This program is a rebroadcast from July 8, 2017
Psalm 2 (Authority) – Pictures of Christ
We’re starting a two-part series this week entitled, “Pictures of Christ from the Psalms” which highlights different characteristics of the Messiah in the Psalms. Did you know there are over 100 quotations in the New Testament connecting the Psalms to Jesus? Chris will take us to Psalm 2 and show us something many do not make a connection to: Jesus’ Sonship is uniquely tied to Jesus’ Kingship. It’s a fascinating tie that many struggle to see.
We’ll see the psalmist reference the rebellion of the nations in Psalm 2 and how the rebellion or sin nature that is in all of us blinds us to the freedom we find in the authority of King Jesus. We hope it leaves you asking, “Am I submitting to the authority of my King and am I living that out in front of a rebellious and sinful world?”
Steve Conover: Hi, this is Steve Conover. Today, we are rebroadcasting a show you are sure to enjoy. We've selected for you a series from our archives entitled Pictures of Christ from the Psalms. Now, part one in our series.
Steve Conover: This is the Friends of Israel, today. I am Steve Conover, and with me is our host and teacher, Chris Katulka. For the next two weeks, we are focusing on the Psalms. Today, Dr. Charlie Dyer, author of 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms, is with us and Chris will be teaching us from Psalm chapter two.
Chris Katulka: Yeah, Steve. This is going to be an exciting two weeks as we look at really two different characteristics of the Messiah from the book of Psalms. And then, Dr. Charlie Dyer will share from his latest devotional book from a Psalm we are all familiar with, Psalm 23. And then, Apples of Gold.
Chris Katulka: Now, a delegation of evangelical leaders, led by Joel Rosenberg, was invited to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh. He spoke about the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and the warming relationship Saudis have with Israel, but requested Rosenberg keep his comments off the record.
Chris Katulka: Well, here's my take. Dealing with the Saudi government is like walking a tightrope. One slight move in the wrong direction can spell disaster. They are one of our closest Sunni allies in the Middle East in the fight against terror, but at the same time, they promote terror with their Wahhabi Islamic doctrine. It's fantastic that evangelical Christians can represent Christ in Riyadh, but I think we should take the Crown Prince's words with a grain of salt.
Chris Katulka: Today, we're going to begin a two part series called Pictures of Christ from the Psalms. We're going to be highlighting the different characteristics of the Messiah that can be found in this amazing prayerbook, the book of Psalms. The New Testament writers definitely saw Jesus in the Psalms. There are more than 100 quotations found throughout the New Testament connecting these Psalms to the coming of Jesus.
Chris Katulka: The apostles would often use these Messianic Psalms as a defense for showing the Jewish community that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. There are several Messianic Psalms like Psalm 2, Psalm 18, Psalm 72, which we're going to be looking at next week, Psalm 89, Psalm 110, and Psalm 144. These are Messianic Psalms or better yet, what biblical scholars call royal Psalms.
Chris Katulka: The Psalms as a whole value the position of Israel's kingship. I'm going to say that again. The Psalms as a whole value the position of Israel's kingship. Remember, it was King David who penned most of the Psalms. David served the Lord in what capacity? He was king of Israel. As David was writing his Psalms, he would often look back to that eternal promise God made to him.
Chris Katulka: He would look back and remember 2 Samuel 7:12-16, when God said to King David, "When the time comes for you to die, David, I will raise up your descendant, one of your own sons, to succeed you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He will build a house for my name, and I will make his dynasty permanent. 14 I will become his father and he will become my son. When he sins, I will correct him with the rod of men and with the wounds inflicted by human beings. 15 But my loyal love will not be removed from him as I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house, David, and your kingdom will stand before me permanently; your dynasty will be permanent."
Chris Katulka: I once got in a debate with a dear Jewish friend of mine who lived in Dallas. He said to me, "Chris, the reason most Jewish people don't believe Jesus is the Messiah is because in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament, God was never supposed to have a son." I stopped my friend, and I said this, "I think you're mistaken about that. Listen to what 2 Samuel 7:14 says about a future son of David. It says this, 'I will become his father and he will become my son.'"
Chris Katulka: I showed this to him in both English and Hebrew and he really quickly changed the subject, because it's so blatant. You can't get around it. In 2 Samuel 7, it says that God would have a son and in Psalm 2, we see the same theme being picked up. The sonship of Jesus is uniquely connected to the kingship of Jesus. I love when Nathaniel meets Jesus for the first time in John 1 at the very end it says that Nathaniel looked at Jesus and Jesus kind of buttered him up a little bit and then he says, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."
Chris Katulka: See, even Nathaniel knew that the sonship of Jesus is uniquely connected to the kingship of Jesus. Today, I want us to focus on Psalm 2 because if you don't understand that, that sonship and kingship are connected, then the Psalm won't make sense. Listen to how this begins, "Why do the nations rage, and the people plot in vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his Anointed, saying, 3 'Let us burst their bonds apart, and cast their cords from us.'"
