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(#188) The Proverbs of Solomon 28:2-For Which Leader Do You Vote?

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 28:2: “Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes; But by a man of understanding and knowledge Right will be prolonged.”

A country, nation, and people who become corrupted by “transgression,” has frequent, often violent, turnovers in leaders. Solomon later said: “When the righteous rejoice, there is great glory; But when the wicked arise, men hide themselves” (Proverbs 28:12). God spoke through Jeremiah and said, “‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter?’ says the LORD. ‘Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel! The instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, to pull down, and to destroy it, if that nation against whom I have spoken turns from its evil, I will relent of the disaster that I thought to bring upon it. And the instant I speak concerning a nation and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it, if it does evil in My sight so that it does not obey My voice, then I will relent concerning the good with which I said I would benefit it’” (Jeremiah 18:6-10). God’s case against Israel was because they followed their wicked king, instead of obeying God: “When I would have healed Israel, Then the iniquity of Ephraim was uncovered, And the wickedness of Samaria. For they have committed fraud; A thief comes in; A band of robbers takes spoil outside. They do not consider in their hearts That I remember all their wickedness; Now their own deeds have surrounded them; They are before My face. They make a king glad with their wickedness, And princes with their lies” (Hosea 7:1-3). A nation that chooses corrupt leaders has chosen its own destruction!

The only remedy is to turn to God and choose “a man of understanding and knowledge” so that “right will be prolonged.” Not all government leaders are to be followed if they abandon God: “Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, ‘Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: ‘Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion’” (Psalm 2:1-6). No concerted effort of “the kings of the earth” can overthrow God’s “King,” Jesus Christ, who now is on the throne of David in Heaven (Acts 2:25-32). Only a President and Congressional leaders who understand and know God’s Will can and should lead a country in the right way! It is by God’s Wisdom that “kings reign, And rulers decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, All the judges of the earth” (Proverbs 8:15-16).

It is a wicked people who elect (and re-elect!) wicked leaders who justify their wickedness!

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #congress, #god, #government, #jesus-christ, #king, #leaders, #practical-lessons, #president, #proverbs, #throne-of-david, #vote, #wisdom

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Psalm 122 Jerusalem, the Holy City

There is uncertainty regarding the author, time, or circumstances of these Psalms, but it is apparent Psalms 120-134 work together, and are called the “Songs of Degrees,” and sometimes “Songs of Ascension.” This Psalm appears to have been written by David, and sung when Israelites went to Jerusalem 3 times a year (Deuteronomy 16:16).

Verses 1-5 show why Jerusalem is the Royal City;

Verses 6-9 show how Jerusalem is the Holy City.

Verses 1-5: (Verse 1) True worshippers are “glad” to “go into the house of the LORD.” The “house of the LORD” under Moses was the Tabernacle, until Solomon built the Temple where sacrifices were offered to God in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 3:1). Before the Temple was built, David, when his child died, “went into the house of the LORD and worshiped” (2 Samuel 12:20). In the New Testament, the “house of God” is “the church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:15), “the temple” “having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:19-22). (Verse 2) How privileged worshippers were to be in that city. In the New Testament, how privileged worshippers are to be in “the heavenly Jerusalem.” “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24). (Verse 3) Jerusalem was fortified when built (2 Samuel 5:7-9), and walled when rebuilt (Nehemiah 12:27). The church of Christ, as the “new Jerusalem” (Revelation 21:2), is walled by obedience which keeps the corrupt people out of it until they repent and are baptized into Jesus Christ (Revelation 21:9-27; Acts 2:38).  (Verse 4) Jerusalem was a place for uniting the “tribes” of Israel who obeyed the “Testimony of Israel” and gave “thanks to the name of the LORD.” The people were one as a people, in obedience, at worship. Isaiah prophesied about the church of Christ in Isaiah 2:2-3: “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’S house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.’ For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem” (Isaiah 2:2-3). (Verse 5) Jerusalem was the place for “the thrones of the house of David.” Solomon was on that throne (1 Kings 2:24); and other Kings of Judah, until Coniah to whom God promised “none of his descendants shall prosper, Sitting on the throne of David, And ruling anymore in Judah” (Jeremiah 22:24-30). Jesus Christ was preached on Pentecost, in Jerusalem, by the Apostles: “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption” (Acts 2:29-31).

