Throughout this text, we will see that different aspects of the physical and spiritual realms of existence will be discussed. We need to recognize that our lives here on earth are not affected by only the events that take place in this physical world. There is also a sphere of influence in our lives that is best described as a spiritual realm. The determination of our eternal abode and our service to the Lord are both effected by the events and characters found in this realm.
In our text for today, we find one verse that clearly declares to us that our Lord is in control of both realms of existence…
20) [He that is] our God [is] the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord [belong] the issues from death. (Psalms 68:20)
[He that is] our God
The deity that we will be discussing in today’s text is the God of both the physical and spiritual nations of Israel:
1. Please keep in mind, King David was addressing the physical nation of Israel. They were brought into existence by the Lord and used by Him to give us the truths of His Word and to bring the Messiah into this world.
2. The spiritual nation of Israel contains all of God’s people who have been saved, and will be saved throughout history. Paul refers to this group of Jewish and Gentile believers as “The Israel of God” in Gals 4:13-16.
Both the physical and spiritual nation of Israel can claim a special relationship with the True God, Jehovah. Therefore, we can truly say ….”Jehovah, is OUR GOD”!
The term translated “God” in this phrase is the Hebrew word “El”. This word refers to the supreme strength and ability that Jehovah possesses.
[is] the God of salvation;
The God that we can call our own, is “the God of salvation” or, in other words, He is “the Mighty One that controls the deliverance of His people.” Here, once again we can see a physical and spiritual aspect to this text…
1. In this physical world, God acts on behalf of His people to deliver them from many of the ills that this world offers. Whenever the Lord delivers His people from a physical threat of harm, He is displaying to us that He is the God of “physical” salvation. War, governmental oppression, natural disasters, persecution, etc etc. the list is endless.
2. However, His greater work is that of a spiritual nature. It is our God, Jehovah, that delivers His people from the evils of the penalty, power and, eventually, the presence of sin. He saves us from eternal punishment from God which takes place in the Lake of Fire. This is the spiritual aspect of the salvation that He graciously gives to His spiritual Jewish people.
The same Hebrew word translated “God” in the previous phrase (El) is, once again, translated “God” in this phrase. Remember, it carries with it the idea of the “Mighty One with all ability”. This helps us to understand that Jehovah is mighty over salvation and absolutely capable to save His people. He can do what no other man or false God can do for us. He is able to do for us what we cannot even do for ourselves, save us from this world’s evils and the evils that await sinful man in the world to come.
and unto GOD the Lord
This same God, who is the Strong One, is given a new set of titles here. God is now called by the names “GOD” and “Lord” which come from two different Hebrew words:
1. The name “God” is the Hebrew word “Jehovah” which carries with it the idea of the “One that Exists”. This personal title for God helps us to understand that He is the One True God. In actuality, He exists, while all the other false gods of this world do not. He is the only God that is in existence, all others are human, sinful, replacements and, in actuality, are the figments of lost mankind’s imaginations.
2. The title “Lord” is the Hebrew word “Adonai” which teaches us that the Lord is the One who is the Master, Owner, or Originator of all things:
He is the One who brought physical Israel into existence, He is the One that owns Israel, and He is that is her Master.
The same can be said about His relationship with the spiritual nation of Israel. It is He is formed her, it is He that owns her, and it is He that rules over her. Spiritual Israel is His spiritual kingdom that submits to His Lordship as He rules in the heart of her citizens.
[belong] the issues from death.
Jehovah, the Originator, Master and Ruler of the two Israels, possess the “issues of death”. In other words, death flows forth under His divine control. He is the One that controls the “flow of death”. It is Jehovah the Master that delays, restrains, and restricts and destroys both physical and spiritual death:
1. The phrase physical death is describing the condition whereby our spirit is separated from our body. By His control over physical death, we are speaking of the Lord’s governance of the length of our physical lives, the resurrection of our bodies which will rescue the physical body from death, and the total elimination of physical death for those who are alive when He comes back again.
2. The phrase “spiritual death” is describing the condition whereby, due to our sins, we are separated from God. This separation is displayed by a lack of communion, alienation from His family and kingdom and estrangement from God throughout eternity. This spiritual death can only be overcome through the gracious intervention of Almighty God whereby, through the work of Christ, our communion between God and His people is restored. This results in renewed fellowship with God through prayer and the Word, the Spirit’s indwelling, and an eternity living in the very presence of God.
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION:
It is from the Lord that we receive eternal spiritual life which transcends all other aspects of our existence on earth. With the possession of spiritual life comes security, peace, and communion with Almighty God. What a blessing it is to know that … “[He that is] our God [is] the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord [belong] the issues from death”
“O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law. But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 15:55-58)
Won’t you look to the Lord Jesus Christ, in faith, trusting Him as your Lord and Savior before it is too late?
May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.
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May the Lord bless your study of His Word. Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”