. . . and He said to them, “These [are] the words that I spoke to you, being yet with you, that it is necessary to be fulfilled all the things that are written in the Law of Moses, and the Prophets, and the Psalms, about Me.” (Lk. 24:44, LSV)
The Book of Revelation is the conclusive end to the biblical metanarrative. It shows how the Messiah Jesus, the descendant of David and the only begotten Son of God, finally brings to total completion everything foretold in the Bible. As Jesus Himself said, it is necessary for everything written about Him in the Law, Prophets, and Psalms to be fulfilled. All of it points to Christ, because He is the star and center of the story. He is the Seed promised to Eve who will ultimately redeem mankind.
Recently reading through the Psalms, I’ve come across a startling new discovery—at least new to me—that the first 22 Psalms, almost all of which happen to have been written by David, directly parallel all 22 chapters of the Book of Revelation. This is quite important, not only because this helps us connect the scriptural dots, but because it confirms the messianic and prophetic nature of the Psalms. The Psalms were not merely written generically by the psalmists with issues contemporaneous to ancient Israel, but prophetically through the psalmists by the Spirit of God.
In 2 Samuel 23, we read what are described as “the last words of David.” Traditional interpretation of this passage suggests that all of what he wrote pertains to himself. However, he hints at a greater subject than just himself:
And these [are] the last words of David: “A declaration of David son of Jesse, || And a declaration of the man raised up—Concerning the anointed of the God of Jacob, || And the sweetness of the songs of Israel: The Spirit of YHWH has spoken by me, || And His word [is] on my tongue. He said—the God of Israel—to me, || He spoke—the Rock of Israel: He who is ruling over man [is] righteous, || He is ruling in the fear of God. And he rises as the light of morning, || A morning sun [with] no clouds! By the shining, by the rain, || Tender grass of the earth! For though my house [is] not so with God; So He made a perpetual covenant with me, || Arranged in all things, and kept; For all my salvation, and all desire, || For He has not caused [it] to spring up.” (2 Sm. 23:1–5, LSV)
A superficial look at this passage might lead one to believe the common interpretation. Perhaps David is speaking only of himself. After all, God did raise him up, figuratively speaking, when he anointed him as king. But notice that he says this is his declaration and a declaration of a certain man raised up. David was figuratively raised up and was an anointed one of God, but Jesus was literally raised up as the light of morning, and is the Anointed One of God (i.e., Messiah, Christ).
Furthermore, notice that this “man” raised up rules righteously in proverbial perfect light (cf. 1 Tim. 6:16; Jas. 1:17), but David contrasts this with himself in humility, admitting his own house is not so with God. I would submit to you that David is speaking of Christ, just as he spoke of Christ as his Lord in Psalm 110:1. And if David is here speaking of himself, it is only as a dim shadow, and in combination with his speaking of the Messiah, his descendant Son, who will be his Lord.
Brother Jeff first pointed my attention to this passage of Scripture and its importance and I concur wholeheartedly with him. And here we come to the gist of it: David calls the Anointed One of God, who is the man raised up, “the sweetness of the songs of Israel.” What are the songs of Israel? The Psalms. And what did Jesus say about the Psalms in Luke 24? That He must fulfill them Himself. Most of the words actually recorded of David are found in the Psalms, and Jesus is the key to unlocking their mystery:
And to the messenger of the assembly in Philadelphia write: These things says the Holy [One], the True [One], having the key of David . . . (Rev. 3:7, LSV)
Psalm 2 and 22 have been readily recognized as messianic, not only by the New Testament writers, but also by Christian theologians throughout the past two millennia. But the messianic and prophetic nature of the Psalms goes much deeper and points much farther forward in time than just to the first coming of Christ. It points to His second coming, as well.
Unpacking every detail in the first 22 Psalms and all 22 chapters of Revelation is not the aim here, but merely to demonstrate a few of the key connections.
Psalm 1 and Revelation 1
We start with Psalm 1, which has an interesting connection to Revelation 1, but also serves as a simple synopsis of the whole Book of Revelation.
Psalm 1 opens with “Blessed is the one…” The context is the righteous man who delights in and meditates on God’s teaching day and night (v. 2).
Revelation 1 opens with “Blessed is the one…” (v. 3). The context is the one who reads, hears, and keeps the words and teaching contained within the scroll.
Psalm 1 also forms a structure to encapsulate the Psalm 1–22/Revelation 1–22 parallel. The basic premise of Psalm 1 is twofold: 1. The righteous man does righteously and meditates on God’s word, and 2. The wicked will be lost in the judgment, but the righteous will rise and prosper.
Compare to Revelation 1: the faithful servant will read and keep God’s word (v. 3). Furthermore, Revelation ends the same way (e.g., “Blessed is the one…” in Rev. 22:7; cf. Rev. 22:18–19). And Psalm 1 outlines the message of Revelation: 1. The righteous man (King Jesus) does righteously, and 2. The wicked will be destroyed (Rev. 20), but the righteous will rise and prosper (Rev. 20–22).
