A Strange Dichotomy

     For the past several days I have been troubled about what is taking place in this nation. My heart has been hurt and I struggled with how I should handle and address the matter of the disruption of peace and tranquility. I have thought how some might respond and considered that some will take my words out of context or simply tell me I am on the wrong side of the issues at hand. The struggle still continues as even some family members take issue with my stand. My stand is not for this group or that but the whole of mankind. Even so, some take issue with that.

     So, I might as well get to it. If I lose friends, so be it. I am not in a popularity contest nor am I pretending to be politically correct for the moment. We are in a war and the enemy does not care about ethnicities. He does not care about culture. He does not care about families nor does the enemy care about socio-economic status or religion. Our common enemy cares only to steal, kill, and destroy and we are allowing him to do that by furthering divides which serve only to push his agenda and that is done through deception. Let me explain.

     Much of the turmoil in this nation at this time is said to be centered around the death of George Floyd. Mr. Floyd, a Black man (I sure hate colour-coding people) was killed by a White police officer. I am not certain that anyone would argue that Mr. Floyd should be dead and that his killer should be free. Yet, the continual narrative is that police are targeting Blacks and that all Whites are somehow complicit in the wrongs of a few. Yes, there are some racist Whites. There are also some racist Blacks. The fact is that there are racists in every ethnicity, yet those racists do not speak for the whole.

     Digressing to the killing, I am not fully convinced the murder was based on racism. This is where I get in trouble. You see, the news has largely ignored the fact that Mr. Floyd and his murderer were co-workers.[1] This fact means that certain questions must be asked. How well did Mr. Floyd and his killer know each other? Was there a continuation of bad blood between the two? Is it possible this murder could have been more personal than racial? Why is the media hiding the fact of these long-lasting co-workers? Is there a political motivation to continuing the racist rhetoric associated with the death of Mr. Floyd?

     It is also necessary to look at the ever-resounding mantra of Black Lives Matter. This is a movement that began in Baltimore after the death of Freddy Gray while in police custody. Mr. Gray was not killed by the police, yet the movement began.[2] Not many will argue against the fact that Black lives matter. The strange dichotomy is that while the death of Mr. Gray was made political and caused rioting in the streets of Baltimore there were no voices raised for the many deaths of those dying in the streets of Baltimore at the hands of other Blacks. Specifically, there were 344 murders in Baltimore that year and no one took to the streets.[3] There were no riots. Stores were not broken into and looted. Could it be that the deaths did not fit the political narrative? Were those 344 lives not precious? Is the lack of concern because those people primarily Black, did not matter because their lives were taken primarily by Blacks? It just seems to me that if Black lives matter these 344 in Baltimore should be counted as those that matter.

     Now, Mr. Floyd’s death was also tragic and totally unnecessary. There is no doubt that his life mattered. The dichotomy is that the many other lives taken in Minneapolis do little to raise eyebrows. It almost appears the eyes are turned away even when the lives are taken from Blacks. Do their lives not matter? There is no marching in the street for those Blacks killed by other Blacks in Minneapolis. There were, undoubtedly, Whites killed as well. Are their lives less significant because they are not Black? I find it hard to believe that one’s value is predicated upon his ethnicity; a matter of which he holds no control.

     When examining strange dichotomies, one has no choice but to consider Chicago. Chicago is a city long known for its crime. The “Windy City” has had the winds of lawless at least since the time of the show Good Times. It appears that not much has changed even in the face of a Black mayor, Miss Lightfoot. Mayor Lightfoot is obviously no fan of churches and that has become evident during this Coronavirus fiasco.[4] Even while her venom for churches is spewed Blacks are being murdered in Chicago left and right.[5] It could be that those nearly 250 people killed so far this year did not matter. Most were Black. Most were likely killed by Blacks. The problem is that they do not fit the convenient political narrative.

     I could go on and on about the many Blacks killed at the hands of Blacks that never make the national or sometimes local news. Consider, the deaths in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, New Orleans, etc. Do these lives not matter? Many are Black. The problem is they were not killed by the police. It does not fit the narrative that police are exterminating Blacks. The fact is that police kill very few Blacks and most of those killings are justified. For instance, the associated footnote will show that this year there have been Blacks killed by police (research for details) more Whites were killed than Blacks.[6] Other ethnicities were killed as well. It just seems that those other than Blacks do not have the political backing to get attention.

     It has become politically correct to join the Black Lives Matter movement. To raise fists in solidarity with those lives fit the political rhetoric serves to further the political movement. It has become the norm to say that Black lives matter. However, the dichotomy is that one standing in solidarity with others is somehow offensive. To say “all lives matter” is sufficient to cause maltreatment and maligning of the one standing for all. For me, this is a difficult pill to swallow. In fact, I do not want the pill. I stand for each and every life no matter the ethnicity. I stand with right no matter where there right falls. I stand against wrong no matter where that wrong falls.

     I find it necessary to stretch this discussion just a bit further. You see, many that purport to be Christians are among those ready to fight at the suggestion that all lives matter. This is problematic when one considers the fact that God so loved the world (the entirety of mankind) that He sent his only begotten Son John 3:16). God’s love is not concerned with ethnicity. It is not concerned with national origin nor is it concerned with language or political correctness. God’s love is concerned with the individual as he is placed in the world. The world encompasses all of mankind is a type of what we will find in Heaven.

    Revelation chapter five points to the contingent of people that will be giving God praises in Heaven. They include people of every kindred, nation, and tongue. No group is excluded. All are included. To God, all lives matter yet the dichotomy would suggest otherwise. Even so, to be people of God we would do well to remember the principle of love. If we but love our neighbors as we love ourselves, we would do well to lay aside this strange dichotomy.

[1] http://salonedaily.com/2020/05/30/shocking-late-george-floyd-his-killer-derek-chauvin-were-co-workers-at-a-club/

[2] http://archive.bluelivesmatter.blue/truth-behind-freddie-gray/

[3] https://chamspage.blogspot.com/2015/11/2015-baltimore-city-homicidesmurders.html

[4] https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/05/24/chicago-mayor-launches-police-raid-shut-down-black-church/

[5] https://graphics.suntimes.com/homicides/

[6] https://killedbypolice.net/kbp2020/

The Destruction of a People

Over the past several weeks I have been watching the people of the United States being destroyed piece by piece. Some may not see this as destruction. However, a careful examination of Scripture shows that God’s people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). That lack of knowledge is significant in spiritual matters as well as natural matters. Let’s do a brief examination of the lockdown this country has been subjected to over the past weeks.

A first thing to note is that this taking away of the freedoms of the people began of misinformation and hyperbole. This misinformation was the projections that COVID 19 was set to kill many people over a short period of time.[1] This was not only false information but that it seems to have played a major role in pulling from facts and introducing fear to a people that have failed to seek information for themselves. This lack of knowledge has caused people to bend to the whims of dictatorial despot wannabes whose sole desire is to impose a false authority on an unlearned people.

Another thing needing a little examination is the matter of fear. Among other mediums, the media at large became a useful tool in introducing fear to millions of people. That was done in part with the regular use of the term “social distancing.” There is hardly a news segment from the mainstream media wherein the idea is not introduced. One might argue that this is a form of indoctrination as it is the repeated mantra of an idea that has yet to have a clear scientific basis. In fact, social distancing is very harmful to individuals as humans are communal by nature. Yet, the fear-induced propaganda has sought to lead the uninformed to believe that this virus is so dangerous that we cannot even touch our faces even in the absence of anyone that may have the slightest chance of being infected. Fear is most effective in the absence of knowledge and so the fear of being close to someone has made many angry and rude. This goes to the oxymoronic idea of social distancing.

The list of destructive ideas is long. There is the closing of parks by some jurisdictions when it is proven this virus lives a very short time in the sun. People have been giving citations for attending church services while sitting in their cars. Pastors have been arrested for holding church services. Beaches have been closed. Businesses have been lost. Millions are sitting home waiting for the government to send them money not realizing the government does not care and cannot care about the individual. The list of atrocities goes on as the governmental agencies seem to mandate the people kowtow to authoritarian rule. However, to be subjugated to the government is indicative of the fact the government controls you. This ignorance of people causes them not to realize that when the government controls you there is no freedom.

With this contemporary look at the destruction of a people, it is reasonable that a biblical examination be employed. John 10:10 highlights the motivations of the thief. The text, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” Said differently, the thief (the devil) has but one purpose: the destruction of a people.

The thief is no friend to the people of God. He comes to destroy you by any means that will cause that destruction. This is much like what is going on in the United States today. The enemy has stolen the peace of many. There is little trust in our fellow men. Brother has been turned against brother. The truth has been stolen by reason of an abundance of lies and hyperbole. One lie the enemy will tell you is that you are worthy and that you deserve to die. Well, let me tell you, you are worthy, and you deserve to live. Christ came so that you could have life and that life is one free from the destruction of peace

This thief, this enemy, has also come to steal. While that may seem obvious, these dictatorial restrictions of heavy-handed despot types have stolen lives by reason of suicides directly linked to the restrictions.[2] Moreover, some have died because they were not able to get necessary medical care because of the restrictions placed on hospitals. Peace of mind has also been stolen. Joy has been stolen. Careers have been stolen. Yet, Jesus came that our life would be more abundant. For those of us that trust God we know that what the cankerworm has eaten God will restore (Joel 2:25). And, while that text is specific to certain people the principle of God remains strong. God is a restorative God.

There has also been a lot of destruction of the past weeks. Families have been destroyed. Some lives will never be the same. All of this has happened because of the lack of knowledge and understanding of what is going on in the natural and spiritual worlds. It is high time we stopped the destruction of a people and stood on our founding principles. Those principles are outlined in the Word of God and that is where we find life. The destruction will be abated once we come to the knowledge of truth and begin to rest in that. And, while the Word of God is our founding principle we need also to rest in the knowledge of the law of this land, the Constitution. Once both are properly employed the destruction of a people will be abated.

Finally, think not that this essay is to make light of those seriously impacted by COVID-19. It is not. The intention of this is to remove the blinders of fear as we stand steadfast in truth.

[1] https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/25/inaccurate-virus-models-are-panicking-officials-into-ill-advised-lockdowns/

[2] https://www.ccn.com/chillingly-scariest-coronavirus-death-toll-may-not-come-from-covid-19/

The Greatest Enemy

I must admit, the coronavirus has gotten many worked up and in a frenzy. Some are afraid to leave their homes and others are even more afraid of coming in contact with other people. The media and politicians have ramped this virus to the point that you would have thought this virus would be the downfall of mankind and the end of the world. Fear has crippled the world at large and this country in particular. Fear has caused people to wear face masks and if one person in some communities contract the virus people run around as though the sky is falling.

Look, it is not my intention to make light of this virus. For some it is lethal. Being sick is no desire for anyone. Hence, certain precautions are necessary for any viral disorder. Even so, this same panic was not prevalent during the time of the Swine Flu. In perspective, the Swine Flu was contracted by about 61 million people in the United States.[1] This resulted in about 13 thousand deaths. There was no widespread panic. There was not the closing down of cities, states, nor the workforce. As I recall, the mentions of it on media did little to instill fear and panic. And, I would argue, rightly so.

As I pen these words, the confirmed cases of the coronavirus are about 77 thousand and about one thousand deaths. Yes, this is tragic. Every life is precious. Still, comparatively speaking, this is a very small number. With a nation of about 350 million people, the number of people contracting the virus is about .00022%. This means that most people will not contract this virus and most do not know anyone infected. So, why all this panic? Why all the fear? What is going on causing panic where all that is needed is good basic care?

While I am not a medical doctor and don’t pretend to understand all such matters. I can say of certainty that Satan comes but to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10). The question must be asked as to how Satan (the thief) performs these most nefarious actions. Simply put, if the thief desires to kill who you are in God, he will dangle fear in front of you so that you do not do what God has ordained you to do. You may become fearful of failure so that you will not step out in faith and do what the Almighty has for you.

The thief will also steal your future and motivations from you. He will cause fear to settle on you so that your God-given motivations are snatched from you before you realize what is going on. Before you know it, the gifts that God has given you to build His Kingdom have been lost because the enemy took them by reason of unjustified fear. He will also destroy you with fear. Now, this is not talking about the fear of God which is a reverence to Him. This fear is the unmitigated distortion of facts and truth in order to hold you hostage to the lie. Fear is the most destructive enemy and if allowed will stop the strongest man in his footsteps.

I repeat I am not saying don’t take care of yourselves. Wash your hands. If you are sick stay home. Take care of yourself and others. In doing this, don’t let the greats enemy, fear overwhelm you. Don’t allow and temporary moment in time to impact the rest of your life. So, stand strong. The winds of adversity come but for a moment. Don’t let this fear determine your future and don’t let it snatch from you the very thing God has created you for. You are more than that and the enemy knows it. So, stand.

Remember, the thief comes to steal kill and destroy but that Jesus came that you might have life and that more abundantly. So, go for the abundance and kick fear out of your life.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/estimates_2009_h1n1.htm

Perfect Harmony

It is not common practice for me to write book reviews. While I have written a few academically I have never written one outside the purview of academic scrutiny. Still, I must put forth some insight concerning the work of Mark and Rebecca Johnston called The Last Breakup.

Pianos are very sophisticated instruments. They can be played in any key with any genre of music. A skilled pianist has the ability to make the instrument talk or hum, whatever his desire. This is despite the fact of the opposing black and white keys. The keys represent not only different notes but also different octaves. Played wrongly, the piano can sound like a wild cat screeching in the night. Yet, skillfully played the piano keys work in perfect harmony. This is also the case with marriage – rightly played marriage is the most beautiful relationship on earth. Wrongfully played the diametrically opposed keys are sufficient to cause severe pain.

Mark and Rebecca have chosen to share the pain of their marriage in this eye-catching work. It is not a book of marital counseling. It is a work that shows the emotional ups and downs of a marriage doomed to destruction because it was being played without regard to the wisdom of one who knows well the skill it takes to rightly play a marriage. The emotional roller coaster not only nearly caused the breakup of a marriage but could have destroyed not only those in the marriage but also those closely linked to the marriage.

But then, because of the brokenness of Mark and Rebecca there came unexpected players in the picture. While the emotive aspects of a badly played marriage sought to destroy what God joined together the unexpected inevitable master of teaching became paramount in the lives of those knowing nowhere else to turn. But for the grace of God, the last breakup would not be permanent.  Instead, it would be the impetus for planting the foundation for a lovely union.

