76 Sermons On The Old Testament Given By Jesus
Sermon 20 - David’s second psalm does not allude to Jesus.
January 3, 1959
Received by Dr Samuels
I am here, Jesus.
In the last sermon I have been considering the Psalms of David from the point of view of an intimate approach of man to the Father, wherein God is essentially seen not as the early tribal and community deity in which the individual soul is submerged in the conception of a national god, but wherein the human being, in his own right as a living entity, turns to His Maker and seeks from Him that consolation, that love, that power to help him combat evil in his soul, and, through prayer and more elevated ethical conduct, shows his trust in the Father to strengthen him in his daily struggles in a grim existence and delivers him from those enemies and hostile forces with which he needs must contend and overcome to survive.
Thus I have pointed out how David viewed the Father - from a storm god of war and battle, helping his chosen people, the Hebrews, to the God of righteousness abhorring evil and sin, to a God who is King and Creator of the universe. Eventually it was the concept of God as lawgiver for the attainment of the perfect soul through right conduct towards one’s fellowman and trust in the Father’s Mercy that we come to David’s finest attitude towards God, with the insight, all the more remarkable that it is evident centuries before the great prophets, that God is God not only of the physical universe and of nations, but also of the human being, of the individual soul which He has created, and that this human being is important to God, and is watched over and cared for by God, to whom he can turn in time of stress and seek His Protection. It Is true, of course, that such superstitions still existed in David’s reign, for David was not entirely free from the prevailinq ideas of his time. But the fact that a higher and more ethical view is manifest in his Psalms is a lasting tribute to his deep understanding of God and true religion.
Within this framework, David thought of himself as the Lord’s anointed; that is to say, God’s representative on earth as the ruler of His chosen people. In this way, David actually considered himself the Messiah, in that to David “messiah” simply meant king of God’s people, with the mission of establishing this people as the foremost nation in the then civilized world, and bringing the word of God to the heathen. With God as his helper, he felt that he could not be defeated in warfare with people to whom God was not known.
This, then, is the meaning of Psalm 2, which is really the first of the collection. It was written when David as king had conquered a succession of enemy forces, both Philistine and Trans-Jordanian, and he felt secure that as Jehovah’s anointed king, no force could withstand his power. He attributed his victories to God, and has Him say, “I have my king upon my holy hill of Zion” (Psalms 2: 6) as he declared, “The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my son. This day have I begotten thee.” (Psalms 2: 7) This statement, I must say, was one which David in his psalm puts into the mouth of God, so to speak, and it referred to himself. It did not, as some have erroneously thought, allude to me in any way.
David then has God add that He will give him the pagan for his inheritance, and that God will destroy them with a rod of iron, and dash them to pieces. Thus you see that David, in this Psalm 2, spoke like the soldier he was. Never could I have spoken, nor ever did I speak, of destruction and death by brutal force, for I came to bring to mankind the Father’s Divine Love and peace to all His children, regardless of race or creed, and I substantiated my words of Love with healing the lame and the halt. I did not come to destroy men’s bodies with sword and spear, but to heal their souls as I did their flesh, and yet many there are who, calling themselves Christians and who profess to know me, are ready in their mistaken zeal to prove their contention that this psalm is Messianic, and to attribute to me a destructive intent which they know in their hearts could not have possibly been entertained by their Christ.
David goes on to warn the pagan kings bordering on Israel to take heed - to discard their own false gods and to serve the Hebraic Jehovah with fear. He tells them to pay homage to him, David, for, as God’s anointed king of Israel, he is God’s son, and warns them not to provoke him to wrath, lest they be exterminated by God in His anger. The last line, “Blessed are they that put their trust in Him,” was not written by David, but inserted later as a more peaceful and appropriate ending.
David, then, considered his enemies to be God’s enemies, for we have said he regarded himself as God’s representative on earth to decimate the heathens and their worship of pagan gods - a practice, David felt, the Lord wanted eliminated, so that all mankind would turn to Him. David thus felt he was fighting God’s wars - holy wars - and his extermination of the enemy was due in great measure to this belief. That is why David’s humanity did not extend to people outside his own, and explains what otherwise seems like a great contradiction between his actions as an individual and his orders as king of the Hebrew nation. This attitude towards conquered enemies was, one must remember, not peculiarly David’s convictions, but was rooted deeply in Hebrew tradition, going back to Deuteronomy (Chapter 7: 2) “Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor show mercy unto them.”
Jesus of the Bible
Master of the Celestial Heavens