The Last Days Foretold in Psalms
The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted (Psalm 18:46).
The psalms tell us of the glory that will spread all across the world.
We have an interesting prayer given to us in the Bible, and if we each would make that prayer our own, we would enjoy tremendous benefit. Contained in its simple lines are intimations of tremendously bright possibilities!
Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law (Psalm 119:18).
Every time I read that passage, I realize there are millions of people for whom the Word of God is a pretty dry thing. They have not devoted enough of their attention to it, to catch its nuances, its amazing promises, and its many other remarkable elements.
Wondrous things think of it! And as we shall discover, theres no book in the entire Bible more filled with the possibilities of the answer to that prayer, than the Book of Psalms. We want to think together about the Book of Psalms, the promises in the Book of Psalms, and especially what the Psalms reveal about the Messiah who would come to be the Master of Israel.
You know, people have always approached the Book of Psalms with a touch of curiosity. They not only want to know what they say, but also why we have the Book of Psalms, and what we are to learn from it.
Im sure there is no one person who can give you the complete answer to that question. In the Book of Psalms, we have a virtual kaleidoscope of presentations. There are a thousand or more interesting, fascinating things; gems in the great stones of history, that God would use to brightly illuminate our minds about many things.
For instance, there is the first Psalm. The first Psalm is, in my opinion, a distillation of the purpose of God in history, and of the entire Bible.
Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1).
Please do not limit your reading of the Psalms to simply a limp, devotional feeling, although that has its value. Instead, read the Psalms also with an enormous mental curiosity that wonders, What would God reveal to me about the great issues of life, that I am to discover from this passage?
First, we shall think together about the last days, as foretold in the Psalms. Now mind you, we cannot in these few pages discuss all of the possibilities of the Psalms, but our imagination may be triggered when we discover even a few of their wonders.
Psalm 2: Antichrist Rebellion/Christ Judge
God, in astonishment, then looks at the world and what will take place in the future, and says: Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us (Psalm 2:1-3).
Isnt it astounding, that after introducing how history works in the first Psalm, God immediately talks about a devastating war that will take place? He thereby tells us in advance, that the people of the world, despite the fact that they know first hand of the goodness of God, will finally organize themselves into a terrible rebellion against Him. Now of course, we are given confidence when we realize that this Psalm says: He that sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision (Psalm 2:4).
God will laugh at all the wickedness of men, as they foolishly and insanely think they can rebel successfully against Him. Yes, the nations of the world will rebel against Him. But then, at that occasion, which is the final besieging of the city of Jerusalem, the heavens will open, and Christ, the Son of God, will return in power and great glory.
Now we Christians know something about that, that they did not know, nor did they find out exactly in the Psalms. We have the further knowledge that when Christ returns in power and great glory, Hes coming back with ten thousands of His saints (Jude 14). And those saints are you and me.
In the meantime, between now and that time of the attempted conquest of the city of Jerusalem, you and I will have lived. We will have moved from earth on to glory. We will have become a part of the army of the Lord, and we will be soldiers in the great battle, instruments in the hands of Christ, for the conquest of the world when Jesus comes again. All of that is said or implied in the second Psalm. The second Psalm gives us tremendous advice as well. It says: Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him (Psalm 2:12).
Yes, God foresees the fantastic panorama of history. But out of that He gives us a word of advice. Blessed, which means happy, prospering, wonderfully favored of God, are those who, in the midst of the vicissitudes of time, put their trust, their faith, in the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son. Here is the word Son, used in advance of His earthly coming. And thereby we know that the doctrine of the Trinity is delineated in the Old Testament. Theres the Father; theres the Son; and, as we shall see, theres the Holy Spirit as well.
Psalm 18:43-50: Israel Delivered/Chosen to Rule
The nation of Israel was asking many times in the Old Testament, What about us? How will it work out in our history? Well, we learn from the Psalms, Psalm 18 particularly, that Israel will be ultimately delivered, and chosen to rule the world, although many judgments will come upon her. From the 18th Psalm, beginning at verse 43, the Bible says: You have delivered me from the strivings of the peoples and You have made me the head of the nations: a people whom I have not known shall serve me. As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the foreigners shall submit themselves unto me (Psalm 18:43-44).
And the Psalm goes on, and talks about: The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted (Psalm 18:46).
The rock is the intimation of Jesus Christ. The 18th Psalm, then, reveals that the ultimate ruler of the nations will be this Person who says, God will give Me the nations of the world. Who is that Person? It is Jesus Christ.
Psalm 47: Kingdom Age/God is Sovereign
Psalm 47 tells us of the Kingdom Age, and that God is sovereign over all. How shall we understand the Kingdom Age? Well, the Kingdom is the Kingdom of Heaven, which was offered by Christ but was rejected by the people of Israel. As a result, God set aside His program temporarily, lifted His offer of the Kingdom, and brought grace and salvation to the Gentiles, on the basis of one qualification alone: faith in the finished work of Christ on Calvarys cross.
But, does that mean that God has forsaken His people? The Apostle Paul says No, a thousand times no, There will be a Kingdom Age in which Jesus Christ shall reign as head of the nation of Israel. Jerusalem shall be the capital of the world. For a thousand years, Christ will lead that Kingdom, called the Millennial Reign of Christ. It is His sovereignty that will coerce the nations of the world to come to the city of Jerusalem, there to worship the great King.
Yes, the world will be controlled by absolute righteousness in a day to come. Who will be the purveyor of that righteousness? Jesus Christ. When His righteousness and holiness spreads out over the nations of the world, it will create a perfect society.
Psalm 50: Gathering of Saints/God Not Slack
Psalm 50 talks about the gathering of the saints. It tells us that God is not slack, which means inattentive or unloving, in His dealings with His people. The New Testament says this: The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9).
What is a saint? A saint is one who has accepted Christ as their Savior and thus has imputed righteousness, and perfect holiness, perfect standing before God. Again and again, as we move through the pages of Scripture, it is the saints who will return with Christ, it is the saints that shall judge the world; it is the saints that will be that innumerable company that one days stands before the Lord of history, and worships Him.
So when you read about the saints in the Bible, make sure you have the proper answer to the question, Am I one of them? Am I one of the saints that will one day inhabit eternity as a surrogate of Jesus Christ? Well in part be responsible for the rulership of the universe. Thats who the Bible promises these people are.
Psalm 60:6,8-9: Land for Peace (Nablus)/Petra
Next we have a Psalm that seems to get quite explicit as to how it will all work out as we get to the end of the age. The 60th Psalm could well be read and put in the local papers today, delineating some of the things that are happening now. In Psalm 60, the Scripture says: O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O, turn thyself to us again (Psalm 60:1).
God hears and answers that prayer. He extends to Jerusalem, and to Israel, a series of promises and predictions, one of which sounds very much like this current thing Israel has going called Land for Peace, Listen to this: God has spoken in His holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth. Gilead is Mine, and Manasseh is Mine; Ephraim also is the strength of Mine head; Judah is My lawgiver (Psalm 60:6-7).
God says, I am Master of these nations and cities. But one of them, that is, the area that contains the city of Shechem, is going to be divided. Now, Shechem is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East, about 30 miles north of Jerusalem. Its modern name is Nablus. Amazingly, Nablus has been divided off from the nation of Israel, and is now in the hands of the Palestinians. That area, that province, that capital, has now been divided. And do you know something else? Psalm 60 also says: Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom? (Psalm 60:9).
Edom is a particularly interesting area, because it contains the rosered city of Petra. And the Scripture asks, Who will bring us there? There is coming a time during the days of the Great Tribulation in which the nation of Israel will be converted. It will believe in Christ as Messiah. As a result, it will become the object of tremendous persecution by the Antichrist. God will then take Israel into a place of refuge, where it will be protected from the Antichrist, who, by that time, perhaps becomes preoccupied with other things. That city is denoted here as being in the land of Edom, the strong city. We may be looking at that very verse that points up that city that will be a refuge for the nation of Israel.
We ought to learn more about Petra in these days, because it still stands as the object of consideration of Christians as to that place that will make it possible for Israel to survive. Please keep that possibility in mind. It is presented to us in the Word of God. It ought not to be ignored.
Psalms 67,72: Christ Rules in Kingdom Age
As we think about the last days foretold by the Psalms, we are told that the rule of the Son of God will reach around the world in the Kingdom Age. Both the 67th and 72nd Psalms tell us about that reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let the people praise You, O God; let all the people praise You. O, let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. Selah (Psalm 67:3-4).
We are told by the writer of Psalm 67 that the nations of the world will be ruled by the Lord. We know that this is the Lord Jesus. So God has a plan, not only for the city of Jerusalem, not only for the nation of Israel, but for all of the nations of the world.
Yes, He will find them in rebellion against Him, but that rebellion will be subdued by the reign of Jesus Christ. He will reign in righteousness above ALL the earth. The beautiful thing that we as Christians ought to remember is that we will reign with Him, as we are faithful. What a promise that conjoins Gods purpose with the nation of Israel, and with the Church, as we move into the last days.
Psalm 145: Kingdom Age Glory
Finally, let us remember that in speaking of the future, the Psalms tell us of the glory that will spread all across the world, when Jesus rules the Kingdom. Where is history headed? It is headed to the rulership of Jesus Christ. History is headed to the place where Christ will rule over all the nations. This is an oft repeated theme in the Psalms, and can be found throughout the entire Word of God!
Take a moment to remember how it will work out. We live now in the Church Age, in which God is taking out of the world a people for His Name. The Church Age will be ended by the Rapture of the Church, and this will be followed by the Tribulation. The Tribulation will bring to pass the intervention of Jesus Christ after seven very troublesome years in the world. Jesus Christ, when He comes with all of His saints, will establish His rulership upon all the earth. We call that rulership the Kingdom Age, the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ. The Scripture begins to present this way back in the Old Testament, and then brings it to beautiful fulfillment, as we see it described in the Book of the Revelation.
Knowing this, every one of us should make sure that we are on the side of Jesus Christ even now. He is the One who will be King of the world in that age to come, and our loyalty to Him will secure our position for all of eternity.
From the writings of Dave Breese
Destiny Newsletter continuedThe Last Days Foretold in Psalms