As you read The last Breakup turn off the TV and get in a quiet place. The transparency and vulnerability are refreshing as Mark and Rebecca reflect on their last breakup and what caused healing in the face of brokenness.

The Last Breakup

No Time for God

There are still some having no time for God.


     Considering the fact that Genesis 1:1 begins the creation narrative all too often the fact of the term “beginning” is elusive to many. It should be noted that this term is not indicative of the start of time at large rather it is noting the beginning of recorded time. Said a bit differently time did not begin with Genesis 1:1 but that time, like God, is eternal. Moreover God does not operate within the confines of time simply because time is His idea. Now, this may sound like a bunch of senseless rhetoric but it is significant that God, the One not influenced by time stepped inside of time in order to redeem mankind.

     Fast forwarding to John 1:1 the same term “beginning” is found and its implications are the same as those found in Genesis. This time two members of the Godhead are specifically identified as “Word”…

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The Simplicity of Unity

Today is a day used to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There is no argument against his fight for civil liberties and that those liberties included the right of Blacks to be provided equal rights in every aspect of society. Among those rights was the right for Blacks to attend schools of their choice. This is to say that Dr. King fought against the ideology of Jim Crow. It was a tough fight, yet it was a fight worth fighting.

Dr. King was also laden with dreams. In one of his speeches, he expressed his dream of his children playing freely with White children. Said differently, King had a dream of unity. He had a dream that all men would walk side-by-side with the matter of ethnicity being non-existent. King’s dream led him to work for a nation more concerned with the content of one’s character rather than the complexion of one’s skin. And, in many cases the dream of King came to pass and, in some instances, there remains fighting for unity.

I, too, have a dream. My dream is much like that of Dr. King. My dream is a simple unification of people. Like King, I am sick and tired of racist activity and rhetoric that seeks only to cause unnecessary divides. I am weary of constant bickering of idiosyncratic stereotypical ideologies that seek only to further divide a people. Well, I have had enough. I have a dream and that dream starts with the Church taking its proper stand in this conversation. My dream is simple. My dream requires only that the people of God love each other, and that love can only unify. It cannot divide.

Psalm 133 paints a beautiful portrait of unity. Verse one states, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” It is good and it is pleasant for those of us that call in the Name of Jesus to have the lifestyle of godliness. That brotherhood is not concerned with ethnicity. It is not concerned with nationality. It is only concerned with the individual. Love seeks only to build. It does not seek to tear apart. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for the Church to rid itself of racist rancor and collect the words of life. Those words of life serve only to heal and reconcile. This is the work of the Christian – reconciliation.

Unity is a very simple matter. It means treating others the way you want to be treated. It means standing side-by-side with your brother in the good times and the bad times. The simplicity of unity is expressed in one simple word; love. So, let us love one another. Not because of ethnicity or other superficial means. Let us love one another, starting from the pulpit, as Christ loved us. Only then can the simplicity of unity be had. Please, Church, let us love. That is my dream.




This Thing Called Faith

We now live in a society wherein every one of every creed is declaring they have faith. The problem is that it becomes increasingly difficult to determine wherein the faith of these lies. Some seem to have faith in their jobs. Others have faith in their own abilities while even more have faith in false gods. The idea of faith seems to have ends only in the minds of those declaring they have faith.

Scripture is not so vague when it comes to faith. Jesus is found admonishing Peter in Mark 11:22 with the simple words, “Have faith in God.” This faith that Jesus spoke of was not a mere knowledge that God is able to perform as He said. It is the confidence that God will do just what He says. Having faith in God is o have so much trust in God that there is no consideration of Him going against His Word. The idea of God not performing what was said does not come to mind. Having faith in God is knowing that there is no way that God’s Word will return void. God said it. End of discussion.

Hebrews 10:38 declares, “Now the just shall live by faith.” This text appears to make a division in different people. It specifies the “just” are the ones to live by faith. This brings about the question as to who the just are. Now, the just are those who are righteous. It is those who are in right standing with God. The just are those who seek to please God with their lives. This means that those that love and honor God with their lives are required to have a lifestyle of faith.

The idea of a required lifestyle is noted with the word “shall.” This word “shall” seems to mandate that those who are upright and living a life pleasing to God have a duty to live by faith. It is not optional. There is no suggestion. This thing called faith is not a choice of apathy. Rather, this thing called faith is an absolute must and required of those that are just. It is not apathetic; it is active. Therefore, the mandate for the just to have lifestyles of faith is not shown to be hidden in a closet. It is one that is presented in day-to-day activities.

James 2:17 expounds on the activity of faith. The text reads, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” This means that confidence in God requires action on the part of the just. One cannot have faith and do nothing to show that faith. Faith requires action. This thing called faith means that one acts on God’s Word. If there is no action the matter of faith becomes questionable. Therefore, the just are not merely encouraged, the just are mandated to get up and show some signs of faith. Holding God respectfully to His Word is active faith. This thing called faith is mandated for the just and the just must walk in faith.