The connection is directly reinforced in Psalm 1:3, because it mentions a tree planted by streams of water and its leaves. Revelation 22 has the Tree of Life replanted by the river of the water of life whose leaves are for the healing of the nations:
And he showed me [the] river of [the] water of life, radiant as crystal, going forth out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the midst of its street, and of the river on this side and on that—[the] Tree of Life, producing twelve fruits, yielding its fruit according to each month, and the leaves of the tree [are] for the healing of the nations. . . (Rev. 22:1–2, LSV)
Compare to Psalm 1:3:
And he has been as a tree, || Planted by streams of water, || That gives its fruit in its season, || And its leaf does not wither, || And all that he does he causes to prosper.
Psalm 2 and Revelation 2
Psalm 2 is overtly messianic and is directly quoted by the New Testament authors (e.g., Acts 4:25–26; Heb. 1:5). It is confirmation that the future King of all the earth is the Son of God (v. 7), the Messiah (v. 2, 12). The connection between Psalm 2 and Revelation 2 is undeniable for Revelation 2 quotes directly from this Psalm:
. . . and he who is overcoming, and who is keeping My works to the end, I will give to him authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron—they will be broken as the vessels of the potter—as I have also received from My Father. . . (Rev. 2:26–27, LSV)
Here Jesus says that the authority given to Him by His Father in Psalm 2 will be extended to the Church (you and me!). For comparison:
“And I have anointed My King, || On Zion—My holy hill.” I declare concerning a statute: YHWH said to me, “You [are] My Son, today I have brought You forth. Ask of Me and I give nations [as] Your inheritance, || And the ends of the earth [for] Your possession. You rule them with a scepter of iron, || You crush them as a vessel of a potter.” (Ps. 2:6–9, LSV)
Psalm 3 and Revelation 3
In Psalm 3 David cries to God for deliverance as enemies surround him (v. 6–7). His adversaries claim God will not deliver him (v. 2). God answers from His [heavenly] holy mountain. David proclaims in faith that God will lift him up (v. 3).
In Revelation 3 God promises the faithful Church deliverance/escape from the looming worldwide Tribulation because Jesus has given them an open door and He has the key of David. Remember that David wrote Psalm 3! As we learn in the following chapter, the promised open door is set in Heaven. The Church will be quite literally lifted up through it (see Rev. 4:1–2; cf. 1 Thess. 4:16–18).
In Psalm 3:1 David laments his increasing distresses. Many translations have here “enemies” or “adversaries,” but the word can just as easily mean distress, tightness, narrowness, or even tribulation. In Revelation 3:8 God shows his awareness that the Church has little strength or power, but in verse 10, He promises to deliver the Church from the coming Tribulation.
Lastly, note that Christ tells the church in Philadelphia that their enemies in “the synagogue of Satan” will be submitted to them and forced to acknowledge that God does indeed love His Church (Rev. 3:9; cf. Ps. 3:2, 6–7).
Psalm 4 and Revelation 4
The prayer of David in Psalm 4 is that God would favor him (v. 1) and let the light of His face shine upon him and the righteous (v. 6). Whereas Psalm 3 was a prayer for deliverance from enemies and distresses, in Psalm 4 David proclaims that God has delivered him from distress (v. 1) and has separated the saints to Himself (v. 3). Likewise, Revelation 3 was the promise of deliverance and Revelation 4 is a picture of the promise fulfilled as the Church enters through the open door and surrounds the throne of God. John and the elders literally behold the light of God’s face.
Psalm 4:5 reads:
Sacrifice sacrifices of righteousness, || And trust in YHWH.
And in Revelation 4:10–11 we witness the elders offering righteous sacrifices to God:
. . . the twenty-four elders will fall down before the [One] sitting on the throne, and worship the [One] living through the ages of the ages, and they will cast their garlands before the throne, saying, “Worthy are You, our Lord and God, to receive the glory, and the honor, and the power, because You created all things, and because of Your will they existed and were created.”
In the following chapter we behold the true righteous sacrifice—the Lamb slain to redeem the Church out of every “tribe, tongue, people, and nation” (v. 9).
Psalm 4 ends with the declaration that God has caused David to dwell in safety, just as Revelation 4 is a picture of the glorified Church dwelling safely in Heaven.
Psalm 5 and Revelation 5
Psalm 5 opens with a lament and cry (vv. 1–2). Revelation 5 opens with John weeping because no one is found worthy to open the seals of the scroll (vv. 1–4). The righteous have entered God’s house because of His love since no one is worthy (Ps. 5:7; cf. Rev. 4:1–2; 5:4, 9).
In Psalm 5:7 the psalmist enters God’s house and bows before His holy temple. In Revelation 5:8 the heavenly inhabitants—elders and living creatures—bow before the Lamb. The Lamb is called the temple in Revelation 21:22. The elders bow to the Lamb again in v. 14.
Psalm 6 and Revelation 6
Psalm 6 is about the time of God’s anger and wrath (Ps. 6:1). Revelation 6 is the opening chapter of the Tribulation—the time of God’s anger and wrath (Rev. 6:16–17). Revelation 6 shows the first six judgments of the Tribulation being unleashed by the Lamb. It is a time of great judgment and suffering on the earth. The souls of the Tribulation Saints, who had been martyred for their faith, are gathered under the heavenly altar. They cry out to God in Revelation 6:10: “How long, O Lord?” The psalmist David cries out from the depth of his soul in Psalm 6:3: “How long, O Lord, how long?”
