Rediscovered - The Key of David
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:
This says the Holy One, the True One, who has the
key of David, who opens and no one will close,
and closes and no one will open.
The key of David, now what is that again? The teachers of the law, Luke 11:52, Jesus tells us, took away the key of knowledge (through their traditions, such as the Talmud and later also by means of the Kabbalah). In our days, thanks be to the LORD , this key reappears, which the resurrected Jesus tells us about in Revelation 3. The key opens to Jews and Greeks the access to this house, the house of the father. And because Jesus, as the head of the house, has the power of the key, he has unlocked it and opened the door. What does the key of David look like?
The house and its matching key
Before we come to the key, it's essential to clarify to which building the key belongs. It should be common knowledge that when people enter a temple, they purify themselves beforehand. they do it in their own way, depending on their religion. In Judaism, a priest had to undergo a special ritual purification. Generally, it took place in the courtyard. When the purification was complete, the priest was allowed to enter the sanctuary. Hidden in this procedure lies the key of David, which the scholars of the law had taken away. Now, together, we are digging out the key of David.
The Key of David
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your kindness, according to the greatness of your mercies, blot out my transgressions. David asks for cleansing. Wash me completely from my unrighteousness and cleanse me from my sin. David asks God to bathe him, like a little child being washed by its mother in the bathtub. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is continually before me. David sees the dirt, but like the little child, is not at all able to wash it off.
I have sinned against you, against you alone, and have done what is evil in your sight; so that you may be justified when you speak, made up when you judge. David confesses his filth, which the Bible calls sin. The Hebrew word for sin isחַטָּאָה – Chattaah.
Behold, I was born in unrighteousness, and my mother conceived me in sin. David expresses that he was even born as a sinner. We humans are all sinners, for it is said: "All humans are liars!" Ps.116:11 The one lie of the serpent made Adam and Eve liars. Because they believed the lie, they ingested the poison of the lie.
Behold, you delight in the truth within, and in secret you will teach me wisdom. Here we see beautifully how the fear of the Lord begins the wisdom of David. He fears God, step 1, he confesses his sin, step 2, and now he realizes that the Lord is teaching him wisdom within; this is the result of steps one and two. The apostle Paul had the same experience. After Paul's conversion, Jesus had revealed himself within him and so the apostle was able to reveal and explain the veiled things of the Old Testament. Romans 1:2, "Which He promised beforehand by his prophets in the Holy Scripture."
Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean. Wash me and I will become whiter than snow. Here God acts as High Priest without the officiating High Priest taking action. It's amazing, isn't it? David did not need the priestly ministry of Abiathar. And this is exactly what the letter to the Hebrews ist talking about when it makes clear, not only looking back at the time of the second temple, but also to the future third temple: The Aaronite priesthood is no longer needed.
Let me hear gladness and joy, and the bones you have crushed will rejoice. Everyone, whether Jew or Greek, who has become a Christian, can tell about this joy, the whole body is felt by this joy. This joyfulness drives away the depression of one's own shortcomings. Let us not forget, God is pleased to forgive. When God has broken the bones, the bones speak of human strength, which, however, cannot live a sinless life.
Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. God cannot see sin. This can be compared to the disgust a person feels when he hears about deviant and perverse things and turns away in disgust. David not only understands this, he also expresses his disgust at his own sins. Blot out all my iniquities. The apostle John says to this: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Create for me, O God, a pure heart and renew a firm spirit within me. Now we get down to the nitty-gritty. The teacher of Israel, Nicodemus, should have known this scripture, because this verse is the key to being born again. When David prays, "Create me," he uses the same word as in Genesis 1:1, it is the word bara – בָּרָא.. With bara, God really creates something completely new, a new heart; and the spirit is also to become new, in the sense of: to raise up and restore.
Do not cast me out of your face, and do not take from me the spirit of your holiness. God has forgiven his sins, but now his kingship is at stake. David knows God made him king over Israel after Saul disobeyed. Saul was not only rejected because of this, but the Spirit of God departed from him. Therefore, David pleads with God, begging him not to suffer the same fate.
Let the joy of your salvation return to me, and support me with your magnanimous spirit. Again David comes back to the joy that God's salvation produces. This joy is to belasting and this is only possible when the Holy Spirit comes to the rescue. The Spirit of God, David says, may be magnanimous and sustain him and also support him in this.
I will teach the transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Isn't that amazing? David asks for the forgiveness of his sins, asks for a new heart and a renewed spirit, and now he wants to teach the transgressors. We humans would consider such a sinner completely unfit, would demand that he prove himself. Here too we learn from the story of Paul, first he persecuted the church and after God met him and he repented, he proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah in the synagogue of Damascus.
Save me from bloodguilt, O God, thou God of my salvation, and my tongue will rejoice in thy righteousness. Blood guilt is a great guilt, whether intentional or accidental, it is a burden that plagues the conscience all one's life. This will be the deeper reason for the request and therefore David asks God to save him from it in the future. When David went with his men to kill Nabal and all the males of his household, Abigail prevented him from doing the deed. Grateful for Abigail's wise actions, he also thanks God for saving him from a great wrong through Abigail.
Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. This verse can only be understood correctly if we add the next one, because verse 18 (depending on the translation) begins with the word: for. For you have no pleasure in sacrifices, otherwise I would give them; You are not pleased with burnt offerings. David realized, the sincere confession of sins before God is enough to take away sins, no animal sacrifices are needed for that. His praise is spiritual sacrifices and grain offerings in which God is well pleased. The next verse brings his restoration full circle. David summarizes: The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and bruised heart , o God, you will not despise.
And with the last two verses the spiritual house is completed: Do good to Zion, in your favor, build the walls of Jerusalem. With the remnant of Israel, God builds the wall and only the wall as we find it described in Revelation 21.
Then you will delight in sacrifices of righteousness, in burnt offerings and whole offerings; then bullocks will be sacrificed on your altar. Of which altar does David speak? Golgotha! What are sacrifices of righteousness? Christ is our righteousness. And what are the burnt offerings and whole offerings? Every single prayer addressed to God, in which we remember the sacrifice of Jesus.
This is the key of David, for the Jews first and also the Greeks.
Berlin, July 22, 2023
© Copyright H. Randy Rohrer