Course: Old Testament Theology
Josh had asked yesterday about Christophanies in the Old Testament — that is, are there times in which Christ is evident in some physical way in the Old Testament? The way I start answering that question, I'm not sure why, is to say, "Well, okay, if it is possible..." We've been talking about how God is the same yesterday, today and forever and operates in some similar manners in the old and new testament — same for the Holy Spirit.
Be true for Christ. However, there's not a single time the New Testament ever makes a mention of a Christophany in the Old Testament, not once. I find that to be interesting, at the least. So I start there. I also ask myself if I don't get any help there — one of the great things about the New Testament is it's always giving you clues about what you've got to look for in the Old Testament.
I have no such clue. However, we intrepidly move forward. And it would have to be a passage in which either an angel or someone is treated as if they're God. So the best I can do is really — because I don't take Daniel 3, "And the fourth is like unto a son of God." That's not definitive.
In that context, it could mean the son of God, or it could mean an angelic being something. In Genesis, however, you have two or three episodes in which you have the messenger of the Lord speaking either for God or as God. You also have one instance where Abraham is visited by three individuals, which then goes down to one, who speaks as God.
So if I were to find Christophanies, I would look for them in Genesis in general and would ask the question, "What is Jacob wrestling with?" Who is Jacob wrestling with? Is he wrestling with God? — A messenger of God? Genesis 22 is another time a messenger of God speaks for God as God, one of the two.
Of course, a messenger could speak on behalf of the one who sends him in the first person. In the passage, Genesis 18, of the visitation of pre-destruction of Sodom visit to Abraham. Some argue Melchizedek — I have a problem with that, based on Hebrews. Melchizedek there is treated as a type of Christ, not as Christ himself.
So all these are possibilities. That's where I would start. I would try to get some clues from the New Testament, which is always our friend in biblical theology. I would then try to look at passages in which you have either theophanies or Christophanies. I would try to derive a means of seeing which non-human entities are treated as God — that would be important — and which ones are treated— there is angelology in the scriptures as well.
There are angels, messengers of God. So I would have to devise some means of separating an angel and the Lord. Some of those lines are blurred in Genesis; that's where I would look. As you can tell, I do not speak confidently of specific texts that are Christophanies for reasons one, two and three.
I am not pretending to be all-knowing or all-wise on this subject, but at least, what I would do is try to limit the field so that I don't claim something is Jesus that isn't. I just — it's an argument from science. It really bothers me in the Old Testament and saying about because it would be interesting. It would fit their needs, often, to claim a Christophany from the Old Testament and say, "Well, see, Jesus was already here doing this."
So it would fit their needs, but it doesn't happen. It doesn't mean it doesn't happen, but it means they don't do it. But that's what I would do. I would look in Genesis. Also, Joshua is encountered by the leader of God's army in biblical theology. Is that Christ? Is that Michael?
We need to make a decision. Also, Samson's family, they think they've seen God. I think the husband and the wife, one of them is afraid they're going to be killed. And the other one says, "Well, if they're going to kill us, they probably would have done it back there when he was with us."
We've been allowed to live. I think we'll be alright. So you have those sorts of visitations. And the decision has to be, "Is this an angel? Well, it is in the gospels, isn't it?" When Mary is visited, it's not a Christophany. It's an angel who declares it to her right. So if we say, "Well, in the New Testament, it's an angel, not Christ,” it might be true in the Old Testament as well."
To make much headway there, I think you would need some principles to fly by. And you'd have to work at that. That's my opinion.
Audience Member: [inaudible]
Paul: I don't know because John 1 and Hebrews 1 make a huge deal of the end coronation. But now — and again, the Trinitarian theology and a messianic theology in the Old Testament indicate that Jesus did exist. John 1 teaches it. He did exist, but comes in the flesh at this point in time. Galatians makes the same point too.