Chris Katulka: The psalmist starts with a global perspective in Psalm 2. The nations and the people, the whole world is plotting to rebel against the authority of the Lord's anointed. Remember, the Lord's anointed, that word anointed in Hebrew, moshiach, actually means messiah. When he talks about the Lord's anointed, he's talking about the Messiah. The nations are plotting against the Messiah, because they want to be free of his political control. The nations want to burst their bonds and cast away their cords. The rebellion of the nations against the authority of the Messiah, in verse 4, it makes God laugh.
Chris Katulka: Listen verse 4, "He who sits in the heavens laughs. The Lord holds them in derision." The Lord is laughing in disgust, and the psalmist writes that God will judge those rebellious nations who seek to overthrow the authority of the Messiah.
Chris Katulka: Listen, having issues with God's authority isn't only for those nations that are found here in Psalm 2. Rebellion is written in the human DNA. Ask the parents of any teenagers. One of the first acts of mankind, according to Genesis, was Adam and Eve rebelling against God's authority. Notice what the nations say when they describe what it feels like to be under the authority of the Messiah. They call his authority bonds or as the Hebrews could be better translated shackles.
Chris Katulka: In the same poetic line, they call his authority cords or better understood as ropes. They feel suffocated by his authority. Sadly, you know what, I think most unbelievers feel this way about God today. They don't understand what it means to trust God and to trust in Christ. They don't want to allow him to have authority over their lives, because they think that following him is like putting shackles and ropes on.
Chris Katulka: There's a famous song I heard growing up from the Piano Man, you might know him, Billy Joel, and one of his lines went like this, "I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints." This is a perfect illustration of what I mean, of unbeliever's perspective of what it means to let God have authority over your life. For them, there's no laughter. It's only crying, but what they don't realize is this, like these nations in Psalm 2, that obeying the Messiah leads to freedom, not slavery.
Chris Katulka: Satan deceives people into thinking that obeying Christ authority will prevent you from having fun and doing what you want in life, when really it's Satan who binds those he deceives into a life of servitude to sin. Yet God reminds these nations in verse 6 in Psalm 2, be rebellious all you want, as for me, I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.
Chris Katulka: You know what God is saying here? The Messiah reigns. Now, remember what I said, the sonship of Jesus and the kingship of Jesus go hand in hand. They are one and the same. Listen to Psalm 2:7-9, "I will tell of the decree. The Lord said to me, 'You are my son. Today I have begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.'"
Chris Katulka: Notice what God calls the Messiah, the king of Israel. He calls him, "My son." Just like it does in 2 Samuel 7, remember? Listen, he says, "Today, I have begotten you." Look at the authority God has given to the Messiah, "I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession." Because the Messiah has such authority given to him by God, he will stop any act of rebellion in its tracks.
Chris Katulka: Listen to what it says, "You will break them like a rod of iron." The authority of the king, the Messiah, God's anointed one, comes with one saying and one saying in mind and Jesus repeats this in Matthew 12, you're either with me, or you're against me. So, God says to the nations toward the end of the Psalm this very interesting phrase, "Kiss the son."
Chris Katulka: To kiss the son is to show respect and submission to the reigning king. When you kiss the son, you're saying you are the one who's in authority. Look at this, when David was anointed king of Israel by Samuel, listen to what it said about that moment in 1 Samuel 10:1, "Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head and kissed him saying, 'Has not the Lord anointed you to be prince over His people, Israel?'"
Chris Katulka: Look, the New Testament paints the same picture of Messianic authority when it says in Philippians 2:9-11, "Therefore God has highly exalted him, Jesus, and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ," the Messiah, "Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Chris Katulka: Psalm 2 pictures Christ as one given authority over everything God has created. Have you given Christ authority in your life? Have you kissed the son as it says in Psalm 2:12. Even though the world wants to convince you that submitting to the authority of Christ is restrictive, the truth is this, following Christ is the most freeing experience someone could have. It frees you from sin and gives you the ability to serve the Most High God.
Chris Katulka: The Jewish and Christian communities read the Psalms regularly, but have you ever thought about how much we're missing not knowing the setting in which they were written. Many of the Psalms remain a mystery because the author's reference places, we've never been.
Steve Conover: Dr. Charlie Dyer skillfully brings a select number of Psalms to life in his new book 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms. This one month devotional will take you on an extraordinary journey to the land of Israel. Dr. Erwin Lutzer endorsed this book by saying, "What wonderful insights greet us when we view the Psalms in their historical and cultural context. I was edified and blessed."
Chris Katulka: Why not spend 30 days this summer with a devotional look at the Psalms. To find out more about 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms, go to foiradio.org or call our listener line at 888-343-6940. That's foiradio.org, or our listener line at 888-343-6940.
