This is the sixth in a series addressing those who profess Christ and consider themselves Americans first and foremost. The point of this series is to educate everyone (not just born-again believers) on what the Scripture actually states concerning a proper attitude toward authority and toward those around us, both the froward and the good. As always, my prayer is that everyone learn what is the heart and mind of the LORD God. — In Christ, Paul W. Davis
In the last five posts addressing this subject, we have dealt with the heart and mind of the LORD God toward the lost, and how Steven L. Anderson departed from that in his sermon of August 16th, 2009, in which he loudly and strongly proclaimed that he was praying for the LORD to slay Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, and send him to Hell for his advocacy and support of abortion, among other egregious things.
Now, we turn to how Pastor Anderson justifies his heart and attitude from Scripture. The reason we do this is so we also can understand how not to depart from the truth of the word of God. We know from Scripture that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), and that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God. Moreover, I (and many others) hold that the King James Version of the Bible is the word of God (the Scripture) for the English-speaking people — worldwide.1 This means that we must interpret the texts of the Scripture in such a way that they do not end up conflicting with other passages in Scripture. By that, I do not mean wrestling them until they finally fit the way we want them. Rather, what I mean here is that we allow the construct, the grammar, and the setting (context) be the drivers of our interpretation. This does not mean they are the sole factors in driving our interpretation, but that they have a major influence on how we determine what the passage states. The true driver or influence is what we perceive by and through the operation of faith. The proper operation of faith will insure that we never interpret a passage so that it is in conflict with other passages of Scripture.
That stated, we turn our attention to the passage used by Steven L. Anderson to justify his belief: Psalm 58
Do ye indeed speak righteousness, O congregation? do ye judge uprightly, O ye sons of men? Yea, in heart ye work wickedness; ye weigh the violence of your hands in the earth. The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear; Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely.
Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth: break out the great teeth of the young lions, O LORD. Let them melt away as waters which run continually: when he bendeth his bow to shoot his arrows, let them be as cut in pieces. As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun. Before your pots can feel the thorns, he shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath. The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked. So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth. (Psalm 58:All)
What are we to make of Psalm 58?
First, it states this psalm is “To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David.” Knowing this, let us begin with understanding something more of David in relation to his service to the LORD. In Acts, we are told by the apostle Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, that king David was a prophet, and that he particularly prophesied of Christ. As we shall see, this bears heavily upon the interpretation and application of Psalm 58.
Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing 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; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption. (Acts 2:29-31)
The above passage from Acts is a quotation from the 16th Psalm, and is speaking of Christ as the apostle Peter confirms. We can also see in Psalm 22, Psalm 40, Psalm 69, and many others where king David speaks of Christ to come and the work of redemption Christ would accomplish. This should give pause to consider whether Psalm 58 applies to David only, all saints everywhere and at all times, or to the Lord Jesus Christ only. To gain that understanding, it is necessary for us to examine other psalms and see if we can find a consistency of thought with Psalm 58.
And indeed we do find a consistency of thought to two other psalms, both of which are quoted in the New Testament. The first is Psalm 82:
God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations. (Psalm 82:All)
Which is quoted by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself:
The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (John 10:33-36)
To be continued . . .
- Here we must clarify something for American English-speakers: the King James Bible is written in formal modern British English. This makes it acceptable and accepted worldwide. Were it written in the American dialect of English, it would only be acceptable in America and perhaps Canada. But since England (specifically Britain) is the birthplace of English, and thus the source from which all English dialects come, formal British English is acceptable worldwide. [↩]