Verses 6-9: (Verses 6-7) Jerusalem was to have been ruled by “peace,” they “prayed” for, “prospered” under, and were ruled by in their “walls” and “palaces.” The church of Christ must “let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

(Verse 8) The customary greeting from the Jews is “Shalom” (Peace to you). The Apostle Paul in the New Testament repeated this constant desire for brethren (Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:2; Galatians 1:3; Ephesians 1:2; Philippians 1:2; Colossians 1:2; 1 Thessalonians 1:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:2; 1 Timothy 1:2; 2 Timothy 1:2; Titus 1:4; Philemon 3). (Verse 9) “Because” God’s House could draw His people together at times, they were able to “seek” each other’s “good.” The church of Christ assembles to “hold fast the confession of our hope,” and “consider one another” (Hebrews 10:23-25). When this is not the case, the Devil has prevailed, just as he did in the Old Testament.

 All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #church-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #god, #heavenly-jerusalem, #jesus-christ, #new-jerusalem, #obedience, #peace, #temple, #throne-of-david

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Psalm 118

Vs. 1-4 give a burst of praise to be offered throughout all the people;

Vs. 5-14 indicate the deliverance from distress God gave that prompted praise;

Vs. 15-18 give appreciation for the “near miss;”

Vs. 19-29 show rejoicing when one rejected by men is accepted by God.

The “praise the LORD” (hallelujah) occurs in verse 19, and this Psalm completes the “set” used in Israelite services. It is intensely personal (“I, me, my” occurring over 30 times), speaks with the authority of a king (verses 10-12), and fits the entrance of David to Jerusalem following the battle and death of Saul (2 Samuel 5:1-13). Though not parallel in every detail, there is a section that is prophetic of Jesus Christ entering Jerusalem for the last week of His life (verses 19-26). Chapter and verse numbers and divisions were added to the Bible text by uninspired men as an aid for finding statements within the Bible. It seems to be guided by Providence that the middle verse of the entire Bible is Psalm 118:8!

Verses 1-4: (Verse 1) It begins and ends (verse 29) with the same gratitude toward God. (Verses 2-4) First the Israelites, then their priests (Aaron), then all others who “fear the LORD” (extends to Gentiles?) should say, “His mercy endures forever.”

Verses 5-14: (Verse 5) God heard and responded to a cry in “distress,” proving (verse 6) “the LORD is on my side,” concluding “I will not fear” men. This is echoed for Christians in Matthew 10:28 and Romans 8:31, then quoted in Hebrews 13:6. (Verse 7) God will be “for” the obedient and against those who oppose them. (Verse 8) States the main premise of the entire Bible: “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in men.” The history of mankind and God’s dealings with them proves this simple truth! People fail, God—never! (Verse 9) States the same thing, applying it even to government personnel! (Verse 10) “All nations” indicates total rejection, both Jew and Gentile, and surely describes the reason Jesus died on the cross (Acts 2:22-24; 13:26-33). (Verses 10-12) David had been “surrounded,” with the ferocity of “bees,” but “in the name of the LORD” would be “destroyed;” “quenched” as if a flash fire of “thorns.” (Verses 13-14) Though “pushed” “violently,” God assisted with “strength,” reason for “song,” and is his “salvation.”

Verses 15-18: (Verses 15-16) There is “rejoicing” “in the tents of the righteous;” because they have seen “the right hand of the LORD” in action on their behalf. Since “God is spirit” (John 4:24), and Jesus added, “a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have” (Luke 24:39), then obviously we are dealing with a figure of speech in Psalm 118:15-16! (Verses 17-18) This refers to David, because Jesus did see death in His experience (Hebrews 2:9).

