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God Who Saves: Part 2

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
December 15, 2021 7:00 am

God Who Saves: Part 2

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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December 15, 2021 7:00 am

The beginning of Psalm 68 spoke of God’s great accomplishments in the past and of His victorious procession to Mt. Zion, but in the second half of this Psalm we’re to look to the future. Now that the Lord is seated in His holy city, the psalmist looks ahead as our sovereign God vanquishes His enemies and all nations turn to Him.

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God's people occupied Jerusalem.

David is king and the ark is in place. What happens next or today on the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce. We continue our study of Psalm 68 God is providing for his people in the holy city, but the day is coming when not only will God's people will be gathered to Jerusalem, but all the nations of the earth will come there as well. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically while Psalm 68 is a call for all nations to come to the one true God. Dr. Boyce reminds us that the power of the Lord must draw them. The nations must forsake gods of their own making and come to the God of Israel and the God of Calvary turned to Psalm 68, as we explore this great Psalm of military triumph and salvation were studying the 68 foremen were halfway through it, which means that we starting versus one-day team last time and we pick up with verse 19 today go on the end.

I will begin with the question, which might have been raised by the first part of the Psalm. What is particularly pertinent to the second question is simply this is Psalm 68 messianic that is does it prophesies something concerning the coming of Jesus Christ. That's not such an easy question to answer. One thing the commentators are divided of the low back to the ancient commentators, people like St. Augustine and Martin Luther to give just two examples they give a very easy answer, they would say yes of course it is. The Psalms are messianic.

I go through any Psalm at all and I find it having to do with explicit promises concerning the coming of Jesus Christ. I don't think all the Psalms are messianic. I think this is vastly over God. As a result of which, when I returned to St. Augustine as helpful as he may be in other areas, and he certainly is a great mind of the early Middle Ages in the early church. I find as far as an exposition of the Psalms is concerned.

That is practically useless at the same things almost drove Martin Luther imagine saying that of Martin Luther.

But it doesn't seem to be the way into the Psalms just these ancient scholars would've done that some modern ones are gone.

It is well are no gable line. One of the authors of the note shows the great Scofield reference Bible sought the same way as a book on the Psalms and again virtually every Psalm he discusses is either a direct prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ or of a future day of messianic blessing. Another example, a Bible scholar and generation ago by the name of William Pettengill. He wrote a book called Christ in the Psalms.

It is significant, however, that does not contain all the Psalms. He spoke only 14 Psalms is messianic, on the basis of the fact that in those Psalms a particular text is quoted in the New Testament of Jesus you have New Testament endorsement for those particular Psalms is being messianic but it is to the point of what I'm discussing now that he does include Psalm 68 among those 14 and a dozen on the basis of that verse which Paul quotes in Ephesians 4, agency 18 verse of the song which we looked at last time when you ascended on high, you lead captives in your training you received gifts from man that's exactly what Paul quotes in Ephesians, he says it has to do with Jesus Christ and so Pettengill is on very sound ground when he says that so I asked the question again. What about Psalm 68 is it messianic last time when we were studying the first half we saw what it ostensibly is about is the progress of God leading his people from Mount Sinai to Jerusalem begins in the first two stanzas of a prologue telling people of Israel to praise God and that he begins to explain why because God let them out from Sinai third stanza talks about that to the promised land and directed the conquest over their enemies. That's what the fourth stanza is all about. And finally, in the fifth stanza.

Your habit apparently is the coming of the ark into Jerusalem, sort of a great triumph all that. The desert wondering conquest finally leads up to the Golden age of David's rule when they ark actually came into the holy city on the surface ways that doesn't have anything to do with Jesus Christ. Looking backward to what God did in Israel. So you say well that's not really messianic. It's interesting, isn't it, that it's in that first section of the Psalm in verse 18 occurs, one that the apostle Paul picks up and applies explicitly to Jesus Christ not may be the answer. By that I mean there may be a turning point here for staff is looking backward.

Now you and that with the verse that has its own limit fulfillments in the coming of Jesus Christ of the gift of the Holy Spirit in the imparting of spiritual gifts to his people for the blessing of the church which is the way Paul handles Latimer that may be saying is that from this point on, with the Psalm actually begins to look ahead deals in a special way with that which is only fulfilled in the coming of Jesus Christ.

Some of you may have an Anglican background raised in the Church of England or the Episcopal Church of use. The prayer book you may know if you know it well that Psalm 68 is assigned which suddenly and the Anglican prayer book which associates it with the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the impartation of special gifts so that tradition at least is a way song is handle now will pick up in verse 19 and the first thing we notice is that there really is a major shift that occurs here is why it was so easy for me to divide the Psalm of the two parts in order to study it.

Shift is marked by the word daily and if you do what I do it in the study of the Scripture. I just mark that was case.

I drew a circle around it.

It's a keyword up to this point, the Psalm has been looking backward into the past what God has done for his people in the past, but now it moves into the present, dealing with things that happened in the present at daily deliverance of the people and it's going to go on from here look to the future which is the point at which it becomes explicitly messianic now following up with the first half of the Psalm where are we at this point well people of God are now established in Zion.

David is the king the ark is in the sanctuary seems to be the culmination of what God was doing with them as a nation, asked the question, what are they to do now answer is twofold.

What this next stanza begins with. First of all, they are to praise God I were told to do that earlier that's what that prologue says were going to find it is also the way Psalm and so it begins by saying, praise God, and ends by saying praise God we have a lot of that in the first half, thus far stanza that describes the departure from Sinai. One that describes the conquest, one that describes the moving of the ark into holy city of Jerusalem did not call upon anyone to praise God in all its documents past and praises the appropriate thing it's way it always is in God's dealings with his people. God acts is acts result in the salvation of his people and that is people praise God for what he's done or at least they should. Psalm us calling upon the people to do it has to be applied us as well. Like I asked the question this way is God acted in your life or your salvation or what was talking about earlier how God did that in her life. Christian God is done that in your life will then have you praise God for what are you praising him for. And here's the whole Psalm calling upon the people of Israel to praise God for what is done, you say well, as I think is right, that was only a foretaste of what God was going to do in Jesus Christ for salvation from sin that we have and it was far greater in deliverance from the wilderness and the earthly enemies of the people in the enthronement and earthly Jerusalem. Well that is true, but in that case, you have an even greater obligation to praise God for the Psalm begins by saying, praise God, and ends by saying praise God that's directed to you and me are we doing that we ought to. Should we really know what God is done. That's the first thing on the second thing is this, they are to continue to trust God. The six stanza says that as well. Why well because God has shown himself to be their Savior, and therefore there to trust him to bear their daily burdens. A great first mayor our God is a God and say is really the theme of the Bible, God is a God who saves, scholars say well that's talking about various protecting your life when you go in the battle because some of the verses and come next seem to have battle in mind, it may be that that's a partial reference but you see has to be more than that because it even if you go into battle in your delivered from death in the midst of the battle. Sooner or later you're going to die and so the salvation you need is a salvation that is far greater than that it's eternal salvation.

Salvation from sin is going to bring you into the presence of God. Eventually that's what it's talking about and that is the theme here's a question God has delivered them in the past. Does that mean that is not going to deliver them in the present and the future when they dies I going to be the end of it was God going to be there God that time as well.

Now the psalmist I guess try to save them in the plastic saves them today to save them in the future need to save them forever. That's undergone really know God, the God of the safest through Jesus Christ. That's a God who was saved us eternal fellowship with him is a great cause rejoicing. Now the seventh stanza, which is verses 21 to 23 deals with the people's future victories and its place in the Psalm where the tenses of the bar turn from the past or the present to the future member the entire first half of it was in the past tense stanza.

We just looked at was present, stresses daily and I was beginning to look to the future problem for most of us is that the victories that are described here are set down in such extreme and bloodthirsty language. They almost curdle our blog to read it.

Which of us could really say this and we think about our enemies. How about plunging your feet in the blood of your fellows is bad enough, the gets even worse.

While the tongues of your dogs have their share of the sale that is only talking about the limited historical battle by the nation of Israel and that is indeed pretty bloodthirsty, you might say well it was a different agent expressed himself in a different way we'll do that kind of thing today was a violent time is in the very good explanation might help a little bit until you remember that our times are equally violent and we think we shouldn't talk that way we shouldn't, we shouldn't wish that that's the case, how you want to suggest that this is the point where it really does get to be messianic.

It looks forward to the future and what it's dealing with here in the sense at least is not merely an historical battle by Israel but the great victory of God Almighty over his phone. Lords is beginning to look at this from a heavenly perspective and unearthly perspective. I problem you see when we live within the historical mix of things is that our motives are never pure.

Our cause is never entirely, just maybe relatively so we talk about just one more example of a just war theory there is such a thing is that relatively speaking, because is only relevant. We don't dare talk in this kind of language but when you're seeing it from God's point of view in your thinking of it in terms of the victories of Jesus Christ over evil, then it is extreme and yesterday because who would ever want to say in that perspective that we really don't want to see evil entirely destroyed just kind of put down a little bit can't say that we want another victory for righteousness and the cause of Jesus Christ suggest here that probably a valuable way of looking at this is the think of it in terms of the description of the victory of God and God's people over earthly Babylon that's described in Revelation Babel and Larry sort of a symbol for secular godless world powers of always exist, and find it in Revelation 18 and 19 and when babbling falls. You get two different reactions, 18th chapter contains the reaction of the kings of the earth and the world's merchants that have profited because of their merchandise with Babylon. I got rich because the Bible is like people today get rich doing all sorts of evil things when babbling falls on the 18th chapter.

These merchants and the kings cry will collect the worst possible thing they can imagine is that when the financial structure is collapsed around their ears it, it's like the Dow Jones plunged to 500 from 4000 and think of anything worse than that, there's a wall you come to the next chapter 19 chapter here the saints in heaven and they're looking at it and they're saying what about their rejoicing is what they say they say hallelujah, salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute selects used for this world system who corrupted the earth by her adulteries.

He has avenged on her the blood of his servants when they do it again. I say hallelujah is one of my favorite lines of all the Bible smoke from her goes up forever and ever let the heavenly perspective it would be wrong.

I am sure for us to rejoice over the fall of anybody in that kind of language. The reason I just spelled out.

We live in the historical mix of things are causes never entirely just but it's not inappropriate in heaven. If you don't like that. Well you got the book of Revelation to show you is not inappropriate, that is what the saints are going to do what evil is finally destroyed others in the stands. A reference to God's people being brought from Bashan and from the depths of the sea as our translation says to rejoice in the destruction of their enemies possible that that's not really the right translation. Some of the older versions express idea of them being brought back to face judgment that's the case what the Psalm is saying here is something much like Amos as we know it's true thought because Amos is in any way talking about this final judgment in this whole point is nobody's going to escape.

Robert have to face God.

Sooner or later, and Amos puts it in graphic language. No one will get away not one will escape clothing, dig down to the depths of the grave. From there, my hand will take them as they climb up to the heavens. From there I will bring them down. Even though they hide themselves in the top of Mount caramel where I will hunt them down and sees them even though they hide from me at the bottom of the sea there, I will command my serpent to bite them. So, Amos and poetic, very graphic language is saying the date God's judgment. Nobody is going to escape out whether that's what the psalmist talking about here or not. I'm not sure it can be translated different ways but certainly the truth of that stands day of judgment is coming God. All the universe always does. Right will do right evil will be punished. I would be bad. Different work that there is also salvation, like stanza begins to talk about that versus 24 to 27 thus describing on the surface the procession was making its way up the steep rising pathways to Jerusalem sanctuary. Now if the song was written on the occasion of David bringing the ark up to Jerusalem, as it probably was then this is a description of that filler description and what we find less politically in the historical books have L prosaic description of that you find in second Samuel six chapter find it in first Chronicles and 13th chapter and get in 15th chapter. The first passage that is that shark, one second Samuel 65, says David in the whole house of Israel were celebrating with all their might. Before the Lord with songs and with parks, liars, tambourine systems and symbols next Texas same thing that they substitute the word trumpets for systems because nobody knows what assist romance.

I never saw system least of my knowledge. But anyway the picture is clearly all these instruments and are making great as he comes up to Jerusalem, not the sort of thing that is described here, but in different language describes the tambourine some singers and musicians and all that for the tribes or mention Benjamin Judah Zebulun monopoly. I don't know why only for the suggestion has been made of this representative.

Probably that's the case Benjamin and Judah were in the South when the kingdom split after the time of David, actually after Rehoboam Benjamin Judah constituted the southern kingdom that was that Judah and then in the north had the other 10 tribes but way up in the north of our area was doing monopoly and so it's probably a case of two tribes from the South into tribes. You probably have a representation here saying in this day of great messianic blessing. The same thing is going to happen in the for a more joyous major what happened when David brought the ark up to Jerusalem, I was a great day everybody was singing and rejoicing. The day is coming when God is going to gather his people up to Jerusalem and the joy in that day is going to be even greater. Still, unless that leads into the night stands, which is the most explicitly messianic of all the stances in verses 28 to 31 and it comes before the epilogue, which is stands at 10 it's another climax for the climax of the second section of the Psalm just like stanza five was a climax to part 100 describes is the gathering of the nations of the world to God city say the previous stanza has described the tribes of Israel coming up to Jerusalem now have a description of all the nations of the world coming now to special things to note about this.

First of all, all nations of the world are going to, release representatives from all the various nations of the world on the psalmist can't mention them all. He didn't even know them all, but he does mention some to give the idea mentions Egypt explicitly.

That was Israel's great neighbor to the southwest.

Many events squish questions Ethiopia and I was probably the most remote and inaccessible of any nation known to the ancient Jews have other nations that they knew of them are also far away like Syria and Syria across the great desert and so forth and I was more or less in the area of the world that they occupied so that wasn't quite so far away push Ethiopia way up in the headwaters of the Nile that was just about as remote as anything you could think of where the psalmist is ascribing people that are going to come from those nations. Some of this is done in metaphorical language talks about the beast among the reeds. What is that was probably a crocodile, what else it would be maybe at the bottom is which means water horse big animal that lives there in the reeds. If that's the case.

This is probably a poetic illusion Egypt because that's where the crocodiles came from but he's got a phrase like this the herd of birds with their canvas calves of the nations that must refer to the lesser nations of the psalmist is saying here that the day of great messianic blessing.

All the nations are going to come to the worship of the true God. This is the point at which you got what I referred to the last study in several studies before that as a right kind of biblical universalism. Universalism is heresy as is usually expressed kind that you get on the campuses today. Even evangelical schools. What is can't believe that anybody is going to be lost, everybody's going to be saying that's up long time and a heretical kind of universalism is not that there is a right kind of biblical universalism which is this the offer of salvation is for all and all, may, in all nations in one way or another going to be gathered toward the kingdom of God in the final days. All nations may come when they have to come to is the God of Israel. That's the difference we talk about universalism today, when people talk about religion today like express it this way, they say, will everybody's idea about God is equally violent now you have your idea and I am my idea and so your God is finding that God is blind and all that is patently absurd.

It's not absurd I supposed to say there's no God, and therefore am I going to follow God, but if you acknowledge that there is a God that God is what God is and on the what is likely like something like does anything at all. And so our task. If there is a God is to find out whether God is like, so that we might worship the true God, not a God of our imagination has to be something. So the question is He who is the true God. Now it's true that one religion will say this is the true God or religion will say no, this is the true God. But the question is which is the true God is not just a question of everything being equally valid. What we say in Christianity, the biblical religion from the beginning is that this God is on all Aust because he's a great God that he is unless he reveals himself as a matter of fact that's exactly what he's done as he left to ourselves, we can say there must be a God that sound thinking out of this world get here and get to be so complex audibly have the qualities we have as human beings, which transcend the bodies in which we live must be a God gave us all about.

We don't know who is nature must be powerful like a sunset. You say maybe he has a sense of beauty and is a hurricane you say destructive as well because he can't get much beyond that. But God reveals himself respect that. You see, God has made us wanting to relate to one another as we do. Everybody wants to share with somebody else be known to be loved and so forth.

Then we must of gotten that quality from God. That means it's in God's of God must be like that himself as a how is he revealed him somewhere as he spoke of the violence is done that in the Bible. He's done that in history done it in Jesus Christ. He's made himself known to our claim is that this is the true God. How anybody can come back. All are invited to, according to this, all prophecy is in the last days they will come from every area of the world's point is the God which they come is the true God. It was the God of Israel out of sight. I am the God of Calvary as we hold out to the world we speak against this kind of false sentimental relativism and says well that's your opinion, that's my opinion and so forth. Maybe your opinion of your opinions right that I had abandoned my opinion, failure, opinion, say the opinions we want truth. We want and Christianity says is God is revealed and is revealed definitively in the Bible on the second thing we notice here and that is that not only will the nations, but it is the power of God going to draw them.

Verse says 28 someone your power of God. Show us your strength. Oh God, as you've done before that sound biblical theology because that's the Molex's testament expression of what we found in the New Testament, Jesus says, nobody comes to me unless the father brought him a moneymaker will make him is what Jesus said, but he also said nobody comes unless the father does the work of drawing, psalmist of saying the same thing is God the God of Israel is for all the world is not exclusively a Jewish possession because God is a God of the world he made the world nations, but you see the comments going to be by the power of God and draws him that exactly is going to happen. That's what happens the day when we preach the gospel is not because were persuasive is because the power of God operates through the teaching of his word to draw people. Now, if we believe that we really believe that we would pray for more than we do in our evangelism sometimes think we can just go through the motions everything to be all right purchasing go through the motions. Nothing happens you God actually to bless what you're doing is why as we preach. We pray as we teach we pray as we serve. We pray because you want God to be active in what we do, to the glory of his own name, and this is the final stanza of the epilogue and this is one in which the kingdom's of the earth which now have come to God in the last stanza are called upon to praise God versus 32 to 35 sing to God. Open kingdom's of the earth sing praise the Lord to him arrives. The ancient skies above the thunder's with a mighty voice proclaim the power of God's majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies. You are awesome all God in your sanctuary, the God of Israel is power and strength to his people's points were thinking back to the prologue recall if you were with us last time we were studying that that in the prologue, the people of Israel were called upon to praise God. Think back to what he did in delivering them from Egypt and peering at Sinai and leading about bringing them in their own land there to praise God. Now we come to the end. See how it is moved to move from being simply an appeal to Israel to praise God now, as an appeal to all the nations of the world to praise God because Israel's God is true God and the religion that is being talked about in the Psalms truly universal say something in closing by going back to what I said at the beginning of the previous study. You may recall that I pointed out as we introduce Psalm 68 that it's a Psalm of military triumph illustrated by the way, it is appealed to strong military leaders. The Huguenots love the Saul was there. Saul added in the French version, we used to sing it in their battles. Sort of like their Battle hymn of the Republic or the Marine Corps anthem, but here it was one of the great songs of the Old Testament. They were victorious many times as a result of that, Huguenots of Charlemagne and per Holy Roman Empire.

Loved it. So did Oliver Cromwell from the Puritan.

In England it's very easy to understand how these military people engaged in battles of that nature were attractive. The song talks about God rising up and overcome his enemies.

So you think your causes just see your enemies as opposed not merely to you, but God is a very fitting song when I don't question at all their wisdom in using it. But what I want to point out is this, I can't help observing as we look back now, having studied the song that in the final analysis, none of those military efforts was an unqualified success, at least in the long run, the Huguenots, it's true that Henry of Navarre had several major campaigns was successful and that the Huguenots were able to stave off the onslaught of their enemies for a long long time, but eventually the addictive none was revoked. Thousands of the French Protestant Christians were murdered and the rest were driven and exiled to the benefit of the nations and receive them like England and Scotland, Poland, Northern Ireland, and to the impoverishment of France. Take the case of Charlemagne.

He had some success in reviving what they called the Holy Roman Empire, but it wasn't in any sense and equivalent to the ancient Roman empire, and even though we had victory over the movers were regarded as the great ruthless enemies of Christianity in a very short while these mortgage triumph.

I slept across Africa, through the near East, and eventually even into Europe and even the Crusades for all their great piety and effort are unable to drive them out or defeat the moderately about Cromwell Cromwell was an unusual leader Psalm, though not all with regard to the period of Puritan ascendancy in England is a good thing. But even if it was a good thing was only a short while after Cromwell's death in England turned from its immediate Puritan class by Charles II, back to the throne and reestablish the monarchy is a point I'm making is not to lessen any appreciation of any of the victories or accomplishments of any of these great leaders, but simply to say that we need to be reminded that the goal of the Church of God in this age is not military triumphs. However noble our highly motivated, they may be any more than our methodology is to be the world's methodology are commissioned is not to win military battles, but to preach the gospel of salvation by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ and to do it throughout the whole world, leaving the conquest of the world by the truth of the gospel to Jesus Christ reasonable that is obvious since Jesus was the king were not in the business of setting up an earthly king. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of lords are allegiances to him is in complete control of all things, he will reign in power and before him one day every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of the glory of God the father. Philippians 210 and 11. So I conclude by saying what's our response to that. What should the obedience of course is getting things command me on the allegiances, King Jesus, yes.

How about praise Psalm 68 is praise Psalm among other things, and this is how it ends. Very last words are praise be to God, let's do it even though we don't see all things subjected the Lord Jesus Christ is yet one day they will be even though we don't see it yet. We can praise them. Remember that even though we may suffer discouragements now, and even allowing times we may be defeated. We can nevertheless press on steadily in faith, knowing that Jesus is on the throne, and that one day everyone will bow before him, be encouraged to be encouraging one another as we look forward to that day. Pray father were thankful for the Psalm like this from so long ago, and from a culture very, very different from our own, but which nevertheless because it flows out of the heart of people knew you and love you and anticipated your glorious write up on earth also speaks to us because that's exactly what we do. We live in turbulent times we see evil in every hand we see your way over the kingdoms of this world flouted by those who even laugh at religion. The peril of their souls. We long to see the Lord Jesus Christ on the throne. He is on the throne.

We just don't see him blooming all things Eric told the one day he will do it in power. He will be subjected to righteous will be lifted up father encourages by that and so as we fight our battles really seemed to us at times to be very little battles day by day battles at work battles in the home battles with people that we come up again all the time. Help us to do the right thing in the Stanford, Jesus Christ, and obedience to him. Knowing that nothing that is done in the name of Christ will ever be overlooked and that it's in those little things above all great glory is given to his name. So bless us as we try to glorify our Lord.

That way, we pray, Jesus, thank you for listening to this message from the Bible study our listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals.

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