The psalm ends with God’s enemies overwhelmed with anguish (Ps. 6:10). They turn back in shame. Revelation 6 ends with God’s enemies overwhelmed with anguish and fear as they behold the Lamb on His throne. They turn back and hide in the caves and rocks of the mountains (Rev. 6:15–17).
Psalm 7 and Revelation 7
Psalm 7 opens with a renewed cry from David for deliverance and protection from his enemy pursuing him. The first half of the Tribulation is marked by the enemy pursuing the remnant of Israel. In Revelation 7 God seals 12,000 Israelites from each of the 12 tribes. They will be protected.
Then in Psalm 7:7 we see:
Let the assembled peoples gather around you,
while you sit enthroned over them on high. (NIV)
A similar picture appears in Revelation 7:9 of an assembled multitude surrounding the throne and the Lamb:
After these things I saw, and behold, a great multitude, which no one was able to number, out of all nations, and tribes, and peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne, and before the Lamb, having been clothed [in] white robes, and palms in their hands. . .
The last verse of Psalm 7 is David’s declaration that he will thank and praise God. We see in Revelation 7:
. . . [they were] crying with a great voice, saying, “Salvation to our God, the [One] sitting on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the messengers stood around the throne, and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! The blessing, and the glory, and the wisdom, and the thanksgiving, and the honor, and the power, and the strength, [are] to our God through the ages of the ages! Amen!” (Rev. 7:10–12, LSV)
Psalm 8 and Revelation 8
In Psalm 8:2 David considers God’s heavenly works—the moon and stars. In Revelation 8:12 the fourth trumpet judgment strikes the sun, moon, and stars. In Psalm 8:6–9 David recounts God’s other works—land animals, birds, and the fish of the sea—as submitted to the rulership of mankind. In Revelation 8:9 a third of the creatures in the sea are killed by the second trumpet judgment. The rightful rulership of righteous men (the Church) over the earth is beginning in earnest as the Lamb and His glorified, mystical body in Heaven continue to unleash the judgments.
Psalm 8 opens and closes with “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth!” The trumpet judgments are all directed at the earth in Revelation 8. God’s majestic power is revealed in the earth.
Psalm 9 and Revelation 9
In Revelation 9 a fallen star is given a key to open a spiritual pit: the abyss. Out of this pit come a demonic army and an angel called The Destroyer. Perhaps this pit is the Tartarus mentioned in 2 Peter 2:4, a dungeon housing the angels that formerly sinned against God. It should be noted that stars typically represent angels in the Book of Revelation. This fallen star given the key may be an allusion to the fallen dragon-angel, Satan, mentioned in Revelation 12, who gives his power and authority to the beast in Revelation 13. Revelation 17:8 seems to confirm that the angel called Destroyer is one and the same as the beast of Revelation 13—a terrible enemy distinct from, but in league with, the fallen cherub Satan.
Revelation 9 is about the revealing of the beast, the destroyer, who, in league with Satan, will oppress and persecute the people of God. Psalm 9 includes a Davidic prayer for deliverance from his enemies (v. 13). He calls on God to lift him up from the gates of death. The gates of death are opened in Revelation 9. God preserves the righteous, but destroys the wicked and rebukes the nations (Ps. 9:3–5).
How many of the watchmen have speculated that mankind is playing with fire in its quest to unlock the deepest mysteries of the universe? Science and physics are probing the depths of dimensionality. Many have even pointed to the Large Hadron Collider as a possible explanation for Revelation 9’s abyss. Note that it doesn’t say who gives the fallen star the key:
And the fifth messenger sounded the trumpet, and I saw a star having fallen to the earth out of Heaven, and there was given to him the key of the pit of the abyss, and [he] opened the pit of the abyss, and there came up a smoke out of the pit as smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened from the smoke of the pit. (Rev. 9:1–2, LSV)
Compare this to Psalm 9:15–17:
Nations have sunk in a pit they made, || Their foot has been captured in a net that they hid. YHWH has been known, || He has done judgment; By a work of his hands || The wicked has been snared. Meditation. Selah. The wicked turn back to Sheol, || All nations forgetting God.
Psalm 10 and Revelation 10
Revelation 10 is one of the last great mysteries of the Bible. Although the rest of prophetic knowledge has been unsealed and revealed to the Church (Jn. 16:13; Rev. 1:1; 22:6, 10; cf. Dan. 12:4), the meaning of the seven thunders is still sealed up (Rev. 10:4). We know all about the seals, trumpets, and bowls, but the meaning of the thunders is hidden, just as the identity of the Antichrist is still hidden (2 Thess. 2:3, 7–12). It is then perhaps fitting that Psalm 10 opens with:
Why, YHWH, do You stand at a distance? Do You hide in times of adversity?
The ultimate time of adversity is the Tribulation, otherwise known as Daniel’s 70th Week, The Time of Jacob’s Trouble, and The Day of the Lord. To believers both now and in the Tribulation, our perpetual longing is to be with the Lord and to know all of His mysteries. Why does He seemingly hide? Why does He seemingly stand at a distance?