Those are things I would weigh in. Yeah, it's strange either way. Then, I'd have to look at the evidence. And John 1 and Hebrews 1 would have to be weighed in that. In the New Testament, there's also a punishing spirit or a punishing time. I remember that when Paul and — I think it was still Barnabas — on their first missionary journey, they encountered someone who apparently believes in Christ. And then, wants — offers money that he might be able to give the Holy Spirit to people with whom he laid hands on and he struck with blindness.
Again, that's hardly a reward that he got there. And so, it seems that the Holy Spirit can be punishing as well. [Inaudible] to get to the writings now and at least give you a couple of Psalms to chew on. If you'd like to read a crisp 20 pages on the Psalms Davidic theology, check out the following. The author is John Bright, who you know as an Old Testament historian but also an Old Testament theologian.
John Bright in his Old Testament theology writing tends to focus on the kingdom of God. He has a volume entitled "Covenant and Promise." The volume is entitled "Covenant and Promise," by John Bright. And pages 57 to 77 — pages 57 to 77, you have an excellent, straightforward treatment of Psalm's Davidic theology. If you're ever trying to preach in the Psalms and its advent or whatever — good summary.
We would start with Psalm 2. Remember that in 2 Samuel 7, the text emphasized servant, king and son. In Psalm 2, we'll emphasize God's king and God's son. Psalm 2, while the nation is in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing, the kings of the Earth take their stand. And the rulers take council together against the Lord and against His anointed. And the word for anointed is the word that you get Messiah always.
So again, it's a common word. It could be used of any sort of anointing. You always have to decide whether it's a messianic test or not by context against the Lord and his anointed. Saying, "Let's tear their feathers apart and cast away their cords from us. Let's see God's reaction." There's this rebellion. The nations are against God and his anointed. Maybe, this is simply a text in which the Davidic king is having trouble with his colonies, satellite nations, conquered people.
Maybe that's all it is. Maybe it's more. Verse 4, here's God's response, "He who sits in the heavens laughs." Are these nations a threat to the creator, God? No, not really. He scoffs at them. Then, he will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, "Well, as for me, I've installed My king upon Zion, my holy mountain."
In Messianic theology and in Old Testament theology in general, when the word Zion is used for Jerusalem, a high-high percentage of the time — if not all the time — that means a glorified Jerusalem, as in Isaiah 25, as in a whole host of other passages. Is Zion my holy mountain? Zion is where God dwells with his people.
And so, we are clued in that if Zion theology is involved, this may be more than just a local squabble being adjudicated. Verse 7: "I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord. He said to me, 'You're my son. Today, I've begotten you.'" We know that on the other one hand, 2 Samuel 7, God will consider Solomon and David's descendants his son — his special ones.
But we also know that God has a greater son to be chosen. So Hebrews 1:5 picks this verse out. It said, you know, this is messianic. I think in context to the "You're my son. Today, I've begotten you." Ask of me and I will surely give you the nations as your inheritance. God never promised David all the nations. He never promised Moses or Joshua all the nations, did he?
The holy land has certain boundaries. But he promises to the one in Isaiah 9 and Isaiah 11 all the nations, doesn't he? Zion language, son language and promises that extend beyond anything ever offered to David or Joshua or Moses were in the realm of messianic theology. Basically, verses 1 through 3, these nations might as well get used to serving God's anointed because that's the way it's going to be.
I will give you the nations as your inheritance — the very ends of the Earth as your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron. You shall shatter them like earthenware — like a pot. Now therefore, oh kings of the Earth, show discernment. Take warning, oh judges of the Earth. Worship the Lord with reverence. Serve the Lord with reverence, with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the sun. Do homage to the sun that he would not become angry and you perish in the way for his wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take reckoning. The text is a messianic text in which it says God's greater son is God's anointed, God's installed king – God's son. Verse 2, God's anointed, Verse 6, God's installed king, Verse 7, God's son.
To this son, God gives all the Earth's kingdoms — a realm way beyond that of the promise land. So we have to say, certainly at the time of the Psalms, this king has not come. The end of an Old Testament there, this king has not come. But when this one, this son, this anointed one, this messiah comes, you will have all the nations of the Earth.
