In my last blog “Jesus Christ, Our Righteousness” I explained that David was not simply trusting God’s immediate deliverance but rather a future vindication based not on his own but the righteousness of Christ Jesus; see Psalms 35:23-24.
Awake and rouse Yourself for my vindication, for my cause, my God and my Lord! Vindicate me [David], O LORD, my God, according to Your righteousness, and let them not rejoice over me!
I also pointed out that David’s faith rest particularly on the coming Savior, Jesus Christ, for his utterance of “my God and my Lord” was exactly that of the Lord’s disciple Thomas; see John 20:28 “Thomas answered Him [Jesus Christ], “My Lord and my God.”
David prophetically confessed faith in the coming Savior, understanding that He is God and the Lord of salvation. On the other hand, after His crucifixion and death, Thomas initially doubted the Lord Jesus Christ until He resurrected back to life and appeared to him in the flesh, then he uttered, “My Lord and My God!”
The apostle Peter, quoting David, clearly spoke of him as a prophet through his psalms; see Acts 2:25-28.
For David says concerning Him [Jesus Christ], “I saw the Lord always before me, for He is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For You will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let Your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.”
Peter actually quoted verbatim Psalm 16:8-11. Clearly then David in the psalms was speaking on behalf of the LORD, prophesying about the coming Savior Jesus Christ. In Acts 2:27, same with Psalm 16:10, David spoke about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the death. So David’s cry for vindication in Psalm 35:23-24 refers to his future redemption from Hades. That was fulfilled by Christ Jesus on His Second Coming at His Great White Throne Judgment together with the destruction of the Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple. See Revelation 20:11-15.
Then I saw a Great White Throne and Him [Jesus Christ] who was seated on it. From His presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the Lake of Fire. This is the Second Death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
See also Matthew 25:31; Jesus Christ told His disciples: “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His Glorious Throne.”
Bear in mind that Matthew chapters 24-25 is a unit, a long discourse by Jesus Christ telling His disciples the correlation of His Second Coming with that of the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple; see Matthew 24:1-3.
Jesus left the temple and was going away, when His disciples came to point out to Him the buildings of the temple. But He answered them, “You see all these, do you not? Truly, say to you, there will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”
As He [Jesus Christ] sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”
As I had mentioned in my previous blog, clearly His disciples had understood that when Jesus spoke of the impending destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, it was about the coming Judgment of God spoken of by the Old Testament prophets. An example may be seen in Daniel 12:5-9.
Then I, Daniel, looked, and behold, two others stood, one on this bank of the stream and one on that bank of the stream. And someone said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, “How long shall it be till the end of these wonders?” And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream; he raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a times, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end all these things would be finished. I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end …”
The disciples’ question on the “end of the age [Matthew 24:3]” refers to Daniel’s “time of the end [Daniel 12:4,7-9]” – also “the end of these wonders [Daniel 12:6],” which was the fulfillment of Daniel 12:1-3, see below:
At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people [Israel]. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time [cf. Matthew 24:21]. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever [cf. Matthew 13:43].
Revelation 20:11-15 in turn was the fulfillment of Daniel 12:1-3, which occurred at the Return of Christ Jesus our Lord, Matthew 25:31. The disciples understood it’s going to happen in their lifetime because Jesus had told them in advance, see Matthew 16:27-28.
For the Son of Man is going to come with His angels in the glory of His Father, and then He will repay each person according to what he has done. Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.
Who were those that Jesus mentioned was standing here? See Matthew 16:24, it’s the immediate disciples of Jesus Christ – Peter, James, John and the rest – not us; the Lord indeed had revealed the time of His coming. Shouldn’t our perspective of Jesus’ Second Coming be aligned with His Words?
Now back to Psalm 34 & 35, David was looking forward to his vindication by faith in Christ Jesus; see Psalm 34:22. “The LORD redeems the life of His servants; none of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.” For Christ Jesus was the fulfillment of Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
See Isaiah 61:1-2.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor; He has sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the Day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn …
Isn’t it obvious that it was Jesus Christ who spoke through the prophet of God concerning Isaiah 61:1-2? In the New Testament Scripture, Luke told us that Jesus indeed came and fulfilled that prophecy. see Luke 4:17-21.
And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given Him [Jesus Christ]. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And He rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
Jesus stopped reading after He said, “To proclaim the Lord’s favor [Luke 4:19],” because that was exactly what He was fulfilling at the moment. It was at His Return when the rest of Isaiah 61 was fulfilled.
Today, we may express the same confidence in Jesus Christ just as David did. This Covid-19 has brought about so much hardship and heartache, but the Word of God remains the same and trustworthy. Let us therefore remain faithful and trust Him with all our hearts, saying,
I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul make its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together! (Psalm 34:1-3)
Despite the pandemic, Jesus Christ ought to be worship. David trusted Jesus’ coming and deliverance. So much more should we now, for Jesus Christ had fulfilled all His promises in Scripture, and is seated at His throne reigning over all His creation. Next, see Psalm 34:4-10.
I sought the LORD, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to Him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed. This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them. Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints, for those who fear Him have no lack! The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.
At the beginning of this pandemic, I saw a lot of people panic-buying in the groceries and other household items stores. Perhaps some may be due to the proclamation of many that soon the return of Jesus Christ is happening, and this pandemic is a sign. Let me assure you that the pandemic has nothing to do with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, for the Lord had told His disciples it’s happening in their generation.
I am a fulltime independent pastor, serving the Lord Jesus Christ not under the support of any organized Christian or mission organization, yet I saw the hand of God sustaining us through this pandemic. So I say to you also, “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Jesus Christ promised to take care of all our needs, not wants, if we sought His kingdom and righteousness; see Matthew 6:25-27.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow and reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
Then, in Matthew 6:33-34, Jesus went on saying,
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
The Christian journey is like that of the Israelites after their exodus from Egypt and were in the wilderness. They were in God’s divine providence protecting and providing them their food on a daily basis. Most of us have resources more than enough for one day, yet many would shake in fear when their capacity to earn is hindered or cutoff.
Moses brought Israel out of the slavery of Egypt through the Red Sea. Christians were delivered from the slavery of death through faith in the blood of Jesus Christ; see Hebrews 2:14-15.
Since therefore the children share in the flesh and blood, He [Jesus Christ] Himself partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
Oh yes, would Christians still experience suffering like now that we are in a pandemic? Sure, Christians are not immune from Covid-19; neither are we indifferent from the necessities of life. But Christians have the promised of eternal life in Christ Jesus. So Paul wrote in Romans 8:31-39.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died – more than that, who was raised – who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death or life, nor angels nor rulers, not things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
That was the confidence of both David and Paul. Shouldn’t that also be our assurance and trust if we have truthfully claimed faith in Christ Jesus our Lord? Let us therefore live in the confidence of Christ’s love, and share the same faith to others; see Psalm 34:11-17.
Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongues from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and His ears toward their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
Truthful allegiance in God begin with the Fear of the LORD. In Proverbs 1:7, the Bible said, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Christians ought to have authentic submission to Jesus Christ and His words; no ifs and no buts, just simple obedience.
It is truly rewarding to trust and rest upon Christ Jesus our Lord. Psalm 34:18-22 said,
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned. The LORD redeems the life of His servants; none of those who takes refuge in Him will be condemned.
Scripture said, Christians will be no stranger to afflictions but the LORD will deliver us from all our troubles. And the greatest trouble that humanity faces is death, yet Jesus Christ promised and said:
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him [God the Father] who sent Me [Jesus Christ] has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. (John 5:24)
Jesus Christ, the promised Messiah of the Jewish people, came to fulfill all Scripture. But He came not to ransom or redeem Jew alone but many – that is, both Jew and Gentile; see Matthew 20:28. “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give life as a ransom for many.” Jesus Christ – the Son of Man – then is also our redeemer. The apostle Paul in Romans 8:31-39, which I had quoted earlier explained the concept of Christ’s redemption thoroughly.
Life is all about perspective. If there is any positive thing about this pandemic – it cause people to stopped from their busyness and allowed them time to reflect on what truly are the necessities of life. David must had the same predicament when he was down having been pursued by Saul and humiliated by Achish king of Gath. It is always in the stillness of life’s trouble that we hear God’s Word vividly.
The words of Christ Jesus are timeless. It was for the immediate disciples and for future followers of the Lord as well. In John 17:15-26, Jesus said,
I do not ask that You [God the Father] take them out of the world, but that You keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in truth; Your word is truth. As you sent Me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate Myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in Me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. The glory that You have given Me I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, may be with Me where I am, to see My glory that You have given Me because You loved Me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that You have sent Me. I made known to them Your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.
The goodness of God is not defined by how He had or will deliver us from the worries of life. All of life’s worries will ceased at the end of this physical life, Scripture said “From dust we all came, to dust we shall return,” see
By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return. (Genesis 3:19)
Remember that You [God] have made me like clay; and will you return me to the dust? (Job 10:9)
If He [God] should set His heart to it and gather to Himself His spirit and His breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust. (Job 34:14-15)
You [God] return man to dust and say, ‘Return, O children of man!’ (Psalm 90:3)
When You [God] hide Your face, they are dismayed; when You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. (Psalm 104:29)
All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. (Ecclesiastes 3:20)
Humanity does not live forever, for we are from dust and to dust we all will return. And nothing that was from the dust remains forever; it is susceptible to corrosion and decay. Hence, we ought to learn to accept that our present journey – that is, our lives – is temporal so we shouldn’t expect that it could be sustained forever. The scientific world might have been attempting to prolong life, but it may never be made to exist forever.
Yet, through faith in Jesus Christ – the Son of Man – He has redeemed us from the limitation of this present life, for in Him we have eternal life. In essence, life is to be enjoyed but always in obedience to Christ Jesus our Lord and God. Let us then seek to secure our eternal existence in Christ Jesus our Lord, trusting Him for everything about life and life eternal.
In conclusion, Psalm 34 & 35, psalms of encouragement for the downhearted and truth about Jesus Christ that was uttered by David, should keep us faithful and true in our confession of faith.
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