In Revelation 10, the God who seemingly—though not actually—stands at a distance, sends a mighty angel to stand on the earth (vv. 1–2). The angel lifts his hand toward Heaven (v. 5). The psalmist writes:
Arise, O YHWH! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble. (Ps. 10:12, LSV)
Psalm 11 and Revelation 11
In Revelation 11 we get a glimpse of what many view as the first half of the Tribulation—the 1,260-day ministry of the two witnesses (thought to be any combination of Moses, Elijah, Enoch, and John). During the first half of the Tribulation the Satanically-empowered Antichrist is pursuing after Israel to destroy her (Rev. 12:6, 13–16). Though she ultimately escapes for the extent of the Great Tribulation (the final three and a half years), the beast/Antichrist/destroyer/man of lawlessness is able to overcome and slay the Tribulation Saints (Rev. 12:17; 13:7; 20:4) and at the end of the two witnesses’ ministry, the beast kills them, too (Rev. 11:7). The first picture of the Antichrist in the Book of Revelation is found in the sixth chapter with the first seal judgment:
And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying, as it were a voice of thunder, “Come and behold!” And I saw, and behold, a white horse, and he who is sitting on it is having a bow, and there was given to him a garland, and he went forth overcoming, and that he may overcome. (Rev. 6:1–2, LSV)
The lesser rider on a white horse with a single crown—not to be confused with the many-crowned conquering King of Revelation 19 who rides a white horse making Bucephalus seem like My Little Pony—is revealed after the removal of the Church from the earth (Rev. 4–5; Rev. 12:5, 12; cf. 2 Thess. 2:3, 7–12). This wicked rider rides out against Israel and the remnant of her seed with bow bent. We read in Psalm 11:
For behold, the wicked bend a bow, || They have prepared their arrow on the string, || To shoot in darkness at the upright in heart. (v. 2)
The proverbial arrow does pierce the two witnesses and they lay dead in the street of figurative Sodom (Jerusalem), but after three and a half days, the Spirit revives them and they are taken up into Heaven as if birds fleeing for refuge (Rev. 11:11–12).
In YHWH I trusted, how do you say to my soul, “They moved to your mountain [as] the bird?” (Ps. 11:1, LSV)
Revelation 11 ends with a glimpse of God on His throne (v. 16) and the temple in Heaven opened (v. 19). The glimpse of God in the open heavenly temple is accompanied by thunder and a great hailstorm.
YHWH [is] in His holy temple: YHWH—His throne [is] in the heavens. His eyes see—His eyelids try the sons of men. YHWH tries the righteous. And the wicked and the lover of violence, || His soul has hated, || He pours on the wicked snares, fire, and brimstone, || And a horrible wind [is] the portion of their cup. (Ps. 11:4–6, LSV)
Psalm 12 and Revelation 12
Revelation 12 is the focal point of the book and the center of the Revelation chiasm. It provides us with a broad overview of the whole Tribulation, including Satan’s pre-tribulational positioning to devour the Church (v. 4). The Church escapes (v. 5), so he goes after the woman. He can’t get the woman (vv. 6, 14), so he finally goes after the remnant of her seed (v. 17) while the woman remains perfectly protected for the full extent of the final half (the Great Tribulation).
David, an Israelite, writes in Psalm 12:1:
Help, Lord, for no one is faithful anymore;
those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. (NIV)
Indeed, those righteous because of the blood of the Lamb have vanished (Rev. 12:5) and now dwell in Heaven rejoicing (Rev. 12:12). Israel is left behind and Satan is in hot pursuit. Only the wicked are left. It is the worst time in human history while the beast and his government cover the earth in sin (Ps. 12:2, 8). But God will have the final word.
Because of the spoiling of the poor, || Because of the groaning of the needy, || Now I arise, says YHWH, || I set in safety [him who] breathes for it. . . . You, O YHWH, preserve them, || You keep us from this generation for all time. (Ps. 12:5, 7, LSV)
The Lord protects, preserves, and keeps the Israelites in safety for the final half of the Tribulation (Rev. 12:6, 14). The language of arising immediately brings to mind the prophecy in Daniel that God would cause the Archangel Michael to defend Israel. This passage directly parallels both Michael’s combat with Satan in Revelation 12, as well as Israel’s escape:
And at that time Michael stands up, the great head, who is standing up for the sons of your people, and there has been a time of distress, such as has not been since there has been a nation until that time, and at that time your people escape, everyone who is found written in the scroll. (Dan. 12:1, LSV)
Compare to Revelation 12:7–9:
And there came war in Heaven: Michael and his messengers warred against the dragon, and the dragon and his messengers warred, and they did not prevail, nor was their place found anymore in Heaven; and the great dragon was cast forth—the old serpent, who is called “Devil,” and “Satan,” who is leading the whole world astray—he was cast forth to the earth, and his messengers were cast forth with him.
Psalm 13 and Revelation 13
Revelation 13 is the third picture of the rise of the Antichrist given in the book. In Revelation 13:1 we see his post-rapture rise and kingdom. In the following verse we see Satan, having fallen to earth, giving his power and authority to the beast. The most infamous part of this frightening passage is the prophecy that at the peak of his power the beast will force his mark on the right hand or forehead of everyone on earth, and if they refuse to worship him they will be killed. It will be the darkest time in human history (cf. Mt. 24:21).
