Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.  Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me. (Psalms 18:42-43)
In the 18th Psalm, the Holy Spirit widened the application of David’s words to give us a picture of the resurrection of Christ. The language is that of a soldier, a commander that was a man of war and had seen his fair share of conflicts with the enemy. The Holy Spirit used David’s experience to depict a cosmic battle that took place as God beat back the forces of evil that would have prevented the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
However, the Psalmist does not stop with the resurrection. David could not have known the extent of his prophecy, or perhaps that he was even writing prophecy, yet his words fit with the great prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel who speak of the Second Coming and the glorious kingdom that Christ will establish on earth.
In reviewing this Psalm, I was particularly impressed with the latter half that speaks of the defeat of all Christ’s enemies and the complete subjugation of all nations beneath His authority. Verses 42 and 43 are explicit: “Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.” The New Testament reiterates this theme in passages such as Philippians 2:9-11 and 1 Corinthians 15:24-25.
There is much evidence in scripture about the coming kingdom, simply too much for us to allegorize the texts in order to explain them away. When God created the world, He reigned supreme and all creatures were under His dominion. When Adam sinned, he attempted to throw off the yoke of God, and the punishment for disobedience was a curse put on the earth. God did not intend for the curse to last forever. He determined it would be lifted in such a way that He would receive the highest exaltation and His greatest glory. His ability to restore this fallen world to its pre-fallen state will cause none to mistake His sovereign power again. Christ will be glorified forever.
It is most interesting that the promise of future restoration always flows through David. If this promise is not literal, David looks like a fool for his unfounded faith and apparent wild expectations. And yet, there are more spiritual gymnastics performed to cut out the literal restoration of the Davidic throne than there are to destroy any other doctrine of scripture. It seems to me we would as well dismiss a literal heaven as to deny the reestablishment of David’s throne.
I believe we should look for a kingdom and a temple and a throne where Jesus will rule all nations with a rod of iron. “Thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.” Present conditions seem to belie this future reality. But as surely as God with fury and vengeance overcame the powers of darkness to raise Jesus from the dead, He will subdue all enemies under His feet. Let God be true and every man a liar (Romans 3:3-4). King Jesus shall reign!
Pastor V. Mark Smith