHALL HEARKEN!” In this respect the Pharisees, Scribes and the High Priest failed sadly. Their blindness, rejection and impeachment lead them to nail Him to a cruel cross and saluted a murderer in His place. Stanzas two to seven hail the excellence and majesty of Messiah as He steps up His earthly mission to redeem a lost and dying humanity. The sovereignty of God manifested in the flesh is superbly displayed in: “O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.” (v2). Neither their words, accusations, hatred nor the final blow in condemning Him to death could stop Him from praying for the sick and the maimed, healing them from their ailments. He prayed on the mountain tops, in Gethsemane and in His last hour upon the cross. He was HEARD and ANSWERED every time, by that paving the way with His bloodstained footsteps FOR ALL FLESH to come to Him. Here is a vow to hearken unto for all of us this very moment: “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us 124
hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:14-16). Too many of us today still live under a cloud of self condemnation, guilt from the present and past and lack of trust in the finished work of Christ. Many of us still think that we must first accomplish something that will qualify us to be accepted by the Lord. Listen to stanza three: “Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.” The first phrase deals with our infirmities, shortcomings, mistakes, doubts and fears, which bombard us continuously to feel guilty. The second phrase trumpets out the acquittal and discharge of phrase one through His redemptive work upon the cross by His shed blood, once and for all. No good deeds or rewards are required. He did it in advance on Calvary’s brow! When the people of His day could not “performed the vow” to hearken unto His voice and through the ages, we all fell short, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, (Rom.3:23), our precious Lord Jesus Christ came to perform in our stead “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” (Rom. 3:24&25). The Pharisees, Scribes and Elders utterly rejected Him and did not obey the words of Messiah. He became obedient in theirs and our stead. Let us listen to the Holy Word of God and then answer to ourselves a good reason why we do not, in full surrender, obey His Word! “Wherefore when He cometh into the world, He saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared Me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when He said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law. Then said He, Lo, I come to do thy will, O 125
God. He taketh away the first that He may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once FOR ALL.” (Heb. 10:5-10). Stanza four is swinging the praise chariots to new heights as we read: “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.” This chosen “man” could never be David or Adam or Abraham or any of the many prophets of all times. One MAN and only One could fulfil the needed qualifications required in stanza four. This MAN is gloriously described in Psalm one. The MAN who never walked, never stood and never sat down in the council of the ungodly and wicked. The perfect and sinless MAN, our precious Lord Jesus Christ! Without being touched, He turned over the tables of the money changers and chased them out of the temple, triumphantly sealing His divinity and authority: “My house shall be a house of prayer!” The goodness Messiah was satisfied with is sealed by the Holy Spirit in Heb. 12:2:- “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” It is stanza five that takes the praise songs in Zion, without a rival, to a heavenly crescendo when we hear: “By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation; who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea.” Here Messiah is set in His rightful place, victorious and crowned as GOD OF OUR SALVATION! He is King of kings and LORD of lords, Alpha and Omega, Beginning and the end! The mystery of Godliness is revealed! The Holy Spirit confirms this with great splendour in 1 Tim. 3:16: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” The Holy Spirit confirms this great truth to the Ephesians in chapter two stanzas thirteen to nineteen:- “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far 126
off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in Himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that He might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.” The terrible things the prophet is marvelling about are beautifully executed in Isaiah nine verse two: “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” For the people of Israel, salvation was only for them, but now ALL FLESH is included in the revelation of Messiah. Walls of exclusion and separation are finally broken down. Stanzas six to thirteen hail the Infinite power of the ever victorious Messiah, Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient, as the great Creator of all seen and unseen things. From the mountaintops of prophecy David hallowed the dawn of the coming Sun of Righteousness as he predicts what John wrote down in confirmation. “In the beginning was the Word, (our precious Lord Jesus Christ) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; (the Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator) and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, (the invisible God took on a human body as Messiah) and dwelt among 127