It should come as no surprise then that the parallel psalm opens with the cry of an Israelite (David) seemingly overcome by the enemy. The language again reminds us of the Tribulation Saints crying out in Revelation 6:10, “How long, O Lord?” (cf. Ps. 6:3). The Tribulation is marked first by Satan’s pursuit of the woman (Israel) during the first half, and then by Satan’s pursuit of “the remnant of her seed,” the Tribulation Saints, during the second half. It is a time when Satan and the enemies of God will seem to have won as they are exalted over the earth.
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me? (Ps. 13:1–2, NIV)
Scripture gives the answer: seven years (Dan. 9:27; Rev. 11:1–3; 12:6, 14). The enemy will triumph for seven years, but his time is short (Rev. 12:12). The context and language in Psalm 13 and Revelation 13 is eerily similar:
Look attentively; Answer me, O YHWH, my God, || Enlighten my eyes, lest I sleep in death, || Lest my enemy say, “I overcame him,” || My adversaries rejoice when I am moved. (Ps. 13:3–4, LSV)
. . . and there was given to it [the beast] to make war with the holy ones, and to overcome them, and there was given to it authority over every tribe, and tongue, and nation. (Rev. 13:7, LSV; cf. Dan. 12:7)
As Jeff has discussed at great length, there is an important prophecy given in Deuteronomy 32 that pertains to the latter-day generation of Israelites alive at the time of the end. In verse 21 we learn that God will make Israel jealous in the latter days via the Gentiles. Paul recalls this prophecy in Romans 10:19. This truth is echoed in Acts 15:14–16:
Simeon expounded how at first God looked on [us] to take a people out of [the] nations for His Name, and to this the words of the Prophets agree, as it has been written: After these things I will return, || And I will rebuild the dwelling place of David that has fallen down, || And I will rebuild its ruins, || And will set it upright. . .
God has been spiritually gathering a people out of the nations for the past two millennia, but this is about to be actualized when God physically removes the Gentile-predominant Church from the earth. Backslidden, unbelieving Israel will be brought back into the fold of faith when their jealousy is kindled and they long for the God of their ancestors. How fitting then that David asks God in Psalm 13, “How long will you hide your face from me?” This is exactly what God warns will happen in the prophecy of Deuteronomy 32:
And He says: I hide My face from them, || I see what their latter end [is]; For they [are] a contrary generation, || Sons in whom is no steadfastness. (v. 20)
Notice also God’s mention of the contrary generation at the latter end. It is this generation that Jesus was likely referring to in The Parable of the Fig Tree. He was bringing to His disciples’ attention the prophecy of Deuteronomy 32 they would have all been thoroughly aware of—a prophecy many of them had even memorized word for word when they learned Torah.
Psalm 14–15 and Revelation 14–15
Nearing the end of the Great Tribulation, sides will have been chosen. Israel will be in hiding. Most of the Tribulation Saints will have been martyred. Aside from the remnant in hiding, those left on earth will be marked, thoroughly corrupted, unrepentant, and blaspheming God. A frequent remark in Revelation is, “and still they did not repent.” Even as the Lamb pours out wrath upon the earth in the most visible ways imaginable, fallen humanity will still refuse God. We read in Psalm 14:1–3:
A fool has said in his heart, “There is no God”; They have done corruptly, || They have done abominable actions, || There is not a doer of good. YHWH has looked from the heavens on the sons of men, || To see if there is a wise one—seeking God. The whole have turned aside, || Together they have been filthy: There is not a doer of good, not even one.
The following verse, Psalm 14:4, is quite interesting, and very fitting:
Have all working iniquity not known? Those consuming my people have eaten bread, || They have not called YHWH.
The wicked have chosen to eat bread rather than refuse the mark that will condemn them to ultimate destruction.
And a third messenger followed them, saying in a great voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand, he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God that has been mingled unmixed in the cup of His anger, and he will be tormented in fire and brimstone before the holy messengers, and before the Lamb. . .” (Rev. 14:9–10, LSV)
As it says in verse 4, the wicked have not called on God. They have not given him glory.
They have not called YHWH. They have feared a fear there, || For God [is] in the generation of the righteous. (Ps. 14:4b–5, LSV)
God, gracious and patient to the uttermost, sends an angel to warn the rebels that their rebellion will only end in destruction:
Fear God, and give to Him glory, because the hour of His judgment came, and worship Him who made the sky, and the land, and sea, and fountains of waters. (Rev. 14:7, LSV)
Psalm 14 ends with a plea for salvation to issue forth from Zion when God restores Israel:
Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord restores his people,
let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad! (v. 7, NIV)
In the midst of the Great Tribulation Israel is still in hiding, awaiting the Deliverer and crying out for God’s final victory. Revelation 14 opens with a picture of the Lamb standing on Mount Zion with the first crop of restored Israelites—the 144,000.
And I saw, and behold, a Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred forty-four thousand, having the Name of His Father written on their foreheads. . . (Rev. 14:1, LSV)
These newly restored Israelites rejoice in a song only they can know (Rev. 14:2–3). And now in Psalm 15 we read:
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others. . . (vv. 1–3, NIV)
So who can dwell on God’s holy mountain? Those who are blameless. Those who speak the truth and utter no slander, according to the psalmist. In Revelation 14:4–5 it is said of the 144,000:
. . . these are they who were not defiled with women, for they are virgin; these are they who are following the Lamb wherever He may go; these were bought from among men—a first-fruit to God and to the Lamb—and in their mouth there was not found guile, for they are unblemished before the throne of God.