Presented to

Dr. Michael Heiser

Of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Lynchburg, VA





In Partial Fulfillment

Of the Requirements for


The Poetry of the Old Testament









William James Carter, The 1st

Baltimore, Maryland

20 August 2010




Table of Contents

























 The Messiah: Even the Psalmist Saw Him


It was said of Paul that much studying made him mad. Yet the contention might really be due to the lack of study. In fact the Scripture say that God’s people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge. This point cannot be made truer concerning the Book of Psalms. And while the book is certainly a series of songs there is more to the Psalter than singing and rejoicing.

This is said because of the many occurrences of Messianic prophecies and honor to Him. And while there are definitely praises sang to the Messiah the Psalter also takes time to recognize Him as being the Son of God, the Deliverer of God’s people and His eternal positioning. And while the Psalter does show these areas as they relate to the Messiah they are but a few things that the Psalms point to regarding this Anointed One.

For instance, at least one psalm goes into some prophetic detail concerning not only the crucifixion of the Messiah but also shows events around it. This is psalm is but one of many examples of the Psalms not only giving credence to the Messiah but the New Testament servers as an answer to the prophecies made many years prior. This latest example prophetic utterance cannot be denied by even the most critical of skeptics.

With this background in mind this paper will examine some of the Psalms presenting biblical truths despite the fact that there are those that would take issue with the Messiah being mentioned in the Psalter. But the New Testament continues to serve in showing that God is faithful to His people as He was concerned enough to show the Messiah would come. In doing this He used the psalmist to prophecy for the nations and the people to come.

The Messiah: Even the Psalmist Saw Him

Many have heard the cry that Jesus can be found in every book of the Bible. Where there may be considerable truth to this there is no greater truth than that the Messiah is found in Psalter. Among the places found perusals of Psalms 1, 2, 22 and 110 present pictures of the coming Messiah. Further, not only do these psalms look to His coming but they correspond greatly with New Testament writers. One of the more obvious psalms that point to the Messiah is Psalm 110.

A cursory reading of Psalm clearly shows discussion of Deity. Verse one presents two occurrences of Deity with the Terms “LORD” and “Lord”.  It is obvious that the first instance is Deity by reason of the term being in all capital letters. This is notable considering the second term bears only one capital letter which is the first letter. This is not common practice for figures that are not deity. As such, David (as this is one of his psalms) seems to be recognizing two figures. This recognition is not to suggest two gods but merely alludes to the fact of the Godhead.

With this, it seems that all do not follow this reasoning. For instance, The Cambridge Bible Commentary (CBC) merely capitalizes the first letter of the first instance of lord and the second instance shows in all lower case.  In fact, CBC goes on to suggest that “More probably the following promises are made of David himself or a Davidic king”.[1] With this there is a pointing to five items of promise in the text that have been interpreted to show David (or a Davidic king) as the recipient of the promises. Even so, CBC does not ignore the Christian point of view. It is noted that Christians see the Psalm as Messianic[2] but gives little ground in support of the Christian view.

With a less jaundiced eye, David Aloisi expounds on the point by showing that the LORD speaking is Yahweh which “signifies a divine oracle”.[3] Aloisi’s observation serves to undergird the fact that not only is Deity present but there is also a prophetic tone to the statement. Further, Matthew Henry notes the prophetic statement in respect to the Messiah while showing that David praised God concerning the prophecy.[4] Agreement between Aloisi and Henry is buttressed by Scripture; specifically Matthew 22:43-45. These verses in Matthew expressly have Jesus making reference to David’s comments in Psalm 110 as he speaks in the spirit.

These agreements only serve to present further argument that the Lord mentioned in Psalm 110 is the Messiah because of the unique nature of His position. That is that this Messiah would not only serve as king but also priest; specifically, he would be King-Priest after the order of Melchizedeck. Aloisi is careful to point out that it was not normal for one person to be king and priest because the former by law had to come from the tribe of Judah and the latter from the tribe of Levi.[5] The only other king-priest was Melchizedeck (Genesis 14:18) and the only other One to follow suit would be the Messiah (Hebrews 5:6).

Psalm 110, however, is not the only Psalm that looks to the Lord. Psalm two also paints a picture of the Messiah. Verse seven presents the Lord as God’s anointed. Specifically, it says “thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee”. The term “begotten” is significant in that it is shown in the Septuagint as yahid which means “only one”.[6] Although the related term here is actually “only begotten” with New Testament ties it is doubtful that any would argue against the Son named here as being the Messiah particularly considering John 3:16 showing the Messiah as being given by the Father for the restoration of life.

The term “only begotten” is used only of the Messiah in Scripture. Additionally, John 3:16 shows the Son being instrumental in the giving of eternal life. No human has the authority or ability to give eternal life. It is for these reasons that Psalm 2:7 must be about the Messiah. Despite these findings, CBC continues to reason against Christian understanding of the passage. In fact it explains that “The theme of the decree is the pledge of adoption given to David’s heir in 2 Sam. 7:14”.[7] And yet the fact of the Messiah being mentioned in Psalm two continues with verse twelve where the kings are advised to “kiss the Son”.

This kissing of the Son is significant because it hails from the ancient custom of kissing kings or the practice of vassal kings kissing the ground immediately before the representative of the Overlord.[8] Furthermore, Waltke shows that the kissing of the king far exceeds common respect but is suggestive of “submission and reverence” to the subject being kissed.[9] John 5:23 solidifies this reverence by the words of the Messiah “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.”

Psalm 68 is another in the Psalter that not only honors the majesty of the Messiah but also foresees the victory wrought by Him on behalf of those that believe. Verse 18 looks through the annul of time and sees Christ ascending heavenward (Mark 16:19) and leading the captivity captive (Ephesians 4:8). William L. Pettingill concurs with the idea that the psalm is a reference to the Messiah particularly in light of verse 18 and its Pauline reference.[10] Additionally, Oden links the two verses together by showing Christ as Victor during His ascension. [11]

The above examination of the Messiah in Psalms serves to show that redemption for mankind was in the heart of God even before the time of David. But the writers were far from complete in giving homage to the Messiah in worship as well as prophetically. For instance, one Davidic psalm points to the very act of the crucifixion of the Messiah and events surrounding the crucifixion. Psalm 22:16 reads in part “they pierced my hands and feet”. Matthew Henry takes time to describe the event in the following fashion:

He is here crucified. The very manner of his death is described, though never in use among the Jews: They pierced my hands and my feet (v. 16), which were nailed to the accursed tree, and the whole body left so to hang, the effect of which must needs be the most exquisite pain and torture. There is no one passage in all the Old Testament which the Jews have so industriously corrupted as this because it is such an eminent prediction of the death of Christ and was so exactly fulfilled. [12]


Even while Henry makes keen observations concerning the 22nd Psalm McLeister is just as keen in his observations. He notes that the Messiah’s body was emaciated due to the cruelty of His enemies.[13] In his discussion, McLeister does not merely expound upon the savage treatment of the Messiah but goes on to show the victorious conclusion shown in verse twenty-two of the Psalm. This victorious end of suffering is shown as the resurrection which continues with yet another reason to praise and exalt the Messiah.[14]

While the above examinations of the Messiah in the Psalter certainly points to the Christ of the New Testament it should be noted that there are no occurrences of the term “Messiah” found in the Book of Psalms. Further, in the Old Testament the Messiah was not considered one person but three – the Son of Man, suffering servant and the future king of Israel.[15]  But, unless there is an understanding of what “Messiah” means the task of finding references to Him in the Psalter can be very daunting. This said there is one clear understanding of “Messiah” and that is “anointed one”.[16] An understanding of Who the Anointed One is clears the way for finding the Messiah in Psalms. And that understanding has to lead us to Christ (Anointed One) Jesus.

Psalm 18:50 is one such occurrence where the term “anointed” is a direct reference to the Messiah. The Scripture reads “Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore”. The latter portion of the verse is significant in that the discussion is about three separate entities. The first mentioned is “his anointed” which points back to verse 49 which has to do with the magnification of the LORD. In fact, the entire Psalter is one that highly exalts the LORD. This exalting of the LORD is highlighted in the discussion by Longman and Dillard as they examine different aspects of Psalter. They specifically show Psalm 18:49 as giving homage to Him.[17]  That magnification continues as the LORD reciprocates and delivers the king and by showing mercy to his anointed who clearly is not David in this instance.

Psalm 45:7 presents another instance of the Anointed One being the Messiah.  And while the reference may not be completely obvious it shows that God has anointed a specific Subject above His fellows. There is no human being that has been elevated to such a position. In fact, Isaiah, when making prophecy concerning the Branch of the root of Jessie, makes a point to show that “righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins” (Isaiah 11:5). Again, there is no other person that is able to exude righteousness to the extent that it is tightly wrapped about his loins.

Furthermore, Erickson makes a point of linking Hebrews 1:8 with Psalm 45.[18] The Scripture reads “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” However, Erickson warns that to see the work of the Anointed One as completely futuristic is an error.[19] He further observes that Christ was at work at the time his observations were penned and goes further to point out that “he is in control of the natural universe”[20]. And if the Messiah is in control of the universe now, then one can safely say that His control is a perpetual state without limits to time.

The Anointed One is not always given the praise that is due to Him in the Psalter. It is not that the psalmists do not worship Him but that there was realization that some trampled on Him. Psalm 89:51 is a prime example of that. It reads “Wherewith thine enemies have reproached, O LORD; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed.” The significance in this verse rests in the latter portion discussing the footsteps of the anointed of God being reproached.

In his discussion of Psalm 89:52, Henry originally leans to David as being the anointed. But he quickly turns his attention to the Messiah and the feelings of those that were waiting on his coming. According to Henry “They have reproached the delays of the Messiah”.[21] The reasoning of the reproach was that the Jews were in bondage and seeking relief. Their enemies were greatly oppressing them and there was great need of relief. To buttress his point regarding reproach for the Messiah Henry turns to II Peter 3:3-4.

With this New Testament link, Henry seems to be showing that present-day “scoffers” are looking to be delivered from their oppressors. They long for the second coming of the Messiah but He seems to be prolonging His return. However, the Messiah will not be returning for the scoffers and is true to His promises (II Peter 3: 9). He is faithful but not to those that doubt Him but to those that are faithful, to those that honor Him.

Despite those that would reproach the Messiah David saw no reason to follow suit. David rather chose to pray to the Father that God not turn the face of the Anointed from him. Psalm 132:10 records this prayer. Henry chimes in on this verse but does not fully attribute the reference of the anointed to the Messiah. Yet context seems to demand that the anointed referenced in this latest psalm is the Messiah.

While linking the term anointed may be challenging when studying the Psalter there is some ease in at least one other term referencing the Messiah. “Holy One” is a term not easily brushed over and assigned to David. Conversely the term “Holy One” is found three times in the Psalter. Those mentions are 16:10, 71:22 and 78:41.

Psalm 16:10 clearly shows Davidic reference to the Father and the Holy One. The verse reads in part “neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption”. The Blue Letter Bible also shows the term “Holy One” as mentioned above but has within its definitions the idea of Holy One being faithful, pious and Godly and faithful ones.[22] In its translation, the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) uses the term “faithful one” in lieu of Holy One.[23] Henry sticks with the term “Holy One” as he argues that the prophetic utterance of David was concerning the Messiah’s earthly body not being corrupted in death.[24]

Seeing that Psalm 16:10 is prophetic concerning the Messiah it was a truth realized by the Messiah as His time was drawing closer. Speaking of Himself the Messiah said, “And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again. In both instances, there was absolute truth and accuracy because the Scripture clearly shows that the body of the Holy One did not succumb to natural degradation but was raised up before corruption could take place (Matthew 28:6; Luke 24:1-7).

The second instance of the term “Holy One” in the Psalter is found in Psalm 71:22b which reads “unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel”.  However, this palm is not specific to the Messiah. There is agreement with Henry[25] and Oden[26] that the reference is to God the Father. The point is that despite terms being the same there may be distinct differences.

Likewise Psalm 78:41brings to light the Holy One. It references God the Father as He deals with backsliders among the Israelites. And while Longman and Dillard focus on the recollection of redemptive acts of the Holy One there are no indications that this psalm is relative to the Messiah.[27] Still, there is absolute, indisputable evidence that the Psalter has a number of references to the Messiah.

Thus far the examination of the Messiah in the Psalter has focused on terms such as “Anointed One and “Holy One”. But not all references to the Messiah in the Psalter use such terms. For instance, Psalm 69 has at least two references to Messianic that show His suffering surrounds the events of the crucifixion.  Psalm 69:20 explicitly describes the suffering Christ endured with the aid of no one. The text “Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none, and for comforters, but I found none” clearly shows the Messiah in turmoil and in His trouble he could depend on no one to assist Him.

Henry’s exposition on the verse suggests that anyone suffering for the cause of salvation is truly honored. His discussion puts Christ at the center of the verse with the following words:

See what a stress is laid upon this; for, in the sufferings of Christ for us, perhaps nothing contributed more to the satisfaction he made for sin, which had been so injurious to God in his honour, than the reproach, and shame, and dishonor he underwent, which God took notice of, and accepted as more than equivalent for the everlasting shame and contempt which our sins had deserved…[28]


Henry’s discussion in this instance points to the reason for the Messiah. He had to suffer the effects of sin so that mankind would not suffer what it deserves. Additionally, Henry’s point of view is in keeping with other Scripture to include Isaiah 53:3 which paints a clear picture of the rejection of the Messiah. Clear fulfillment of these prophetic utterances is found in Luke 23:18.

Psalm 69:21further expounds on the suffering of the Messiah. The text “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink” clearly shows a suffering Messiah on the cross as His suffering was exasperated by hunger and thirst. The NRSV says “they gave me poison for food”[29] which not only perpetuated the suffering of the suffering Messiah but added insult to injury. Additionally, Erickson further buttresses Psalm 69:21 showing that Christ fulfilled the prophecy by saying “I thirst”.[30] Not only does Erickson buttress the obvious prophetic utterance of the Davidic but he secures all thoughts that the Messiah is the subject of Psalm 69:21 but he also shows that Christ endured significant suffering in fulfillment of the prophecy.

Moreover, John 19:28-29 shows the very fulfillment of the prophetic utterances by showing “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth”. With this the Messiah knew what was to become of Him but He was not to be deterred. As mentioned above there was a mission to be accomplished and that mission was the salvation of man. Christ had to fulfill the promises of the Psalter. Perhaps this is why Henry penned the words:

This was literally fulfilled in Christ, and did so directly point to him that he would not say It is finished till this was fulfilled: … See how particularly the sufferings of Christ were foretold, which proves the scripture to be the word of God, and how exactly the predictions were fulfilled in Jesus Christ, which proves him to be the true Messiah.[31]

With this Henry encapsulates prophetic reasoning of the Psalter. It points to the work of the Messiah, the reason for the work and the consequence thereof. As such, Christians can join in praise of the Holy one as stated in Psalm 67:3 with the words “let all the people praise him” for the things He has done and continues to do.




With this brief overview of the Messiah in Psalms once can certainly say that the psalmist certainly did see Him. He is mentioned in several ways to include Anointed and Holy one. The psalms show adoration and praise for the Messiah while opportunities for prophetic utterances are used to bring forth the truths of the Word of God.

Even when looking outside the psalms there are multiple other references to the Messiah. For instance, references in Genesis and Isaiah which point to the Messiah are given support in the Psalter. Further, the prophetic mentions of the Psalter were not only mentioned by the Messiah but fulfilled by Him as well. Therefore instances of the Messiah in the Psalter prove not only to be seen by the anointed of God but that the Anointed One served to fulfill the prophetic utterances.

The Psalms are certainly songs that give credence to the majestic godhead and provide comfort in distressing times. They have proven to lift the downtrodden and encourage the faithful. Yet, the Psalter points to the work of the Messiah and that work was and continues to be to restore man in his rightful place with God.

[1] J. W. Rogerson and J. W. McKay, The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1977) 2:65-67.

[2] Ibid.

[3] John Aloisi, “Who is David’s Lord? Another Look at Psalm 110:1” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 10 (2005): 103-123.

[4] Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., Matthew Henry’s Commentary Commentary On the Whole Bible (Chicago: Hendrickson Publishers)538.

[5] Aloisi, Who is David’s King?, 110.

[6] Walter A. Elwell. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1984)866.

[7] J. W. Rogerson and J. W. McKay, The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1977), 1: 21.

[8] Bruce K. Waltke. “Ask of Me, My Son: Exposition of Psalm 2” Crux 43(2007): 2-19.

[9] Ibid., 13.

[10] James Montgomery Boice, Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996)2:561

[11] Thomas C. Oden, Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology (New York: HarperOne, 1987)455

[12] Henry, Commentary, 254

[13] I. F. McLeister, “The Book of Psalms: the Suffering Messiah” The American Holiness Journal(1956): 16:25-30

[14] Ibid., 29

[15] Elwell, Evangelical Dictionary, 764

[16] Thomas Nelson Publishers,  Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary  (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1995)

[17] Tremper Longman III and Raymond B. Dillard An Introduction to the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 251-251.

[18] Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1983)786

[19] Ibid.

[20] Ibid.

[21] Henry, Commentary, 475

[22] Blue Letter Bible. “Dictionary and Word Search for chaciyd (Strong’s 2623)“. Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2010. 18 Aug 2010. http:// http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm? Strongs=H2623&t=KJV

[23]Cambridge University Press. The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version (New York: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 1989)

[24] Henry, Commentary, 237

[25]Ibid., 412

[26] Oden, Classic Christianity, 64-65

[27] Longman and Dillard, Old Testament, 250

[28] Henry, Commentary, 405

[29] Cambridge, NRSV, 495

[30] Erickson, Theology, 376

[31] Henry, Commentary, 405


Aloisi, John. “Who is David’s Lord? Another Look at Psalm 110:1.” Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal, 2005: 103-123.

Baker Book House Company. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Edited by Walter A. Elwell. Grand Rapids: Baker Academics, 1984.

Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2010. http://www.blueletterbible.org (accessed August 18, 2010).

Boice, James Montgomery. Psalms. Vol. 2. 3 vols. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996.

Cambridge University Press. The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. New York: The Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 19889.

Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. 2nd Edition . Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1983.

Hendrickson Publishers, Inc. Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible. Vol. 3. 6 vols. Chicago: Hendrickson Publishers, 1991.

Longman III, Tremper, and Raymond B. Dillard. An Introduction to the Old Testament. 2nd Edition . Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994.

McLeister, I. F. “The Book of Psalms: the Suffering Messiah.” The American Holiness Journal , 1956: 25-30.

Oden, Thamos C. Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology. New York: HarperOne, 1987.

Rogerson, J. W., and J. W. McKay. The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the English Bible. Vol. 1. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1977.

—. The Cambridge Bible Commentary on the New English Bible. Vol. 2. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1977.

Waltke, Bruce K. “Ask of Me, My Son: Exposition of Psalm 2.” Crux 43 (2007): 2-19.