(All bible quotes from The Holy Bible, New International Version)
TALK ON PSALM 9.
LET GOD’S KINGDOM COME
In the model prayer Jesus used to teach his disciples to pray he says we must pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6: 10). Do you know what you are asking for if you pray this prayer request Jesus gave us?
Psalm 9 will give us a deeper insight into what God’s Kingdom coming really means .
Psalm 9 is the first “Acrostic” Psalm in the book of Psalms that contain 8 others, 10, 25, 24, 37, 111, 119, 122 and 145. Acrostic Psalms uses one of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet to start each section of two verses. The writer uses each letter of the alphabet in order unto the final 22nd letter is used.
Psalms 9 and 10 have been argued to be not two separate poems but one piece of poetry cut in half. This is because Psalm 10 continues the Hebrew alphabet and completes it and Psalm 10 has no heading, considered very unusual for a Psalm of David. However the thoughts and concepts in Psalm 9 are different than Psalm 10 even though they flow into each other. At some stage the ancient Jewish compilers of the first book of Psalms decided to make two Psalms and we have Psalm 9 and 10.
The Jews seemed to have thought that David wrote these two Psalms after he defeated the Philistine giant soldier, Goliath. This seems unlikely because verse’s 11 and 14 refer to Zion or Jerusalem, which David did not take over some thirty years or so after he killed Goliath. David does have the defeat of his enemies in mind through out the Psalm and of course the Philistines were one of the persistent enemies David fought against and defeated around the time of the setting up of Jerusalem as David’s capital and centre for Israel’s worship. Maybe David wrote this Psalm after that final defeat of his arch enemies the Philistines, which we read about in 2 Samuel 5: 23. I’d like to use the David’s victory over Goliath as a backdrop to this Psalm as it helps bring what David is saying in Psalm 9 into sharp focus.
This psalm can be divided up four sections :
1. OUR GOD SAVES (1 – 6)
2. OUR GOD REIGNS (7 – 10)
3. OUR GOD CALLS (11 – 14)
4. OUR GOD JUDGES (15 – 20)
Keep your finger in 1 Samuel 17 as we go through this Psalm.
1. OUR GOD SAVES (1 – 6)
Verse 1 and 2 contain wonderful words of praise as David thanks God for his wonderful victories over his enemies. He calls his God, “The most high”. All nations of David’s time had there own God’s and when one nation defeated the other their God’s were claimed to be more powerful than the other nations Gods. David claims that the God of Israel is the one true God, the one who is most high over all other supposed God’s.
It is verse 3 that makes it clear that David is thanking God for saving him from his enemies,
“My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you”
When David was around 17 years old he went to his brothers with some provisions of food for them as they waited for battle against Israel’s great enemy the Philistines. As he was at the battlefront he heard and saw a great Philistine soldier come out and challenge the Israelites with these words,
1 Samuel 17: 10, “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other”.
Day after day this giant oath of a soldier name Goliath challenged the army of Israel and each day Israel’s army were terrified.
David was amazed and incensed at the actions of this soldier and his nations army’s reaction to him. He volunteers to take him on in single armed combat. David is such a lightweight he even cannot proper armor. It looks like one of the greatest miss matches of history. As he approaches this giant soldier David cries out these words,
1 Samuel 17 : 45 -47 : “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
David gets closer to the giant and flings one stone with a simple shepherds sling. I looked up details of this type of weapon and discovered that an expert thrower could get a stone to fly up to 400 klm’s an hour. The text says it struck Goliath on the forehead and he fell facedown to the ground. But Goliath had a helmet on and a stone hitting him in the head would have caused him to fall backwards. Interesting the Hebrew word for “forehead” is the same word used for the description of the armor Goliath wore on his legs in verse 6, which we translate as “greaves”.
Maybe David actually struck Goliath on one of his legs, at the kneecap, which would have brought the heavily armored Goliath crashing to the ground forwards allowing David to run up grab his sword and cut off his head.
