Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sing to the King

“For the choir director. A Psalm of David.

O Lord, in Your strength the King will be glad,
And in Your salvation how greatly He will rejoice!
You have given Him His heart’s desire,
And You have not withheld the request of His lips. Selah.

For You meet Him with the blessings of good things;
You set a crown of fine gold on His head.
He asked life of You,
You gave it to Him,
Length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through Your salvation,
Splendor and majesty You place upon Him.
For You make Him most blessed forever;
You make Him joyful with gladness in Your presence.
For the King trusts in the Lord,
And through the lovingkindness of the Most High He will not be shaken.
Your hand will find out all Your enemies;
Your right hand will find out those who hate You.
You will make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger;
The Lord will swallow them up in His wrath,
And fire will devour them.
Their offspring You will destroy from the earth,
And their descendants from among the sons of men.
Though they intended evil against You
And devised a plot,
They will not succeed
[Psalm 2:1-3; Revelation 16:13-16].
For You will make them turn their back;
You will aim with Your bowstrings at their faces.
Be exalted, O Lord, in Your strength;
We will sing and praise Your power”
(Psalm 21).

This is a song of Jesus, Who is the Christ, God’s “Anointed,” His “installed King upon Zion,” (Psalm 2:2,6), His Son.

When the Lamb breaks the first of the seven seals, we see “a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer” (Revelation 6:2). Some commentators will say this is “antichrist” (a word which does not occur in Revelation, and does not occur in this context in Matthew 24:24//Mark 13:22; 1 John 2:18,22; 4:3; 2 John 7), but there is no indication that this figure is “in place of” (the Greek prefix/preposition “anti,” ἀντί, means “in the place of,” not “opposite” or “against”) the Lamb. I have considered the possibility for some time that these horsemen represent the Lamb Himself, being different pictures of His work in the judgment. After all, it is “the Revelation [singular] of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1). He is clearly identified in the only other “white horse” vision of the book: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He Who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’” (Revelation 19:11-16).

He is the bowman King of Habakkuk 3:9a, Psalm 21:12, and Revelation 6:2, and we should rejoice in His reign, which is a march toward the conquering of all His enemies.[1] “He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death” (1 Corinthians 15:25,26).

David, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, saw the Seed that fulfilled God’s covenant with him (1 Chronicles 17:11,12; Psalm 89:4,20-29,36; 132:11; Isaiah 9:7; Jeremiah 33:17,21,26; Ezekiel 37:24,25; Luke 1:32,33). David’s name is invoked on the first (Matthew 1:1,6,17) and last (Revelation 22:16) pages of the New Testament, and near the beginning (Romans 1:3) and end of Paul’s ministry (2 Timothy 2:8). His Son “according to the flesh,” Jesus Christ, is the King we need, the King the nations fear, the King the spiritually confused seek among men, and the King Who reigns over all things now and forever.

Our response to this Psalm must be to join in its song, lifting up our voices as the Church to “sing and praise” His “power.” He is the King. Our response to this Psalm must be obedience to Him in all He has commanded, and a passion to teach others to obey Him (Matthew 28:18-20) in love for Him (Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10; 7:9; 11:1,22; 30:16; Joshua 22:5; Nehemiah 1:5; Psalm 119:167; Daniel 9:4; John 14:15,21,23,24; 15:10; 1 John 5:3).[2] He is the King. Our response to this Psalm should be a peaceful rest to those who sing it by faith, for no one will oppose this King when the time comes.

He is the King. His greatest act was not the pulling of the bowstring, but the saving of the elect from among His enemies – us. The sin that condemns eternally is defined by His Law (1 John 3:4). “While we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son” and “much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:10). Lawless enemies have been reconciled to God, made right before Him by the righteousness of Another, and are now adoring citizens of His eternal Kingdom. He has gifted us in this world to grow in our faith-union with Him, using the metaphor of a conquering King absolutely unlike those of this world, giving instead of taking (Ephesians 4:7-11 quotes Psalm 68:18). Gather as the Church, marveling in this King and what He’s doing in your midst. Such amazing grace!

He is the King, and this is His Song.

[1] “To all those for whom Christ hath obtained eternal redemption, He doth certainly and effectually apply and communicate the same, making intercession for them; uniting them to Himself by His Spirit, revealing unto them, in and by His Word, the mystery of salvation, persuading them to believe and obey, governing their hearts by His Word and Spirit, and overcoming all their enemies by His almighty power and wisdom, in such manner and ways as are most consonant to His wonderful and unsearchable dispensation; and all of free and absolute grace, without any condition foreseen in them to procure it” (1689 Baptist Confession, 8.8).
[2] Worship in Him in this truth. Read this post out loud. Take time to look up every passage and read it aloud, too. Give voice to His written Word as part of Your adoration of the King.

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