(13 Nov 1997)
"Psalm 82 & the Galilean"
Psalm 82 points to 1982 in two interesting events. Both events have to do with Galilee. Galilee is the northern part of Palestine where Jesus grew up in. The LORD is known as a "Nazarene" (Mat 2:23), or "Jesus of Galilee" (Mat 26:69), or "Jesus of Nazareth" (Mat 26:71) although He was born in Bethlehem the town of David.
This fact confounded the Jews and the Pharisees in Jesus' days. The Jews asked, "How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" (John 7:41,42 NIV) The Pharisees told Nicodemus emphatically, "Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee."
Galilee became a stumbling block to the Jews and the teachers of the law. Even Nathanael, described as a true Israelite by Jesus, expressed surprise about Nazareth -- "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip. (John 1:46 NIV).
They were all looking intently at Bethlehem the town of David and they missed Jesus of Galilee. Psalm 82 focuses our attention on YESHUA of Nazareth. Where are the hidden prophecies?
#1 I SAID, 'YOU ARE "GODS" ' (Ps 82:6). This is one revealing clue planted in this psalm. Make no mistake about these "gods" -- they are mere mortals! "I said, 'You are "gods"; you are all sons of the Most High.' But you will DIE LIKE MERE MEN; you will fall like every other ruler." (Ps 82:6,7 NIV)
While it is comforting to know we who are all sons of the Most High, are "gods" as pronounced in this psalm, I believe this is NOT the emphasis. Intriguingly, Jesus used this psalm to defend His divinity!
John 10:22-36 NIV
Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade.
The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? IF YOU ARE THE CHRIST, TELL US PLAINLY."
Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I AND THE FATHER ARE ONE."
Again the Jews picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus said to them, "I have shown you many great miracles from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?"
"We are not stoning you for any of these," replied the Jews, "but for blasphemy, because YOU, A MERE MAN, CLAIM TO BE GOD."
Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I HAVE SAID YOU ARE GODS?' If he called them 'gods,' to whom the word of God came--and the Scripture cannot be broken-- what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I SAID, 'I AM GOD'S SON'? "
The Jews wanted to know whether Jesus was the Christ. Jesus admitted yet the Jews refused to believe. Jesus went on to say He and the Father are one. The Jews were enraged and wanted to stone Him because they said Jesus was merely a man and not God. Then, quoting Psalm 82, Jesus answered them, if God calls the people 'gods', (the people to whom the word of God came, i.e. Israel and Church), then surely there was nothing outrageous about His claim that He is God's Son, not to mention He is the Anointed One set apart by the Father!
JEWS FOR JESUS (1982). I believe this hidden clue -- "You are gods", refers to the recognition that Yeshua is the Messiah of the Jews, after nearly two thousand years, by the group Jews for Jesus, when they launched a campaign to reach fellow-Jews through the secular media in 1982.
"In 1982 Jews for Jesus launched a campaign to reach fellow-Jews through the secular print media, using a full-page ad with a large printed announcement, "The Messiah Has Come and His Name is Y'shua." The ad explained how Y'shua was the Jewish way to say Jesus, listed prophecies from the Old Testament which pointed to Him, and invited inquirers to send for a free book, titled Y'shua, containing an exposition of Old Testament Messianic prophecies. With believers shouldering the expense, 90 newspapers, including the New York Times, published this statement. Over 100,000 responded to the ad, many of whom professed to accept Jesus as their Messiah."
Four Faces of Jesus, p39
Leslie B. Flynn 1993
This may not be a significant event for the world, but, in God's redemption plan, 1982 is surely a very significant year with the announcement, "The Messiah Has Come and His Name is Y'shua.", made by Jews for Jesus. A time will come (soon I suspect), when all the Israelis will say, "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." (Luke 13:35 NIV)
#2 JESUS OF GALILEE. John 7 records Jesus' entry into Jerusalem in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles. The entire chapter brought the question -- "Is Jesus the Christ?" into sharp focus.