Skip a few of the Psalms that you read for tomorrow as laments, and go to Psalm 18. This Psalm is not only parallel 2 Samuel 22, it's a near duplicate. And just go to the last verse. It's giving praise to God for how the Lord has helped David throughout his life. Verse 50: "He gives great deliverance to his king and shows loving kindness to his anointed..." — Not again, that's the word Mashak messiah — "… to David and to his descendants, his seed forever."
Now, of course, this refers to 2 Samuel 7. To the messianic promise, God is showing loving kindness. In fact, he says, "I will not take my loving kindness away from Solomon the way I took it away from Saul." So at the very least, the loving kindness and the choice of Saul's kingdom is taken away.
And David and his descendants will be chosen forever. Now then, one of the questions of Solomon that we've already talked about hermeneutically — there are lots of royal Psalms, Psalms about the king, right? But not every royal Psalm is a messianic Psalm. For instance, Psalm 45 is apparently written for a king's wedding. It is a royal Psalm. It does talk about God's love for the royal lineage and for David.
But it's not specifically, in my view, a messianic Psalm. I could be wrong. But every time the text talks about the king, it's not necessarily talking about the savior any more than that is true in the prophets. Prophets talk about kings, even sometimes positively, that aren't messiah.
But, Psalm 2, it's a Davidic king chosen by God, anointed by God, given to the ends of the Earth — God's covenant with David is relevant, Psalm 18. Psalm 78 — again, this is a selection, not an exhaustive list. Psalm 78 — Psalm 78 is one of the Psalms that gives a historical sweep of God's acts in history — giving the history of the people as they've served or not served God.
You go to chapter 78, verse 65. Through verse 64, you have a depiction of how God has created the world, given the law, put Israel in the land and Israel has sinned in the land. In other words, we're going from Genesis to Judges, alright? The people are being handed over to their enemies. Verse 65: “Then the Lord awoke as if from sleep." Like a warrior overcome by wine, God's groggy.
He awakes. He drove his adversaries backwards. He put on them an everlasting reproach. He also rejected the tent of Joseph. He did not choose the tribe of Ephraim but chose the tribe of Judah. It takes us all the way back to what passage? — Genesis 49, sure. Passage in which Joseph's tribes are described, but it's Judah who's chosen.
Mount Zion, which he loved, and he built a sanctuary like the heights, like the Earth which he has founded forever. He also chose David his servant and took him from the care of the Jews. With suckling lambs, he brought him to shepherd Jacob his people and Israel his inheritance. So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart and guided them with his skillful hands.
Though it comes after Ezekiel and the canon, do you see the roots of Ezekiel's theology of shepherd, David as the original good shepherd, his greater son as the greater shepherd. But God chose Judah, Zion and David, God's servant, to rescue Israel from their strained ways. So you have a theology of first and second Samuel as well here.
Okay, that sounds good. David is the one who's helping Israel serve the Lord. Psalm 89 — now we have significant problems — chapter 89, verse 19, "Once you've spoken in vision to your godly ones and said, 'I've given help to one who is mighty. I've exalted one chosen from among the people.'" Okay, let's stop for a moment.
I've given help to one who's mighty. That's chapter 18 of Psalms that we just looked to. God's help, that's David's psalm of praise. I have exalted one chosen from the people. We saw that in Psalm 78. It's not the only place you can see it. We saw it there.
He's chosen one from among the people, David, to be his servant to help Israel. I have found David, my servant. With my holy oil, I have anointed him. With whom my hand will be established, my arm will also strengthen him. The enemy will not deceive him, nor the son of wickedness afflict him, but I shall crush his adversaries before him and strike those who hate him.
Verse 24: "My faithfulness and my loving kindness will be with him. And in my name, his horn will be exalted." And it goes on, verse 26: "He will cry to me, 'You're my father, my God and the rock of my salvation.' I will make him my first born, the highest of the kings of the Earth. My loving kindness, I will keep for him forever. My covenant shall be confirmed in him. I will establish his descendants forever, and his throne is the days of heaven."
Well, that's a soaring statement, isn't it? That about summarized anything promised to David in 2 Samuel 7. That pretty much encapsulates what some of the prophets are saying. Verse 30: "If his sons forsake the law, God will punish them. That's 2 Samuel 7.
Verse 33: "But I will not break off my loving kindness for him, nor deal falsely in my faithfulness. My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of my lips. Once I have sworn by my holiness, I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever. And his throne is a sun before me. It shall be established forever like the moon and the witness in the sky is faithful."
You sense a great big "but" coming, don't you? But you have cast off and rejected. You've been full of wrath against your anointed. You've spurned the covenant of your servant. You've profaned his crown in the dust. You've broken down his walls. You've brought his stronghold to ruin. He's become reproached to his neighbor.
What has occurred, friend?
Audience Member: The kingdom's falling.
Paul: The kingdom's falling. What happened to the king when the kingdom fell?
Audience Member: [inaudible]
Paul: Yeah, let's — remember, he was put into exile. Let's flesh that out a little bit. He had the three exiles, right? — The two small ones and the big one. The first one, the king survived. Jehoiakim — I always wanna — when I say Jehoiakim because my friend Jeremiah didn't think much of him.
He could do it however he wanted. He was Egypt's friend while it was good to him. When Babylon came and laid siege, he says, "Oh, it's alright. I'll be your guy now." So he endured. And then in 598, 597 as the years were turning, Jehoiakim rebels against Babylon.
They march against him, and he conveniently dies before they get there.
Audience Member: [inaudible]
Paul: With him, it was never out of shame. That was for sure. An individual named Jehoiakim becomes king. When the Babylonians get there, Jehoiakim's been king for all of three months. He has to surrender. He goes into exile. It's this person who's exalted in exile at the end of the book of 2 Kings and at the end of Jeremiah.
He's been in exile 37 years. So it's about 560 B.C. — must be. He's at least — I think he was 18 when he became — so he's at least 55, which in their context means he's an aged king. He's certainly aged. He spent two-thirds of his life in exile, so far.
Who was the last king of the south in 587? You've got one in exile that the people apparently considered still the real king. Zedekiah is the last king. Remember him? Well, he wasn't even a very good puppet. The Babylonians put him in power.
As you read 2 Kings, you read Jeremiah, Zedekiah's got internal problems. He's ostensibly Babylon's puppet king, but the people keep wanting — there are factions in the country that want him to lead a rebellion against Babylon. He senses he doesn't have the power to do that, but he's a man who won't take decisive action.
So he brings Jeremiah in, "Tell me what's going to happen" He tells him. He won't act on it. He brings him in again, "Tell me what's going to happen." Jeremiah says, "Why don't you call on these false prophets you've been listening to. Why are you calling me in here?" [inaudible] just a smart aleck. No, he may just be tired and frustrated.
Look, I don't know why you're bringing me in here. I tell you the truth. You don't follow up on it. You do what these other guys say. I get in trouble — because he always says what's counter to the people. And so he gets jailed or worse. What's worse than jail? — Sinking in the mud up to your armpits.
I can't tell you how uncomfortable in how many different ways that must be. I sat down one day and [phonetic] funny — first of all, I thought, "Boy, that's cruel. That's yucky." Then I started thinking other thoughts that I didn't need to think, "Well, this is — [phonetic] shit, this is really bad."
And so if the people find out what I say they do, I get in trouble. And you don't do what I say anyway, so why are you calling me in here? "No, no. Tell me what's gonna happen." So he tells him. It finally gets down to surrender to the Babylonians. Remember this?
This is your last option. It was the last option since they wouldn't turn to the Lord. They wouldn't — he says, "Look, surrender to the Babylonians." Zedekiah says, "If I do that, the people will kill me." He says, "They won't kill ya." He won't do it. He fears the people who he's been rebelling against Babylon just enough to get along with.
And he fears Babylon because he's been rebelling against them to satisfy the people. So — this doesn't always happen to people, but people who play both side against the middle eventually get hung. So he does it. He tries to flee the Babylonians. Now, this is a bad plan.
Finally when the Babylonians lay siege to the city and breach the walls, they try to flee in the confusion — the royal court tries to flee. They are caught and captured. What happens to them? Do you remember now?
Audience Member:They kill his son.
Paul: They kill his son. Then, put his eyes out. So the last thing he saw was five, I think, of them. And it's almost like the author of Kings and Jeremiah, which their last chapters are virtually identical. He said, "Oh-oh, the Davidic lineage is all good then, right?" Five sons of the kid all hung.
There's no king. There's one in exile. There's one with his eyes put out. What has become of the Davidic promise is the thrust of Psalm 89. Now, it ends in faith — blessed be the Lord forever. He asks him, Verse 49: "Where your former loving kindness is, oh Lord, which you swore to David in your faithfulness? Remember, remember."
And so the promise is one that is not ended, but it's put on a shelf to be renewed in due time. But the Psalm must ask a heartfelt, heart-wrenching, serious theological and existential question: What happened? What's the future? — Restore.
But the understanding seems to be God can restore this promise. So this is a major problem — the lack of a Davidic heir ruling in Jerusalem that New Testament writers had to face and what it means for Jesus to be the king. That was a buzzing question, wasn't it? Everybody from Herod to Pilate to the local people were asking, "What kind of king is this?" — Right? What kind of king?
So there is a covenant with David. It is eternal. David is God's first born, but David's kingdom has been quelled. "What's God gonna do?" is the issue. And in Psalms 90-106, that question continues to be important. Let's remember, however, while we're thinking about that Ezekiel is a prophet in exile, what's his answer to "What would God do?"
What did we see already today?
Audience Member: The people will be restored eventually.
Paul: The people will be restored eventually.
Audience Member: [inaudible] new shepherd.
Paul: A new shepherd king will arise, and this promise will be fulfilled. It is interesting then that within the Old Testament itself, you have an eschatology that these things must come later. When you get to Psalm 107 — let’s notice that within book four, the Psalm had come to book five. Look at 106:47 — the last two verses of Chapter 106.
"Save us, oh Lord, our God, and gather us from among the nations to give thanks to your holy name in glory and your praise. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Let all the people say amen. Praise the Lord." That ends book four.
Book five, 107:1: "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. For his loving kindness is everlasting. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from the hand of the adversary and gathered from the lands — from the east and from the west and from the north and the south."
You see there's a bit of a resolution here to the problem in 106, 47 and 48. So the last book of the Psalms is set in the context of God who has begun his renewing work, right? So what's God gonna do? Ezekiel talks about. Isaiah speaks of it futuristically, so does Jeremiah.
Within the Psalms however, we can see a couple of things — what God's gonna do. One is Psalm 110. Psalm 110 is a messianic psalm. Again, I don't know of a scholar who denies that. Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 are almost universally agreed upon as messianic psalms. Now, this is one you will remember from the New Testament, "The Lord says to my lord, 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'"
All three of these synoptic gospels cite that. It is cited in Acts 2 and Hebrews 1. This is a major, major phrase in messianic theology in the New Testament: "The Lord says to my lord, 'Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'" If David is the author, then again, he's speaking of a lord greater than himself.
"The Lord will stretch forth your strong scepter from Zion, saying 'Rule in the midst of your enemies'" It reminds us of Psalm 2, doesn't it? This one who will sit at God's right hand and the enemies will be a footstool for his feet, will have the scepter, Genesis 49, will be given the rule. Verse 3: "Your people will volunteer freely in the day of your power."
It's going to be a restored people, right? Now, verse 4, "The Lord is sworn and will not change his mind." You're a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek. Now, this is an unusual verse, to say the least. It is a rare thing in Old Testament theology for a king to be assigned priestly duties — very rare.
And once David consolidates worship in Jerusalem by bring the arc of the covenant up to Jerusalem... Virtually unheard of for the king to take up priestly rules and [phonetic] a time or two punish severely. You remember Uzziah? He attempted to take on the priest role and he is struck with leprosy.