In Psalm 9 verse 3 David describes his enemies as “stumbling and perishing”.
This incident set David up as the future King of Israel, a fact even the present King, Saul acknowledge when he says soon after this in 1 Samuel 18 : 8 :
“They have credited David with tens of thousands, but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom”.
From that day on Saul becomes more and more jealous of David and eventually seeks to kill him.
David in verses 4 to 6 now catalogues how thoroughly God has saved him from his enemies,
“For you have upheld my right and my cause, sitting enthroned as the righteous judge. You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name forever and ever. Endless ruin has overtaken my enemies, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished”.
Throughout history the great kingdoms of the world rise and fall and suffer the fate of the Philistines, “you have blotted out their name for ever and ever”, we would not be talking about the Philistines today if they were not in the bible.
The fact is only God’s Kingdom will last forever.
How do we join that Kingdom?
We cannot join God’s kingdom by us using our own power, money talent or anything else as David said to Goliath, “it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s”.
In Matthew 19: 23 – 26, Jesus tells his disciples how being rich will not help us join the Kingdom of God.
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
We read then the reaction of the disciples.
“When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
We can only join a The Kingdom that will last forever through faith in God’s great King, Jesus Christ.
I came upon this interesting verse in James 2 : 5:
“Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him”?
So when we pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, we are praying that we want to be part of God’s Kingdom and therefore want God through Jesus to come into our lives and save us from our sins.
2. OUR GOD REIGNS (7 – 10)
Once David realized that all God’s enemies are doomed to be put down by God, destroyed and forgotten he states afresh the truth about God that he,
He then pictures God reigning in heaven by sitting on a throne acting as a Judge,
“He has established his throne for judgment, He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the people with justice” (verse’s 7, 8)
The fact is God has, is and will rule this world. Of course that fact might not seem real to us, when we see and hear what is going on in this world. But of course the world and what makes it what it is, man is in rebellion to the reign of God.
The state of the world and why it is as it is, is beautifully described by Paul in Romans 3 : 10 – 18 :
“There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit”. “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
But God will not allow this to go on forever, as we will see in the next section end this rebellion once and for all. In this section, however, David is making it clear. God is still on his throne in heaven and he is still reigning.
But there are those who like David have turned from sin to seek and serve the living God and his Kingdom. David now speaks of them in verses 9 and 10.
“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you”.
David describes followers of the living God in three ways :
- Those who know you name
- Those who trust in you
- Those who seek you
We must make sure we are following the true God, the one who has revealed himself in the bible, which is what I believe is what is behind the term “know your name”.
Note again it is by faith alone in this revealed God of the bible that saves us, trust in him and seek him.
David knew how tough it was to a follow the true God of Heaven and earth. He speaks of the need for :
- A stronghold
- And the promise that God will not forsake those who truly turn to him.
This is because God’s enemies are always active in this world and seek to pull down the reign of God and those who dare to follow him.
When we pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” we are praying that we want God’s reign on earth as it is in heaven. This will put us into a spiritual battle with the world, which is in rebellion to God and his reign on earth and heaven but God promises us, his protection and help as we live for him.
3. OUR GOD CALLS (11 – 14)
In the next section David goes on to say what God wants these true followers of him to do for him.
“Sing the praises of the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted. Lord, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, that I may declare your praises in the gates of Daughter Zion, and there rejoice in your salvation”.
David now tells us that God is calling us to proclaim the word of the Lord (what he has done) to the nations, everyone.
This reminds me of Paul’s call to us to proclaim the Gospel to the world in Romans 10 : 14 – 15
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
David speaks of Zion or Jerusalem twice in this section,
“the Lord enthroned in Zion” and “declare your praises in the gates of the daughters of Zion”.
The daughters gate is said to be a name for the main gate of Jerusalem where the main traffic of people entered the city.
In Old Testament terms God being “enthroned in Zion” is God being enthroned on earth because Zion / Jerusalem was the symbol for God’s dwelling on earth. This of course is where the temple came to be built in Solomon’s time.
