|MESSIAH: HIS FIRST COMING SCHEDULED, Chapter 9||
MESSIAH: HIS FIRST COMING SCHEDULED
THE MONARCHICAL PERIOD
(3023 A.H. to 3520 A.H.)
TESTIMONY OF KING DAVID
IN CHAPTER III we saw that in
the oracle of Jacob (Genesis 49: 10) the two pictures of Messiah's coming
blended imperceptibly into one great forecast of the future. Viewing this
passage in the light of subsequent revelations, we saw that the two comings of
the one Messiah are separated by a long interval of time. Furthermore,
The next prediction, chronologically speaking, which gives information concerning His advent is Psalm 2 which, in other portions of the Scripture, is attributed to David as the human author. Though there is no superscription to this psalm, circumstantial evidence points to the conclusion that he wrote it. In Psalm 72: 20 the first two books of the Psalter are attributed to him as author or compiler; but it matters little as to whom the Lord chose to be the human penman for the giving of His Word to His people. It is sufficient for us to know that a passage is written by inspiration. In the light of all of the facts which could be marshaled in support of the Davidic authorship, it is perfectly logical to assume that he was the human author.
Though he was the king of Israel, the Spirit of God sometimes came upon him and gave new revelations to His people through him. This fact is seen by an examination of many of the Messianic psalms. It is also confirmed by his swan song found in II Samuel 23: 1-7.
God used various occasions and circumstances to make further revelations of His will. For instance, when David's typical glory was lying in the dust of degradation and shame because of his sin, the Lord used this dark background of failure and discouragement upon which He painted the glorious picture of the future coming Messiah and His righteous reign upon earth. It is quite likely that there was some occasion in the history of Israel which served as an historical occasion for the further unfolding of the divine revelation in the form of Psalm 2.
Why do the nations rage,
David, by the Spirit of God, looked out into the future and saw that which his audience could not observe. In order to convey to their minds in the most graphic and gripping manner what he saw, he asked two rhetorical questions: "Why do the nations rage, And the peoples meditate a vain thing?" These interrogations were not asked for the sake of obtaining information but rather of imparting the knowledge which had been conveyed to him by the Spirit of God. The second query, an example of Hebrew parallelism, serves as a comment upon the first. These rhetorical questions likewise carry the implication that the raging of the nations and their meditating a vain thing are unreasonable and illogical procedures.
The marginal rendering of the first question is, "Why do the nations tumultuously assemble?" This translation is literal. According to the fundamental rule of interpretation, we must take the primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning of every word if the context permits. Since there is nothing in this connection indicating otherwise, we are forced to accept the literal meaning of this verse. Taking our stand upon this firm, solid principle of exegesis, we may be sure that the prophet looked out into the future and saw the nations all astir over one great issue. He observed them gathering together in boisterous sessions to discuss a question which seems to be the problem of the hour. That these are deliberative meetings is evident from the fact that in the second line we are told "the peoples meditate a vain thing." From this verse, therefore, we
learn that at some time in the future (from David's point of view) there would be some issue before the peoples of the world, which would grip their attention, and which would cause them to come together in various meetings throughout the world for the purpose of investigating this living issue. From this verse we also learn that this great international question is but a vain matter. In this connection may I call attention to the fact that man's thoughts are not God's thoughts, neither are his ways God's ways?
Furthermore, as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God's ways higher than man's, and God's thoughts than man's thoughts (Isaiah 55:6-11).
The kings of the earth set
This verse foresees an international, atheistic, anti-christian, politico-religious convention. That such a world congress is here foreseen is evident from the fact that "The kings of the earth" and "the rulers" are said to be the delegates to this great conference. The expressions, "The kings of the earth," and "the rulers," indicate all of the rulers of the world, or approximately all of them; therefore we are absolutely certain in declaring that this verse foretells an international convention. The delegates to this congress assemble with their minds already made up or largely so, because they "set themselves." The word in the Hebrew translated set themselves is, yithaytstsbu, and in the connection in which it appears it indicates a determined stand. Regardless of all evidence, since the minds of the delegates are already made up, they take a positive and definite stand against God.
Therefore it is proper to call this an international, atheistic convention. It is also anti-christian, because the forecast is that this convention is "against his (God's) Messiah." The Hebrew word translated anointed is literally His Messiah or, expressed in Greek, His Christ. From this fact it is evident that, at the time of this convention, the Lord's Messiah has already come and has obtained a grip upon some in every nation. Furthermore, we can see that these delegates debate the question and finally vote upon the issue of killing the influence of Messiah and rooting out every trace of His memory from their respective realms. That this is a political convention is evident also from the fact that its delegates are politicians-the rulers of the time. I regret
to say that they will not be statesmen, for such men forget their own personal interests and seek the welfare of the people whom they represent. On the contrary, the delegates to this convention are seeking to carry out their own plans and purposes, irrespective of the desires and the wishes of those in their respective communities. At the same time this congress is also a' religious one, because the object of its convocation is to settle once for all the question of religion. In the words of Hamlet the issue may be stated, "To be or not to be" ; i. e., religion or no religion. Finally after noisy harangues and stormy sessions the question will be called for and voted upon. The resolution which is passed is stated in the third verse: Let us break their bonds asunder And cast away their cords from us.
The antecedent of the pronoun their in verse 3 is Jehovah and his Messiah in the preceding verse. This fact confirms the statement made above:, that at the time of convocation of this great international assembly the knowledge and the influence of the true God, who revealed Himself to the patriarchs, and of His Messiah will have spread to all the nations and will have gained a following among them. Being stirred by atheism and anti-messianism, this convention passes the resolution that an effort be made to exterminate the religion of the Almighty and His Messiah from the face of the earth.
This passage presupposes the development of internationalism in the political world, for, as stated above, the rulers of the entire world come together in a deliberative assembly. The internationalism that is assumed in this passage did not develop until after the World War. It is true that some far-sighted statesmen for years have been speaking of a parliament of the world and of an international court. Tennyson, in Locksley Hall, describes just such a world-convention, but his dream of world-peace and of fraternity among the nations and of its being accomplished by human legislation is incorrect, for such a thing can never exist so long as people do not accept the authority of the true God and His Messiah. In the field of international relations there was a beginning in the form of the Hague peace pact, which existed prior to the World War, but which did not hinder the development of the greatest disaster that has thus far overtaken humanity. Only in this post-war period has the political situation developed into the internationalism that is
foreseen in Psalm 2. From these facts it becomes abundantly evident that David, by the Spirit of God, was projected through the vista of three thousand years and saw this post-war political situation. In the last few years we read constantly of international gatherings convened for the purpose of settling great world questions.
The truthfulness of this position is also seen from the fact that in this post-war period atheism and disbelief in the existence of a Supreme Being are rapidly gripping the minds of the people. Men are turning away from religion and have made science and modern thought an object of worship. This rapid increase of disbelief and the discarding of the age-long standards of morals, ethics, and religion show most clearly that we are rapidly approaching the time for the fulfillment of this prediction.
II. THE IMPLICATION OF THE PREDICTION
Should one in a vein of seriousness request another to remove his coat and hat, a third person being in a position where he could not see the one addressed would have a reasonable basis for believing that this one was wearing his coat and hat at the time of the request for their removal. In the same manner the passing of the resolution of this international convention is positive proof that the doctrines and the influence of both God and His Messiah have reached into every nation and tribe of the globe. The prophet foresees the present day when men in every nation are turning from idols to serve the true and the living God and to place their faith in the Hebrew Messiah. In other words, there will be, according to this psalm, a time when devout worshipers of God and believers in His Messiah as their Saviour will be found in all the nations and tribes of the earth. The fact that the proposition is voted upon in this convention to take steps against God and His Messiah shows that the belief in the Messiah is more than intellectual assent to some doctrine relative to Him. In the resolution He is put on the same level with God-against Jehovah, and against his anointed." This passage therefore goes far beyond the acceptance, on the part of many among all the nations, of the doctrines concerning God and Messiah in a philosophical sense. On the contrary, it postulates not only receiving intellectually these doctrines, but also the worship of both God and Messiah. This passage also presupposes the proposition that Messiah has come into the world, and that His teachings have been promulgated among all
nations. The prophets constantly spoke of Him in His relation to Israel when He appears upon the earth. According to their teaching, as we have already seen in Messiah: His Nature and Person, He is God in human form, who enters the world by miraculous conception and Virgin Birth. The fact that people among all the nations accept and worship Him is positive and unmistakable evidence that this passage assumes His having already come into the world and His doctrines having reached unto the ends of the earth.
In view of all the facts here foretold, it is abundantly evident that, when the political situation has developed to the extent as is contemplated in this passage, Messiah will have already made His appearance in the world and His doctrines will have been taken to the ends of the earth. Since it is clear that we are living in the time foreseen by the psalmist in this wonderful forecast, every Hebrew can know positively that his Messiah has already come into the world. Though we can be certain from this passage that He has already come to earth" it is impossible in view of the facts given here to determine when He made His appearance. The data as to the exact time of His advent must be gathered from other passages.
In our investigation of Genesis 49:10 we saw that Judah would be in possession of the ruling power among the tribes of Israel when He comes the first time. From this passage we know that Messiah has come into the world prior to the development of the present-day civilization. To other passages we shall turn for more exact information concerning the date of His appearance. To this task we address ourselves in order to trace every clue on this point that is given by the prophets.
İRon Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com.
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