These were the questions asked --
"Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ?" (v26)
"How can the Christ come from Galilee?" (v41)
and these are the responses of unbelief --
"For even his own brothers did not believe in him." (v5)
"No, he deceives the people." (v12)
"You are demon-possessed," the crowd answered. (v20)
"But we know where this man is from; when the Christ comes, no one will know where he is from." (v27)
"Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" (v42)
"You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted. (v47)
"Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him?" (v48)
"No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law--there is a curse on them." (v49)
"Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee." (v52)
Although there were some who put their faith in Jesus, by and large the Jews did not believe in the Man from Galilee. It is interesting that the Apostle John seems to be emphasizing the part about Galilee. The word "Galilee" occurs 66 times in Scripture (KJV). In John 7 alone, 5 times were recorded!!!!! The emphatic reply of the Pharisees, "Are you from GALILEE, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of GALILEE." (v52), became a part of Scripture, to their eternal shame!
I believe Israel's invasion into Lebanon in June 1982 is hidden in Ps82 and it seems also to amplify the fact that Yeshua of Galilee is the Messiah, coinciding with the proclamation by Jews for Jesus in 1982.
"On June 6, 1982, the Israeli Army launched "OPERATION PEACE FOR GALILEE". They moved into Lebanon to disperse the PLO. Arafat's terrorists had continually harassed the Israeli nation. After a renewed round of Ketusha rockets, Menachem Begin decided the nation had suffered enough.
Under the leadership of Ariel Sharon the IDF moved into Lebanon. The attack began at 11:00 A.M. on Sunday and within forty-eight hours, many of the PLO's fixed positions and much of its long-range Soviet-built artillery had been eliminated from Southern Lebanon. By the time a cease-fire came at the end of the week, at least sixty thousand troops, led by more than five hundred tanks had swept across the sixty-three mile long Lebanese border, and pushed the PLO all the way to Beirut."
TIME, June 21, 1982, p14
GALILEE & THE GALILEAN. The Lebanon War in the Middle East turned the spot light on GALILEE while the "Y'shua is the Messiah" campaign organised by Jews for Jesus in the USA proclaimed Jesus the GALILEAN as the Messiah to the Jews. Both events happened in 1982. Both events are hidden in Psalm 82.
#3 THE LEBANON WAR (1982). Although in this war, Israel was sharply criticised by the world community for being the aggressor, the fact remains that "Arafat's terrorists had continually harassed the Israeli nation. After a renewed round of Ketusha rockets, Menachem Begin decided the nation had suffered enough." (TIME) The constant harassment of the PLO seems to be described by the Psalmist in the following verses,
"How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked?Selah Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." (Ps 82:2-4 NIV)
The last verse of Ps 82 justifies the Israeli occupation of Palestine - "Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for all the nations are your INHERITANCE." (v8)
#4 THEY KNOW NOTHING, THEY UNDERSTAND NOTHING. THEY WALK ABOUT IN DARKNESS. (Ps 82:5) This verse seems like an indictment on the unbelieving Jews and Pharisees who rejected Yeshua. Ironically, both groups claimed to know where the Christ was supposed to come from -- definitely NOT GALILEE!!
The Jews were confident when they said --
"BUT WE KNOW where this man is from; when the Christ comes, NO ONE WILL KNOW WHERE HE IS FROM." (John 7:27 NIV)
The Pharisees were even more authoritarian in their claim to knowledge --
"You mean he has deceived you also?" the Pharisees retorted. "Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? No! But THIS MOB KNOWS NOTHING of the law--there is a curse on them." (John 7:47-49 NIV)
Alas! Listen to what God said of them -- "THEY KNOW NOTHING, THEY UNDERSTAND NOTHING. THEY WALK ABOUT IN DARKNESS." (Ps 82:5)
CONCLUSION. Galilee -- the stumbling block that blinded the eyes of the Jews and Phaisees was the focus of the Lebanon War in 1982. The proclamation of Jews for Jesus in 1982 that "The Messiah Has Come and His Name is Y'shua.", seemed to force the Israelis to re-consider the Galilean they nailed to the cross two thousand years ago. The phrase "You are gods" in Ps82, used by Jesus to defend His divinity, is a strong clue that points to Jesus' claim to be the Messiah of the Jews.