In New Testament terms God now dwells on earth in us and we are, as Paul teaches temples of the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor. 6: 19,
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own”.
We are to proclaim what God has done even in the face of opposition as David spells out in verse 13 :
“O Lord see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death”.
Why does David want God to help him as the enemies of God persecute him?
Verse 14 gives us the answer:
“that I may declare your praises in the gates of the Daughters of Zion and there rejoice in your salvation”
As David would return to Jerusalem after defeating another enemy of God and Israel he would enter the gates of Jerusalem and lead a procession of praise and thanks to the God of Israel who had made the victory possible.
The Romans were famous for these triumphal processions into Rome when the triumphal armies returned from their many great victories over Rome’s enemies. Paul has these Roman triumphal processions in mind when he writes to the Corinthians in 2 Cor. 2 : 14:
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere”.
So when we pray “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”
We should be answering the call of God to proclaim the Good News of that Kingdom coming. Namely that through faith in Christ and his death and resurrection we can be part of that Kingdom today and enjoy the benefits of what being part of God’s Kingdom brings us.
OUR GOD JUDGES (15 – 20)
The final five verses spell out God’s coming judgment on mankind, represented here by the term, “The Nations”.
Verses 15 and 16 seem to say that the judgment for those who oppose God are brought on them by themselves.
“The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; their feet are caught in the net they have hidden. The Lord is known by his acts of justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands”.
Many Nations and great empires throughout history have done just that, their actions of say aggression inspired by greed have led to their down fall. I was reminded of this as we toured through Europe. Even the mighty Roman Empire is only seen now through archeological ruins. Rome sought to defeat and control other nations and the end result was eventually they were defeated and taken over by other nations.
God’s judgment has come down on many in this life and eventually his final judgment will catch up to everyone as verse 17 so aptly says :
“The wicked go down to the realm of the dead, all the nations that forget God”.
David does give us hope in the face of this God who Judges in verse 18 :
“But God will never forget the needy; the hope of the afflicted will never perish”.
This is poetic language for God’s persecuted people, those who in verse 9 are the “oppressed”.
As Jesus says in Matthew 5 : 10 :
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.
Being persecuted indicates that our witness for God is being noticed so much that God’s enemies are gunning for us.
We must remember at all times that we are constantly engaged in a spiritual battle with God’s enemies as Paul tells us in Eph. 6 : 10 – 12:
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms”.
God’s promise in verse Psalm 9 : 18, is that as we fight this great spiritual battle we will never perish. The reason for this as Christians is that Jesus is always with us even to the ends of the earth, as Jesus taught us in the great Commission in Matthew 28 : 19 – 20.
Note Jesus gives this great promise, of his never ending presence, in the context of us going out in his name to seek to make disciples of all people.
The final two verses confirm that David saw his God as a God who will judge the nations.
“Arise, Lord, do not let mortals triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence.
Strike them with terror, Lord; let the nations know they are only mortal”.
The arrogance of fallen mankind is that they really don’t believe they are mere mortals in the presence of a mighty immortal God. They live their lives as though there is no consequence for their actions. However there is of course a great day of judgment coming.
As David said to Goliath and the Philistines surrounding him on that great day that God’s judgment fell on them.
“It is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
David knew he was not fighting just for his own life but he was fighting for God who would give Goliath and eventually all the Philistines what they deserved, namely the full and devastating judgment of God.
When we pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, we are praying for the return of Christ and the final judgment to come to this world. This should remind us and spur us on to proclaim the Good News that there is a way of escaping this sure judgment to come. As Paul preached to the Athenians on the Areopagus in Acts 17 : 29 – 31:
“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill.
In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”
A small number of Athenians took Paul seriously and repented of their sins and turned to Christ but the great majority of them remained arrogant and defiant and rejected Paul’s message.
I close this section with the words of my talk to David in the final verse of Psalm 19, verse 20 and some wise words of the great Psalms commentator, H.C. Leupold.
