The Covenant Promise
...from God To His Anointed Son,
And the impact on us who follow in His train
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Psalm 2:8
There were three significant Covenant Men in the Old Testament—Adam, Abraham and David. The Lord Jesus was related to them all. He was called Son of David, Son of Abraham and Son of Man. Of the three, David, besides being a King in Israel, was also called a Prophet (Ac 2:30). Words that came through him carry with them perhaps the greatest ruling power of all the Prophets. Let us hold this information intact as we proceed.
The most powerful and far-reaching Word ever spoken is recorded in Psalm 2. Its impact on us in this end-time hour is beyond estimation. In it is the Word God spoke to His Son when He promised Him the nations for His inheritance, even the uttermost parts of the earth for His possession (Ps 2:8).
The Church seems to know little of this promise, this powerful Covenant Promise, from God to His Son. Most of us have not understood He has any inheritance in the earth, thinking He is to possess some distant heaven and prepare there a place for His saints to spend eternity in rest. The fact is His Name already holds authority throughout the entire world. Satan has no place here for his own, except in the hearts of unbelievers.
Through the ages the Prophetic Word of Ps 2 has been shooting like an arrow to the Day of the Lord, casting its foreshadowing fulfillment on us. But as the hour of full realization approaches, the reality and significance of its Word comes closer. In it lies the foundation for what the Holy Spirit is doing now in preparing the people who will receive the inheritance with the Lord Jesus.
These heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17) are the objects of satanic wrath coming on now with unbending fury. Those of us who know unto what we are called and why we are under attack can better withstand the assaults. At the present, these attacks are primarily spiritual. The strategy of the enemy is to weaken our minds so that we cannot, or we will not, come up with the strength to withstand him. Those who will stand up against him to become overcomers are those in whose minds the Word of God has taken prominence so that it overshadows the trash and misinformation fed by the world systems. Increasingly we will watch the strength of the enemy spread through the social, economic and political realms under which we all live. Soon no part of our lives as believers will be without demonic pressure like never known. For this reason, the Holy Spirit is pressing us now into living out of the resources of God’s Kingdom and to know His Covenant purposes before the world systems reject us wholly.
We remember Jesus said, Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake—Mt 24:9. He also said, In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world—Jn 16:33.
If we know the prophetic Word and the Covenant Promise of Ps 2, and the triumph the Lord Jesus obtained for us, we’re on our way to finding the spiritual strength that will empower us to come through as overcomers.
Although David’s name does not appear in Ps 2, Ac 4:25 identifies him as its author. Of all natural born men on whom God has laid hands, David is perhaps most important. The Covenant God made with him holds the basis for Christ’s Kingdom on earth.
The words of the Davidic Covenant are recorded twice —II Sam 7:4-17 and I Chron 17:3-15. Eventually we will look at these passages. In this Covenant, God made promise to David regarding his Seed. He told him He would stablish the throne of His Kingdom for ever—II Sam 7:13. Some pass over the Covenant with the idea it is applicable only to David’s natural son, Solomon. But clearly, men of the New Testament considered its reference was to his greater Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.
The first statement in Matthew about Him is that He was the Son of David—Mt 1:1. In the first "sermon" to the church after the Pentecostal outpouring, Peter made clear reference to David three times, even declaring that the reason Jesus was raised from the dead was because of something David said—Ac 2:24,25. The first statement about the Lord Jesus in Paul’s Epistles is that He was made of the seed of David according to the flesh—Rom 1:3. The last statement in the New Testament about Christ Jesus, sworn in His Own words, is, I am the Root and the Offspring of David—Rev 22:16. (Think of it. His being the Root and the Offspring is something like His being the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last—Rev 22:13.)
We stress it again. One of the first things the Holy Spirit confirmed with the Church after the Pentecostal outpouring was the importance of David and the words that came through him. Many of his words were ruling words, more powerful than the forces of mankind, death, and hell combined. Three times in his Pentecost sermon Peter quoted David. First, in Ac 2:24b, 25a, he said it was not possible that Christ Jesus should be holden of death—for David speaketh concerning Him…. He went on then to quote David in Ps 16:8-11. Second, He declared in Ac 2:29-31 that David was a Prophet who knew that God had sworn with an Oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on his throne—Ac 2:30. This Oath is recorded in II Sam 7:12 and recalled in Ps 132:11. Third, in Ac 2:33-36 Peter said the exaltation of Christ to the right hand of God, from whence He poured out the Holy Spirit, was because of what David said in Ps 110:1,2.
Words from David sustained the Lord Jesus and brought Him through the stronghold of Death. Now, it is important for us to see the impact of his words on us who have come to the end of the age. Throughout the Davidic Psalms are many statements regarding Christ, His resurrection, and His Kingdom. These Psalms are Messianic. We call the Words in them pertaining to Christ’s Kingdom High Covenant Words. When we find them, we can view the Psalms around them like settings for rare jewels. We find the first of these in Psalm 2. Here is a high Covenant Word making firm that the government of all nations belongs to the King God has anointed, One He calls My Son in verse 7. The power of the Word that follows on in verses 8 and 9 will have as great an impact on the closing days in bringing Christ to His rule over the nations as the Word of Ps 16:8-11 had in bringing Him through Death at His Resurrection.
It is all a matter of government. Let’s go back and see Ac 2:24. Peter said God raised up Jesus having loosed the pains of death. There are a couple of important words here. Pains is from the Greek hodín which means "birth-pangs." Death in the Original is preceded by an Article, making it The Death, that is, the realm of death. Death was pregnant—with One in Whom was a Seed of Life. That Seed was the Word that came through David, recorded in Ps 16. But see this Acts verse more. Peter said it was not possible that He should be holden of Death. I love this word holden, not only because it is a quaint word, used rarely today, but because of the Greek word from which it comes. It’s kratéo, a word of government. Peter said it was not possible the Lord Jesus could be contained under the government of death. Why? Because of what David said. See it again—…it was not possible that He should be holden of it. For David speaketh concerning Him… (Ac 2:24b,25a).
Just as Ps 16 held power for Christ’s Resurrection, Ps 2 holds power for His eventual enthronement over the nations. The full power of this Psalm reaches toward the time of the end (Dan 12:4), but for those of us receiving the rule of God’s Kingdom in our lives, it has held force through the ages. The early church in Jerusalem made use of it when they were commanded not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus—Ac 4:18. They held a prayer meeting in which they quoted from Ps 2. From it they learned the resolution of the leaders was not against themselves but against the Lord and against His Anointed—Ac 4:26 and Ps 2:1. Therefore, the battle was the Lord’s. With this understanding, they looked to God and saw His power and authority released in their midst. Take note. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spake the Word of God with boldness—Ac 4:31.
What a powerful understanding rested on that congregation in Jerusalem! It was the same understanding resting on David when he faced Goliath. The floundering and fluttering men of Israel said, Surely to defy Israel is he come up—I Sam 17:25. But the small boy David said, …He hath defied the armies of the living God—I Sam 17:36.
What a perspective! David saw Goliath was not merely the enemy of Israel. He was first of all the enemy of the living God. Goliath was an early man standing in the office of anti-Christ opposing the Government of God. Thus, the power and authority to withstand him came from out of God’s Government. It rested on the boy with the sling. A parallel exists between that event and what we face as the time of the end comes on with the increase of Satan’s wrath.
Go to I Sam 17 and learn from it. There David revealed the principle by which he withstood Goliath. He said to him, And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD's, and He will give you into our hands—I Sam 17:47.
Now we want to look closely at Ps 2 as it lays out God’s intention to have His Son rule in the earth. I’ve placed my own interpretation as I’ve seen it in the Original. We usually quote from the King James Version in these mini-Maschil articles, but we share this so you may feel something of the same pulse of the Psalm we’ve felt. Later when we make reference to Ps 2 we will use the King James Version.
In the Psalm we find revealed a scheme the rulers of the nations will attempt to put in force as they reject the authority of the Lord and His Anointed. However, with all their zeal and hatred, there is one thing national leaders cannot get past. It is a decree from God settling that His Anointed Son will rule the nations. Those of us who know His dominion now and have submitted to His Kingdom’s purpose for us, have discovered already the power of His rule.
Now to the Psalm and the high truth it holds. Like a great oratorio, or an opera, with lead singers and chorus, it has four "acts." In each part a different voice holds forth with part of the Psalm’s revelation.
After reading this, read the Psalm in your own Bible. Begin soaking in it till it has permeated your mind and your spirit. Let every negative thought you have mingle with the Psalm till your negativity, along with your gloom, has given way to the positive dynamics of its Word.
PART I—The rulers of the nations give forth with their rejection of Christ’s rule over them. (Verses 1-3)
1 What is the reason for this tumultuous assembly of nations, even of the people who plot this impoverished device?
2 The Kings of the earth assume their stations, and the chief ones among them gather in a private conclave against the Lord and against His Christ, resolving:
3 Let us tear off the binding restraints they have placed on us. Even let us cast off the cords with which they have restricted us.
