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Psalm 18 and the Great Commission

Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.
“As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.
“The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.
“The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.
“It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.
“He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.
“Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.
“Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.”

Psalm 18:43 – 50

 

“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

Matthew 28:18 – 20

Keeping my comments as brief as possible, I would like to point the reader to at least consider the similarities between these passages.

  1. “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”, compare with thou hast made me the head of the heathen” and “as they hear of me, they shall obey me” and even “It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me”.
  2. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you”; compare with “As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.”
  3. As most with even a surface level knowledge of the “New Testament” know, the risen Lord Jesus Christ gave the “Great Commission” of Matthew 28 after He was indeed risen.  Keep this in mind and consider verses 46 through 50 in the Psalm:

“The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.
“It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.
“He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.
“Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.
“Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.”

True, King David the psalmist said this regarding his own deliverance, but we should never forget the prophetic element with which the Psalms speak, and how our Lord is first presented in Matthew’s gospel:

“…Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” — Matthew 1:1

“Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed [Hebrew — מָשִׁיחַ — mâshîyach — “Messiah”, Greek LXX — χριστῷ αὐτοῦ — “His Christ”], to David, and to his seed for evermore.”

“And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.”

Luke 24:44

James, at the “Jerusalem council”, makes the following declaration regarding the bringing in of Gentiles into the company of those who seek after the Lord.  He is stating that this is not inconsistent with prophecy, but in agreement:

“After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.”

Acts 15:16 – 17

The “Gentiles, upon whom my name is called”, would not these be the “all nations” that are baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost?

With scriptural understanding of that which we see in this present evil world (Galatians 1:4), we know that there are not any nations baptized in His Name, that as nations can be called “My People”, but we do see God offering grace through faith in Jesus Christ to individual Jews and Gentiles alike, baptized by the Holy Spirit into one body by the cross.  This, while not contrary to prophecy, was not known to prophecy.  It is made known to us through Christ’s apostle of the Gentiles:

“For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles, If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.”

Ephesians 3:1 – 7

Today, the Lord God is doing something in the world that the prophets of old did not see.  That God would wait so long to avenge His Christ on the world that rejected Him, and that by that awful, wonderful cross, He would save whosoever that would call on Him, apart from any covenants of promise, can only be accounted for by grace.  For this reason we call this present way that God is dealing with mankind, the dispensation of the grace of God.

There will be a future time, when this way of dealing with mankind will end, and all nations will be brought into subjection to God’s Christ by force.  You can read about it in the book of the Revelation, and no one in his right mind would want to be on the receiving end of “the wrath of the Lamb” (Revelation 6:16).

“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.”

Hebrews 10:12 – 13

As our Lord Jesus Christ is presently at the right hand of God waiting, let no one take for granted that He will wait forever.  His wait will come to an end, and His enemies will be made His footstool.  But no one living today needs to be counted as His enemy, for God was in Christ in reconciling the world unto Himself, and He is now preaching the word of reconciliation, because God made Christ to be sin on our behalf that we might be made God’s righteousness, but only in Him.

“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

2 Corinthians 5:18 – 21

God’s Christ, our Lord Jesus Christ, has taken all of our sins, yours and mine, upon Himself, and He freely justifies (judicially declares as righteous in His sight) those who believe in His Gospel, that He died for our sins and rose from the dead.

“Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” — Romans 10:13

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” — Acts 16:31

Charles Miller View All

Husband, father, engineer...Enjoys fishing, archery, guitar, running, and lifting, but most of all reading and studying God's Word.

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