So for the text to say this king will also be a priest is really an extraordinary thing. Like Isaiah 9 saying "mighty God," or Isaiah 53 saying "guilt offering." You remember we talked about those being unusual usages. And here, a priest, after the order of Melchizedek, not after the order of Levi but way back to Genesis 14.
And as is often the case, it's just left there in the Old Testament. And so the interpretations in the new and in intertestamental Judaism is rich and varied. Some would say, at times, not in the New Testament, odd and fanciful. Melchizedek is the king/priest of Salem who knows the same God that Abraham does, and Abraham tithes to him.
But Psalm 110:4 is cited, I think, four or five times in Hebrews. It's important to the Christ as greater than the Old Testament priest's imagery in Hebrews. "The Lord is at his right hand. He will shatter kings in the day of his wrath. He will judge among the nations and fill them with corpses, shatter the chief men over a broad country."
This king priest will triumph. He will drink from the brook by the wayside. Therefore, he will lift up his head. Now, that's an odd verse difficult to translate all the way through. But it seems like this person's going to need or be sustained along the way in some manner.
But a king priest that God exalts, who gets power over the nations, who gives victory over the enemies, whose people come to him voluntarily and willingly — clearly this has never happened in the history of Israel. So the greater son, the greater king, the greater priest — and verse 7 I interpret as the king needing to overcome opposition of nations and of people.
On this text, I mentioned C.A Briggs' messianic prophecy the other day. On this text, see pages 132-134 — again, very readable. And on some of these texts, I'm giving you some more scholarly reference, simply because I think you might actually look at these [phonetic] texts, further teach and preach them and see them in New Testament theology.
[35:30] One more passage in the last — in book 5, that's chapter 132. Psalm 132 is a Davidic, messianic passage. It is set within the context of restoring the Davidic kingdom. 132:1, "Remember, oh Lord, on David's behalf, all his affliction. I swore to the Lord and vowed to the mighty one of Jacob."
That was about building a house for God. Verse 10, "For the sake of David, your servant, do not turn away the face of your anointed." The Lord has sworn to David a truth from which he will not turn back: "Of the fruit of your body, I will set upon a throne. If your sons will keep my covenant and my testimony, which I will teach them, their sons also shall sit on your throne forever. For the Lord has chosen Zion."
So once again, David is called God's servant. David has had bad heirs before. Yet he asks the Lord to renew the Davidic sprout. Verse 17: "I will cause the horn of David to spring forth. I prepared a land for my anointed." God is being petitioned here to restore to David, his servant, someone to rule the people.
So certainly, by now, the text has introduced David's greater son. In the Psalms, this person must be a Davidic heir, rules in righteousness, lives as God's servant, redeems and justifies Israel and the nations, cares for the hurting, exists as mighty god. I'll repeat that.
So far, in the Old Testament, we have a person who is a Davidic heir like all over the place, rules in righteousness — that's certainly Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the psalms — redeems and justifies Israel and the nations — redeems and justifies Israel and the nations, particularly in Isaiah and Isaiah 53, cares for the hurting, Isaiah 42, Isaiah 61 — cares for the hurting and is mighty god, according to Isaiah 9.
Well now, only a greater son, someone way beyond the capacities of David, Solomon or their seed can fulfill these promises. So I would say this messianic portrait in the Old Testament — and that was just five or six elements. What do we have by now? — A hundred or so discrete, distinct aspects of the savior?
This messianic portrait is so vast that someone who's merely wonderful, who's merely great can't fulfill it. It requires the messiah, the anointed one, according to the Psalms, which is in accordance with the other aspects. But Psalms does something that prophets don't do. The Psalms petition God, lament and ask for the restoring of the Davidic king.
And the prophets have predicted that it will occur. So if you say, "Okay, I'm reading the Psalms and I'm saying…” — they're lamenting and asking God to do it. What can I say canonically? It's already been decided. God's promised to do this. The prophets have told us."