“Strike them with terror, Lord; let the nations know they are only mortal”.
And H.C. Leupold, “Throughout all history man has so often given evidence of the most audacious pride. The Church’s defense against all such is prayer”.
All through Psalm 9 we have seen what it means to pray the words Jesus gave us in his model prayer called, The Lords Prayer, where it says, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6: 10).
It means four things:
- When we realize our God saves we want to be part of God’s Kingdom and therefore want God through Jesus to come into our lives and save us from our sins.
2. When we realize our God reigns we want God’s reign on earth as it is in heaven. This will put us into a spiritual battle with the world, which is in rebellion to God and his reign on earth and heaven but God promises us, his protection and help as we live for him.
3. When we realize our God calls we should be answering the call of God to proclaim the Good News of that Kingdom coming. Namely that through faith in Christ and his death and resurrection we can be part of that Kingdom today and enjoy the benefits of what being part of God’s Kingdom brings us.
4. When we realize our God judges we are praying for the return of Christ and the final judgment to come to this world. This should remind us and spur us on to proclaim the Good News that there is a way of escaping this sure judgment to come.
LET GOD’S KINGDOM COME
3. NEW TESTAMENT INSIGHTS TO PSALM 9
1. JESUS MODEL PRAYER (Matthew 6: 5 – 13)
The context of the Lords prayer in Matthew 6 is Jesus teaching on how a true disciple should pray. It stands in complete contrast to Jesus saw others pray. They pray for show (in public), use long winded fancy words and think God is going to hear them because their prayers are long and impressive.
I remember the famous story of a woman in Church who stood up to pray and went on and on and did not seem to want to stop. The minister stood up during her prayer and announced, “While our dear sister is finishing her prayer we will sing hymn number”. I’m sure you have been in church or prayer meetings where this type of praying has been going on.
Jesus teaches us a different way of praying and I see three qualities in the first half of this prayer, verse’s 9 and 10.
Firstly it is addressed to God as “Our heavenly father”. This could be translated “Our daddy in heaven”. Jesus sees his father in heaven as literally this, his father in heaven. He is God’s son come to earth to make a way back to his father in heaven. He now teaches us to see God in the same way. God is not some kind of remote far off God to busy to be concerned for us but he is our father in heaven always ready and waiting to hear from us.
Over centuries of Christianity the Church has gone along way to de- personalize our father in heaven. On my recent European trip I saw so much evidence this, I saw shrines, churches and statues to Mary, the supposed mother of God, to saints and goodness knows who else. All this was said to be because we cannot go directly to God because he is to great, to busy and just would not understand us. But Paul writing to Timothy in first century says, 1 Tim 2 : 5,
“There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”
Jesus wants us to speak to God directly as our father in heaven and he has made that possible by dieing for our sins on the cross and rising from the dead thus making a way to God possible.
2. GOD HONOURING
This prayer that Jesus gave us in Matthew 6 is a model prayer a prayer that teaches us how all our prayers should be constructed. So what sorts of things should we start to pray for in all our prayers?
We should start, according to this prayer model with honouring God. This means we should tell God he is our Lord and King and we worship only him. It means all our prayers must be uttered in an attitude of praise and glory for God and no one else.
3. KINGDOM COMING BASED
This brings us to what we have been looking at in Psalm 9, what it means to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”.
Jesus spoke and taught a lot about “The Kingdom”. We read in Mark 1 : 14 – 15, a description of the start of the official ministry of Jesus with these words:
“After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”
Jesus wants our prayers to be, as he saw his life and ministry based on the coming of his Kingdom. The kingdom coming, for us has three parts.
- The Kingdom has come –
When we believe in Jesus we are now part of the kingdom of God and Jesus taught that means the kingdom of God is now within us, Luke 17: 20 – 21,
“The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
Jesus of course brought the Kingdom of God to earth when he came and established this spiritual Kingdom once and for all when he paid for our sin defeated the devil on the cross. This dieing and rising made a way to God in heaven for all who trust and believe in him. This what is taught in Hebrews 5 : 8 – 9,
“Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and,once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him”.
