The King’s Musician – Tactics of Persuasion
The prophets of Israel painted a future of light. They described a world in which war is a forgotten concept (Isaiah 2:4). They talked of a world in which all of mankind enjoys the light of God in brotherhood and love (Isaiah 60:3). The prophets gave us hope for a time in which the knowledge of God covers the world as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9).
The prophets also spoke of God’s musician. They told us about David; the man whose songs draws hearts to God (2Samuel 23:1). And the prophets told us about David’s descendant; the Messiah, the man who will pick up the tune where David left off (Ezekiel 37:25).
Israel’s hope for the future also illuminates the present. Instead of seeing people steeped in selfishness; Israel sees future servants of God. Instead of reading life as a ride towards chaos and darkness; Israel sees life progressing ever forward towards light and tranquility.
Hope is so powerful. It has the attention of so many people in such a deep way. The magnetism of this hope has drawn people into believing that they themselves are somehow an integral part of this future of light. The office of King’s musician attracts the most attention. Many people have deluded themselves and others into thinking that they are or that they will be that singer of the King.
It is obvious to one and all that the King’s music is still not being played. Yes; David’s songs still resonate and even now they melt hearts towards God. But as long as darkness, war, confusion and hate still reign; David’s descendant is not here.
One of the many aspirants to the coveted title of “Messiah” was one Jesus of Nazareth. The delusion of his messianic career was put to rest as quickly as most others who hoped to change the world. Where Jesus stands apart from the rest of the messianic aspirants is in the propaganda team that his followers put together on the occasion of his failure.
The first thing any failure needs to do is to find someone to blame. The refrain of almost every failed campaign is that it was the “villain” who maliciously and unjustly turned the tables on us.
The problem that Jesus’ propagandists faced was that there was no one to blame but Jesus himself. It would have been bad enough if he did nothing that would make anyone think that he was the Messiah. But he didn’t stop there. Instead of playing the role of the King’s musician; who directs everyone’s attention to the king, Jesus dropped some hints of his pretentions to the throne of the King itself.
The wall of indifference that Jesus had crashed into was the loyalty that Israel had towards God and the understanding that Israel had of the Messianic hope. Israel’s loyalty to God would not allow them to submit to another entity and their understanding of the Messianic hope would not allow them to bestow the title “Messiah” on a man who played not a stitch of David’s music.
It wasn’t so much that Jesus was “rejected”. There was simply nothing to consider.
But Jesus’ propagandists were not daunted. The first thing they did was that they changed the target audience. Instead of talking to the people of Israel, who were God’s witnesses and the bearers of the Messianic hope, the Church Fathers turned to the Gentiles who had less of an understanding of these matters.
While the Gentiles had less of an understanding of the concept of a Jewish Messiah than did the Jews but the Gentiles were still going to ask the Churchmen why the Jews, who should be more knowledgeable about the matter, did not buy the story. How were the masters of persuasion going to deal with this challenge that was bound to arise even from the new audience that they were appealing to?
This is what they did.
They redefined the objective. Instead of a Messiah who is obviously and clearly the King’s musician they invented a new concept of “Messiah” as a mystery man who needs to be discovered and accepted. Once we are dealing with this “new reality” of a Messiah who needs to “prove” himself the persuaders can now claim that the “judgment” was unfairly skewed against him.
Who were the ones that committed this “injustice”? The Jews of-course! This tactic gave the propagandists the villain that they needed and it also discredited the only ones who would see through their charade.
The work of propaganda did not stop there. The Churchmen needed to redirect the conversation. Instead of a conversation about loyalty to God the Churchmen turned the conversation to a host of unrelated issues. They presented the argument between Jesus and those who ignored him as if it was an argument about faith, spirit and humility – all represented by Jesus; versus works, pride, legalism and hypocrisy all represented by his opponents; the Jews.
To recap; the followers of Jesus lied to the Gentile world by telling them that the office of Messiah is a position that is acquired by passing a series of tests. They then claimed that although Jesus had successfully passed these tests, the Jews still misjudged his case and rejected him. In order to direct attention away from the Jewish loyalty to God and to the crown of David the Churchmen spoke on behalf of the Jews and told the world that they rejected Jesus because he didn’t fit in with their legalistic, haughty, and hypocritical belief system.
These propaganda tactics succeeded not only to build Jesus’ following amongst the people of Europe but they also precipitated the persecution of the Jewish people by the believers of these myths.
To set the record straight I will say that the position of “Messiah” is not attained by winning a contest. The real Messiah will not need a team of propagandists to explain away his failure and to demonize the nation that God appointed as His witnesses.
The real Messiah will simply pick up the song where his ancestor David left off.
