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: This is The Friends of Israel Today. I'm Steve Conover. With me is our host and teacher Chris Katulka. For the next two weeks, we'll be re-airing a series focusing on the Psalms. We have Dr. Charlie Dyer, author of 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms with us, and Chris will be teaching us from Psalm 2.
Chris Katulka: This was such a popular series that we did, and Dr. Dyer is a specialist on this issue. So we're going to be specifically looking at Psalm 23. I'm very excited. I think our audience is going to love it.
Now, did you ever wonder why Jerusalem is so important to your faith? World powers have been wrestling over this city for 3000 years, but God is the one who has the final say on its destiny. I want you to join us for our Jerusalem in Prophecy 2021 National Prophecy Conference. It's all online where you're going to become an expert in understanding biblical prophecy and the truths about this holy city, the city of Jerusalem. It's going to be an exciting and uplifting event online. You can go to foiconferences.org. Again, that's foiconferences.org.
Steve Conover: In the news, the Israeli Knesset overwhelmingly elected the modest and diplomatic Isaac Herzog as the 11th president of the State of Israel. In a landslide vote, the largely ceremonial position will be filled by a Tel Aviv-born politician whose prestigious family is sometimes referred to as Israel's version of the Kennedys.
Chris Katulka: Steve, this is my take. Congratulations to Isaac Herzog for his recent win, and congratulations to Reuven Rivlin, who served as Israel's president with dignity for these past seven years. The main purpose of an Israeli president is to ensure a government is formed for the people. He or she carry no legislative powers. So after a government is formed, the president serves as an ambassador, a figurehead for the Jewish state, much like the monarchy in the United Kingdom.
Today, we're going to begin a two-part series called Pictures of Christ from the Psalms, and we're going to be highlighting the different characteristics of the Messiah that can be found in this amazing prayer book, the book of Psalms.
The New Testament writers definitely saw Jesus in the Psalms. There are more than a 100 quotations found throughout the New Testament connecting these Psalms to the coming of Jesus. 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. 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, and 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. 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. He will build a house for my name, and I will make his dynasty permanent. 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, but my loyal love will not be removed from him as I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house, David, and your kingdom will stand before me permanently. Your dynasty will be permanent."
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." And 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.'"
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 chapter two, we see this same theme being picked up. The sonship of Jesus is uniquely connected to the kingship of Jesus.
And I love when Nathaniel meets Jesus for the first time in John chapter one 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." See, even Nathaniel knew that the sonship of Jesus is uniquely connected to the kingship of Jesus. And today, I want us to focus on Psalm chapter two, because if you don't understand that, that sonship and kingship are connected, then this Psalm won't make sense.
Listen to how this begins. "Why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain? The Kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed saying, 'Let us burst their bonds apart and cast their cords from us.'" The Psalmist starts with a global perspective in Psalm chapter two. The nations and the people, the whole world is plotting to rebel against the authority of the Lord's anointed. And remember, the Lord's anointed. That word anointed in Hebrew, Mashiach, actually means Messiah. So 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 four, it makes God laugh. Listen, verse four, "He who sits in the heavens laughs. The Lord holds them in derision." The Lord is laughing in disgust in the Psalmist writes that. God will judge those rebellious nations who seek to overthrow the authority of the Messiah.
Listen, having issues with God's authority isn't only for those nations that are found here in Psalm chapter two. 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 Hebrew could be better translated shackles. And in the same poetic line, they call his authority "cords," or better understood as ropes. They feel suffocated by his authority.
And 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.
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." And this is a perfect illustration of what I mean of unbelievers 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 chapter two, that obeying the Messiah leads to freedom, not slavery.
Satan deceives people into thinking that obeying Christ's 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. And yet, God reminds these nations in verse six in Psalm chapter two, "Be rebellious all you want. As for me, I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill." 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. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.'"
Notice what God calls the Messiah, the King of Israel. He calls him "my son" just like it does in 2 Samuel 7, remember? And listen, he says, "Today, I have begotten you." And 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. 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 chapter 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." 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, listened 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?'"
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 a 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, and every tongue confess that Jesus the Messiah, Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the father."
Psalm chapter two 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.
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 authors 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.
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.
Dr. Charlie Dyer: Hey, Chris. It is great being with you. Thanks.
Chris Katulka: Hey, Dr. Dyer. Look it, if we read your whole resume, it would take up the allotted amount of time that we have here, but I see on here you are an official Israeli tour guide.
Dr. Charlie 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.
Dr. Charlie Dyer: But for 20 years, it was great. I still love going to Israel every chance I get, but I'm no longer allowed to be doing all the official guiding, take the groups everywhere I wanted to go, and just to share what was on my heart with them. 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, and the teacher in me 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. We're going to look at Psalm 23 today. Most people know Psalm 23, wouldn't you say, Dr. Dyer?
Dr. Charlie Dyer: They do, or they think they do. And 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, the God being a shepherd? Does it still apply to the life of a Christian today?
Dr. Charlie 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. And when he says, "Because the Lord is 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 those just fields covered, or hillsides covered in green grass, and realized that David's saying, "God led me to the very spot where I could have just what I needed." It was that kind of experience that just amazed me. And 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. 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?
Dr. Charlie Dyer: Yeah. The word he's using is the one that describes 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 probably the word we would use in English to describe it. And it pictures perfectly what the Judean wilderness is like, those twisting serpentine valleys that snake their way up into the hills toward Jerusalem. 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 of 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's 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 ... I feel like when I read this throughout the Psalms, 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?
Dr. Charlie 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 the 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.
Chris Katulka: My friends, we are speaking with Dr. Charlie Dyer, who recently released 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms. We're selling this book here at The Friends of Israel, and we want you to get a copy of it. You can do that by simply going to foiradio.org. That's foiradio.org. And there, right on our homepage will be a link for you to click on and order your copy of Dr. Charlie Dyer's book, 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms. It's a Holy Land devotional.
Dr. Dyer, I'm looking forward to next week. Thank you, sir, so much for your time.
Dr. Charlie Dyer: Oh, you're welcome, Chris. Thank you.
Steve Conover: Now, Apples of Gold, a dramatic reading from the life and ministry of Holocaust survivor, Zvi Kalisher.
Mike Kellogg: 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." 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'd drink to forget everything." 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."
So 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." 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. "Oh, we, like sheep, have gone astray. We've turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord has 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. And when he regained his composure, he cried, "Oh, Lord, help me. Take me out of this darkness where I have been for so long." When he opened his eyes, he seemed surprised and asked, "What happened to me? Am I drunk again?" "No. You are well." "Then why have I been weeping? Why am I so weak?" "You are 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 at foiradio.org. That's foiradio.org.
Our host and teacher is 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. 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: Dr. Charlie 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.
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