- The Kingdom is coming –
Within us, God’s spirit is transforming us to be more like the King we follow day by day. As Paul teaches us in 2 Cor. 3: 18 :
“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”.
We should also be working for the Kingdom of God coming in this world by proclaiming the message of the Kingdom. As Jesus teaches us in Matthew 24: 14,
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come”.
Only through this Gospel of the kingdom can people be saved from the coming of the kingdom to earth when Jesus returns as we read in Romans 1: 16,
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile”.
2.The Kingdom will come –
Finally as predicted in the whole bible even in Psalm 9 there is a great day of reckoning coming. Jesus taught that this day of great judgment will happen when he returns a second time and then this worlds kingdoms will be no more and God’s total rule through Jesus will be established forever.
We hear Jesus speaking about this in a passage like Matthew 24: 30 – 31,
“Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other”.
We will look at this a little more in the Revelation 11: 15 – 19 passage coming up.
So to pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” and mean it involves us being Kingdom based believers.
This means we have joined God’s kingdom on earth by believing in the Lord Jesus and what he has done for us, the Kingdom has come.
We will be committed to the proclamation of the Kingdom of God to the whole world. We are God’s witnesses of this Kingdom wherever we are.
Finally we will be people who look forward to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ when the Kingdom is established forever and the kingdoms of this world that oppose God and his kingdom will be put down and destroyed.
2. THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU : Luke 17 : 20-36
As I have already mentioned as Kingdom based believers we believe that the Kingdom of God has already come to this world when Jesus came and through his death and resurrection defeated the devil, paid for our sins and made a way back to God in heaven.
The context of Jesus words in Luke 17 : 20 – 36, is a question from some, Pharisees, namely, “when will the Kingdom of God come”?
The Pharisees like most people of Jesus day had a false understanding of the coming of the Kingdom of God to Israel. They were seeking a purely earthly King or Messiah who would come and overthrow the Romans and set up a new Kingdom in Israel like the one in the days of great King David.
Jesus, of course wants to put this idea down and point these men to the true nature of the coming Kingdom of God. He wants to point them to the fact that the true coming kingdom was a spiritual and eternal Kingdom that could only be entered into by faith.
This is why Jesus answer to there question is, Luke 17: 20 – 21,
“The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
The big trap, even Christianity has fallen into is that we want something visual and concrete to believe in. On my European trip I came upon Churches and Cathedrals that suppose to have some kind of ancient artifact of Christ or one of his disciple. The famous Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark in Venice supposed to have the bones of Mark the Evangelist which they stole from Alexandria. These ancient relics become part of the worship of God and of course count for no more than a form Christian idol worship.
Jesus makes it clear “the kingdom of God is within you” it is a spiritual Kingdom not made by human hands but is placed in us when the Holy Spirit comes within us when we truly come to faith in Christ.
This is what Jesus is saying to Nicodemus, another Pharisee who came to Jesus seeking the Kingdom of Heaven. Listen again to what Jesus told this man in John 3 : 3 – 8,
“Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born! Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
In Luke 17, Jesus uses this incident with the Pharisees to teach the disciples some more facts about the coming of the Kingdom of God. He wants to tell them about the future coming of the Kingdom when he will return from heaven and establish his Kingdom forever. We read his teaching on this in Luke 17: 22 – 36,
“Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them. For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating; drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.
“It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.
“It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.
Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”
Jesus is teaching them that his coming will be:
- Preceded by lots of false teachers
3. THE REIGN OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (Revelation 11: 15 – 19)
Psalm 9 has spoken to us 700 years before the coming of Christ of coming of a great day of Judgment as we read in verses 7 and 8,
“The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.
He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice”.
Two thousand years ago a man appeared in Israel and proclaimed,
“In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
This man was The Lord Jesus Christ who preached the message of the coming of the Kingdom of God and the need to repent and believe in him to be saved from a great day of judgment to come.