Chris Katulka: We've been going through the different characteristics of the Messiah in the Psalms, and that's why today I wanted us to focus on devotional qualities of the Psalms as well. At the Friends of Israel, we've been selling Dr. Charlie Dyer's book 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms and I couldn't think of anybody better than to have Dr. Charlie Dyer on with us. Dr. Dyer, great to have you, my friend.
Charles Dyer: Hey, Chris. It is great being with you, thanks.
Chris Katulka: Hey, Dr. Dyer, I see ... Look, if we read your whole resume, it would take up a lot of the amount of time that we have here, but I see on here, you are an official Israeli tour guide. How did you get that title?
Charles Dyer: Well, technically I'm no longer. I was. They had a religious guiding license and then the other guiding license. I had a religious guiding license for, wow actually about 20 years. Unfortunately, they no longer let Protestants have that license, so I was one of the last to lose mine.
Chris Katulka: Wow.
Charles Dyer: But for 20 years, it was being able to take the groups everywhere I wanted to go and just share what was on my heart with them, which I said I had the best job in the world. I could sit in the front of the bus and just talk about everything we were looking at as it came into view. The teacher in me just was in my element at that point.
Chris Katulka: Now, we're taking decades of experience in leading trips to Israel and we're applying it to this book 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms, and we're going to look at Psalm 23 today. Most people know Psalm 23, wouldn't you say, Dr. Dyer?
Charles Dyer: They do, or they think they do. What I love about this, it's such a beautiful Psalm. I mean, everybody can get something out of it, but unless they've been to Israel, most people don't catch all the nuances that David did. It has the smell of sheep all over it from David's time in the wilderness.
Chris Katulka: The Psalm starts off, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." Dr. Dyer, the idea of a shepherd in our modern era is something that I don't think many people can connect to. But does it still apply ... God being a shepherd, does it still apply to the life of a Christian today?
Charles Dyer: Oh, absolutely. What we need to do is transport ourselves over there into the wilderness of Judea and realize what the role of a shepherd was, especially David who's writing from experience because he spent time as a shepherd. The shepherd's goal over there is to lead and feed the sheep, to protect them, to watch out for them.
Charles Dyer: When he says, "Because the Lord's my shepherd, I'll not be in want," with God as the one taking care of me, He will provide all I need. The green pastures he describes, I grew up thinking of the meadows in Pennsylvania, and then I went to Israel and saw the greenery in the winter and saw just the fields covered or hillsides covered in green grass and realized that David is saying God led me to the very spot where I could have just what I needed.
Charles Dyer: It was that kind of experience that just amazed me. Then even as he goes on and talks about walking through the valley of the shadow of death, fearing no evil, to realize that the wilderness with those deep, dark valleys, that's where the wild animals were. Even today, there are still some wild animals in that area and a sheep in that area would have been incredibly fearful, except he knew the shepherd was there to protect him and care for him.
Chris Katulka: Can you mention that too for a moment, Dr. Dyer, in the Psalm, probably a section of the Psalm that most people connect with is, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil." You mentioned in your devotional the word for valley there, that there's two different types of words for valley. What is the one word that's being used here in Psalm 23?
Charles Dyer: Yeah, the word he's using is the one that described a very steep, narrow valley. It's not the one that describes a broad valley, like the Valley of Jezreel. This is a valley that's a gorge is the word we would use in English to describe it. It pictures perfectly what the Judean wilderness is like, those twisting serpentine valleys that snake their way up into the hills towards Jerusalem.
Charles Dyer: It's interesting, he says the valley of the shadow of death, but that word is really just a single word in Hebrew. He's picturing this deep, dark valley with all the dangers that come from being in that region and recognizing that God is going to be there standing guard. I love it. He's not saying we're not going to have problems. He's saying God is going to be there.
Chris Katulka: That's right, and God's going to shepherd him through this process of the deep, dark shadow, the deep valley. But I want to end with this, of the Psalm 23 is that it ends with David saying, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." Dr. Dyer, do you think that David really had a confidence in the Lord? He seemed to be able to take the promises that God made to him and to reconcile them with honesty, with real life circumstances. Do you think that's what David was doing here?
Charles Dyer: Completely, and I think David experienced that as a shepherd. In fact, I love it. I think this Psalm comes out of his early experience in the wilderness, and he learned a lesson there that he carried with him when he moved from the sheepfold to the royal palace. He knew that God who took care of him as a shepherd was going to continue to take care of him in those prosperous times that were ahead, all the days of his life. So yeah, he mastered that lesson early, and it stayed with him his whole life.
Chris Katulka: Dr. Dyer, I'm looking forward to next week. Thank you, sir, so much for your time.
Charles Dyer: Oh, you're welcome, Chris. Thank you.