The imputed righteousness of the Lamb as a gift given to those of faith on earth will yield perfect practical righteousness among the glorified in Heaven. And as Revelation 15:4 attests, God alone is inherently holy.
In Psalm 15 David asks, “Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?” In Revelation 15:5 the sacred heavenly tent is opened and in Revelation 14:1 the heavenly mountain is seen. Throughout chapters 14 and 15 David’s question is answered. Yet again we get a glimpse into the throne room, seeing the elders (Rev. 14:3), the 144,000 and those who refused the mark (Rev. 14:1; 15:2), the angels (Rev. 15:6), and the living creatures (Rev. 14:3; 15:7). Revelation 4–5 is the pre-tribulational throne room scene and Revelation 14–15 is the intra-tribulational throne room scene.
Psalm 16 and Revelation 16
Psalm 16 is a mighty prayer and praise of faith, with David asking God to preserve him (v. 1), but then being assured in faith that He most certainly will. A famous prophecy of Christ’s first coming is found in verse 10:
For You do not leave my soul to Sheol, || Nor give your Holy One to see corruption.
The disciples recall this verse as prophetic confirmation of the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 2:27; 13:35). Psalm 16 is thematically connected to Revelation 16 by both God’s care for His holy ones, as well as the pouring out of blood and wrath. The bowl judgments commence in Revelation 16.
And the third messenger poured out his bowl into the rivers, and into the fountains of the waters, and there came blood, and I heard the messenger of the waters, saying, “Righteous, O LORD, are You, who is, and who was, [[and who will be,]] the Holy [One], because You judged these things, because they poured out [the] blood of holy ones and prophets, and You gave to them blood to drink, for they are worthy”; and I heard another out of the altar, saying, “Yes, LORD God, the Almighty, true and righteous [are] Your judgments.” (Rev. 16:4–7, LSV)
We read in Psalm 16:3–5:
For the holy ones who [are] in the land, || And the honorable, all my delight [is] in them. Their griefs are multiplied, [who] have hurried backward; I do not pour out their drink-offerings of blood, || Nor do I take up their names on my lips. YHWH [is] the portion of my share, and of my cup, || You uphold my lot.
The theme of the pouring out of blood even connects at the same verse number: in Psalm 16:4 David refuses to pour out the blood libations of the wicked. In Revelation 16:4 the third bowl of wrath is poured out on the rivers and fountains, turning them to blood.
Psalm 17 and Revelation 17
Revelation 17 begins the description and judgment of Mystery Babylon, the spiritual whore, which I believe is Jerusalem proper from a scriptural perspective (not to dismiss the powerful types and shadows found in the United States, New York, Rome, Constantinople, Mecca, Brussels, and so forth, that other watchmen have duly noted).
I see several interesting connections between Psalm 17 and Revelation 17.
David juxtaposes his pursuit of righteousness with the wickedness of the wicked (Ps. 17:1–5) and in Revelation 17:1–6 we are a given a very graphic description of the wickedness of Mystery Babylon, including her violence (v. 17:6; cf. Ps. 17:4).
Then, recalling that David is an Israelite and perhaps a representation of corporate Israel at times, he writes:
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wings
from the wicked who are out to destroy me,
from my mortal enemies who surround me. (Ps. 17:8–9, NIV)
In Revelation 17 we see the beast, the ten horns, and the whore united in their effort to destroy God’s people (v. 6, 14). Remember the picture given in Revelation 12? Satan, having fallen to earth, first sets out to destroy the woman Israel, but she is given “the two wings of a great eagle” in order to escape. God shelters her under the shadow of His wings. And then Satan turns his attention to the remnant of her seed (the Tribulation Saints) who are mortally unprotected.
With the establishment of a one-world economy (via the mark) and a one-world harlot religion, the whore Jerusalem becomes the center of the Antichrist’s global empire, and it’s in Jerusalem that he declares himself to be god. But there is a catch for the whore who rides the beast—the beast is only using her for his own ends. He intends to destroy her.
. . . and the ten horns that you saw on the beast, these will hate the whore, and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh, and will burn her in fire, for God gave into their hearts to do His purpose, and to make one purpose, and to give their kingdom to the beast until the sayings of God may be fulfilled, and the woman that you saw is the great city that is having reign over the kings of the earth. (Rev. 17:16–18, LSV)
Now compare this to Psalm 17:14:
By your hand save me from such people, Lord,
from those of this world whose reward is in this life.
May what you have stored up for the wicked fill their bellies;
may their children gorge themselves on it,
and may there be leftovers for their little ones. (NIV)
And don’t forget leftovers for their little ones! The ten horns get to partake of this abominable feast, too.
Psalm 18–19 and Revelation 18–19
The former psalms have been filled with cries for help, desperate pleas, faith in the midst of adversity, and prayers for protection while the wicked reign. But now the tide has turned. Psalm 18 is a song of total victory.