Verses 19-29: (Verses 19-20) Jesus was obeying the Father when He entered Jerusalem to face the cross (Hebrews 5:5-11), thus passed through “the gates of righteousness,” “through which the righteous shall enter.” The “hallelujah” is given here. No one is more “righteous” than Jesus (1 John 2:1)! (Verse 21) God is to be praised “for” responding to the righteous with salvation. (Verses 22-24) Prophesy Jesus Christ as “the stone” rejected by men in the crucifixion, but exalted to “chief cornerstone” by God (Jesus claimed it, Matthew 21:33-45; Mark 12:1-12; Luke 20:9-19; Peter preached it, Acts 4:8-12; 1 Peter 2:1-8). Jesus Christ is “the stone” so rejected by those charged with building, but “the LORD’s doing” raised Jesus from the dead to be on David’s throne in heaven (Acts 2:29-32). This began the new Law with Jesus as King over His kingdom, and “the day the LORD has made” for rejoicing being “the first day of the week” (John 20:1, 19, 26; Acts 2:1, 38-41, 42-47; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2). (Verse 25) The “prosperity” God gives is salvation in Jesus Christ (John 10:10), and not the “Gospel of Greed” as some have twisted this verse to mean! Money-grubbers try to take this spiritual meaning from this passage and force it to refer to money. (Verse 26) The very words of the people welcoming Jesus entrance to Jerusalem for His final week are from this verse (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9; Luke 19:38; John 12:12-13)! (Verse 27) The idea of tying “the sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar” simply expresses how continual the need for approaching the altar for forgiveness of sins. With David, certainly he did this (2 Samuel 6:17-19), and Jesus Christ “was offered once” (Hebrews 9:23-29; 10:12-14) but continually intercedes for the saints (Hebrews 7:24-27). (Verse 28) People who profanely use “OMG” have not obeyed God and fully appreciated who He is and what He does. (Verse 29) After all is said and done, God is to be “thanked” because “His mercy endures forever.”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #cross-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #faith, #god, #gospel, #jesus-christ, #kingdom-of-christ, #right-hand-of-the-lord, #throne-of-david

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Psalm 110

Vs. 1-7 are a purely prophetic picture of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ said this Psalm was written by the Holy Spirit through David (Mark 12:35-36). All commentators who question or challenge this authorship are unworthy of any consideration, and probably are wrong in many other places in their comments! Commentators who cannot see this absolute conclusion about this authorship are blind, and “if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch” (Matthew 15:14). Psalm 110 is one of the purest, clearest, prophecies of Jesus Christ in the entire Old Testament!

Verse 1: Contains a fact about Jesus Christ being King that is quoted by: Jesus Christ to show that David spoke of Him as “Lord” and not “son”(Matthew 22:41-46); Peter quoted it (Acts 2:30-35) to prove that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead to sit on David’s throne in Heaven; probably Paul (Hebrews 1:13) to show that Jesus Christ is NOT an “angel;” and again by Peter (1 Peter 3:21-22) to show that after Jesus’ resurrection, He has all authority “in heaven and on earth” (as Jesus claimed, Matthew 28:18). “For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death” (1 Corinthians 15:25-26).

Verse 2: Jesus began His Kingdom Rule “out of Zion” (often a reference to Jerusalem), for after His resurrection, He went outside of Jerusalem and “was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19). Anyone who teaches a doctrine that denies that Jesus is now on David’s throne in Heaven is denying that He was raised from the dead and ascended into Heaven.

Verse 3: “Volunteers” describes the free-will obedience of all who follow Jesus today. Jesus commanded “the wind and the sea” to obey and they did (Mark 4:35-41), but Jesus gave people choice as to whether or not to obey Him (John 6:44-45). Paul preached the Gospel to Bereans, who “received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11). There never has been forced obedience by the Holy Spirit!

Verse 4: God has sworn that Jesus Christ is “a priest forever:” (1) on David’s throne, He is Priest and King (Zechariah 6:12-13), but on earth, Jesus was not from the priestly tribe under Moses’ Law (Hebrews 7:11-14), therefore David’s throne is not on earth; (2) only Jesus Christ has ever been a “High Priest” “according to the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:6, 10; 7:11, 17, 21), whose history is in Genesis 14:18-24, and, since no mention is recorded of his beginning, tribe, or death (Hebrews 7:1-4), only Jesus could parallel that background;  (3) Jesus, to be High Priest, “has passed through the heavens” (Hebrews 4:14-15) and was “without sin,” which never was true of anyone else who claimed to have “the priesthood of Melchizedek” bestowed upon him.

Verses 5-7: Jesus Christ has been given all judgment (John 5:21-23), and will execute that judgment against “workers of iniquity” on the Day of Judgment (John 5:28-30; Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Corinthians 5:8-10). To “lift up the head” in total and complete victory concludes Jesus’ work, and our “thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57); and, “this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith” (1 John 5:4).