Steve Conover: Now, Apples of Gold, the dramatic reading from the life and ministry of Holocaust survivor, Zvi Kalisher.
Zvi Kalisher: I know a man who was a habitual drunkard. It's impossible to speak with him because he drinks day and night. I met him recently as he was on his way to the synagogue, and he said, "Today, I am going to pay my debt to God." I told him, "I know your great debt. Today, you will empty your bottle and tomorrow, it'll be full again."
Zvi Kalisher: He said, "This is the last bottle. I confess this before you." I said, "True confession can only be made before God." "But how can God forgive me after so many years of sinful living?" He asked. This was the first time I ever had an opportunity to speak seriously with this man. He said, "When my son was a baby, my wife left us for a rich man. I was poor, and bore the full responsibility of raising my son. I drink to forget everything."
Zvi Kalisher: I told him, "You have not found the true answer to your problems. If I told you everything I have been through, you'd kill yourself because the bottle would not be strong enough to make you forget it all. I have experienced the Holocaust, and I lost my entire family in the Warsaw Ghetto." "How do you stay so strong?" He asked. "God keeps me from giving up on life. When we turn to Him, He will be near to us. John 16:20 says, 'You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.' Would you like to come to my home today? We can talk and get to know one another better."
Zvi Kalisher: He and his son came to my home and ate with my family. Before we ate, we thanked our savior. After the meal, I said to him, "I have told you all of my past troubles, and yet I am happy because I have received the Lord as my savior." He then said, "Yes, I can see you are happy. But Jesus cannot be our God. He does not have the power to help us."
Zvi Kalisher: I said, "Because you have mentioned Jesus, I would like to speak with you about him." He became very serious and I read Isaiah 53:6, "All we like sheep have gone astray; we've turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all." I then asked, "Who is this speaking of if it's not Jesus?" Suddenly, he started to cry for a very long time. When he regained his composure, he cried, "Oh Lord, help me. Take me out of this darkness where I have been for so long."
Zvi Kalisher: When he opened his eyes, he seemed surprised and asked, "What happened to me? Am I drunk again?" "No. You're well." "Then why have I been weeping? Why am I so weak?" "You're strong now. Now you will know the truth of Psalm 112:1, 'Blessed is the man who fears the Lord.' If you truly receive him, he will empower you to stop drinking." He started to cry tears of joy. Please pray that the Lord will keep this man and that he will be able to resist Satan's temptations, and that this family will be reunited.
Steve Conover: We'd like to thank Dr. Charlie Dyer for being with us today. He'll join us once again next week. You can purchase Charlie's book on the Psalms from us, and if you're among the many new listeners we've added this summer, we'd love to hear from you today.
Steve Conover: You can contact us at foiradio.org, that's foiradio.O-R-G. You can call our listener line at 888-343-6940. Again, that's 888-343-6940, or write to us at FOI Radio, P.O. Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey 08099. Let us know where you're listening when you call or write. Our host and teacher was Chris Katulka. Today's program was produced by Tom Gallione, co-written by Sarah Fern, Mike Kellogg read Apples of Gold, and our theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong. I'm Steve Conover, Executive Producer.
Steve Conover: The Friends of Israel today is a production of the Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We are a worldwide Christian ministry communicating biblical truth about Israel and the Messiah, while fostering solidarity with the Jewish people.
30 Days in the Land of the Psalms
by Charles Dyer
The Jewish and Christian communities read the Psalms regularly, but have you thought about how much we’re missing by not knowing the setting in which they were written?
Many of the Psalms remain a mystery because the author makes reference to places we’ve never been. Dr. Charlie Dyer skillfully brings a select number of Psalms to life in his book, 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms. This one-month devotional will take you on an extraordinary journey to the land of Israel.
Interview: Charles Dyer – Psalm 23
We welcome Dr. Charlie Dyer to the program. He is the author of our featured book (see above), “30 Days in the Land of the Psalms” Dr. Dyer talks about Psalm 23 and explains since most readers of the Bible don’t live in an agricultural setting like in King David’s day, what role or significance does a Shepherd play in a believers life today? He’ll also explain some other unique phrases from Psalm 23 and their meaning the true context.
Dr. Charlie Dyer is host of the radio program The Land and the Book. He teaches at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Dyer is an Old Testament scholar as well as an authority on Middle Eastern history and religion. As a former licensed guide to Israel, he has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East over the last two decades and has authored and co-edited many books and articles on the Middle East and the Old Testament.
Apples of Gold: The Lost is Found
Zvi takes time to speak to a man who is known in his town as a drunkard. After listening to his sad life story, Zvi takes time to explain the heartache he too has gone through in life. When the man asks him how he has survived and thrived in life, Zvi was able to tell him about his relationship with Jesus the Messiah. Listen as the man considers the possibility of true freedom in Jesus.
The Friends of Israel Today and Apples of Gold theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong.