Prophecy Psalms for the Jews and for You – Part 3
By Steven J. Hogan
My favorite book in the Bible is the Psalms, for it is so personal and encouraging. I am writing a three part series on a number of Psalms that relate specifically to the future of the Jews. But what God wants you to know is that many of these Psalms are also for you, the Christian, the church age believer. Much of God’s future for the Jews is conjoined and in conjunction with the future God has for you. This is what Hebrews 11:39-40 tells us – “All these (Old Testament believing Jews), having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, because God had provided something better for us (church age believers), so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.”
When I read the Psalms, I get very encouraged, and for two reasons. First, it’s truth that comforts and motivates me on a daily basis. Second, it’s truth that is hope based, that speaks about the future of the Jews, and this then is for our future as well. And as you know, a true hope for the future helps us to live all out for the Lord in the present. Listed below are summaries of the remaining Psalms that speak of this great and glorious future that God has for the Jews, and for you.
Psalm 111. This kingdom Psalm focuses on the works of God, and these are to be studied and remembered. What are these works? First, it is God giving us food, giving us our daily bread (verse 5). Second, it is that “He (God) will remember His covenant forever. He has made known to His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations” (verses 5-6). This eternal covenant is about the land, spoken of in God’s promise to Abraham, which was also for his descendants (Genesis 12, 13, 15). Since 1400BC the Jews have been in their land, then out of their land (600BC), then back in their land (530BC), then out of their land (70AD), and now are back in their land (1885AD). At this time (2017), the Jews are not securely in their land, but they will be, for God will remember His eternal covenant, which will be fulfilled when Christ returns and the millennial kingdom begins. Third, we read that “He has sent redemption to His people, He has ordained His covenant forever.” This is referring to the promise about the salvation of a great number of Jews (Jeremiah 31). This will occur after the rapture of the church, and at the end of Daniel’s 70th week (Romans 11:25-27). How then should all believers, both Jews and Gentiles, respond? We should fear God, obey God, and praise God. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever” (verse 10).
Psalm 115. A sharp contrast between the unbelieving Gentile nations and the believing nation of Israel is seen in this Psalm. The unbelievers are trusting and worshiping their dehumanized idols, and becoming like them. These heathen nations, with their lifeless silver and gold idols are deriding the Jews for their trust in God. But God greatly desires to bless His people, the Jews, (verses 12-15), and those who are blessed by God are those who fear the Lord, trust the Lord, and praise the Lord. Of course, this Psalm was written and applicable in the Old Testament age, but the fact that the Israelites are to “bless the Lord from this time and forever,” means that it is still relevant today. And now that we are in the end times we know it won’t be long before Christ returns and begins His reign on this earth, first for 1000 years, but then forever and ever in the eternal kingdom. But we also read that the earth has been given to the sons of men, and this, in large part, relates to the land that the Jews will inherit. Again, this speaks of the fulfillment of God’s covenant promise to Abraham (Genesis 13:14-17). But the main point, given in both the first and last verses, is that God gets all the glory and all the praise, from this time forth and forever.
Psalm 117. This is the shortest Psalm, and it speaks about the future of the Jews. But first, you need to know who’s who. The “nations”, the “peoples” are the Gentiles of the world, and “us” is referring to Israel. This Psalm starts with a command given to the Gentiles, “Praise the Lord, all nations. Laud Him, all peoples.” They are instructed to praise the Lord as they see God’s wonderful work with Israel, “For His lovingkindness is great toward us.” This Psalm was written in the Old Testament times, but it was only fulfilled to a small degree during those days. The whole truth of this Psalm will be seen in the next age, when Jesus Christ, with believing Jews and Gentiles, will be reigning over the world, a world still populated by many unbelievers. At that time, Israel will be the most loved and blessed nation on this earth, and the entire world will clearly see God’s special treatment of this chosen nation. And God’s blessing upon Israel will result in all the nations giving praise to Jesus Christ. Psalm 67 tells us the same thing, “God blesses us so that all the ends of the earth will fear Him.” Finally, notice that “the truth of the Lord is everlasting.” Surely this is speaking about the promises God gave the Jews regarding their land, salvation and King, that will be fully and forever carried out in the future. Ultimately this is all for the glory of God, for everyone is to “Praise the Lord.”
Psalm 121. The writer knows the Lord will personally help him, protect him and keep him. And this is what he then proclaims to all of Israel, “He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (verses 3-4). The Lord is the protector of Israel, and since they will be guarded physically and spiritually, then they will have nothing to fear. “The Lord is your keeper… the Lord will guard your going out and coming in from this time forth and forever” (verse 8). This final verse declares the eternal nature of this Psalm. God is not finished with His people, for His plans have only been suspended during this church age. But now in these end times, they’re being revived, and it won’t be long before the whole world will see God graciously and gloriously caring for His people, in the millennial kingdom and then forever more.