us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten(Son, the Word) of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:1-5 and 10-14. Paraphrased). In stanza seven His awesome creative powers are majestically displayed as He opened the waters of the red sea for Israel to walk through on dry ground but the Egyptians tumbled to destruction as He closed up the waters. In His humanity He took the winds in His hands and calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee by a spoken Word: “Be Still!” Stanza nine exalts Him to the river of Life as He stood at the well of Jacob offering, at no cost, the water of Life free of charge to the Samaritan woman from Sychar. (John:4.) And still today He is calling, “come to these waters, there is a vast supply. There is a river that never shall run dry!” He thirsted on the cross so that you and I can be filled with this living water of His love, mercy, grace and unconditional forgiveness. To follow the clearly printed prophetic footsteps of Messiah in this Psalm to an eye opener crescendo, we are lastly taken by stanza eleven to the prophetic mountaintop Isaiah stood on so many years after King David. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me; because the LORD hath anointed Me to preach good tidings unto the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:1-3). As the curtains go down over this superb Messianic Psalm, the sound of the trumpets and shofars can still be heard from the far away hills and valleys where the flocks of the great Shepherd are singing with joy. The thousands that were fed with the bread and fish now feasting on the Bread of Life! Dear reader, are you also one of them? 128
If there were no numbers given to the Psalms, the first stanza of this Psalm would be the continuation of Psalm 65 without interruption except that the song leader now instructs everybody, with all they have, to praise and make a joy full noise unto the Lord. This noise must be sounded out as an alarm is sounded out by the blowing of trumpets and shouting. This joyful noise is not because of a great victory that was won, no, it is to be to the honour, the splendour and copiousness of the ineffable NAME of the Most High God. The Psalmist, inspired by the Holy Spirit, is not just writing about any name. Here he is talking about the NAME of the Most High God! It is important for us to search the Scripture so as to come to the knowledge of this wonderful NAME.
We find no record in the Scriptures that neither Abraham nor Isaac enquired about God’s Name when He spoke to them. It was Jacob who enquired after te Lord’s Name during their awesome nightly encounter at the Jabbok brook. This is what happened as the stars were silently witnessing from the sky. “And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a Man with him until the breaking of the day. And when He saw that he prevailed not against him, He touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as He wrestled with him. And He said, Let Me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And He said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And He said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked Him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And He said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after My name? And He blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” ( Gen. 32:24-29. KJV). (Pronouns are capitalized out of respect for our precious Lord and to distinguish between Him and Jacob). 130
Jacob received no direct answer but his confession tells us that he knew that he wrestled with God in a human body. In Exodus chapter three we find Moses on the slopes of mount Horeb, without his shoes on in the presence of the everlasting God speaking to him from the burning bush. His instructions were plain and simple: “Go to Egypt and tell Pharaoh, Let my people go.” Let us listen to Moses as he enquires about God’s identity and the answer he received. “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and He said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is My name forever, and this is My memorial unto all generations.(Ex.3:13-15). In the “I AM WHAT I AM” we have an uncompleted sentence seeing that no name of identification is given. The invisible God, however, by making this irrevocable statement confirms that He and He alone is the Self Existent One, God and Lord of the Universe. The memorial concerning the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is proof that He is the God of the living and not a God of the dead. (Mark 12:27). At the most difficult hour of their mission, when Pharaoh refused to let Israel go and he made their burdens more severe, God appeared unto Moses in Exodus 6:2&3 with powerful identification: “And
God said to Moses, I AM THE LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as God Almighty [ElShaddai, the All Powerful One], but by My name the Lord [Yahweh-the redemptive Name of God] I did not make Myself known to them [in acts and great miracles]. [Gen. 17:1].” (Amplified Bible). Some translations use the name Jehovah instead of Yahweh. Due to such awesome respect for the name of God and not to use it in vain, the Hebrew Scripture uses the consonants, 131
YHWH only. What is very important to bear in mind as we continue, is that the Name formed from these consonant is explicitly the REDEMPTIVE (Salvation from sin through the atonement of Christ) NAME OF GOD. Resting upon God’s everlasting presence and infinite power Moses and Aaron took Israel out of Egypt. As they were travelling towards Canaan God gave Moses many instructions and even the Testimony on the stone tables. Then suddenly amongst all the instructions Exodus 23:20-22 appears: “Behold, I send an Angel before
thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. Beware of Him, and obey His voice, provoke Him not; for He will not pardon your transgressions: for MY NAME IS IN HIM. But if thou shalt indeed obey His voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.” In Judges 13:17&18 where God appeared to Manoah and his wife, announcing the birth of Samson, He was once again asked about His Name. Let us join the conversation. “And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after My name, seeing it is secret?” The Hebrew word translated in the KJV as secret, gives two more translations, namely, REMARKABLE and WONDERFUL! I leave it to your spiritual flight memory to explore, dear reader. In His infinite, pure and undying love for mankind His continuous involvement and intervention in human affairs is obvious. We must always bear in mind that God is Spirit. (John 4:24). To address man God spoke to Moses from the burning bush and from the cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. To Abraham, Jacob, Lot, Manoah and many others 132
He appeared as the Angel of the Lord. There was however, hidden from eternity, a covenant Name still to be revealed which will employ every memorial Name ever given by God. This Name can and will only be revealed when the great God lay down His splendour, and make Himself of no reputation and will take upon Him the form of a servant. The purpose will be to bring man back to his original relationship with God where a sacrifice will be brought once and for all to redeem mankind from his sin. This perfect plan became feasible When God became a Son in Bethlehem. Isaiah said that the virgin will be of child and will bear a son and will call Him Emmanuel that is GOD WITH US. When God sent His Son into this world the Most High covenant Name was revealed when the angel said to Mary: “And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.” (Luk.1:31). The Name Jesus is the English translation from the Greek, IESOUS. We do not know whether the angel spoke to Mary in Greek, Aramaic or Hebrew. If he spoke Aramaic His name would be called, YESHUAH but if he spoke to her in Hebrew the Name would be: YEHOWSHU’A which means Jehovah-saved. What do we find hidden in the Hebrew Name of Messiah? We find the Covenant Name given to Abraham and Moses and Jacob in the consonants YHWH! As the Pharisees and Scribes gazed upon the Man of Nazareth with blinded eyes yet filled with fury and envy, He pulled the curtains of innocence away and made a statement that settled it all concerning the covenant Name: John 5:43. “I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” Here Jesus prophetically referred to the day the 133
Anti-Christ will be revealed and be ACCEPTED by the Jews to their destruction. In the revelation of the Covenant Name we are also instructed by Jesus that His Name is the only Name in which we can pray. John 14:13&14. “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” It was Saul of Tarsis, with letters from the High Priest to apprehend and bring to justice all those who believed and preached that Jesus of Nazareth was the Messiah, who had a life changing experience on his way to Damascus! “And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am JESUS whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. (Acts 9:3-5). How can we ever doubt the greatness, splendour and glory of the infallible covenant Name, Name above all Names whereby we are saved! Yeshuah ha Mashiach, our precious Lord Jesus Christ! In closing allow me to quote the words which the Holy Spirit urged Paul to write down for you and me: Col. 3:17:“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.” With all the above safely cemented in our minds and hearts stanza three and four of this Psalm urges us to sound out the greatness of God’s power. All His enemies shall submit unto Him and all the earth shall worship and sing unto Him.
With great boldness the Psalmist now, standing on the prophetic mountain tops, invites his readers to come and walk through the gallery of God’s memories in His doings for men and their salvation. We are taken to the red sea where He blew with His cold breath and froze a path through the waters for Moses and his people to go through. He again blew with His hot breath and the waters melted and covered Israel’s enemies, and they rejoiced. They were tested and tried in the wilderness for forty years where He covered them in a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. Their shoes and clothes did not grow old. He shepherded them in His infinite love remembering His promises to Abraham. He brought them to the mountain of promise and gave them the tables of Testimony. He gave them water from a rock and the bread of angels to eat. Yet they annoyed Him in their desires to return to Egypt. This great God did not change. Verse twelve sounds it out: “Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.” The Psalmist sees the people settled in the land of promise. He sees the temple, beautiful in its splendour in Zion. He sees the sacrifices and offerings brought by the people. Then he sees Messiah, the perfect sacrifice, the Lamb of God as he speaks in the first person: “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what He hath done for My soul. I cried unto Him with My mouth, and He was extolled with My tongue. (In Gethsemane and on the cross). If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear Me. But verily God hath heard Me; He hath attended to the voice of My prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away My prayer, nor His mercy from Me.” (Verses 16-20).
You may ask why we ascribe the last few stanzas to a prophetic glimpse to Messiah as it could just as well be the words of the Psalmist about himself. That may be so but if the curtains are just raised for a moment in 1 Corinthians 10 from stanza 1 we cannot but ascribe all this to Messiah. Let us listen to the Holy Spirit speaking through Paul:“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” There is no Name on earth so sweet. No Name so dear in heaven. The Name before His wondrous birth To Christ the Saviour given. I love to sing of Christ my King And hail Him blessed Jesus. For there’s no word ear ever heard So dear so sweet, as JESUS!. oooooooooo
PSALM 67. Many would have asked, why is this Psalm noted as a separate one seeing it only contains seven stanzas? Why could it not form part of Psalm sixty six? The answer is not far to seek. Psalm sixty six, as we have already seen covers different aspects of the greatness of the ineffable Name, the past in creation and the future of God’s glory. Psalm sixty seven on the contrary is, in its being, a prayer song of worship. The very first stanza is not a question but a powerful acclamation of the grace and love of an all atoning Creator God. Let us read it in the Spirit:- “God be merciful unto us, and bless us; and
cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.” The form of the verb (to) “be” is used here in the present indicative mood which directs us to indefinite mercy and blessing. It can also read: “God IS merciful”. What a declaration! What do we understand under this MERCY? Strong’s analytical concordance, H2603 tells us that under “merciful” we are to understand that a Sovereign God stoops down to us as inferior people bestowing upon us His kindness and favor. Was that not what He did to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and to so many millions since the fall and to all mankind past, present and future when He stooped down in love, sending His Son into this world to die upon a cruel cross to purchase our redemption once AND FOR ALL with His precious blood. In this prayer song we have securely cemented the benediction God gave Aaron and his sons wherewith they had to bless Israel:- “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” (Num.6:24-26).
It is the last part of stanza one that takes us into the gates of divine revelation as the Holy Spirit illuminates Messiah in His glory and splendour:- “Cause His face to shine upon us (to be with us). This is what the great and wonderful Lord did. He came, Emmanuel, God with us. They saw His face in Jesus Christ our Lord. Then verse two makes it more clearer that even a child can discern it:- “That thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations.” It is there, the WAY! The trodden course of life paved by the blood prints of Messiah, the narrow WAY! “I am the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE no man cometh unto the Father but by Me!” (John 14:6). If this is not MERCY what is mercy then? But there is more. Not only is the WAY to be made known amongst the nations, but also His saving health is to be revealed. The Hebrew word so used for “saving health” is Yeshuah and it speaks of something saved; deliverance; victory; prosperity and salvation! How awesome are the footsteps of Messiah prophetically painted in this prayer song. It is He and Him alone who is worthy of this praise song for His judgements are righteous and fair. The winds of time bring the confirmation from His own lips so many years later:- “I can of Mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent Me.” (John 5:30). The last two stanzas of this Psalm reveal the real secret and purpose of its existence. Praise and worship in prayer and song opens the flood gates of God’s inexhaustible treasure rooms of blessings! Let us read it in silence, awe and with thanksgiving:- “Let the people praise Thee, O God; let all the people praise Thee. Then shall the earth yield
her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.â€? How sad to say that we know how to ask but we have forgotten to say thank you. We know how to complain when the going is rough but we have forgotten to praise and thank Him in the midst of the storm for His presence and guidance. He will never lead us into a situation and not show us the way out. Lord Jesus help us to learn to be thankful in every situation of life and to acknowledge Thy presence, help, guidance and favor in trials and tribulations. To praise and honour Thee under all circumstances, knowing that all things work together for good for all those who love Thee and are called after Thine intention. In praise, honour and worship we submit ourselves to Thy will for our good. Shape us to Thy image and may Thy beauty be seen in us, all Thy wondrous compassion and purity. Come Spirit Divine all our nature refine until the beauty of Jesus be seen in us. Amen. ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo