Full Text for Messianic Mountaintops, Part II (Text)

Moun 3 $+ + ...- t4ain v tops MARTIN NAUMANN 17. 13-4r.arinl Jacob's fare~~ell tV his sons was his farewell to the jl,~)r-d arid to his life rvhich he called short slid full of trolible. Holrercr, this 1)atriarcll had his face set toward hope He llad "rvlait& for God's salvation," and in the rereli~tion give11 ]linl hc salv Christ's day did Abrahan~. Not yet does Judah take over or ;ictunlly Begill his reign. ~t was clear enoiigh to ill1 thc tribes that what Jacob sc. 'ilc 1 was of' thc f~iture. But ~larl of salvation goes 011 ;ind 1sr;iel's sons nl~~st iilo\;c on to the Prolnised Land. Centuries fio~s on like Ricer Njlc thev kller\ so U'itll the rule of the Ph;lronll that kncrr. not J~~~~]~' coincs the tinle of great trib~~lntion and ~l>presrion, wllcll it seemed ~~(1 Ji;l(j forgotten His people. hlang 3 Iienrt longecl for the llcro w~lolll ~()ul(l be given "the necks of their enc111ies7~-s(, ]ittic llope, so littic Ilflp, seemingly no groirtll of ]<~lo\r-~edge of tlleir God. ,To br surf, individoal 1sr;lelites shon; tlleir t;lith. 'TIle gLlilc~ lilidn-ices llas two lenders that stand LIP ;~g;linst tIic kirlgJs mctIlod of l,illlllls- tion control. They do SO in faith and are blessed. faitll tilc pilr.. cnts of &loses hid him for tllrcc nionths. BLIt :lnotller t\ro golcr;r- tiolls Pilss before the time of tribolation nil(] slaver!, coiues to cu(l, A trcnlendoos explosion of nlirscles, of j~idgrncnt nllil (lclii.cl:j, l;lhcs Place :~nd ISMC~ is 011 tlic move bacli t(, .it\ c)rjainal ]10111cliill(7. Nothing ci~n stor> this thrlist, not the sen, nol. tIlc /Illln]e];itc. nor the Golden Calf. Thc forty j8c;,rs in~poscd (111 Tsrilel Sol- I~;lli;inu at thc last ii~oment before taking GotlJs coirntr- ;ire n trailling pel.iod. Tile tiilic ~01llcs ~vhrn Isl-ael, ~~~litcci, to~igh, iluraI,lt, ;illd, blessed by thc T-r~rd of hosts rolls lil~ ;I Juggcr~~;lot over pcol)lc i\l~d natiol~s. (;oil is 1vit1t 21cr :111d all ol~t.mjcs j~~~lst. f]c'c ])ct:orc ]lcl-. Ibol-cnw~ap~ed tabcr1l'clc) the declaratiOl, (;oc17s solemn covenant to es~l~lis"ment Of sacrifices :incl .regill;ltions c\.cr!. \\,as filleci jvi. tll tile xcmi~~(lers of God's promises and grace. ~iearlg the Lord was with them. drank from Christ the Rock ancl ate the bread from heaven. As they prepare to enter and arc near Jcricho the events that arc recorded in the chapters of Numbers 22-24 occur. Tjalali, son of Zippor, was king of the Moabites. I-Ic wits a~vecl at the mystifyjng ]night of Israel. Even the conference ~vitlr the h/Iitlinnit.es and tIic result of it affrrned the fact that Israel was Iick- ing up all nations "as an os licks up tllc grass of the field." Hunlan help :inti II;~~LI~:I~ strength promisect no help. TIlerc must be some- thing tlliit call stop Isrilcl. hi supcl-stitions despair :I ~iiessage is sent to Balnanl. I-Ic is to curse Israel. 13nlaaln must have had quitc ti rep~ltatiori for power. In the ~nind of tlrc king and his counselors Balaam is the last court of 311- peal. Tlle dcspcratc situatioil ilnd their frantic call for help as well as the bribes they offer and the pay they pro~nise speak for the repu- tatioi? of UaIoar11 as a grcat magus. 'I'hc s~bsc~~uent~~letailed'nccount of thc nlesrage m )jillanm and the rclie\ued and recioublcd effort wllerl the first invitation is cleclined heighten the expectation anct increase tllc tension. It lvould be in- tcrestin~ to take n close look at Bn1a;ml. Farnous as ilc is, Ile ;ippeors to bc a rlcliculous imposter. Tkc holy write]: seems to Iln\re ;I hulnoroLrs glean) in his eyc as he tells thc story. Ilalaam is a mystcry. Hc kllolvs who the true God is. Hc Ier of the fourth part of Israel? Let 111e die the death of the rightcous. :111d let rn? last end be liJ;c. his! What Ealaanl has see11 is son~ething both physical and spiritual, 110th for tiwe :tnd eternity. This seer knows that fie sees bliss be- yoncl hunlan power and riches. He can but -tvisll he were a nle~nber of this people. Himself faced ~vith the realities of life ;lntl death, he can but wish he corild die the death of the rigliteo~ts, a death better than the life of thc godless. I331ali Iromise first given to Abraham (Gcn. 12: 3). Now Balak's paticncc is at an enrl. He bangs his hands to- gcthcr and tells 13alaam to run for his life or he will tear him to pieces. f:rustr;lted, Balaanl fcels the injustice. I-Iad hc not told the nlessengers this very thing! Ealaam cannot do otherwisc. Not only had Gocl given him tl~c Inessage; IIe hacl also ~nade him proclainl it. Was there c:vcr sucl~ a prophet, univilling but forcccl to cleclnre the blessing! Now some thing happens not espected. Balaam, it seems, has seen more tllan he has told. The vision on the third try seems less than thc second. In truth it was probably even greater than the first and i1.1~ sccond. Balsam, too, is angry. Wc can see him turn to the liill: allti lool; into that face pnrplc with rage: "I'll give you a bonus. 1'11 redly tell yo^^ what will happen to you and your crowd. 