This prayer will be answered. The prayer of Psalm 89, the prayer of Psalm 132 will be answered for sure — Of course, just somewhat briefly. To do a full biblical theology of this of course, then you would take all this stuff you've learned and ask how the New Testament uses it and adapts it and applies it.
Other than that, you wouldn't have anything to do. Now, you can just do it over a weekend.
Paul: But David's heir — let's just take that theme for a minute. Let's just do the Davidic heir and son, just for a moment. Which two gospels offer a genealogy of Jesus that emphasizes Davidic lineage? — Matthew and Luke. Which gospel emphasizes the place of Jesus' birth? — Matthew does. Luke might, I don't remember.
But I know Matthew says it's a fulfillment of scripture.
Audience Member: [inaudible]
Paul: Well, Matthew and Luke's where you're going to find a Christmas story, isn't it? Tougher questions: Which two gospels include Jesus' declaration that he has no normal Davidic descendant? Jesus decides to ask this question: Whose son is the coming one? Whose son will he be? What did they answer?
What would be the answer? — David. What's he then ask?
Audience Member: Why does David
Paul: Why does David say in the Psalms what? When the Lord said to my lord, sit it in my right hand. That's Psalm 110. And they don't want to answer that. Not merely a son of David, but David's greater son. In fact, wonder whom David has to bow down to.
Here's a — Psalm 110 indicates that David himself subsumes himself under one of his own descendants. That may be something you do in America, but that's not something you do in a lot of places. The elder does not bow to the younger. And think of a minute about Mary, the mother of Jesus.
Eventually, she has to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus, the Christ, whom she happened to give birth to and raised. That's a one of a kind kind of situation, I think. These no-normal Davidic descendants, no-normal descendant of Mary — Paul makes less of the Davidic emphasis. Yet in Romans 1:3 and 2 Timothy 2:8 makes a connection — Jesus, the son of David but no normal descendant of David.
Audience Member: What was the book [inaudible]?
Paul: Romans 1:3, 2 Timothy 2:8 — God's son. Usually, we would associate — or I would — associate Jesus as God's son with John's gospel, and rightfully so. How many times do we have to draw a father and son imagery there for me to get the point?
But in the gospels, Jesus is announced as God's son at at least two events. What are they?
Audience Member: Baptism and transfiguration.
Paul: Baptism and transfiguration. Peter doesn't call him the son of God. All he says is "Yeah, you're the Christ, the son of the living God." That's been [phonetic] affirmed. But at the baptism, the Holy Spirit descends and God announces — you have the trinity all working together here — "This is my beloved son," and "in whom I am well pleased."
Transfiguration: This is my son. Hear him. Listen to him. And yeah, Peter confesses him as such. And that would be in Matthew, Mark and Luke, not just in John. So all four gospels in their own way and for their own purposes, of course — but stress Jesus as God's son. And John in his gospel, Chapter Five, verses 19-30, he says that he is the son to whom the father entrusts judgment — God's son.
Paul considers Jesus God's equal. Do we know Philippians 2:5 through 11? Though equal with God, Jesus emptied himself, so he's God equal. Paul also calls him the creator and the beloved son in Colossians 1. Sprinting right along, Hebrews 1:5-14 — first chapter of Hebrews, verse 5 to 14 cites Psalm 2 as evidence that, as God's son, Jesus is superior to the angels.
And as God's son, he will inherit the kingdom. The son is given all that the father possesses. Oh, what of the — canonically, that's the gospels and Paul. 2 Peter 1:16-18 — 2 Peter 1:16-18 reflects on the transfiguration emphasis on Jesus as God's beloved son. I'm just trying to give you a flavor of this.
Here's Peter. One of the things he's saying is you can trust this eye witness account that I'm giving you. Peter understands these people didn't see what he saw. He says, "So you've got to trust me for this." We saw him on the mountain, God said, "This is my beloved son."