TO THE OVERSEER. BY A SERVANT OF YHWH, BY DAVID, WHO HAS SPOKEN TO YHWH THE WORDS OF THIS SONG IN THE DAY YHWH DELIVERED HIM FROM THE HAND OF ALL HIS ENEMIES, AND FROM THE HAND OF SAUL, AND HE SAYS: I love You, O YHWH, my strength. YHWH [is] my rock, and my bulwark, || And my deliverer, || My God [is] my rock, || I trust in Him: My shield, and the horn of my salvation, || My high tower. I call on YHWH, the Praised One, || And I am saved from my enemies. Cords of death have surrounded me, || And streams of the worthless make me afraid. Cords of Sheol have surrounded me, || Snares of death have been before me. In my adversity I call YHWH, || And I cry to my God. He hears my voice from His temple, || And My cry comes into His ears before Him. And the earth shakes and trembles, || And foundations of hills are troubled, || And they shake—because He has wrath. Smoke has gone up from His nostrils, || And fire from His mouth consumes, || Coals have been kindled by it. (Ps. 18:1–8, LSV)
Revelation 18 opens with destruction pronounced on the whore. Between the whore, the beast, and Satan, she is the first to suffer defeat in the losing battle against the Lamb.
And after these things I saw another messenger coming down out of Heaven, having great authority, and the earth was lightened from his glory, and he cried in might [with] a great voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!” (Rev. 18:1–2b, LSV)
Note that her destruction coincides with the destruction of the cities of the nations, indicating that this is an event at or near the end of the Tribulation (Rev. 16:19). Then Revelation 19 opens:
And after these things I heard a great voice of a great multitude in Heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! The salvation, and the glory, and the power [belong] to the LORD our God; because true and righteous [are] His judgments, because He judged the great whore who corrupted the earth in her whoredom, and He avenged the blood of His servants at her hand. . .” (vv. 1–2, LSV)
And now for the most explicit connection: the victory song of Psalm 18 culminates with the descent of the Lord out of Heaven, which is inferred again in Psalm 19 (v. 5). Revelation 18 and 19 depict the defeat of the whore, and then the beast and his kingdom at the hands of the returning Christ and His Church.
First take a look at Psalm 18:9–17:
And He inclines the heavens, and comes down, || And thick darkness [is] under His feet. And He rides on a cherub, and flies, || And He flies on wings of wind. He makes darkness His secret place, || Around Him His dwelling place, || Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies. From the brightness before Him His thick clouds have passed on, || Hail and coals of fire. And YHWH thunders in the heavens, || And the Most High gives forth His voice, || Hail and coals of fire. And He sends His arrows and scatters them, || And much lightning, and crushes them. And the streams of waters are seen, || And foundations of the earth are revealed, || From Your rebuke, O YHWH, || From the breath of the wind of Your anger. He sends from above—He takes me, || He draws me out of many waters. He delivers me from my strong enemy, || And from those hating me, || For they have been stronger than I. (LSV)
And then Psalm 19:4b–5:
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun. [note the English homophone of son]
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course. (NIV)
Now compare Psalm 18–19 with Revelation 19:11–16:
And I saw Heaven having been opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who is sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war, and His eyes [are] as a flame of fire, and on His head [are] many crowns—having a Name written that no one has known, except Himself, and He is clothed with a garment covered with blood, and His Name is called, The Word of God. And the armies in Heaven were following Him on white horses, clothed in fine linen—white and pure; and out of His mouth proceeds a sharp sword, that with it He may strike the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron, and He treads the press of the wine of the wrath and the anger of God the Almighty, and He has on the garment and on His thigh the name written: “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” (LSV)
I think we have a match. And in Revelation 19:20 we see the beast and false prophet captured, and in verse 21 their armies destroyed. In Revelation 19 “The Word of God”—Christ Jesus—is revealed from Heaven, and in Psalm 19 David proclaims that “the heavens declare the glory of God” while he meditates deeply on God’s word—His law, testimonies, precepts, and commands (Ps. 19:7–8). Christ is the glory of God (Jn. 1:14; 2:11; Heb. 1:3). Psalm 19 is the first psalm in which the wicked are never mentioned. In Revelation 19 we learn why: because they are completely defeated.
Take a look at some of the specific connections:
Psalm 20 and Revelation 20
With the whore defeated (Rev. 18), and the beast defeated (Rev. 19), now Satan is defeated (Rev. 20:1–3). Revelation 20 shows events that occur immediately after the Tribulation, as well as the final post-millennium events before a new heaven and a new earth. It is the last glimpse of evil and rebellion in the Bible. Even death itself is defeated after the final judgment (v. 14). The final resurrections are described in this passage, as well.
You could summarize the Bible as follows: the whole of creation fell into corruption because of sin. Mankind was severed from God because of the Fall. But from the beginning there have been those of faith calling on the Name of the Lord for salvation (Gen. 4:26). He provided this salvation in and through His Son, who is the seed promised to Eve (Gen. 3:15). And finally, at last, God will answer every prayer of those of faith.