1'11 tell !'OL1 li~1.13t the end .tvilI 2x2 lil;e." Thus begins one of thc most brilliant and beloved pre'Tictions of the hlessinh and His I(ingdom. Ralaarn, not without good reason, ir~troduccs the oracle with the solemn claim that this is God's IYord. For 311 who knon: the character of the Scriptures as the inspired \I7ord of God this is a sample of how po\verfully the truth conies to men fro111 the Spirit of God. This is inspiration in its most intense forni. 'Tilose who of the concept of verbal inspiration 3s a theory and mile at those who consider it infallible sho~lld know that the Sl>irir of God can an ass speak tnlth, can make the ass' owner see the trnt1i, can even ioakc a pagan high priest propIlec\, Here the seer tells what eiilailatcd fro111 God. He describes it 24: 15-1 6) : "The mall !\;hose eyes are open hath saitl: J,lat]l said ivhich heard thc ~iords of God, ant1 irl~en the l;~a)r~~Ie(~g~ of nrost High, i,\zhicll saw the vision of the illmighty, falling illto ir;lncc, 11 t. but haviilg Ilis c):cs open. This is direct re\-elation, 1,roplletic \;isi(jll, exclusion of t1lc outer sci~sc but an opening of eyes for 2 \:isioll oi n I;liowing and sccj~ig ~v11at: the iil~~iighty an(1 Ilighest God rc\:cals. FL1henel;el: God sl~caks through man, God malies use of a nlan's I<1lon:1cdgc, gifts, ilnd skills, but FIc always says exact]\; iVhnt I-J~ wants to sn)., ~vlietlier thc man, in this case Bnl;lanl, is ivillilig or not. Got1 speal;s 11y iiislisation. I-iis \I7orci is it nciv esaltr(1 pen]; of thc A,Icssi:~nic ~~i;tssi\-c mountai~i of Gotl's T170rd : "I sce Hiill, but not not^.; T 1)choltl 'FIIIII, l~lt not nigh : it star shall come forth out of Tncob, nncl :t sccptcr s1i;tll risc out. of ls~.;icl; it shall crusli tlic forehead of Moab, i.ll.id I~rc;lk tlo~vn a11 thc solis of S'lleth. .I7tlonl s1l;ill 11c tlisl~ossesscd, Seil- also. his enemies, shall bc tlisl~osscssctl, ivhi lc I sL;\c1 docs ~;;lli;tlltl.y. t3v , . I ncol-, sli;lll tloniinion 1)e esc~.ciscd, arlc'l tlle s~~r:\,i\,ol.s of cities be dcstroyctl!" I'l1e11 hc 1ool;ctl or1 /\ni:ilek, illid tool< up his tliscoussc, :tat1 si~itl, "Aliialck 11 ;is tllc first of tlic nations, but .in the e11d 11c shall conlc to dcstruc~ion." i\ntl llc loolicd 011 tl~c Iknite, and took up his tlisco~r~.sc. and said, "l'~lil~lrir~g is \.our cl~vclling place, itilcl your nest is sct in the rock; %c\..ct-theless Kain shall bc wasted L!~ltil ~issliur sliall takc you a.iilay capti itc? /\.11il 11~ tool< up his dis~oi11:sc, and siiicl, "/\las, ivlio s1-1a11 jive ivlxn Got1 docs this: Rut ships shall come froin Kittin1 an0 shall amict ilsshul- iind Eber; r.11ld 11c also shall come to destriictio~~." It nii1y 1~ 13aliilc Jl.31 ;111d tllc l~arti~~ilar-tll~ ;\l)stract n1lc7 the concrete-blending j11t0 ;1 l)ortr;~ynl that coniln~~nicates .ivhnt all Christians confcsr;: C111 ,-is! is I'jcto~: over all His eneliiies. 'Tliis scctio11 of tllc vision shows ordel: and synumetry. Four c,l-;~clcs ;I).? ~i\.en, l:o~~r times it is said: "1-:Ic took up his sentence." l"ll(~s(~ 'i~~[~t~~i~~~" ;IS(: cnllcc7 IL~Z.L.~IL, usuall!. n tern1 for a I)]-ophctic tli\.irlc o~:aclc. Tlic translation of thc Icrs Ihl-kar and only hcrc. so. In Jereniiah the ~llore frequent spelling is I~ccl. Evcn they who have succccdecl in finding refuge in wallet1 cities are not safe from the wrath of this king. Tt cannot be tle~iied that much of thc prediction fits David, but the totality of victory ant1 the subjugation of all ant1 cvcry enemy is better uncler- stootl ot Sl~iloh, who will bring peace by His victory and before ~vliom ;III nations rcill I~o.ir. A11 lances finally arc hent in obeisance before the _\lessiah. 13r1t Balaam goes on in his accounting of the esch:~tological victory of the Star of Judah. I-Ie loolavitl." 111 his I3cncclictus, Zccliarii~ll sl~ci11;s or thc "lighf from on high that looks upon us" when thc klcssinli comcs. I'ctcr i~cl< to the ~)rol>hct 13alai1n1, ivhosc orc~clcs may llavc Ixen nlivc in the tradition of other lnenll~ers of: a guilt1 of rn:lgi. 'rhesc tr;~clitions \\!ere considcrctl sacrcd and Inay ha\.(: from thc~l on been a part of the :~rchivcs. iil~other .tvisc man, Daniel, ass~~rctll!- Itnew ~vhat \\.as ~vritten in 1-hc Ian of bfoses and just as ccrtninly nladc as IittJe secret of this prophecy of old as hc diil of his OII~II faith ant7 1,rophccics. It is Iinrdly credihlc that the wise rncn coming to Jut]ca to .tr,orshil) thc IZing announced 1):. the star r.c'o~11cI 11;11.c bccn ignorant of thc r\.ords OF ljalnan~. 'Tllcy came, they saw, thcy I>clicl.ed and worshippcicl. For our day ihr ligllt from abo\,c illuminalcs our .i.c.ay to tkc I-ion of Jutlah, the St:~r of Jacob, the Ic ~~afiid--~\;Iio~n Cod li:~tl cllosen for thclll. P,aIaani's prophecy, of .tvllich we saw the linal Messianic peal; 21nd cJ:jn~ax, contains the statcmc'nt: "Tlic Lorcl Gotl is ~vjtli tllc111. and the shout of n king is among them" (Numbers 23 : 2 1 ). 111 the nest oracle Balaanl says Iiis lting sllall be higlicr than i\g:12 allti his Itingdoni shall be exalted (Wumburs 243). Baalam's p1.orilisc of the Star and Scepter of J~~clah jndicated that ;t ruIer ~vould conic! out of Jacob. Therc can be no doubt that Gocl planned :I rnonai.ch5. for Israel. Ho~vcvcr, it was to 1)e ;I theocratic monarchy. Saul fails Ixcause lie acts autocratically i~nd is thercforc rcjccted for his dis-- ol~edience to the King of kings. Yet Gotl has a substitutc ready, and the son of Jesse is anointed -trljiIe Saul still bears the crown and scep tel-. The rejection of Saul is a sign that tile truc iring of Tsrael is ]nore than a nzetck or gr~itilc king even though he 111ay llavc less outlvvnrd power. David is not the firstborn of Jesse and not thc cldest or thc tallest. Davici is talcen from tending the sheep, as Gocl reminds him latcr. The true picture of the king of Israel is not that of the ~relck, a name with an a11 too human connotation of power and pres- sure. We must remember that thc kings of the peoples of that timc and at other times tried to increase respect anci authority 1)y claiming divine natr~rc for thcmsel~~cs. Yet the very fact that they had no hope fox an eschatological ruler, who ~vould at the same time be a savior from their sins, sets the kingship of Israel apart and above all other royalties. Israel's truc liing is Gocl, \rho has no rival. In thc I'snlms-incl~~di~i~ thosc composctl by Davic'l--God, the Gocl of Israel, is exsltctl ;tho\'c all nations and Icings. To compare the exaggerated claims of other kings and their adherents as found in contcinporary enthronen~ent hymns with thc statement of God's majcsty in the Psalms is to forget the distinction betwecn "religion" of a pcoplc and the rcvclation God gave Israel. What the Psalms say of God as Icing and of the Messiah King is not spolten to glorify any king on thc throne of David 2s tlivinc. Of the illany passages in the Scriptures of both testaments that spcal; of the majesty ot God and thc glory of tlic Icing abovc all ' Icings, two predictive nlountainpcals arc 2 Samuel 7 ;ind 2 Silmuel 1 23-one given J)a.i~id at the time when he tllought hc had time and reason to build God n tenlplc and one that David himself pronounces as ~~11at is sometil~~es called his "last will ancl testament." That both arc relntcd is beyond doubt. The interpretation of one depends to a grc.;~t cstenl: on thc other. If we put thc bcst Messianic constructiotl on I~oth, .trc sct. fill. into the history of what actually is thc Kingdom of God. Thc first prccl iction , spokcn 1)); Da~,id's court chaplain, Na- than the prophet, comes at a tirnc when I>n.c~id's position was firml>. established both n~itl~in thc amphictyon y of thc twclvc tribes 2nd be- yoncl by his conquest of all his enemies. "Thc Lord had give11 11in1 1:est." Now Jlnvicl co~~ld think more of constructive worlc within his orvrl 1;ingdom. Truly, it was the Lord who had granted him this "rest." In keeping with the picture of the Messianicity of the who1c Old Testament, we should note that many other facets testify to God's hand in the progression of the plan of salvati011. Let us, for instance, taltc n loolc at the history of Jcrusnlem. So fin.111~ cstal~lished is thc concept of this city as the capital of Tsrael 211t'l Judah, poIitically, gcog~:aphically, and theologically spenkirlg, that ~vc ma): o~ierlook thc fact t11;lt in the p1.ans of Gocl as thc God of all history thc enicrgencc of this city to sucX1 importallcc was nothing less than a miracle. F,ven nt the timc when Davit1 became liing, tl-lc Jebusites still I~cld a fortified 11ill in the area. For centuries they had resistcd erer\; attempt of conquering them. The): were ac- ccpted ;is ir fact to 11; lived fiith, and we have no doubt that the people of Jlr(7aIi led 3 comfortable co-existence with them. Nor was thc1.c much rcason for taking this strong point, fol- ]crusalem was in a very unimportant section of: the lanri. No great highway routes passed near it. It was not e;lsily acccssiblc. Although the name of the city occurs in some of the ancient records of Egypt, yet the sirme records seem to show that this toirTn rvas not considered worth keep- ing an eye on. Pharoah Amenophis I11 seems to igrlorc thc appeal of Jebusites. But God Ilac1 planned for Jerusalenl n glory as we11 as n historical focus that is inseparably tied to the Messiah. Oritsidc the ~ialls of this city the r.vor1ct's Messiah ~vould so111e day 1)e raised. elevated, to His highest position. 13eyonc1 these walls the Messiah. David's Son and God's Son, woulcl become the Redeemer of all tI~c world. God used Davicl to make Jcr~~salen~ the City of Davitl. The Jebusite fortress finally falls to David. 'This was rtzl heroic. act. The Jebusites Tvere so sure of their fortifications that the[- coincil the slogan : ".l'hc blincl ai~tl tllc lalne 1 any fiantlical~pec'l \ call keep Daviil out." David lolitical siqnificancc. Darlid thereby became the on- disputed rrller of a city situatcd at a much nlorc centrally locatecl point than the previous capital X-lebron. Becnusc of Davjd Jcrt~saleni gets its significance. Just so and morc so, llavicl's Son unites His people of all times, ill1 I-aces, nllcl all ages in the Jerusalem "above." 11s is truc of so many othc.1: happenings iin tl~c history oC the Jc.tr.s, so here even the sudden rise of a s~11;111 town becomes a part of thc typology of the Script~ires. Never again will the city Jerusalenl bc forgotten, even if it 1.i.el.c again laic1 In clrlst and ashes as it was timc :tntl again. Now, Pla\!.id knen. the Scrij)t~~res of Rloses ~vcll ant1 rcalizcd "ivhat Cocl had ~vrought." His stvxcsses that lead up to the events of chapter seven arc also rccordcd in thc eighth chapter, ~rhiclt chrono- logically might come first-. But no\\. we come to. the event that, rvcl may say, is the center of the whole "kingdom" concept, the "Mes- si;l~~i~' CO'I~CII;~~~" God makes .ciiith IU)a.ilid. Grateful as David was to God for all the favors I-Ic sho~vered on this so11 of Jesse, yet Di~vid, as we well kno.tv, was not inini~tnc to glorying in hin~sclf. Feu- can ignore contiiiuccl success and Iionol-. What Davit1 proposes to Nathan does not, at first glance, sccni out of ]-)l;~ce at aII. Tli fact hfat.han rejoices that 1)avitl (chaptc~: 7) resolves to (lo for the T_.ord at least as much as he has donc for biz~iself. 'The Lord "lived within curtains" while David haci :I "house of cetlar." 'The contrast is, of course, not between the materials of: which the drvellings Lcere nlade, hot rather between the coilcepts "tebernacle" and "hoosc"! 11 tent is the symbol of the nomadic lifel of the insecurity of man, rrho like Cain is n fugitive and a vagabond 011 the earth. Because Israel lived in tents in the ivildenless, the 120r(l also "tabernacled" (a tented among thein. Nor17 that Israel llad come to rc.;~ ;iil(i pLl,io5cd ci tics :~nd pcri1i;llicn t ~-csi(l~n~cs: it seclne(l fitting to id tiln, the I.oriI, loo, ih(,~o id h;ir-c :I pcjnianent It can ; 1 llc ;~s\~llllc(~ tJ>:l1 1 ?Ll\-i(] j ~111~1 (l\~~~l' in ill~ laliil !;hich tllc ] clrd ?.rinr God iiyc(-]I r.ou lo j~lkerit! an(l ~~hell IIc qivcth rest fro111 ;111 JO~I~ L:IICIII~CS l;~\l~id, $0 tlliit J.111 ({''~ll in s;fet\-: illell ,llcrc s11aIl iic :I ~>I~Icc 11.1lidl 111~ LOTI) )OL~T God shall cho~se c;illsc FJ is 1 I. lo (.{ne]] ti icrc." r)nl.id Could easily see the ti~iic ;IS ]InljnK cr)nlc 1\.1ici1 God i\.ollld ap1x,in t n sanctuary and IIC prob;~bl\ tii(.illgl~t iil:lt he n-oulil l)c: the o~tc'to 11~1ild this for God. So this llln~l 100k~ 8~1~d; ;111d X;~thnli sa\s: <'(;o, do all that is in 1 thine ]lcarf. - [ils J,iri(l is \\itJi I, I [his ~IJ-CSLI~~~P~UOUS of ! Darriti? Did tlliS \ic.t1;1iy. ''\\]~,lt? Yo11 \$.ant to do somctlli~~g f'or i11(:- I c;iii tii'ki c;il.,: oi' nl\sc:lf ;is r ;il\\n\.l; li;l\:c. nit1 I r colt lot 1 II~I-~II I .,'I1 if \\:IS {icsigncii by tllc I .o~.il I I il~ix>lf':;,? 11' I \\;IIII~.Y~ i.1 IIOLI~L, oI' cx~cl~ir. I sII(.JLII(I lii,\\,cs s;li(l so. I cf ~lii, r~*i~li~ici \,OLI of' it 11, I.,., !()[I (:;;IIIC, f'~-o~li. I~!I~(I~II~ slicej). [ \\:I> \\'it.ll JOLI. I <. \OLI >.OLII I>IC~(. III l>o\itir)~l. I 111;1(1~ !O[II. ~i:l~ii~~ SI.C;~~. ti~i(I I 11 111 i.';ll.(, 01 III\ l~(:~~l~I<~ , t \\ ill ?I\(: [I~(,III ;I I~~~I~I~~~II>(~I>~. l~~l;l~~:, anti rl-lc: cliiltlrc:~~ oI' t\.ic.l;c.c'lnct;s sli;lll ;)mi(:[: tilcli~ I)(, ~nc~rc.'' This l:rttcr. statcr~ic~t~1 cstc~~i~ls 1l1c proti1it.c of Gail to tlic: csitv of Evel-lnst- inc,: I'cacc'. 'i'o LI~.I(IC~S~,~II~CI ill; IIILI(:II ;IS j)(issil)lc of the coi;e~iar~t here cle- scrjIlc(] f1.c 11c:c:cl [(.I [>;I!. clocc: ntfcnt-iol-i 1.0 1)0tl1 ill(? \t'ords of th~ vi- sion 3:lti1;111 I)I.OC~;I~I-IIS ;11l(1 [hc ;IrIsn.cr th:lt: I);l~.jci gives in his prayer of ~i~i /)cI'oI~c' C:o(l. :\TI cxtc'~.lial I'cat~~rc: \.i.l-lich \\:c cannot. i9no1.c C\'CI~ \\.I~ilc \\ (: (10 110~ in tcuj~rct it js that 130th 9atl1ail's rvords and is I '11101\ .i I~LII~ICL~C;)~ tr Tlll-(:r foul: .- 7 1s ti\-(: l.(.'rsc:s is t\\.cl\ c' I c.rscs. lit t.\\-el\-c scntcnccs of Sa- tllan 8t.c (1 il iilcil iilf(l \c\o) i1~1d fi\.(:. JLICL so. t/~~ tiianksSivillg of i i I L I \: s o. '['Ilc. s;\cl.~yl \\-rif(!l.! gil id(.cl b\; tjlc spirit o/' ~ t1\CS f I>;III~C. 01' C;O(~ t\\,t11\,c ti liics ill ~.~j,~)~fij~~ ~L;l:jcl's pt.i~!'CI.. 1 I I s: ill this i~)~~?o~i~~i~~ text ma\- ICnii Of the 1 ~IS]~CC(S, )cT lhe! do shovi. tile jntegriti- >f the scctioris. lI'Ii;~l- is said is n1ot.c il-irportnnt tiran it is . Jlsvid is told by God: '.I will builcl a hoiise for you!" ]Tic rrllcierstand that the word "hoLlsc" hcrc does not refer to ;I bnilcling or stone structure. "House" ta];es 011 t-hc n~eaning of permanent or last- ing dynasty. 'The "house of navicl" Leconles ;I terrn morr significant now than it was before. The kj-ortl for house occurs thousiinds of tinles in the Old Testament and frcq~tently llleans tlic family or tribe or nation-ho~~se of Israel, Ilo~rsc of-' the Iiing, house of Joseph, etc. God docs not simply prolllise David children, 'These he had. God promises 21 descendant who ~vould sit or1 the throne of Davit1 for- ever anti ivoulcl builcl an everlasting temple. This is not to be clrrr- ing I)a\.ic('s lifetime. This is to bc \vhcn David shall sleep ivitll his fathers. God would set up a seed after David, solrleone that it-ould coxnc "out of his bowels," a true physical descerldant and soxi. God ~vould establish his Iiingdorn. Xs this promisc is repentecl, tllc tcrill "forever" is ac'icled. \Vc note, too, that thc \vord c!stnblish is rc.. lateci to the word AT~L~~I, which denotes firnlness, faithfulness, truth, c.ert:~int>~, il certain, cternal throne or kingdom is protnjsetl to David. and the seed of I>avicl ~vill accorllplish what David is not to do: He will built1 a temple to God. Certainly Solon~on frllfilled a part of that prophecy and in fact refers to it, But as in lacob's prophecy the pcrsorl of Judah is only the typc and thc rcal Lion of Judnh is !let to come, so 7lerc Solomon is a type of the great ShiioIl, the t'rincc of Peace, wlto .rvill be t-he Ia\.id 11); thc ~?~.oi)l~(:t. 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'aruoo OJ alaitr. s~xguoo la-)j!q auras .se~i ay ~ySnoyz srl se 'spooni aqj TO 3\10 lor[ se,ir L pntuos z 30 SLU~ st12 IV -la~i:~ S~BS~( I<~c~~~ ;mu3 ~41e3 JO UO!SS~JUO~ t)apro3ar )SB[ si9u!q zalZ aqJ, 'l?.t"[ 30 JuaruuJsaq puc spro~ JSBI pa1lt.n-os ayj ur Juaplaa arow ua~a sa~uon -sq arnJuj aql o~u! uo!s!a aql pauado dsaqdord s!q~ -1ej ~io~ .p.xor~ pueuo~ s,pyea SEM ~s!q~ WIJ jrrnpa ~ou plnoai 6aq3 asncsaq 'qs!lq3 lahisue ion plnohi day? 01 1 rkFsd JO ase3 aqJ u~ .ru!~ pasoddo orpi saas!nqJ aq, 203 pa~u!odu!d Is!rq3 ssauyeanl arms aql uro~j zajjns ~iou pue ~sud aql u! saln[!ej I~~!qaBaxa lso~ PO^ 30 ~avod aq3 xou 's~rn~J!r~s aq, Su!nou)[ IOU 'rra op ah9) : saaspeqd aq) qsu!eBe sa8ruq~ SU!MOIIOJ J~J slanal JS!J~~ 'p03 30 aldtua~ Su!lsepa~ia aq3 ppnq pue XorqJ IBulaqa uc aAuq 07 s! oyni 31x0 3112 OJ lajar ~a~lu.1(7 s[p!!iea pue sp~oai s(ueyJei\i LIJO~ Jew 03 Zu!~l!,r.~ S! sq sl: Suo~ os 'my JSU!B~B 1: ploy ~OU IpqS a2fi 'uo!~elardlaqu! a!uu;ssal-,u q~arrp r! y3.tls uroJJ SyUlJys ~~oaaos 31 jpo3 pmT1 SI O~M UULU t' 30 rauumu ayJ s! s!q;L,, :JuauI -qs!uo~sv u! slttk pyo~[ -Jeqi a{q!ssodu! aq 1Ie JE ~ou p~noni q! sarw -iin~q . &_ stg 30 qscq "11 LUO iqjoq lo is!.xq:l 30 saiii-~nu o~r-) srl~ 30 asp:, abounds in references to (;ocl .tvho 11~1s raised Ilinl Iligh ~rpon the throne of Israel. The God of lacob, be says, anointed him. Divine rtallles connote meaning and intention. Tllc Gocl of Jacob is the God who chosc Jacob abovc Esau liis twin brother. The God of Jacob is the Gocl who made Jacob tile 17atl1er 01 Israel against Jacob's ow11 nature. Very often thc Scriptrlrcs use the term Jacob to renlind thc readers 2nd 11enrers of the Olcl Tcstnme~~t of the origin of the people. Ilaiiid also uses the ter11.t~ Cod of Isrncl and tllc Hnc.1: of TSI-rrcl. IIc cloes so not for thc sake of poetic requirenlc~lts, as if it rsould be too monotonous to use the same name of Gad sei.cral times in the same sentence. For David, iitspired as 11c .tJ7as, all tlic tcms :Ire sigilificnnt. Ynl~irch is the God that niaclc thc covenant: 'tvitli Jacob on ivliich a11 thc I-lopc of the. futr~rc docs ticpend. Goci is tl~c God of Israel! fo~: God na~llect Jacob Israel, gir.ing 1lin1 tllerebl. ;tn 11orloritI)lc nrld blcssetl name. God is also callc(1 1111. 120cIi of ~sr,?cl. In ordc]: to rci~lizc bcttc.1- \.ilii~t this tc.1-111 ltieallt to t11c Sn;c:ct Singer of Israel, wc must wad l3n.t~icl's l'salnls, cs11eciaIly tllc onc tliat lxcccdcs tllc cllaptc~. cont:~i~iil~g 'l)r~\lid's \\;ill. C:Iiaptcr 22 of 3 Salllrlel is repcatccl in thc Booli of' I'salms as X'sillnl 18. Ser~cral verses of this chapter- rcfcr to the Iiocl; of Tsrncl, c.g., \,crses 2, 32, r~nd 37. It is evident that the .tvords .tvhic*li f-'ollow are to hc regarded ns ill]- portant for they arc tlic 'tvortls of t11c Onc .tvllo is Davict's IXocl; ol' Salvation. 'I'hcse .ivol:tls spcnk of t't~ings pci-t;~initlg to t-Iic covenant people ns t11c l~eol~lc of God ant1 thcir futul~ firnil~z cstnl)lislicd I)!- thc faithful Gocl, ivho is 1inmovc:tl :~jit'i uni11o.t-nblc. I'iith s~tcll 23) i11troc1rrc.t-ion and wit11 thc t11111)(1~1- of God's n:ilt1c1s prcccding thc or;iclc, \1.11itt is the 17icssagc? We react .ivords that sccnl ibr~ipt anc1 tel-sc, \\.ords tllat IVC feel nccltl n~liplif-icat-ion 1)y a~lsiliar! ~.c.~'l,s 2nd tllc lilic.. 'T'l~c foul. \\.ortls that svc111 to bring thc tot;~l ~~lcss:~gc arca ~ttlcr, OI'C?., iu(u1, 7.ig171eoiis. 'I'his has been translntcd into a scntcl1c.e that. sccllls only ;I platitude: *, r-7 ((11 rulel. 01~~1: nlen must 1)c just.' Illis is ;I good jdcn ;111cl an eucl. valid rule or wish: ''May ;\li ;.11'lc1:s of' incn l.)c just ~:ltlers." Elit niorc must be said herc than onlv tliis. "l''1lc sola~;~i in~roductiol~ is in- tcndecl to 1)c a tleclaratioil that- t-11;s is not a ~vord of 111;111 IILI~ tlli' very inspiration of God, wol-(1s from God's nlout11, .i'tlc.)~-tls t-o I)(: rc- cortlcd as the last will of' thc great king. As in much of prophcc):, cslwcially when thc proj~hct js ovcr- wl~elr~~ctt blr GotiJs Spirit, thc mcssagc mny conic in ;In abrupt a110 ecstatic way. Tire h;lve other samples of such in tlic Scriptures. Ncrc, too, tllc seer, whether he -is seejng a vision or ~eceiving a ~iic:ss;~gc fro111 God, describes tho vision as oilc .tvotrld sel: a titic under a pic- ture. I-Tjnl ~vhonl Jacob has scen as tllc T,ion of 111c 'l"ribc of Jr~dah, tht' victorio~ls Sliiloh 'tvi th A asllirlg ch.cs and pca~l\ tectll, cclcb~ati~~g victory at the feast of ivinc and milk, Davicl sccs as thc ~-ulcr of Illen, of v~ankilzcl, for the singular is used: "liulcr of h,lan." His royal person is described llot oi11!1 'fly the tcrnl jz~st, 111rt also by tllc following ~vards: just al~cl righteous - this is ~hc suplcmc ruler Darrid sees. IIis ~najesty ant1 po~scr arc glorioris for their csscntial in- pedient is perfect justice and righteousness. 'Tlic person of the fu- t~lre Icing is described simply as just. IVhot royal yobe can match t11is adornment? David has no illusions as to the justice human liings rvould sllon~. For lle knows his onin hilman meal;ness, faults, sills, and injustices too kvell. Looking back on his oivn reigil, Ilai~id, now exalted, has nothing except tile mercy of his God to thank th:it hc dicl not cnd LIP as did Saul, rejccted al-td clamned. Nor was David foolis11 enough to think that one of his natura1 sons would be the futul:e perfect ruler. He Itnew enough :!bout his own chil- dren not to entertain such a false hope. Fortirnrctely David knew what wc read in 2 Srlnluel 7 of Gocl's pronlisc of an eternal throne and everlasting, king. God grants Ilavid ;I vision of tllc co~ning King of Itinos who xs the "righteous branch" (Jer. 23: 5)) tile Icing that C .' comes just" according to Zecl~ariah 9. I$rtvid7s ~vords echo thc descrip- tion of the I:ocl< of Israel as found in Deuteronomy 32: 3: "He is the 12ock, I-lis work is perfect: for all His ways arc judgment: n (;otl of trrrth ant1 nrithout iniquity, just and right is IJe!" Thcrc is tllc portrait of the King and under thc picturc, for anyonc asking ~vho this is, the inscription: A 'fluler of l\,/Tanki~~d, thc Just. Now I>avicl adds another short notice: "A ruler .in the fear of of God." 'Tlljs js :I parallel to "ruler ovci: man, just." The reason \vhy this r~ilc~: is just is I-Ic fcars God. What is rc.c~ealed to David is that just 2nd obcdient Icing will come. Thc .rvorcls "will arise" can bc acldcd in a tro~lslation. They are not found in the original fIebrew tcxt, for there thcv are simply talten for grantcd. David, having sti~tcd that he is telling .tvh:tt God told him, tleclares that the time svill conlc .i~I~cn mc11 arc ~-uled :t just and perfect ICing, ~vho fears (:ocl. That time .ivoulcl be the (la\! wl~ci~ thc pcoplc of God, indce(1 all men, wo~rld bc blcssecl l)y the rule of the just 2nd pious ruler. Flow bc;liltiful this reign will be is shown .in the subsequent doi~blc pictiir~ 01: ~isi017 : '(Ancl ;IS light of thc mon~ing, when the st111 ~.iscs, a n~orning rvit21out clouds1'--so sllall tile day of this ruler be. Thc glory of n snnl-isc is appreciated esl~ecially by people 1v11o ki~olv the dilrkl~ess of night. The days of Ilavic.1 were not tl~ose of clwcllers in co~io-ctc canyons that scldom scc thc sun risc alld attempt to tun> 11ight into clay with artificial lights. 'l'lic l~ecylc of that tin;; 1~11cw rnl~cl-c to find tlic prophets lx'on~ising light after cfarl, ' ? it sprout (gro\v) Ihe term "si?rout" from now on is for all practical purposes a technical term for thc 3lessiah. Jeremiah speaks of the rightcoos SproLlt of iIlc Branch of ~igl~lco?is~lcss (33 : 15 1. Zccll- arlahTs prophecies refcs to tllc zerrroch., the Briinch. 1t is llascl to that this is spoken by ;I ])avid that knows tilc nppr-lacll of dcnt]3, Njs jo!; js colnpletcly the lor; of his salf'atio~l. The true jay of in Christians is centered 'on t-11~ trust and faith in God's pr-~nises for Ilis kingdom. l'ersonal prestige :lll(l cer- tain promised relvards are fringe benefits for the children of God. One thillg stands out: Gocl's kingclolil is a reality h)r tinie and fter11it3'. Horeever, tlic l\~ords of David bare another part to them. This first seo,~ somcivh;,t strange to be stated in SLIC~ 2 solel1ll3 doculllent till n-c rclllclllbcr that Rilessianic Psalms and pl-0111- ires the coolill): Kiilgclol,l sirnilari!. arc conclided with st;ltenlents ',onccrning tile ei~cnlics of tlic Lord. Coml?arc l'snlm 2 in the third \)art-. or read Psiilnl 110. 1:crncmber Nuiiihcrs 24 regarcling the fate of tl1c Prince of Judah's eucmies, ctc. The theme 11ere is the relation of t]lis jllsl 1.0 I-lie cneniics. As blessed as tbc person of the Savior is to T)avidJs soul and life, so terrible is this King to His cncll~ics. 'I']lc.rc is no sl>ecial trnnsitjon here. It is as if a new pi"^"^ is iwoiccird hcforc i);ir/klls eyes. il'c i.e:ld in thp KT\' translstio~l (2, ~an1ui.1 2 3 : 6-7) : 13~1~ the sons of I3cIial sZlall be all of thcni as thorns tl~cust arw!,, 1)ccausc the\: cannot bc taken \\.it11 hands : U~it thc man that shall toucll tllenl must be ferlced with iron a~~d thc staft' of a spear; and they shall I>c trtterly burned n..itli .fir? in the S~IIIC place. ':i1hc1 sons of I2clial arc tllc .i\:or~hlcss oncs. 'The): are, all of t-hcn~, to t)c scattcrcd as are thorrls. For these cnemics of the Mes- sin11 t-hcrc \\.ill, co~ilc ;I smashinq as with a rod of iron, o pursuing as 13nlanln t2cscril)cs it, the snlaslilx~g of the corners of Moa'l), thc cie- feat- of f.lic .tr.n~.'lilic oncs. Estnblish~nent- of the peacc of Gocl includes the tlcFcnt of ;)I1 His encn~ics. The!;, these thorns and thistles that may gron to~ctllcr \rid1 the good seed on this earth, will not be !,.athcrecl cnrcf.~illv :into the garners of thc King; they arc in fact not crcn to i)c iiiucli&l, for "e'i~er'i; contact is en~niiy." 'Thc great difference hct~~~c~l I~c scctl of: Sat;ul (SODS of Belial) and sons of the King- tiom rr.ill hcconlc cvidcnt- in the final and total judgment of the King. I'h~l.c lr.jll br ilo hn~idliiis rvit11 ]cn \vithoi~t t'tisavo\i-i~ig thc so-callcil "a~si.l!-~d rcsults of Biblical ' >J i:escarchJ contend that in this ysaln~ the \Vorcl of God lifts the state- 11lents far beyond the possibility of iclentifying tlie Icing sl~olten of here wit11 an); other king ever enthroned in Jer~isalem. \Vc arc going to refrail1 from a detailed interpretation of each single .tr ord now even though 11 c concede that Luther is right in counting cvcry syllable i~ilportant. Sufficc it to say that ivc can scc in this psalm tl~c sanlc structure :~nd prophetic ~ntcnt 3s we per- c,ci\.cd in thc prcvior~s Jlessianic n~orr~~taintops I! e havc stuclictl. For p;~r:illels i.ilc once morc take a looli at Balaain's oracles. Hcrc too it is ,zeuuL or serltcncc (oracle) of a prophet, by icllonl the Spirit of God spc:uks. 111 this casc David, 11 ]lose 1ino.rvledge of the conling II(ing is clear from the revelation gil-en him by Nathail (2 San1. 7) and the rcl~clation of ~vhicl~ he testifies in his ]:)st rvords (2 Salil. 23). How rich ;111d deep David's I;no\vleclge of his God and Savior was can easily bc gatllered from his psallns. Hc 1~1s a right to identif!~ hilnsclf as the "sweet singer" of Israel. l)n\,itl was perxnittecl to hear the con~~ersation I>ct.tr;et.l~ Thc Lord ant1 his I,ord. The T.,ord Yahlvell spcaks to one 1siilo1n Ilavicl considers his Lord and Master. Those who miss :tppreciating the sublime qualit)- of this hymn 2nd arc therefore prizzled as to what or who is mearzt :ire rcfcrrctl to thc! pcol~lc who at the time of Christ were ready to crucify I-Iinl. 'They 1;nei.c. full \~cll that in this psalm I>n~:id was I sj~ealting of tht. future. Son of David. It is from I-]in1 that David I-ccei~cd thc revelation that Fic somc (la\. .crot~ld be exalted at fhc right I~anti of Gotl. t- 7 lilt‘ sole~lin statement Darritl hears ant1 reports is ;I tlivine tlec~.ec, jus~ as ill Psalm 2: "1 will declare the clccrce!" God appoints :lnd est-ablishes him who is Davici's Son and T,ord as His co-equal and vice-regent. The right hand is the right hand of powel: ant1 authority. It is interesting to ~:ead what Pharnoll said to Joseph, who is not only being honored but- itppointecl to his office: "Behold I havc set ~OLI o\~r 211 tlic I:tntl of Eg!.pt; . vou . shall l)c. o\.cr n~\? l~ousc. and all nl!- people shall order thcmselscs ils you command; only as regi~rds the throne will I be greater than you." Then Pharoah expands what he has said with "I am Pharoah, and without your consent no man shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt." Truly this is an ex- ample of what is meant by setting someone at the right hand of the throne. In addition, we note many other evidences in the Old and New Testaxllents of the meaning of sitting at the right hand of Gocl. 'The tlleophanies and their descriptions of the glory of God's thronc aborrncl in a symbolism of po~ver and glory. To hc srrre, the enthronement ceren~onies here described may be couchecl in com- alon contemporary terminology to comnlunicate thc heavenly ac- tion. But certainly nowhere in the history of the people of God do we conle upon on instance where the throne of the king of Judah or Israel was placed next to the ark of the covenant. The purpose of the elevation to thc throne of God is to make the enemies of the Son of David His footstool. It is not hard for our illlagination to recognize the picture of the conqueror setting his foot on the necks of Ills cnemies. l'revious prophecies use the sanle idea, as docs Genesis 49 when spealting of the future of the Prince of Judah. When Joshua and his men had captured the five Amoritc Icings in thc cave at Mak- kedah, Joshua summoned the chiefs of thc men of war and told them " 'Conlc near! Put your feet upon the necks of these kings.' Then they came near ancl l~ut their feet on their necks" (Joshua 10). Christ refers again to this Psalln when challenged by the council. He makes the nlajestic declaration: "Hereafter you will sce the Son of Man scatetl at the right hand of Po.tver, ancl conling on the clorrds of henven." I'snlm 110 is quoted by Peter who declares on the basis of it "to all the house of Israel that God has made Jesr~s 1;orcI and Christ.'' 111 Acts 7 Stephen has practically the same vision as David, for he too sees l~oa\:en open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God. In Romans 8 and Epllesinns 1 Paul ~lses the same [.ern as a tlescription of the fulfillment of the promises in Christ. Christ is nccorded ~xore tl~an a place of llonor, such as was oiver~ J3atl1shet1a, \vhen she was seated at the right hand of Solomon's b thronc for thc purpose of honoring her as the queen mother. The entire context shows that in Jesus' case His being seated at the right hand of Gocl meant :I giving of power. His enemies fall down be- fore Him that sits at the right hand of God. Ensuing words tell of the successful ~var against the enemies. His scepter is cxtcnciecl by God over Zioi~, and again it is not just the symbol of Itingship hut tho staff of pourer. It is not necessary to disti~~guisl~ too nicely between sccpter and staff. Very often they were identical. The scepter of sornc Pharoahs is pictured as a warclub used to smash t11c heads of enemies. The scepter of Judah and the staff of Judah arc the same. 111 Balaam's prophecy thc scepter is used to smash the corners of fi.lonb. Finally and exceedingly important, the scepter is not to de- part from Tudah-never. "Rule in the xnidst of thy foes!" is another decree conferring victory and rule on David's Son and heir. Numbers 24 tells that out of Jacob will the ruler come, and the survivors of the city tr7ill be destroyecl. In the midst of the foes surrounding the i\/Iessiah He ivill 11avc [{is rule. iis in all the Scriptures, thew is no proniise of exc~nption from enmity, ativersit):, conflict, shado~vs, and fears. Nevertheless always thc rod and staff of the Rrller brings peace and polver and rule over and even among His cnemies. 'The triumph of good over evil is not presented as the aboli- tion of all evil, but rather as the subjugation of evil. The 1,orcl reigns among His enemies. They must be put under His feet and there He controls them. The portals of hell shall not prevail against the King's people. One day evil -crlill be confinecl and bound as the book of Wevelation tells us. The Iiingdom of the Lord is here seen as po.iverfu1 and inilitant one. 'The third verse is most bea~itifully translatecl by 1,uther: "After thy victory thy people shall i.i~illir~gly sacrifice in holy sple~ldor. Thy >> r chilclrcn shall bc born into thee as de~v from the da\vn. rhus LLI- ther with his charisma strides ~vith couragc born of his kno~vledge of the Scriptures through paths ~vherc other esegetes only 21ohl)le. T,uther rides on thc analogy of faith when hc translates with un- restricted literary frecclorn and poetic feel for litcrnr!. beaut!.. IVc can find any number of suggestions as to horn the verse is to bc trans- latccl. ('In the day of thy power" can mean in the clay .tvhen th!. ;I~-II~): 01- the po~i?er of thy army is sllo\\.n, th) j)coplc !\.ill otFer tlicm- selves free111 in sacred array. in 13er:elation 19: 14 thc ;lrmy follows the King cioivned with many crowns, and the! ride on u~hitc llarscs clotl~ed 111 fine li~len ~vhite and clean. "From the womb of tllc ri~orn- ins like dc\\- \,our \'outh \\-ill co~iic to you," translates tile FtS17 in t-he second of 'vcrsc 3 and conies close to Luther. Othcl- well- . 111eaning exegetes want to see in this S~II~CI~CC a description of tll~ birth of the King and Lor0 described :IS born likc de11, fro171 the da.ctlil. The jdea is that this is a pnrallcl statenlcrlt to Psalm 2: '7: '"r11.i~ clay havc 1 begotten ti~ec." The Septuagint translates the sentence in that se11sc. It nlattcrs not whether 1i.c find thc right auxiliary verf~s to connect. thc concepts and words in thc I-Iebrew tcst, for .cvc must realizo that. the Hebrc~.~, especially in poetry and still more often in propl~etic: o~.acles may simply use a sjnglc word and concept rich with 1~1cani11g. IVJICII we tllinlc of r)avid's last ~vords and testanlent, 2 San~uel 23, n7c find him saving the s;ime thing as hcrc in the psalm. Thcrc he strilies full chorrls; or to tlsc the picti~rc of n great artist, he ~x~ints in single powerful strokes thc future T(ing hllessinll axld FIis kingdom: "A ruler-o~rcr men-just-r~iling in the feal: of God --as the light of the morning----the sun rises--;I inoming-no cloilds-shine after rain-the earth greens." Xo one can miss the pict~lre of the 1;ingdom of the Son of Righteoiis~lcss n!Aen clouds have passetl ;\nd all is bright and fresh and grren as it xvns an thc first (la)-, n71~cll God snicl. "let there be ligl~r!" and on thc third dar,, nvl~cn God said. "l.et tlic cart11 be green ~virll green!" Hence, XTre believe the ~vords of the third xrse describe the scene after the exaltation and sitting on the right hand of pon7er, the rniracle the Israelite corrlcl nel.er forget, the miracle of the sun- rise ~\~ct: a field glistening wit11 nlyriads of sp;~rl;ling drops of clew. It secmed t-llc tla~vn of thc ~ICR~ day had si~~en rnjr:~culo~~s birth to the inntimerable jel\.els that brought life to the green earth of Palestine, where the lacli of de.it; could mean failure of harvest. 'The Idngclom of the Rllessinh is like the wonder of this gift of morning, a liing- doll1 born to Hill1 to serve Him in holy garments, to serve Hinl 1vil1- ingly. The concepts of ~nultitude, of i~eauty, of willing service, of the llew tin!,, of the clay of victory of the hlcssiah arc con~:cyccl by the Psalmist, and there is no doubt as to the glory of it all. Ailtl ;111 this is established ant1 secure, as David says in another place, bccarisc the Lord 113s s\t7orn it anti ivill not take it back. The singer hears another sentence or oracle of the Lord concerning the h'fessial~: "Tllou art a priest forever after thc order of R~lelchizedek." The people of the King Messiah are horn to Him anti worship Him in holy prrnents bec;mse of what 311d who He is. Holy people bringing willing worship and sacrifice are not borll of flesh and blood, of natural man. They are born of and by the victory of Christ, and the); are sanctjfiecl and purified by the great High Priest. Mel- chizedek was king and priest of Salem. He appears suddenly and blesses Abrahanl. This was never forgotten by the children of Abm- ham, particularly not when under David the last fortress of the erst- ~vhile capital of the Jebusites, the Salem of which h~lelchizedek was Icing, was finally talten by force and madc the city of David. Hence- forth, Jerusalem is the city of the great I