Today we’re continuing our series, Foreshadowing Messiah, and acknowledging that we have a promise keeping God who has never, ever broken a promise. Amen! Scripture records over 7,400 promises God has made to humanity, and other than the smaller percentage that have not been met yet, each and every promise has been kept! God is a faithful to keep his promises, unlike so many people we may know.
It reminds me of a politician. We all expect politicians to break their promises, but some are just bold-faced lies. For instance, a politician visited a small town and asked what their needs were.
“We have 2 basic needs sir,” replied the councilman. “Firstly, we have a hospital, but there’s no doctor.” On hearing this, the politician whipped out his cellphone, and after speaking for a while he reassured the town council that the doctor would be there the next day. He then asked about the second problem. “Secondly sir, there is no cellphone coverage anywhere in this village.”
God doesn’t break his promises.
1 Samuel 15:29 says,
The Preeminent One of Israel does not go back on his word or change his mind, for he is not a human being who changes his mind.”
Numbers 23:19 says,
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a human being, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not make it happen?
God has made his promises and kept them. When we look at predictive prophecy, we can look at those prophecies as promises of what will happen and throughout scripture, we find that when God has told a prophet to speak; it has happened as God said it would. If it hasn’t, it simply hasn’t happened yet. Of the 1,817 prophecies recorded in scripture, all have come true except those that haven’t happened yet. Those prophecies yet to happen, largely have to do with the end-times or with Messiah himself when he returns at the end of the age as Jesus promised. For a couple hundred years, liberal scholars and pastors have tried to remove the miraculous from scripture. Especially the fulfillment of prophecy… Why? Because prophecy is the stamp of authenticity on God’s great masterpiece of scripture. If the Bible is truly written by Holy Spirit as it claims to be, if it is truly God-breathed with the life of God flowing through every word, then twisting it, corrupting it, denying it, and using it to justify, condone, and openly approve of sin in the lives of believers could almost be judged by God as blaspheming the very Holy Spirit that wrote every word. Praise God, he is the judge. However, as you know, I take teaching and preaching the Word of God very seriously. The more evidence and ancient documents we discover, like the Dead Sea Scrolls so many years ago, the more proof we have of how God has guarded the transmission of scripture down through the ages. The more we can see; the Bible is truly miraculous in nature.
The over 300 prophecies concerning the life, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, and second coming of the Messiah are proof of the identity of Yeshua bin Yoseph ‘al Nazereth. The man we know as Jesus the Christ, the Holy Son of the one true and living Creator God and Father. Last time, we looked at the books Holy Spirit inspired Moses to write and the prophecies they contain regarding the identity of the Messiah. We looked at how those prophecies are fulfilled in the New Testament scriptures talking about Jesus. Today, we are going to look more closely how Job foreshadowed the coming Messiah, at the promises made to Israel through Samuel the prophet, and the some of the Psalms written by David and others describing Messiah in more detail.
Four different places in the book of Job, Holy Spirit foreshadows the coming of the Messiah as the story of Job’s tribulation and the attacks by the Adversary, Satan, commence. We have to remember, Job nor his friends nor wife, can see the scenes of what is happening in heaven. Yet, we find passages that directly foreshadow who Messiah is and the coming of the Messiah.
For he is not a human being like I am, that I might answer him, that we might come together in judgment. Nor is there an arbiter between us, who might lay his hand on us both, who would take his rod away from me so that his terror would not make me afraid. Then would I speak and not fear him, but it is not so with me.
Job is crying out that he doesn’t have an arbiter or other translations say mediator, but Paul says in 1 Timothy 2:5-6,
For there is one God and one intermediary between God and humanity, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as a ransom for all, revealing God’s purpose at his appointed time.
Job foreshadows Messiah, Paul shows us how Jesus fulfilled that role for all of humanity.
Job 16:19-21 says,
Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; and he contends with God on behalf of man as a man pleads for his friend.
Jesus tells his apostles in the Garden when teaching on the indwelling Holy Spirit’s presence and purpose in John 14:15-17 and then John 15:26-27,
“If you love me, you will obey my commandments. Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you.
Jesus saying that God the Father will give another Advocate, or comforter, or helper implies that Jesus himself is the first Advocate. Continuing to teach on Holy Spirit, Jesus says again in John 15.
When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – he will testify about me, 27 and you also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.
In Job 19:23-27 he cries out for a Redeemer; Job 33-23-28 he is again asking for a Mediator, and then we find Jesus. We have no idea who Holy Spirit used to write the book of Job, scholars believe Job would have lived before the flood, but we don’t know. What we do know is in James 5:10-11 the believers are told,
As an example of suffering and patience, brothers and sisters, take the prophets who spoke in the Lord’s name. Think of how we regard as blessed those who have endured. You have heard of Job’s endurance and you have seen the Lord’s purpose, that the Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
While scholars would have us doubt whether Job truly lived or not, James certainly uses what those believers know about Holy Spirit’s testimony of Job to instruct them on perseverance, the Lord’s purpose, compassion, and mercy. How then can we choose to throw out those lessons, or how Job had foreshadowed the coming Messiah?
The books recording the history Samuel and David also give us more information concerning the coming Messiah. In 1 Samuel 2:1-10, Hannah describes the LORD, the Adonai, in her prayer of thanksgiving concerning the birth of her son Samuel, and in this prayer she is also foreshadowing the Messiah. She says,
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
my horn is exalted high because of the Lord.