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Yisroel C. Blumenthal
Something that you wrote a while ago helps me to understand these things more vividly and solidly from the Bible. You were discussing the interpretations of Isaiah 9:
You wrote there that “the Davidic throne will forever represent mankind’s submission towards God.” I agree… in Tanach, David is described a lot of times as being devoted to God (as a creation, and therefore as a worshipper), and keeping His laws and decrees. A lot of these descriptions come in the context of God comparing David’s royal descendants to David’s own heart. He set the standard for the attitude that Israel’s kings, and the king at the time of Israel’s future restoration, must have before God. God made His promises about the people as a whole in the context of whether these kings would walk before Him according to His Law, as David did, understanding that he was not a god or a replacement of God to the people (like the kings of other nations) but that his glory was a reflection of the glory of the One he worshipped in song and in doing justice. Only a human who is not God, not one to be worshipped, but a worshipper of God, can understand what it means to stand where David stood in the relationship between God and His creation. The ability to worship God as creator is the defining experience of Israel and humanity. For even a king to understand this is the heart of David, which left a deep mark on the musical worship and communal prayers of Israel as a nation after him, even until today. The simple hope of the prophets is that the line of such a kingdom, in that particular lineage, will begin again in the midst of God’s restoration of humanity.
God didn’t teach Israel how to tell the difference between a human who owes worship to God and a human who deserves it. The understanding is that everything with breath owes praise to God, and David’s psalms often portray the human identity within that. Instead of forgetting where creation comes from or thinking that we own ourselves, this kind of worship looks to God in surrender and dependence, not only physically for every blessing, but also spiritually. Our existence and our ability to draw intimately close to God through taking part in righteousness are such a gift. God doesn’t worship or thank Himself for these things in the way that we, who are created at the heart of our experience and of our knowledge of Him, do. The hope for a merely human king who will be anointed by God to again represent this role of David is a good hope. A lot of the book of Isaiah takes the imagery of Hezekiah to illustrate that kind of hope, again because of his submission towards God and the way in which God’s power was shown through his reign. May God restore this throne to Israel and His own Throne in our world, soon, and (if He’s willing) in our own days; may He open the eyes of this world to see what He deserves from us.
That is the message held by the generations of the people who are keeping His covenant Law, including its heart of love, repentance, and thankfulness, which He will bring into the sight of everyone for His own glory and because of His kindness to us.
“Only a human who is not God, not one to be worshipped, but a worshipper of God, can understand what it means to stand where David stood in the relationship between God and His creation.”
If you take some time to read the psalms of David, I think you can catch the plain heart of what is being expressed. These are among some of the clearest expressions of the Israelite understanding that a relationship between God and creation is the defining aspect of our experience. He stands on one side and we stand on the other, but He has offered real closeness with Him when our hearts offer thankfulness and obedience. He has placed goodness in our world, allowing us to take part it what is His, and when we fail He has given us forgiveness beyond explanation.
Messiah is not a person in history which is why the lineage of David picks up when the Messiah is revealed within the heart of Israel which is “David” (Beloved): the heart after Gods own heart: When the heart is visited, it is able to turn (repent) and not before hence Elijah (spirit of repentance) must come first to the heart to give it the “desire” to return to the creator. The Messiah is a POWERFUL FORCE within the heart; so powerful that you will never be the same nor will be able to reject it; it will crush you instead unless you follow it: The good news is that it is so WONDERFUL that you will follow hence every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess it even against ones own personal will: That is my witness of the power of the Messiah within the heart)(Israel); you have a seeming choice to avoid Mashiach’s power over you but once you experience it, there is no more choice:
The false prophets were not people who made up stories out of thin air – they had experiences – and they had the choice to identify those experiences as false on the basis of Israel’s testimony
as do you right now……..not as easy as you thought!
When you say that the Messiah is a spirit of repentance and love for God, rather than a human leader, do you mean that the king isn’t an actual person at all?
Since this blog is written to address the conversation between Jews and Christians, I’m assuming that you stand within one of those religions. What are your thoughts about the Jewish hope that God will bring a real, human king to reign over Israel again, as the Jewish prophets described? And what do you think about the Christian claim that Jesus (whatever they believe about him) will be that king? I don’t want to box you in to a tradition, I just want to understand what you’re talking about when you speak of moshiach as a spirit of restoration but not as an actual king, since most Jews and Christians tend to interpret the Tanach as promising a real restoration of David’s kingdom. I’m curious about where you’re coming from. If you disagree, then what is it in the prophets that makes you think that?
P.S. In writing about a spirit of repentance, love for God, and restoration, I didn’t mean a supernatural person or angel with a sense of personhood. I was just trying to reflect your idea of a force, attitude, experience, or inspiration of repentance.
Basically, I think that God gave a plain promise to David and to Israel that the kingdom would literally be restored. So if that’s going to be interpreted metaphorically, without a human king in David’s line on a physical throne, I’m interested in what it is that tells you it should be seen only as a spiritual or metaphorical promise.
