This program is a rebroadcast from July 15, 2017.
Psalm 72 (Grace) – Pictures of Christ
We’re on to part two of our series entitled, “Pictures of Christ from the Psalms,” which highlights different characteristics of the Messiah in the Psalms. Chris reminds us that it’s important to remember that these types of Psalms have a dual purpose. They were about Jesus but also applicable for the day they were written. We’re in Psalm 72 this week where we’ll learn how King David and King Solomon were both essentially “messiahs” (notice the lowercase “m”). Listen as Chris explains.
Be encouraged as we look at Jesus’ authority as well as kindness, mercy, and grace that He extends to those who follow Him. He’s a good King that is good to us!
If you missed Part 1 of this series, please Click Here.
Steve Conover: This is the Friends of Israel Today. I'm Steve Conover. With me is our host and teacher, Chris Katulka. This week and last we've been 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 again and Chris will be teaching us from the Psalms as well.
Chris Katulka: It's always fun to have Dr. Charlie Dyer on. He is such a specialist in his field and he has been invested in Israel and the Jewish people for a very long time so he brings so much expertise to this. He's going to continue his discussion where he's going to be looking at Psalm 72 and Psalm 122. But before we get to that, I want to invite you to join us for our Jerusalem in Prophecy Conference online. You know, did you ever wonder why the fate of Jerusalem is so important to your faith? You know, world powers have been wrestling for the control of Jerusalem for 3,000 years but it's God who has the final say on its destiny. Join us for our Jerusalem in Prophecy 2021 online conference. It's going to be live and online. Become an expert in understanding biblical prophecy and truths about the Holy City in this exciting and uplifting event. You can register today at foiconferences.org. Again, that's foiconferences.org.
Steve Conover: In the news, a coronavirus treatment touted by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a miracle drug earlier this year, has been approved by the health ministry for a phase 2/3 trial. That's according to the hospital in which it was developed. Israel is testing their therapy in Greece and Georgia and they are in talks with India, Brazil, Portugal, Costa Rica and the Czech Republic.
Chris Katulka: Steve, here's my take. The COVID-19 vaccines are working and in many places life is getting back to normal but the virus hasn't disappeared. Coronavirus can still infect a vaccinated person and right now countries like India and Brazil are being hard hit by the pandemic. This miracle drug isn't just a temporary fix. There are some who say that this could be the cure for those who could die from COVID-19. Let's pray for the continued success of this Israeli drug.
Last week, I introduced a short two-week series we're doing called Pictures of Christ from the Psalms where we're taking a look at two Messianic Psalms. Messianic Psalms are basically Psalms that look forward to the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. And last week we studied Psalm chapter two, an incredibly Messianic Psalm, which paints the picture of Jesus's Messianic authority. But one of the things that we saw as the Psalmist paints the picture of the Messiah in Psalm chapter two is this, you're either on his side or you're not on his side. And Jesus in Matthew chapter 12, he picks up on that concept and even says, "You're either with me or you're against me." It paints a very black and white picture of the Messiah's global authority. But what about for those who chose to follow the Messiah? Well, Psalm 72 like Psalm 2 gives us a global picture of the Messiah's role, but it highlights the grace and mercy Jesus extends to those who follow Him.
But before we get to Psalm 72, which is one of my favorite Psalms, I wanted to recap how we need to approach these Messianic Psalms or better yet, as many biblical scholars like to call them, Royal Psalms. While Messianic Psalms were looking forward to the coming of Jesus, they were also very pertinent for the day in which they were written. I want you to try to get your mind wrapped around this idea. King David and King Solomon and the subsequent Kings of Judah were essentially “messiahs.” They were anointed by oil, a symbol of the Holy Spirit's presence in their leadership. I like to call them lowercase-M messiahs though. They carry the title but the true fulfillment of that position, messiah, is found in only one of David's sons and that's Jesus, the true Messiah. Now, if you read through the Psalms you'll notice the position of Israel's kingship is very important.
Remember it was King David who penned most of the Psalms and David served the Lord as what? He served him as King of Israel. As David is 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. We mentioned this last week but I want to repeat it because it's really important. "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 and your kingdom will stand before me permanently. Your dynasty will be permanent."
See, David was able to process his trials because he stood on the promises of God. David feared his enemies in circumstances at times and you see that come across in the Psalms. But he always returned to the hope that he had in God's promises. He always returned to the hope that he had in God's covenant. Okay, so now back to Psalm 72. We know way up front in the Psalms, like we just saw in Psalm chapter two last week, that the Messiah is given authority over everything but how does the Messiah handle that authority? Look at Psalm 72, a Psalm written by King Solomon with a look at the reign of Jesus Christ and listen to how he starts this Psalm.
Psalm 72. "Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son." Now I want to pause there for a moment. Listen, did you hear what Solomon called himself and ultimately the coming of Jesus? He called it what? The royal son. And remember we said, biblical scholars like to call these Psalms, these Messianic Psalms, Royal Psalms. And listen to it here in verse two. "May he judge your people with righteousness and your poor with justice. Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people in the hills in righteousness. May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy and crush the oppressor." This is such a striking way to open a messianic royal Psalm. Notice where the emphasis is here. It's not on how special the king is or how big his castle is or how much he should charge or collect in taxes. This royal messianic Psalm that's casting a vision for the reign of Christ, starts with his people.
The Messiah's prayer is that God would give him the ability to rule his people with righteousness and justice, defending the poor and the needy, those who are most helpless. You know, we recently celebrated the 4th of July and as Americans, we are really anti-monarchy. It's written in our DNA. Our founding fathers, they worked extremely hard to make sure power is never fixated on one person because they knew what it was to have power concentrated in one person. And now 241 years later, we still want to keep it that way. But here's the truth my friends. According to the scriptures, God wants a monarchy. Jesus as king. And you might be thinking monarchy, isn't that going backwards?
Well, Psalm 72 shows us the reason we desire to show our allegiance to King Jesus. The reason we actually want him to have concentrated power, the power that God the Father gives to him. Because it isn't a power that Jesus selfishly plans to use for his own personal gain. And let me remind you, Jesus has already proven that. Remember, last week we read from Philippians 2 where it says, 'every knee will bow and tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord?" Well, Jesus's exultation didn't come before the cross. Instead, remember, Jesus's exultation came after the cross. Jesus's exultation as king over all comes as a result of his obedience to lay down his life for everyone.
Have you ever heard of a king who lays down his life, his power, his prestige, his prominence, for thieves, crooks, cheaters, liars, adulterers, drug addicts, alcoholics, the prideful, the envious? You know, the list goes on. But Jesus, the Messiah, he did do that and that's why he's a king we trust to judge his people with righteousness, to administer justice fairly, to defend and lift up those who can't help themselves. The royal messianic Psalms paint the picture of Christ as ruling from a place of righteousness, both in Jesus's reign now from the right hand of the Father and in the future when he's reigning from Jerusalem. His reign is rooted in the righteousness of God. And the righteousness of God has always looked out for those who can't help themselves.
Many of the laws in the Old Testament that were given by God were put in place to make sure justice is equitable for everyone, not just the rich. That the poor and needy are paid properly for their work and provided with food. And you know what? This is a call he gives to us, his church, his disciples. To make sure we're looking out after those who can't help themselves. Just look at the role the early church played in that beginning of Acts in Acts 6, not long after the birth of the church in Acts 2. We see how the apostles saw the importance of feeding and ministering to widows who really, if you think about it, are the most vulnerable and could be easily taken advantage of and forgotten, especially in the ancient world.
Listen, I want to challenge you and this is a challenge for myself too. I want to challenge you to read again through Psalm 2 and Psalm 72. My prayer is that your eyes will be open to what the rule and reign of Christ will look like when He returns. To see both His authority over the nations as it's coupled with his kindness, mercy and grace that he extends to those who follow him. Also, I pray that you'll see how as the church, we have been called to show in an imperfect way, what Jesus's reign looks like for all people who trust and follow him today. That we would be people who shine the light of the gospel wherever we go. And with that light, we show the world the transformational power of what it is to follow Christ.
I hope you've enjoyed our short series, Pictures of Christ from the Psalms. I know after studying God's Word and seeing the authority of Christ from Psalm 2 and the mercy and grace of Christ from Psalm 72, I am grateful that we serve and follow an eternal King whose reign and rule is established on the righteousness of God and not on the selfishness of man.