I loudly denounce my enemies,
for I am happy that you delivered me.
2 No one is holy like the Lord!
There is no one other than you!
There is no rock like our God!
3 Don’t keep speaking so arrogantly,
letting proud talk come out of your mouth!
For the Lord is a God who knows;
he evaluates what people do.
4 The bows of warriors are shattered,
but those who stumble find their strength reinforced.
5 Those who are well-fed hire themselves out to earn food,
but the hungry no longer lack.
Even the barren woman gives birth to seven,
but the one with many children withers away.
6 The Lord both kills and gives life;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
7 The Lord impoverishes and makes wealthy;
he humbles and he exalts.
8 He lifts the weak from the dust;
he raises the poor from the ash heap
to seat them with princes
and to bestow on them an honored position.
The foundations of the earth belong to the Lord,
and he has placed the world on them.
9 He watches over his holy ones,
but the wicked are made speechless in the darkness,
for it is not by one’s own strength that one prevails.
10 The Lord shatters his adversaries;
he thunders against them from the heavens.
The Lord executes judgment to the ends of the earth.
He will strengthen his king
and exalt the power of his anointed one.”
and then in verse 35 when God condemns the house of Eli he tells him,
Then I will raise up for myself a faithful priest. He will do what is in my heart and soul. I will build for him a secure dynasty and he will serve my chosen one for all time.
2 Samuel 7, God makes a series of promises to David within those promises we find foreshadowing of the Messiah to come from the line of David, picking up in verse 11 we read,
The Lord declares to you that he himself will build a dynastic house for you. When the time comes for you to die, I will raise up your descendant, one of your own sons, to succeed you, and I will establish his kingdom. He will build a house for my name, and I will make his dynasty permanent. I will become his father and he will become my son. When he sins, I will correct him with the rod of men and with wounds inflicted by human beings. But my loyal love will not be removed from him as I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. Your house and your kingdom will stand before me permanently; your dynasty will be permanent.’” Nathan told David all these words that were revealed to him.
In Matthew 1 and then in other New Testament passages, Jesus is described as coming from the house of David, Jesus the everlasting King, and Jesus on the throne of David.
When we jump into the Psalms, we find so much more describing the Messiah to come, all written 500 to 1,000 years or more before Jesus ever lived.
In Psalm 2 Messiah is declared to be God, a conqueror, an enthroned ruler ; we find all those themes throughout the New Testament, and in Matthew 3:17 we find God himself claiming Jesus as his one and only Son. Psalm 16:10 and Psalm 49:15 speak of the resurrection that we find record of in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20, and even referenced in passing in the histories of Josephus a Jewish historian in Roman. Psalm 68:18 speaks of Jesus ascension that we find in Ephesians 4:8 and Acts 1. Psalm 22 describes the scorn and ridicule that Jesus went through, even describes his clothes being gambled away. We find those recounted for us in Luke 23:35 and Matthew 27:35. Psalms 34:20 refers to Messiah having no broken bones that is later described in John 19. Psalm 35 describes how false witnesses will testify against Messiah recorded about Jesus in Mark 14:57, and he’ll be hated for no reason as Jesus himself says about himself and his disciples in John 15:24-25. In Luke 22:47-48 the prediction of Messiah being betrayed by a friend is fulfilled; that prediction was made in Psalm 41:9. In Psalm 109:4 it is predicted Messiah will pray for his enemies, and we find Jesus doing that in Luke 23:34. And Psalm 110:4 describes the coming Messiah as being a priest like Melchizedek that the writer of Hebrews describes for us in Hebrews chapter 5.
But one of the most important predictive prophecies of Messiah I believe is in Psalm 118. The entire Psalm is a description of the coming Messiah, but three times in the Gospels and three other times in New Testament we find Psalm 118:22. It reads,
The stone which the builders discarded has become the cornerstone.
Jesus himself quotes it as recorded in Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10, and Luke 20:17; after telling the pharisees and other religious leaders the parable of the tenants who kill the land owner’s son because they do not want to send their portion of the crops to him; the religious leaders realize we are told Jesus was talking about himself and them. That he was the landowner (God’s) Son, and they were going to reject and kill him.
Jesus is the cornerstone. Not only do we see it here in Psalm 118, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Zechariah 10:4, Isaiah 28:16, Jeremiah 51:26 all foreshadows and prophesies it of the coming Messiah. Peter says it in Acts 4:11 and again in 1 Peter 2:6-7, Paul calls Jesus the cornerstone in Ephesians 2:20. The Messiah who was promised. The Messiah who was prophesied. The Messiah talked about for thousands of years. The Messiah Holy Spirit wrote about for over 1,500 years. Jesus, our Messiah who came, our Messiah who lived a perfect life, died a sacrificial death, rose again to bring us into new life, and give us the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus is the cornerstone of our faith, the foundation of all that we believe, and who without; our faith is useless.
The evidence is overwhelming but just like those who lived while he lived and should have recognized his coming; he is rejected and scorned by those who live today. The scriptures are scoffed at as mere fairy tales and myths. Their miraculous nature is denied. But as those who believe, our lives should be a living testimony to the truth. We shouldn’t live in fear of proclaiming the name of Jesus. We should stand firm on the inspiration and authority of scripture. Holy Spirit wrote it for them then and for us now to learn to live by, for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness as 2 Timothy 3:16 says. Our Messiah came as prophesied.