May 9 16

Hope in God

vmsmith

Hope in God

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. (Psalms 43:5)

One of the strange curiosities of the end times is the appearance of the Antichrist during the time of tribulation. I have often wondered why many are more interested in what the Antichrist will do rather than what THE CHRIST will do. We must not lose focus and misunderstand that the end times are the revelation of THE CHRIST and not the Antichrist. However, there is much information in the Bible about the Antichrist.

Would it surprise you to learn that in the Old Testament book of Psalms there is information about the Antichrist? Did you think he is only revealed in the New Testament? In Psalm 43, there is a likely reference to the Antichrist. The first verse of chapter 43 reads: Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.”  We understand that prophecy in the Old Testament often has a near term fulfillment as well as a long term one. The immediate fulfillment of this Psalm is the psalmist’s desire for the return of Israel from the captivity. The psalmist longs to return to his homeland, but he is prevented by a foreign king who holds him prisoner in a distant land. This may well be emblematic of a distant future event when the deceitful and unjust man, the Antichrist, will force the Jewish people out of their land and into hiding.

The tribulation will be a terrible time for the Jews as at first they will receive promises of safety, but then the Antichrist will spew forth a flood of propaganda against them and turn the entire world into their enemies. We would expect nothing less than Satan’s deceit in any alliance with the Jews because he has tried for 3500 years to obliterate them from the earth. They find no friends, and yet God has miraculously preserved them for all this time. God will continue to protect them as there are long standing promises in the Old Testament that guarantee their safety.

The last part of the Psalm in verse 5 repeats the last verse of Psalm 42. The Psalmist encourages himself in both places to put his hope in God. He wonders why he should be troubled. There is no reason for despair because God has never forsaken His people. The Old Testament scriptures are replete with tales of God’s salvation of Israel. At times men were able stop them, but with each oppression God raised up a deliverer.

In the present time, Israel is far off from God. No hope is given that in the church age there will be a wholesale turning of the Jews to Christ. However, the tribulation does hold such a promise. Despite the efforts of the deceitful and unjust man, God will call the Jews back to Him and He will provide a kingdom for them in which they will recognize the last king to sit on David’s throne. This is Jesus Christ—both King and Priest who is the Saviour of the world.

In this election year, there is much discussion about America’s support of Israel. We may be living in the near approaching time of tribulation. There is no promise America will stand and certainly no guarantee if we turn our back on Israel. Is there any need to be troubled? Certainly not—their hope and ours is in God. We are citizens of God’s kingdom. America may experience swift destruction but God’s kingdom never shall!

Pastor V. Mark Smith