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 wanted to continue this theme with the Psalms by speaking with Dr. Charlie Dyer and looking at his book, A Holy Land Devotional: 30 days in the Land of the Psalms. Last week we had Dr. Dyer on to talk about Psalm 23. This week we're going to have him on to speak about a personal favorite of mine and it might be one of his as well. Dr. Dyer, great to have you on the program, sir.
Dr. Charlie Dyer: Hey Chris. It is great being with you, thanks.
Chris Katulka: We're looking today at Psalm 122. A Psalm that I like to say kind of has the themes of two big ideas in the Bible, Jerusalem and peace. And Dr. Dyer, the whole Psalm, Psalm 122, it opens with David saying, "I was glad when they said to me, let us go to the house of the Lord. Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem." What was David so excited about? I mean, you can really sense his excitement as he's beginning this Psalm of ascent here in Psalm 122.
Dr. Charlie Dyer: Yeah, he is and I love it. It is one of the Psalms of ascent that were sung when pilgrims went to Jerusalem. But David wrote it initially I think, once he had captured Jerusalem, it became his capital, it was the emotional impact. It united Israel and in his mind, became the place where God was going to dwell among his people. You know, I love it. Even in verse one, he says, "I rejoiced" you know, David personally. And then he says, "Our feet are standing within your gate." He moves it beyond himself. He's excited but so is everyone else coming up. He wants this to be the place where everybody comes to worship the God of Israel. And yeah, I just sense his excitement there and I get those same goosebumps every time I arrive in Jerusalem. It has never become old. I'm somewhere between 90 and 100 trips and I still get excited every single time our bus is approaching Jerusalem.
Chris Katulka: For me when David expresses his excitement, it's also because it's not just the buildings and it's not just the stones and it's not just the architecture. It's the God who dwells in Jerusalem. That's where he placed himself. That's what makes David so excited and he even talks about that in Psalm 122:3-5, where he talks about the purpose of Jerusalem was that people might go to this city and worship God essentially. But the real central theme here is peace. It's shalom. Can you unpack this word shalom for us? As Psalm 122:6 says, "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem", the shalom of Jerusalem.
Dr. Charlie Dyer: Yeah, it's interesting. It's not just the absence of war, not just the absence of trouble. The word peace has the idea of a health, a wholeness, a completeness, a prosperity for the people. And I think what he's saying is we need to pray that Jerusalem is all that God intended it to be as the city where he's honored and is the city where his program for the world goes forth. And that's what he's commanding us. But I'd say even more than that, asking us to make sure that that's what we're praying, that God's program centered in that historic key city, goes forth the way God intended.
Chris Katulka: Do you think that there's anything that God is doing by titling the city, the City of Peace?
Dr. Charlie Dyer: Oh, absolutely. You know, essentially that verse, Sha'alu Shalom Yerushalayim, pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Jerusalem really comes from the word shalom and I think what God's intending is this is the place that he's going to present his peace to man. And indeed he did because that's the place where his own Son died to purchase the redemption for us so that we could have peace with God. So Jerusalem, the very name carries the purpose that God intended to come through that city and through his program to all mankind.
Chris Katulka: Now Dr. Dyer, some people, though, might say, “now that's an Old Testament passage. Those are for the Jewish people. Psalm 122:6. It's a Psalm. You know, I'm a Christian. I live here in the United States. Is there a benefit spiritually for a Christian to be praying for the peace of Jerusalem?”
Dr. Charlie Dyer: I think there is completely and I would say it's for two reasons. One, all scripture is given by inspiration of God is profitable. That is what Paul told us. There is a benefit that we're told that we can get from this. And certainly for us, just by way of application, there's the peace that God can provide. And we need to be praying for that. We're told in the New Testament to pray for leaders so that there is peace so that the gospel isn't hindered. But even beyond that, I think we need to remember God still has a program for his people, Israel, and that program is vitally connected to Jerusalem. So I think we need to pray for the peace of Jerusalem because it impacts God's future program for this entire planet.
Chris Katulka: And when we're praying for the peace of Jerusalem, I always like to say, we're ultimately saying, "Come, Lord Jesus" wouldn't you say, Dr. Dyer?
Dr. Charlie Dyer: That's exactly right because that's the way God's plan is going to finally unfold. So in praying for it, we're doing exactly what God has said he wants to do.
Chris Katulka: My friends, we've been speaking with Dr. Charlie Dyer. I want you to get his book, A Holy Land Devotional: 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms. It's a great devotional looking at the geography of the scriptures and then putting those pieces together with the Psalms and it's amazing to see the correlation. I know you'll be blessed. So this is why I want you to go to foiradio.org. That's F-O-I, the Friends of Israel, foiradio.org. And there you can just click on our link there for the book and you can get your copy of 30 Days in the Land of the Psalms. Dr. Dyer, thank you so much for spending your time with us today, sir.
Dr. Charlie Dyer: Chris, it's my pleasure. Thanks.
Steve Conover: Now, Apples of Gold, a dramatic reading from the life and ministry of Holocaust survivor Zvi Kalisher.
Mike Kellogg: Recently on the bus, I met a rabbi who knows I believe in Jesus. I greeted him, "Shalom Rabbi. How are you feeling?" He did not answer but stared at me for a long time. Then he asked, "Is that your business?" I quickly said, "I'm sorry if I offended you." He said, "I do not want to talk to an apostate like you." I replied, "I am a Jew who believes in the living God and all he has done for us." "What has he done for us", he asked? I answered, "He gave his Son to be crucified. He taught us to love and forgive our enemies. Even you I can consider to be my friend." "No, no, no." I said, "Many like you have said that to me and now they come to my home as friends." "And do they believe the same as you?" I replied, "Come to my home and ask them."
He then warned, "I will come to your home soon but be ready for trouble if I learn they believe because of you." Others on the bus were quietly listening. They were surprised when the rabbi asked, "Where does the Bible speak about the Lord?" I was happy to show him. Then he said, "I am sorry. I do not have with me my books." I replied, "All other books have no value except the book which has been inspired by the Holy Spirit." All this the rabbi said to those listening, "Ah-ha. You see? He is against all of our great books." I said, "True wisdom comes from God but you spend all your time studying superstitions. You try to make your point through hatred and force." "Only the use of power and force can stop apostates like you."
Then someone on the bus said, "You are wrong, Rabbi. You cannot be a good representative of our people when you cannot even answer questions in your own profession as we have just seen." Many on the bus agreed. The rabbi replied, "I can see this apostate has greatly influenced you. This I call danger." From the other side of the bus someone said, "Rabbi, can we go against the Torah?" "No, of course not", he replied. The other man continued, "Then there is no danger because what this man is saying is in the Torah."
I did not feel alone anymore. There were many who had received the truth about the Lord and they asked for my address and received it without fear. Then the rabbi said, "Now I know where you live and I even know your telephone number." "Oh, you're welcome to visit or call anytime", I told him. The next day he came to my home. I showed him what it means to be a Jew who has received his Savior. He said, "If I hate someone, I will never open my door to him." I said, "The Lord has told us to pray for those who hate us and to open our homes to them." The rabbi replied, "We are friends. I do not hate you anymore." Please pray that the Lord would truly open this rabbi's eyes and show him the way to salvation and peace through our Savior.
Steve Conover: We'd like to thank Dr. Charlie Dyer for being with us these last two weeks. 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, again, we'd love to hear from you today. You can contact us at foiradio.org. That's foiradio.org or you can call our listener line at 888-343-6940. Again, that's 888-343-6940. You can write to us at FOI Radio, P.O. Box 914, Bellmawr, New Jersey 08099. 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 122
We welcome back to the program Dr. Charlie Dyer. He is the author of our featured book (see above), “30 Days in the Land of the Psalms” Dr. Dyer talks Psalm 122 with Chris, one of the Psalms of Ascent. We’ll learn about the context for this popular chapter, written by King David, and unpack the often quoted verse: Psalm 122:6a, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” Understanding the Psalm in its original context will will open up the chapter in a whole new way!
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: Rabbi on the Bus
As Zvi was riding the bus one day he saw a local rabbi and greeted him. The rabbi glared at him and did not respond. Zvi was kind to the rabbi and when confronted about believing in Jesus the Messiah he gently took verses from the Bible and showed him and others on the bus why he believed it to be true. What happened next surprised the rabbi and changed his attitude.
The Friends of Israel Today and Apples of Gold theme music was composed and performed by Jeremy Strong.
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