Psalm 122. This Psalm is talking about the past, but it is also talking about the future. The focus is on Jerusalem, a city that was and still to this day, is compact, and a city that had gates and still has gates. It is a city where the tribes used to worship the Lord, and will in the future still worship the Lord. It is a place which has thrones for judgment, and now this has special meaning for the millennial kingdom, for the world will be judged from Jerusalem (Matthew 19:28). But the instruction is given to pray for Jerusalem, for the “city of peace” to have peace, a city that’s been wracked by wars for the past 3000+ years. It is now 2017, and there is a great and global opposition to the Jews claiming all of Jerusalem, but it is their city, for this is God’s promise to His people (Daniel 9:24-27). But it is not true now, but it will be in the near future. And note that this promise of prosperity is also for those who love Jerusalem. But the focus, the main point of the Psalm has to do with the main part of the city, has to do with the “house of the Lord”, and this is the temple, the place where we will worship the Lord Jesus Christ. The Psalm starts and finishes by talking about the “house of the Lord”, by far the most special place in the city. And in the future, you and I, and all believing Jews and Gentiles will see this temple, and there we will be worshiping the Lord. Let’s continue to pray for peace in Jerusalem, knowing that our prayer will be answered, but not until the start of the millennial kingdom. And then, as it says in Psalm 100:4, we are to “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His name.”
Psalm 125. This Psalm speaks specifically about Israel’s most important city, Mount Zion, the eternal city of Jerusalem. The Psalmist tells us, “Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever” (verse 1). This is referring to the promise God made to Abraham that He had set aside a portion of land that would forever be for all believing Jews (Genesis 13:14-17, 15:17-21). But it is not just the land, it is the people of God who are living on the land, for we read that “the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever” (verse 2). These Jews are believers, are God’s people, and Jesus Christ will be their King and will bless them, protect them and reign over them forever, for “the scepter of wickedness shall not rest upon the land of the righteous” (verse 3). This Psalm then is in reference to all the promises to the Jews, for it refers to their land, their King and their salvation. The Psalm concludes with the prayer, “Peace be upon Israel”, which will most definitely be answered in the near future. (verse 5).
Psalm 130. This Psalm is speaking about the New Covenant, which has to do with God’s promise to forgive sins – “But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared” (verse 4). But here we are talking about the Jews for we read, “O Israel, hope in the Lord – for with the Lord there is lovingkindness, and with Him is abundant redemption” (verse 7). This is not speaking about the salvation of believers during the church age, but is clear instruction to all of Israel, to the Jews, that they are to put their hope in the Lord, that they are to trust in Him for their salvation. Do you see what it says? “He will redeem Israel from all His iniquities” (verse 8). It does not say that God will redeem the church, and it does not say that some will be redeemed from Israel, a few Jews here and there. When it says God is going to redeem Israel, then He’s speaking of the nation of Israel. Now when does this take place? In the future, at the coming of Christ, for this is when Christ returns to earth to first rapture the Christians, and then at the end of the 70th week, He will save a great remnant of Jews. Isaiah 45:17, Zechariah 13, Romans 11:25-27
Psalm 131. David likens himself to a quiet, contented and weaned child resting upon his mother. And he is speaking of his relationship with the Lord, for we read that his heart is not proud but humble, for he has put his hope in the Lord. But then David instructs Israel to put their hope in the Lord. “O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forever” (verse 3). This is not just for Old Testament Jews, but is a verse that will be true for believing Jews for all eternity. But looking back at the history of the Jews, we know that they were not always trusting in the Lord, but rather were sinning greatly against Him. Consequently, they were severely disciplined, and then displaced from their land, and not just once, but twice. As we know, now they are back in their land. We know it won’t be long then before the Lord Jesus returns, and then at the end of Daniel’s 70th week, He will save a great remnant of Jews, ones who will hope in the Lord forever. Ezekiel 37:21-28
Psalm 132:12-18. These verses are clearly speaking about Israel’s future, about that which is still to come to pass. We read that the Lord has chosen Zion, and this means Jerusalem, the place from which Christ will reign, during both the millennial and eternal kingdoms. And God will then bless the believing Jews, and they will be satisfied, singing and sitting on Christ’s throne, reigning and ruling with Him forever and ever. “Their sons also shall sit upon Your throne forever….for the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation; this is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it.”
Psalm 135:12-13, 21. “He gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to Israel his people. Your name O Lord is everlasting, Your remembrance, O Lord, throughout all generations…” God will remember His promise to Abraham, this blessing of choice land for His beloved descendants, those who are righteous by faith, and this includes both believing Jews and Gentiles. When Jesus Christ returns, then His dwelling place will be Jerusalem. And His everlasting name, His eternal glory, holiness, love, truth, goodness, wisdom and power, will be wonderfully and forever on display, seen in His working in this world, and in His work with His people. For this we are to always bless and praise the Lord.
Psalm 136. This glorious Psalm continually speaks of the Lord’s everlasting love. We read repeatedly that all God does for His people is done out of love for them. This love of God for His people is first seen through creation. Then it is seen in that He faithfully leads His people from Egypt to the desert to the promised land. “And (He) gave their land as a heritage, for His lovingkindness is everlasting, even a heritage to Israel His servant, for His lovingkindness is everlasting” (verses 21-22). Do you see that God shows His love to His people by coming through on His promise to Abraham, in giving his descendants the land? And since God’s love is everlasting, then we know that His promise is everlasting, one that will be realized in the ages to come, both in the millennial kingdom and the eternal kingdom. “His love is everlasting” is true for all believing Jews of the Old Testament, but also for all believers of all time, and that includes you and me.