We now look forward to that Day of Judgment which for those who believe in The King of Heaven and earth, The Lord Jesus Christ will not be a terrible dark day but a day of wondrous light and blessing. That day will come when, as he promised, The Lord Jesus will return to this world.
What will happen on that day in heaven?
John, one of Jesus closest disciples, later in his life received a great vision of heaven and tells us in Revelation 11: 15 – 19 what will happen in heaven on that day,
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord andof his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying:
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great — and for destroying those who destroy the earth.”
Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm”.
This passage, using some powerful Old Testament images (picture language) paints a wonderful scene in heaven on the day Jesus will return to earth to establish his Kingdom forever.
It describes the destiny for two groups of people:
- The nations of this world and all who belong to and follow them.
- God’s faithful people who follow the true King of the Kingdom.
Lets now look at each of these people and learn of their fates.
- The nations of this world and all who belong to and follow them.
The power and reign of what we call, “The Nations of this world” will cease and there will only be one Kingdom, “The kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” (15)
The start of verse 18 spells out the fate of those who belong to, The Nations of this world”,
“the nations were angry; and your wrath has come”.
God’s anger and justice will come upon them. They will be angry, unhappy because they will be found wanting and will face the consequences of that.
Their punishment is spelt out at the end of verse 18,
“destroying those who destroy the earth”.
2. God’s faithful people who follow the true King of the Kingdom.
Now we see the other side of this great day, what will happen to God’s faithful people, those who have and are following The Lord Jesus Christ, the true King of the Kingdom. The rest of verse 18 spells out their fate,
“the time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great”.
These people will be rewarded in heaven and they will of course join the great chorus of singing in heaven, singing words like,
“we give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign”.
So we see the great fulfillment of what many prophecies in the Old and New Testament tell us, including those words in Psalm 9 : 7 and 8,
“The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.
He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice”.
TWO APPLICATIONS OF PSALM 9
1. PRACTICAL DAILY THINGS TO DO TO LIVE OUT JESUS PRAYER REQUEST
How we should live out Jesus prayer request, “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”? (Matthew 6:10) is spelt out in Psalm 9. What daily practical things should this be seen in?
I have four suggestions (you could come up with many more:
- It should make us daily realize that God alone saves and that in our daily battle with sin, the world and the devil only by trusting in the Lord Jesus in prayer and obedience is their any kind of victory to be won.
2. It should make us daily think of the fact that our God reigns in Heaven and on earth and we need to daily submit to him and show this in the way we reflect his way to live to others.
3. It should make us think, daily that our God calls us to proclaim the coming of his Kingdom and that only by trusting and believing in Jesus Christ and what he has done for us is their any way of salvation.
4. It should make us think, daily that our God judges and one day he will finally judge this world and this should drive us on to proclaim his Gospel and live lives that a more holy and blameless with God’s help.
3. WHAT SHOULD WE DO WHEN PEOPLE GIVE US A HARD TIME FOR TRUSTING IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST
I would like to turn to two final passages of scripture to give my answer to this important question.
- Matthew 5: 11 – 12:
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you”.
Jesus says we should “rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven”.
All of the great New Testament writers speak in similar ways about facing suffering and hardship. Paul says , Romans 8 :18,
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”.
Peter says in 1 Peter 1: 7, that this kind of suffering has come,
“So that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire —may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed”.
Finally James says in James 1: 2 – 4,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Finally what can we actually do in the face of a person or group of people opposing our walk with Christ? I will let Peter finish with his words of wisdom on this, 1 Peter 3 : 13 – 17:
“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing well than for doing evil”.
Father in heaven I commit my life to you asking that you will help me to live a life with your Kingdom coming always in mind. Help me in times of great difficulty to find help and peace in you alone. When I am challenged about my faith give me the words to say that will help those who are challenging me to see that your Sons death and resurrection is the only way they can be saved from your coming judgment. Like David, help me to have a sure and certain faith in your almighty power and strength. I pray this in and through the name of Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour. Amen