YHWH answers you, || In a day of adversity, || The Name of the God of Jacob sets you on high, || He sends your help from the sanctuary, || And supports you from Zion, || He remembers all your presents, || And reduces your burnt-offering to ashes. Selah. He gives to you according to your heart, || And fulfills all your counsel. We sing of Your salvation, || And in the Name of our God set up a banner. YHWH fulfills all your requests. Now I have known || That YHWH has saved His anointed, || He answers him from His holy heavens, || With the saving might of His right hand. (Ps. 20:1–6, LSV)
We cried to God in a day of adversity and He saved us. He set us on high. He anointed us along with the Christ and fulfilled all of our requests. We now sing of His salvation from everlasting to everlasting.
Revelation 20 shows the final resurrection of the righteous (vv. 4–6), as well as the final judgment of the damned (vv. 11–15).
They have bowed and have fallen, || And we have risen and station ourselves upright. (Ps. 20:8)
Psalm 21 and Revelation 21
Revelation 21 is a description of the new heaven, new earth, and New Jerusalem. It is a window into the everlasting age to come. Psalm 21:1–7 is a song of praise from King David to God for granting him everything he longed for—every desire and request (v. 2), rich blessings and treasure (v. 3), everlasting life (v. 4), splendor and majesty (v. 5), and unending blessings, gladness, and joy in God’s very presence (v. 6). In Revelation 21 we finally behold all of these rewards granted to the true King and Son of David. And those of faith are invited to share fully in these blessings with Him, as little kings and queens at His side.
3. The psalmist receives glory, splendor, and majesty (Ps. 21:5); the majestic heavenly city shines with the glory of God (Rev. 21:11, 23), and the kings of the earth bring their splendor into it (Rev. 21:24), as the nations bring their glory alongside (Rev. 21:26).
4. The psalmist receives unending blessings, gladness, and joy in the very presence of God (Ps. 21:6); the children of God now dwell in His very presence (Rev. 21:3), full of gladness and joy because death, crying, and pain are no more (Rev. 21:4). Blessings abound forever as the saints are surrounded by beautiful things.
Psalm 22 and Revelation 22
Revelation 22 is the last chapter in the Bible. The Tree of Life is seen once again for the first time since Genesis 3. The biblical chiasm is complete. Recall from Psalm 1 that the description of the tree, its fruit, and its leaves are so similar to what we read here in Revelation 22.
And now we come to Psalm 22, often cited as the most messianic of all the Psalms. Within this psalm we get the unforgettable picture of Christ on the Cross:
My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Far from My salvation, || The words of My roaring? My God, I call by day, and You do not answer, || And by night, and am not silent. (Ps. 22:1–2, LSV; cf. Mt. 27:46)
Do not be far from Me, || For adversity is near, for there is no helper. Many bulls have surrounded Me, || Mighty ones of Bashan have surrounded Me, || They have opened their mouth against Me, || A lion tearing and roaring. I have been poured out as waters, || And all my bones have separated themselves, || My heart has been like wax, || It is melted in the midst of My bowels. My power is dried up as an earthen vessel, || And My tongue is cleaving to My jaws. And You appoint Me to the dust of death, || For dogs have surrounded Me, || A company of evildoers has surrounded Me, || Piercing My hands and My feet. I count all My bones—they look expectingly, || They look on Me, || They apportion My garments to themselves, || And they cause a lot to fall for My clothing. (Ps. 22:11–18, LSV)
It is because Christ died that we can live. He was obedient in life and obedient unto death. We were disobedient from the very moment we drew breath. By His stripes we are healed. Through Him we receive His righteousness, His obedience, and His unending life in glory, surrounded by beautiful things and pleasures at God’s right hand forevermore.
Revelation 22 is the final invitation—the ultimate boarding call—to come and receive all of this and more. We enter His presence by washing our robes in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:14; 22:14). We come by simply receiving the free gift of the water of life (Rev. 22:17). Anyone who wishes can come (v. 17) for the grace of the Lord Jesus is with you if you believe (Rev. 22:21).
Although the first half of Psalm 22 points to the Cross on which Christ paid for our salvation with His own blood, the second half of the psalm shows God with His people, and His people praising Him for His goodness. Herein we glimpse the eternal state.
I declare Your Name to My brothers [cf. Rev. 22:4], || In the midst of the assembly I praise You [cf. Rev. 22:3]. You who fear YHWH, praise Him, || All the seed of Jacob, honor Him, || And be afraid of Him, all you seed of Israel. For He has not despised, nor detested, || The affliction of the afflicted, || Nor has He hidden His face from Him, || And in His crying to Him He hears. Of You My praise [is] in the great assembly [cf. Rev. 22:16]. I complete My vows before His fearers. The humble eat and are satisfied [cf. Rev. 22:2, 17], || Those seeking Him praise YHWH, || Your heart lives forever. Remember and return to YHWH, || Do all the ends of the earth, || And bow themselves before You, || Do all families of the nations [cf. Rev. 21:24–26; 22:2], || For to YHWH [is] the kingdom, || And He is ruling among nations [cf. Rev. 22:3–5]. And the fat ones of earth have eaten, || And they bow themselves, || All going down to dust bow before Him, || And he [who] has not revived his soul. A seed serves Him [cf. Rev. 22:3], || It is declared of the Lord to the generation. They come and declare His righteousness, || To a people that is born, that He has made! (vv. 22–31, LSV)
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