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #daily-bible-reading, #jesus-as-king, #jesus-as-priest, #jesus-christ, #kingdom-of-christ, #melchizedek, #resurrection-of-christ, #throne-of-david

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Psalm 89

Vs. 1-4 speak of God’s faithfulness;

Vs. 5-14 point to reasons for God’s impressiveness;

Vs. 15-18 show the happiness of those who serve God;

Vs. 19-37 give more details of God’s covenant about a king;

Vs. 38-52 present a problem before God.

This Psalm is from “Ethan the Ezrahite” (1 Kings 4:30-31), one of the men Solomon was wiser than! Many references to a king fit Jesus Christ as the one promised through David’s kingly lineage. Thus, “the assembly of the saints” (verses 5, 7) dwell on God’s “wonders,” selection of Jesus as the Christ, and focus on respect (“fear”) of God, not men (2 Corinthians 4:5).

Verses 1-4: God’s faithfulness is a reason to “sing” (verse 1), for it is based upon “mercy” (verse 2). The “covenant” is to set a descendant (“seed”) of David on a throne “forever” (verses 3-4). This was promised in 2 Samuel 7:11-17, a basis for obeying Jesus Christ in Acts 2:25-33, and remembered in the New Testament (Romans 1:1-4).

Verses 5-14: God can fulfill that covenant because He, alone: does these “wonders” (verse 5); is mightier than the mighty (verse 6); “feared” and “reverenced” in “the assembly of the saints” (verse 7), surrounded by faithfulness (verse 8). It is God, alone who: rules and stills a raging sea (verse 9); defeats “Rahab” (Egypt) and scatters enemies (verse 10); owns “the heavens” and the fullness of the world (verse 11); gave Promised Land to the Israelites, from “north” to “south” and Mounts Tabor and Hermon (east and west) (verse 12); unquestioned authority (verse 13); a throne based upon “righteousness and justice,” actions based upon “mercy and truth” (verse 14). God can promise an eternal king on a throne in Heaven because He promised and gave His people a land on Earth!

Verses 15-18: “Blessed” (happy) are the people who want God to be satisfied with them (verse 15); “all day long” (we say, “24/7”) they rejoice in God’s name (verse 16); because they walk in His “glory” and “favor” (verse 17); who are protected by His “shield” and ruled by “the Holy One of Israel” (verse 18). The virgin, Mary, was pregnant with “that Holy One” (“the Son of God,” Luke 1:35); demons confessed Jesus Christ was “the Holy One of God” (Luke 4:34); the Apostles preached Jesus Christ was “Your Holy One” prophesied by David (Acts 2:27; Psalm 16:10); the Jews had crucified “the Holy One” (Acts 3:14); the Holy Spirit was sent upon Christians in the 1st Century by “the Holy One” (1 John 2:20). It is Jesus Christ being singled out as the fulfillment of God’s plan discussed in Psalm 89:19-37!

Verses 19-37: God has: revealed His plan to David (verse 19); stated His covenant began with David (verse 20), will be fulfilled through David (verse 21); David (and his lineage!) will be protected (verses 22-23). Beyond David, Jesus Christ would be: given authority by God (verse 24; Matthew 28:18); given widespread power (verse 25); confessing God as Father (verse 26; John 5:18); “firstborn” from the dead (verse 27; Colossians 1:15-18); given to “mercy” (verse 28; Matthew 9:27-30); of David’s “seed” (verse 29; Romans 1:1-4). Back to David, God decreed: sins of “his sons” would be punished (verses 30-32); this covenant would not be annulled (verses 33-34); this covenant was sworn by God and upon God’s “holiness” (verse 35); the throne of David would not be on earth for it would “endure forever,” be as permanent as the “sun,” “established forever like the moon,” (verses 36-37) none of which would be true if the fulfillment was in an earthly throne!

Verses 38-52: To the Psalmist, it seems, God’s punishments are so great as to keep His covenant with David from coming true (verses 38-45). Human impatience is voiced in verses 46-48, because humans must certainly die in a relatively short time to us. The plea is for God to remember His Davidic covenant and let it be seen in their lifetimes, that it will be done (verses 49-51). In verse 52, the Psalm ends in faithful confidence, with a positive praise for “the LORD.”

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James  Version, unless otherwise noted.

#bible-study, #book-of-psalms, #church-of-christ, #daily-bible-reading, #jesus-christ, #kingdom-of-christ, #throne-of-david