My point really is gospels, Paulines and general epistles are all going to make this point about Jesus as God's son. They're all going to use that imagery from the Old Testament. And this will be fast, God's servant — I stated yesterday that the gospels all cite Isaiah 53 as evidence of Jesus' death — atoning death.
I think all four do. I know the synoptics do. 1 Corinthians 15, in his summary of the gospel and the resurrection, I think Paul cites Isaiah 53. God's servant in the gospels, in Paul — but again, if you look at pages 292 and 293 in the Old Testament theology, you'll see what little I know there on the servant in Jesus.
This is not even to go into things like shepherd imagery and priest imagery and all these others. That's just to start with the basics. David's son, God's servant, David's greater son, son of God, that's just to get started. And maybe you post yourself another okay Jesus priest and see what gospels and Paul — and boy, what doesn't Hebrews do with that?
And you'll see that some of these basic Old Testament treatments of Christ continue on across every major segment of the canon. Not in every book of the New Testament, but in every major segment. How does the Bible end? — With an account of a righteous king of kings who conquers all evil earthly forces.
Revelation 19: "King of kings, lord of lords." We then have the chaining of Satan, final judgment, the comings of the new heavens and the new Earth that we've been expected since Isaiah 65. This king is David's greater son, his heir who is also God's son. He is God, and he's the hope of all God's people.
So it's taken a while. I didn't intend it to take quite this long. I guess now, having made other promises about worship, I would say, "Worship this king."
Paul: But certainly if these things are true, is it any surprise in Revelation that the people are bowing down and saying, "Worthy is the lamb?" If we say all these things about Jesus, worthy is the lamb of God to receive glory and honor and praise. Would it make sense to us, also, to have a Christ-centered worship?
Yes, we would reflect on human need. But if human need is all that occurs in a so-called worship service, worship has not occurred. There must be a focus on God the father, son and Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit would always say — What does Christ say the spirit wants you to do? — Focus on Christ.
And the father has given all things to the son. I would not neglect any member of the trinity, but let us understand that by the time the Bible ends, worth is the lamb. And certainly, if we see even — I've only done about an eight of what you could do with this theme. You've absorbed as much as you can, and you know other items in this study.
Surely, this should be the focus of our worship. And if it's not — cos worship means bowing down to God, really — If it's not, then it isn't worship. I don't have any quarrel right now. I know of church plans right now that are altogether given to contemporary Christian music of one sort or another.
And I've visited a church in Orlando this last January that is being planted with R.C. Sprole as the pastor. They've already got 500 people that are building and got staffed with a good bit of money in this congregation. Part of their niche is "You won't ever have to hear a chorus here." Sick of choruses? — Come in here. We have sacred music here.
Let's have a niche. So I've seen everything from head banging, Rock 'n' Roll — or more like baby boomers' style Rock 'n' Roll. That was the genius John [phonetic] Wimberton way. He was literally a songwriter for the Beach Boys and wrote Christian music after his converted — I mean, he knew baby boomer Christian Rock.
I'm not putting him down a bit. I'm saying that's a lot of [phonetic] work. I'm not too old to care. I'm not too old to have a preference, but I am bold enough to say whatever you're gonna do, if it's not Christ-centered and if it's not content-oriented, if it's not biblical, theologically sound, do something else.
I try to keep my preference out of it. You can probably tell I'm not real big on [inaudible]worship. They won't be either in five years. But having said that, a Christal-centric, God-honoring, Holy Spirit-acknowledging worship, however it's done, in whatever style, is — has a chance to honor God in whatever culture it occurs.
So, again, I've cheated worship twice. I've done a whole seminar on worship, so I don't know. But it's probably just as well. Tomorrow, we will talk about hurting and suffering. The best way to prepare for the class is to do your reading, and then sit around and feel bad.
Paul: So if you've been getting up at seven, get up at 4.
Paul: If you're used to drinking coffee, don't drink any. No, I'm — that's ridiculous. We know enough about suffering to hold the discussion. And we'll look at the text. And then, the last day, we're going to talk about ways of doing linkages to biblical theology and we will call it a semester. So, down to two days.