Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
March 30, 1967

Christ In The Psalms

Harry E. Ozment

Many people unknowingly have a wrong conception of the Psalms in that they believe the book to be only a source of comfort in time of need. While it is true that a large portion of the Psalms do give us comfort in our different times of sorrow and depression, other of the Psalms serve us in another, yet equally important way -- prophecy. As one of the central themes of the Psalms, the "sweet singers of Israel, being inspired by God, present glad tidings concerning the coming of the Messiah, His sufferings and triumphs, and the reign of the all-glorious Christ.

In II Samuel 7:11-17, God promises to David that the throne of David would be established forever. Verse 13 reads, "He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever." As time progresses, David realizes that this promise would not be fulfilled in himself or his sons. David says in II Samuel 23:5, "Verily my house is not so with God; yet he hath made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure: for it is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he maketh it not to grow." As we read Old Testament history, we learn that the earthly throne of David would not endure at all. In Jeremiah 22:24-30, we read of King Coniah, a part of the seed of David on the earthly throne. In verse 30, however, God declares that Coniah would be the last king to prosper on David's earthly throne. Now God always keeps his word. In Psalm 89, a Messianic psalm, when the psalmist cried unto God and asked when His promise to David would be fulfilled, Jehovah said, "Once have I sworn by my holiness: I will not lie unto David: his seed shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before me." (Psa. 89:35-36) There is, therefore, but one alternative at which we can arrive. God did not promise David that his earthly throne would endure forever, but, rather, David's spiritual throne in the spiritual kingdom would endure to the end. The Messiah, then, would not rule in an earthly capacity, as some Jews wanted to believe, but He would rule in a spiritual capacity. This, of course, deals a death blow to premillennialism. We must look to a spiritual king in a spiritual kingdom -- Christ in his church.

The rule of Christ, as presented in the Psalms, divides itself into three different areas. Christ first rules in His kingdom, the church. Christ is the absolute and supreme ruler in His body. In Psalm 45:10- 11, the bride is commanded to recognize Him as sovereign: "Hearken, 0 daughter, and consider, and incline thine ear; forget also thine own people, and thy father's house; so will the king desire thy beauty; for he is thy lord; and reverence thou him." Secondly, Christ rules in the affairs of the different nations. David wrote in Psalm 2:8-9: "Ask of me, and I will give thee the nations for thine inheritance. And the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." Invariably, a person asks, "When does the fall of a nation occur?" An answer to such a question is fixed only in the mind of God. We do know, however, that God will spare a nation from downfall as long and only as long as it has enough "salt" to make it worthy of further existence. God would have saved Sodom and Gomorrah from destruction if Abraham could have found just ten men who were faithful to God. The two cities, however, had lost their salt, and God destroyed them. Thirdly, Christ reigns as high priest after the order of Melchizedek. David wrote in Psalm 110:4, "Jehovah hath sworn, and will not repent: thou art a priest of God and the king of Salem, so also Christ is the King of His kingdom and High Priest of those in His body.

Much, then, is revealed in the Psalms about the first coming of the Messiah and how he reigns today. Moreover, all Messianic prophecies in the Psalms point to Jesus of Nazareth as the Christ -- our Savior, Lord, and King today.