Psalm 138. When I study the Psalms I look for verses that can be fulfilled in the past and in the future, in part and also in full. And we have already seen this in other Psalms, and we see it again here. The first two verses no doubt spoke of what David did in the past, and what we do in the present, and also what he and we will do in the future. But then notice verses 5-6 – “All the kings of the earth will give thanks to you, O Lord, when they have heard the words of Your mouth. And they will sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord” (verses 4-5). This portion is 100% prophetic, for never in our world have all the kings of the earth given thanks to the Lord, but it will happen in the future, for God’s word must come true. And do you see that it says, “great is the glory of the Lord.” Surely we will see the great glory of the Lord in the kingdom ages to come, and then we will greatly and gloriously sing to the Lord. But notice the last verse – “The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O Lord, is everlasting; do not forsake the works of Your hands.” Don’t you wonder if David was thinking about God’s promise that one of his descendants would be the future King who would be reigning over the earth. Indeed the Lord’s love is everlasting, and all His promises will be faithfully fulfilled, and all His work will be wonderfully accomplished.
Psalm 145. This is one of the greatest kingdom Psalms. Right away, we read that David is committed to praising the Lord every day, and forever and ever. And why? Because of God’s mighty acts, His glorious splendor, His wonderful works, His awesome acts, wonders and works that David himself experienced when he was living on this earth about 3000 years ago. But the truth of this Psalm is also realized in this church age, and in the kingdom age to come. Do you think this Psalm was only applicable to the righteous people living in the Old Testament, or only applicable to Christians living during this church age? And is there not truth in this Psalm that is relevant for the next age, the kingdom age to come? Of course there is. Let me mention a few examples. Verse 8 – “The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and great in lovingkindness.” Verse 9 – “The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works.” Verse 17 – “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds.” But look at verses 10-13, for surely these speak of our future in the age to come. “All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Lord, and Your godly ones shall bless You.” Then the Psalmist speaks of God’s kingdom which, in the future, will be more visible and more glorious than ever before. “Your (God’s) kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.” O, you must see the past, present and future truth of this Psalm, for it applies to all believers, and for the ages to come. Each of should say, “Every day I will bless You (now during this church age), and I will praise Your name forever and ever (in the kingdom ages to come).” Verse 2
Psalm 148. This is a classic praise Psalm, and that’s because this word praise appears 13 times in 14 verses. First we read about praise coming from the heavens and then we read about praise coming from the earth. And yes, this praise occurred in the past and still occurs in the present, but much more so in the future. For the earth is presently under a curse; and like we read in Psalm 98 about the rivers clapping their hands, and the mountains singing for joy, so too this praise will sound forth in the future unlike anything that has ever happened since the days of Genesis 1-2. And the truth of verses 11-12 about the kings and all peoples praising God will undoubtedly be truer in the kingdom ages to come. Then finally we see that this Psalm has a Jewish flavor, for we read this about Israel. They will be “a people near Him”, and they too will “praise the Lord.”
Psalm 150. This is another classic praise Psalm.
– What are we to do? “Praise the Lord.” Verse 1
– Where are we to do it? “In His sanctuary… in His mighty expanse.” Verse 1
– Why are we do it? “For His mighty deeds… according to His excellent greatness.” Verse 2
– How are we do it? “Praise Him with trumpet sound… with harp and lyre… with stringed instruments and pipe… with loud cymbals…
with resounding cymbals.” Verses 3-5
– Who is to praise the Lord? “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Verse 6
But one more question needs to be answered. When are we to praise the Lord? We know this was written in the Old Testament days, and was applicable back then. Of course it is applicable now during this church age. But how about in the future, in the kingdom ages to come? You know the answer. Then we will perfectly, beautifully, harmoniously, melodiously, and unitedly “praise the Lord!”
In conclusion, let me say that only God knows exactly how the Psalms will be fulfilled in the kingdom ages. But regardless, might we be seeing in these Psalms more of the Lord’s future purposes regarding Israel, and also for His church. And might we see the glory of His name, of His holiness and power and wisdom and love and goodness and mercy and faithfulness and sovereignty and faithfulness and eternality. Be glad, be encouraged, be excited, be hopeful, for this God is truly our God, and His purposes for His glory and our good will surely come to pass.
Finally, I want you to see how Romans 15:4-13 confirms that the hope of the Jews written about in the Psalms was not just for them but also for the church, for the Gentiles. “Whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope… Christ has become a servant to the circumcision (Jews) on behalf of the truth of God to confirm the promises given to the fathers (Jews), and for the Gentiles to glorify God for His mercy; as it is written, ‘Therefore I will give praise to You among the Gentiles, and I will sing to Your name.’ Again, He says, ‘Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people’… Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and people in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:4-13