I am pretty sure the internet is devoid of commentary on prophecy (that’s sarcasm, folks), so I’d better throw in a dash of yellow-hot, mind-blowing prophetic power to light up your life.
The reality is, I say that at the beginning of every “Prophesy Friday” because I’m aiming to counteract some of the atrocious sea of false prophecy and sensationalism out there. If these posts are a blessing to you, please consider sharing them with a friend.
…the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rev. 19:10
Let’s strengthen our mutual faith together, brothers and sisters. Foresight and clarity of Bible prophecy is one of (if not the) greatest means of growing in our faith in the true God. Today we’re going to look at the prophetic power of Psalm 110, one of the most oft quoted Psalms in the New Testament, and one that Jesus Himself used to identify Himself as the Messiah and God. Prophetic pepper. But my friend in Israel didn’t really agree.
He was a soldier in the 1967 6-day war between the teenage State of Israel and her fierce Arab enemies all around. He’s been a champion of his nation, and a believer in all things Jewish since his boyhood. My tour guide through Israel knew his way around the nation, and he had a passion for her every nook and cranny.
As we puttered around Israel in our air-conditioned van, Meyil pulled the steel arm of the microphone down to his mouth over and over.
“This is called ‘Magdala’.
“Over dere is called ‘Waddi’ dat de ancient people walked from town to de other side of de mountains to de other town to visit de relatives.”
“Here Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount.”
And all the way around the country we went – Caesaria, Haifa, Ptolemais, Galilee, Golan Heights, West Bank, Dead Sea, Qumran, Jerusalem, and more. It was a fantastic time, made all the better for our tiny tour group because not only was Meyil an expert in the history of his nation, but he also had studied the New Testament at university. He proudly filled in details of every place we went, not only from his own Jewish history, but reverently took off his hat in every Roman Catholic shrine and Christian holy place. I hung on his every word as we walked across the temple mount together, and watched him out of the corner of my eye as the British fellow at the Garden Tomb exuberantly described the historical meaning of Jesus’ resurrection.
During one of our outings – it happened to be in John the Baptist’s hometown – I walked next to Meyil and asked him questions about his life and background. He talked about his time in the military, his schooling, his perspective on Iran and the Palestinians, and of course, on the New Testament and Jesus. Anticipating my evangelistic move, Meyil cut off a question of mine, seeing where I was going – “God is good to us all, and for Him, to try… is enough.” There was his theology. To try is enough for God – to be a good Jewish boy or Christian boy. I walked beside my friend, silenced by the finality of his declaration.
When Israel’s Greatest King Spoke of Jesus
David was the man after God’s own heart. We also know that when David waxed poetic and wrote his Psalms, it was the Holy Spirit speaking through him, just as Peter preached
Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus (Acts 1:16 ESV).
So David wrote his Psalms according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Peter later confirms this idea of divine inspiration when he writes
For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21).
David was not only Israel’s greatest king, he was also a prophet. Ironically, David prophesied most often about his own descendant, Jesus of Nazareth – and yet my tour guide, as educated in New Testament as he was, as respectful to Christianity as he was, stumbled at this point.
In the southern end of the Old City of Jerusalem, we walked the narrow streets of what is called “the City of David,” otherwise known as the hill of Zion. Meyil pointed and flourished upon every rock and stone, telling of the history of Suleiman the Great, the Turkish ruler who rebuilt the walls of the Old City, and how in the City of David we would see the so-called tomb of David. Outside of the tomb, I noticed the defaced statue of King David,
playing his harp as usual. Here Meyil talked about David; who he was, and how he remains Israel’s most celebrated figure – the founder of Jerusalem as the capital and all. But then he said something that threw me for a loop.
David was many things, but a prophet he was not.
I spoke up immediately, almost on accident: “David was a great prophet, Meyil. He wrote beautiful prophecies…”
“No,” he cut me off, “he did not write prophecy. Let us move on to de tomb” he said, turning to walk onward. I was stunned. Not a prophet? How could he say that? My mind raced to the Scriptures: Psalm 2, 22-24, 40, and so many more speak so clearly of… oooohhh, right. Of Jesus. That’s why Meyil rejected his greatest king as a prophet, because David was constantly writing about his own son Jesus, and no one who rejects the Lordship of Jesus could accept David’s testimony of Him.
Psalm 110 and Jesus’ Puzzling Question
Jesus was nearing the end of His time on earth, less than a week from His crucifixion. The Pharisees had badgered Him and hounded Him for years, and Jesus had just about had it (read Matthew 23 to see what He thought of them). At the end of Matthew 22, Jesus takes a turn asking a question to them:
What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He? (Matt. 22:42 NKJV)
That word Christ, from the Hebrew, means “Messiah” – Jesus was asking the Pharisees a grade-school question. Whose son is the Messiah? Any Jewish toddler could have answered between suckles at momma’s breast.
They said to Him, “The Son of David.”
OK Jesus, we’ll play your game. We’ll feed you the obvious answer… now what’s the punchline?
Yes, they were in for a punchline. Thinking they knew their Scriptures, that they had turned them in and turned them out and turned them into sauer kraut, they had yet missed the central, unifying figure of the entire Bible: the Man asking them the question. There is no irony in all of literature like this moment. He then delivers the goods:
How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying:
‘Yahweh said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool’?”
First Jesus notes the divine inspiration of the text of Psalm 110:1, David calls Him “Lord” in the Spirit.
Second, whoever this Lord is, David sees Him seated at the right hand of Yahweh… the checkmate comes:
If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?
In other words, riddle me this, Batman: If all of us scholarly Jews agree that Psalm 110 is referring to the Messiah, as we do, and the Messiah is David’s son, as He is, then how is it David calls Him ‘Lord,’ as in, “my Lord and my God”… ? Jesus had delivered the bomb into the house, and the eyes of every Pharisee had just watched the fuse disappear into the explosive head – kaboom, friends. Kaboom, Meyil. Kaboom, world. The Messiah is also the Lord of heaven, the Messiah is a divine Son – yet also a human being… all there in Psalm 110, all written by David His ancestor 1,000 years before His virgin birth.
So what did the great scholarly Pharisees reply to this explosion of prophetic grace?
And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore (Matt. 22:46).
Oh, well pardon me. Cat got your tongues, boys? No wonder they murdered Him – He looked them in the eye, claimed to be the fulfillment of their Scriptures, and made them silent fools in front of their nation.
What About You?
Have you bowed the knee to the Man Jesus Christ? He is the fulfillment of all Scripture; the meaning of life is found in Him. He is the Creator of the cosmos, and the King of eternity. He is Wonderful… and He bowed His own royal head in death to purchase the forgiveness of sins for you. Believe it.
I will leave us this week with the full, glorious text of Psalm 110 – a sort of autobiographical sketch of the God-Man Messiah Jesus. Grace to you all who love Him.
1 Yahweh says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”
2 Yahweh sends forth from Zion
your mighty scepter.
Rule in the midst of your enemies!
3 Your people will offer themselves freely
on the day of your power,
in holy garments;
from the womb of the morning,
the dew of your youth will be yours.
4 Yahweh has sworn
and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek.”
5 Yahweh is at your right hand;
he will shatter kings on the day of his wrath.
6 He will execute judgment among the nations,
filling them with corpses;
he will shatter chiefs
over the wide earth.
7 He will drink from the brook by the way;
therefore he will lift up his head.
I pray that Meyil, and every Jew would see the true King of Israel.
Thanks for reading,