PART II—God speaks, telling the rulers they cannot reject Christ’s dominion. He has already been anointed for His position. (Verses 4-6)
4 The One Who remains enthroned in the heavens derides the resolution with laughter. Yea, even the Lord scorns them.
5 At that time He makes a declaration to them in His wrath. He even terrifies them in His burning anger as He says:
6 But I have already anointed My King upon Zion, the mountain of My holiness."
PART III—The Son of God speaks, reciting the Word His Father said to Him when He installed Him as King. (Verses 7-9)
7 "I will declare the Decree of the Appointment. The Lord said unto Me, ‘You are My Son: I have begotten You for this day.
8 ‘Ask of Me and I shall give You the nations for Your inheritance, even the extremities of the earth for Your possession.
9 ‘You will break down their resistance with an inflexible scepter of iron. You will scatter them like the broken vessel of a potter.’"
PART IV—The prophet speaks, admonishing the rulers to reconsider their resolution. (Verses 10-12)
10 This is the time of opportunity, O Kings. •Act with wisdom. •Receive correction, you who rule as judges in the earth.
11 •Serve the Lord with fear and •rejoice with trembling. •Submit to the Son with a kiss of reconciliation lest He become angry, and you and all your way perish—for His wrath will be kindled shortly.
12 O, the blessings of all those who flee to Him for refuge!
What power! What conquest! What dominion! What authority! We could go on with exclamations. What triumph for mercy and grace! In the midst of all His enemies, the Son of God reigns. This is because of the powerful Covenant Promise His Father made to Him. Its Word cannot be broken.
The New Testament clearly states that Ps 2 has reference to the Lord Jesus. He is to inherit all nations. And—there will be a people to receive the inheritance with Him.
In all my theological training, not one instructor or professor ever mentioned the Davidic Covenant with the impact it has on us who believe in the Lord Jesus. This was in spite of the fact that the unfolding of truth in the New Testament flows out of its promise. The fact is David is quoted or has reference made to him over fifty times in the New Testament. It was left to the Holy Spirit to bring this to my attention after I finished my formal education.
While as yet I didn’t know the importance of Ps 2, but after I received the baptism in the Spirit, the Lord impressed me I was to spend time with the Psalm till the promise in it God made His Son became more indelible in my memory than my own name. I might stutter and stammer when asked who I am, but I must never hesitate to recall the Covenant Promise of Ps 2.
For months I stayed in the Psalm. Day and night it was my study and meditation. For some time it seemed it as though it was the only Scripture the Holy Spirit was intent in impressing upon me. I memorized it and learned to sing it by a tune the Lord gave us. I quoted it over and over in my heart and thought all the thoughts I could think that could be born out of its light. On going to bed, Ps 2 was my final meditation. On waking, it was my first thought. An excitement took hold of my spirit. Some times in the night I would arise and look again at its Word written in my most commonly used Bible, and sometimes in the Original to see what other nuance of truth and light might emanate from it.
One striking time in my memory stands out when I was meditating on the Psalm. Another brother and I had driven all night to arrive in a city where I was to minister. Arriving earlier than we had anticipated, we stopped at a roadside park to await dawn. While the brother with me slept, I got out and walked under the lights of the park with my Bible in hand. I looked again at Ps 2 as though it were a new passage. As I read it, sang it, and meditated on it, it came to me I should turn to Rev 2:26,27. Although I was familiar with the chapter, I did not know what this exact reference held. When I looked, I found there the Lord Jesus was promising the overcomer the same thing His Father had promised Him in Ps 2:8,9.
Something began burning in my spirit. Sure, the revelation was deep and only the Holy Spirit in me could handle its disclosure. But oh, how delighted He was that I was opening my soul with the hope of receiving the passage! Look at these Revelation verses with me.
Rev 2:26,27—And he that overcometh, and keepeth My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of My Father.
In speaking to the overcomer, He used language from Ps 2. This passage is so powerful we should see it again as it flows out of the Greek New Testament.
26 And he who overcomes ("persists with victory in the conflict with evil") and keeps ("guards like a sentry") my works unto the end ("unto their full performance") to him will I give power (from the Greek exousía, meaning "executive power, authority") over the nations.
27 And he will rule them (as a shepherd would tend a flock of sheep) with a rod of iron ("an unbending, unyielding staff, or scepter, of rule") As the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers, even as I also have received from My Father (as recorded in Ps 2:8,9).
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