IT is my heartfelt conviction that every message a man preaches from the pulpit should be centered on Christ. While we must preach about wrath, hell and judgment and we must give every message a “cross-check” with mercy, forgiveness and peace. Point them to the Cross and what Christ has accomplished on the behalf of his people. It is sound and biblical. Christ is the Advent and Apex, He is Lord of Life and Death, He is the Alpha and Omega, He is the Beginning and Ending so let us make him known and saturate our message, yes, our very lives in him. In order to preach about Christ effectively, in order to pray with confidence we must embrace him in royal friendship.
At this point in our study we see David speaking of “the King” and his King as the subject of his writing.
The kingship of Christ is an unavoidable subject and it brings great joy to the heart of a believer. David is credited with writing this psalm. He saw God as his King and Christ as his Lord (Psalm 110:1; 145:1). He is only a lowly servant despite his earthly crown. In Psalm 22 he sees the dying Messiah becoming the one who will rule all the nations and to whom all the ends of the earth and its families will remember and worship.
The heart of a believer has been conquered by the gracious, living Savior whose crown of thorns is now many crowns of glory upon his head and He reigns even now, in the heart and the universe. He is putting down all rebellion, until death itself finally dies and the abundant life, knowledge and glory of God fills all known expanse (1 Cor. 15:25-28).
The phrase “touching the king” is another way of saying he composed his message to direct at the King. Matthew Henry comments: “This psalm is touching the King Jesus, his kingdom and government. It is a shame that this good matter is not more the subject of our discourse. There is more in Christ to engage our love, than there is or can be in any creature. This world and its charms are ready to draw away our hearts from Christ; therefore we are concerned to understand how much more worthy he is of our love.”
This is David’s Son who would descend from him (2 Tim. 2:8)! Yet “David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord.” (Mt 22:43; cf. Ps 110:1). Paul says it this way that the King of David is, “Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Rom. 1:3-4). This is the Lord Jesus Christ, the God-man who is the King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
David was not only a King but a prophet (Acts 2:30) who were of old-time were called seers (1 Sam 9:9). They would have visions or dreams given from the Lord (Num. 12:4). Isaiah saw the Lord after the tragic death of King Uzziah (Isaiah 6:1). The throne room scene was powerful and he was gripped with a sense of his own sinfulness (Isaiah 6:5). Yet these scriptures say it was the glory of Jesus Christ that he saw (John 12:41). Ah may we be gripped with such a sense of how deplorable our sinful state is! Then when the remedy comes we will see that the Physician of our souls brought us back from death! Like Moses he complains of his useless lips (Ex. 4:10)! Who was he to speak about God, or for God?
Oh that men who stand in the pulpit would have such an experience, to understand their personal unworthiness can only be remedied by the hot coal of God’s word pressed upon their lips like molten metal on flesh! Oh that we would think, “How dare I come into the pulpit without God’s words stamped on my lips to speak to people I pastor?” Who are these men today who intrude into the holy place? “But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth? Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.” (Ps. 50:16-17). Oh that these men would come to a screeching halt and whip around on the roads of their lives and ministry back toward the cross of Christ and his glory! May they spit out with disgust the words of man’s wisdom and philosophy and let the hot coal of God’s holy altar touch their lips with the burning words of scripture! If you have failed, oh man of God, even now God is gracious! As his sin was purged with a hot coal from off the altar of atonement (Isa. 6:7), God will purge away the tarnish from your lips and you will speak for him!
It seems David’s heart is full of admiration and love for who he sees. God has been his friend for many years. Yet we throughout the Psalms, David deeply senses his own depravity. When David finally was surprised by the outbreak of his sin (Ps. 51:4) with the adultery with Bathsheba and murder of Uriah, he realized that a surface work of religion and ritual would not break his behavior, the powerful sins that controlled his heart, mind and will. David cries in pain, “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow…Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps. 51:6, 7, 10). He turns to the only remedy, the cleansing of the leper. Like a person afflicted with that incurable skin disease of his day, he sees his spirit eaten away with the horrible heart disease of sin and desires cleansing and health! It is the blood of Christ that he sees in the future, that Christ will make covenant with him and grant what we call the sure mercies and covenant love of David (Isa 55:3). Here even in the Older Covenant the King dying for the sins of his people and forgiving them is woven into their hearts and the pages of scripture.
David was a seer for sure. This is no mere play on words as he sees the glorified Christ coming into clear view in this Psalm. Oh that we may SEE Jesus (John 12:20) and be such seers. Ah we add not to a closed canon but there is a biblical mine full of precious truth and jewels that remain untapped for our souls. It is nothing new or innovative we need, but like treasure hidden in the earth, so the pages of scripture contain the most precious jewels, purest gold and untarnished silver. It is an inexhaustible vault full of spiritual wealth and hidden treasure (Prov. 2:4).
To see the wonderful Christ as KING in the scripture should be our goal and delight! He is our one and only King, we need no others. By this he becomes our dearest friend. Let all rivals bow before him. The study of the scriptures and the love behind their words leads us to the ultimate goal who is Christ, the end of the law for everyone who believes in him and that righteousness fulfilled in them given them a certain sense of Christ’s friendship that they have not had before (Rom 10:4). When the religious salesmen, and ecclesiastical gurus of today say, “Here is Christ!” or “There is Christ.” that he is in some other book, ministry, some church, conference center, building, or you must travel to see him. Don’t believe them. They serve the father of lies! They are all false counterfeit Christ knock offs developed to appease the whims of people and fill religious auditoriums (see Mt 24:23-26). Once you know the real Christ another fake christ will not do. In the pages of scripture you may look-here is Christ and there is Christ. He is everywhere in its pages. It’s pages and prophets speak of things that touch the KING!
One of the most popular songs today is, “I am a friend of God.” One has to wonder if people realize what that entails. They will speak of Abraham being God’s friend (Isa 41:8). Being a friend of Christ according to him is that you OBEY him. “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:14). Some people treat Christ these days as a drinking buddy, fishing pal or boy friend. It is rather sickening. We must acknowledge Christ as our King before he is our friend. That my life and will is swallowed up to his whim! While we imperfectly serve the Lord, we should be devoted and dedicated to his rule and Lordship. This is a prerequisite to being his friend. “Obey the king as you have vowed to do. Don’t always be trying to get out of doing your duty, even when it’s unpleasant. For the king punishes those who disobey. The king’s command is backed by great power, and no one can withstand it or question it. Those who obey him will not be punished. The wise man will find a time and a way to do what he says.” (Eccl. 8:2-5 TLB). Those who do not see him as King cannot appreciate him as friend.