Psalms and the Theocratic Kingdom

The Scriptures show that the Lord himself will come, not simply to judge the wicked nor to restore Israel to true faith and fellowship with him, but also to establish his kingdom and rule over the whole earth. This is clearly taught in every portion of God’s word, and the Psalms are no exception. A. C. Gaebelein writes, “In the book of Psalms, where we found such a mine of prophetic teaching, we shall find much more relating to the kingdom as promised to Israel and as it shall be established by the return of the King, our Lord.”

Psalm 2:6-9 declares that God has anointed his Son to be King in Zion, and that his dominion will extend over the whole earth. The NT writers make it clear that this is the Lord Jesus Christ in such passages as Hebrews 1:5 and Acts 13:33. Gaebelein explains, That He, as the Son of Man, is to be enthroned and receive the dominion of the earth, is here clearly indicated. The homage, the kissing of the Son, will take place when He has come.” (see Philippians 2:9-11)

In Psalm 8 we find the Son of Man again, having all things put under his feet, and we read about his reign in 9:7-8, “the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared his throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness, and he shall administer judgment for the peoples in righteousness.” Psalm 16 predicts his resurrection and Psalm 18 tells of his visible manifestation as king. In Psalm 21 we are confronted with a description of a king who is none other than the Son of Man himself. He is given his heart’s desire, a crown of gold, and length of days forever along with majesty and splendor so that he is a source of blessing forever. This description goes beyond David as king and reaches to the Lord Jesus Christ. At the close of the 22nd Psalm, after we have read about Jesus suffering and resurrection, we also read about his kingdom rule: “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you. For the kingdom is the LORD’s, and he rules over the nations.” Gaebelein cautions us not to accept a spiritualized explanation for this, saying, “All this is often explained as meaning a spiritual rule. However, inasmuch as the sufferings of the Lord were literal, and the entire first part of the 22nd Psalm was literally fulfilled, the second part will be likewise literally fulfilled. The kingdom will come, and then, and not before, the families of the nations will worship the King.”

There is far too much in the Psalms to cite here, but you can read more about the coming kingdom of Christ in Psalms 24, 45, 47-48, 65-68, 72, 89, 96-100, and 132. Gaebelein concludes, When the kingdom has come the heavens, besides declaring still God’s wisdom, will declare the righteousness of Jehovah as in the heavenlies, the church…will be seen. They will look up and behold His glory, and we look down and see the earth subdued and ruled in righteousness.”

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