Hi again Annelise:) good question and here is my simple answer; I do not see spirit as metaphor but as “life/chay”; matter is the metaphor, spirit is the reality behind it: If Spirit is metaphor than God is methaphor: Hardly, amen? So, to keep from all IDOLATRY we must always see the FORCE or SPIRIT as the substance hence faith is a substance of things hoped for (matter to materialize) which is how God works through WORD……..his Spirit moves through matter to materialize or MAN-I-fest in matter: BUT BY MY SPIRIT says the LORD: see? So, God (Spirit-ruach) revealed as HOLY (ruach qodesh) that lights the neshama within the heart (desire for God) is the FORCE for all manifestation in every creature:
it’s confusing how this website put this post ahead of the rest of our conversation. I’ll try and reply to this after the last post, where I wrote “and you kind of did answer…”
Hi Annelise:) After 20 years of understanding the prophetic voice within my own consciousness, building the ‘house/temple’ of the LORD (God/hashem), I know a few things for sure: 1) the Bible is a code but not as some think; it is a code to build consciousness, but of what? Of HOW God interacts within the human consciousness and this alone is “MAN” (Adam): not the consciousness prior to Mashiach but POST Mashiach: So MAN is Immanuel (God with us) in Consciousness; the ability to CHOOSE the good and REFUSE the evil: Having said that, King is the code name for “WILL” or the INTENTION of consciousness: Hence there are only TWO desires in the universe, INTENTION (hashem, God, the KING or good willintention of the universe) and DESIRE (his creation), everything else: The two together are MAN, the combination of GOOD will (intention) and desire (how intention works in the world): In hashem they are ONE and the same and the WILL of hashem was to FORM Man in his image and likness, hence LIVE in this BEING and express them together as ONE force, hence YHVH ECHAD, the LORD is one:
adding, the nephesh (animal soul) is the desire and the neshama (divine soul) is the intention: IN MAN they should work as ONE force for the good of all creation: So what is Jesus in this whole thing? TO ME, one thing, the ‘good will’ (neshama) born within the nephesh (desire) hence he is born in a stable (animal soul) as the FOOD for beasts (the heart or desire) to TRANSFORM it into ONE ….into MAN: Thats it!!! nothing else in the whole Bible, hence the two commandments to love the LORD your God with all your heart soul and strength (all your intention and desire) and to love your neighbor as your self: Meaning, love all desire and intention as your own:
Thanks for clarifying where you’re coming from, I think I can understand a bit more what you were saying now.
What about on the historical level, rather than the spiritual connections you can see? I take it that you believe that this world exists, that humanity exists, that the Jewish nation exists, and that the Christian Bible exists. But in terms of history, do you think the world was created by One who is real beyond the realities of nature and beyond our understanding, but also is personally relational with us? Do you believe that He made a covenant with someone called Abraham, or led Israel out of Egypt through the Sea of Reeds and gave them the Law in the desert? Do you think that the kind David really existed in history? As to the New Testament, do you think that Jesus actually lived as a human being in history, and if so, what do you think his role was?
Hopefully it doesn’t seem like I’m trying to pressure you to believe any of those things… just wanting to understand more whether or not you see any reason to. I want to see kind of what the links between historical and metaphorical realities are to you. If you don’t believe any or all of those things, then where do you think the different parts of the Christian Bible came from, historically, and also, how do you know that they’re important to you?
I’ve only just seen your second comment, we were writing at the same time.
and you kind of did answer some of the questions that I posted a couple of minutes later. But I’d still value your answer to the comment as a whole 🙂
lol, we are chatting:) to keep it as short as possible, I see the work of God (Hashem) through his spirit in every generation in a people who have been ready to have these things revealed: The PROMISE was that the time would come when they would be revealed to all and this would be the ‘last generation’ or the last days as the Bible calls them: These are not the last days of the earth but of the world without consciousness of God as the ONE who is all, “in all”, hence no man shall say “know God, for all shall know him” and that is when haShem shall be KING over the whole earth: (within his people) because they will all be his people: As far as the “people” in times past who understood the Bible for what it is, the VOICE of God in and through the heart and mind connection, these took on the names of the CODE (Word that describe this workmanship in them): We always see these people taking on the names of the people because they become ONE with the WORD or MEANING these words reveal IN them. The names are changed to meet the NEW consciousness of their creator, of God in them. So Moses (drawn out of the water) is the heart as it is drawn out of Torah, but who was Moses? He was that being that experienced this FIRST just as Abraham (Abram-father of a high people) becomes the ‘father of many nations’ when he realizes there is ONLY ONE God ……and he is the God of all: see? So history is a “time frame” of revealing God in the world through more and more people who become ONE MAN, but also more and more CLEARLY in every generation till the final generation sees him as HE IS, hence we don’t know what he is like, but when we see him we shall be “LIKE” HIM. The finished product Man is LIKE God: Michael means “WHO is like God”? That Man!!!!
Hi Yvonne, here’s my answer to your post from above, beginning “Hi again Annelise:) good question and here is my simple answer”
I totally agree with you that we shouldn’t see the spiritual world as metaphor. It’s definitely a real part of creation, and I guess you might say that matter finds its meaning within the spiritual aspect.
But I was only asking whether you think that the events described in the Jewish scriptures, and the Christian scriptures, are literally historical reality or are instead metaphors of spiritual reality. So my question was more about these stories and people. Do you think they existed as actual people, and that the stories happened in human history as we know it? Or do you think they are a way of expressing various spiritual things through a symbolic story?
Another thing is that I don’t see God as part of the ‘spiritual’ realm. He created it, just like He created the material world. There’s nothing beside Him. And we don’t need to understand ‘what He is’… we can know Him by relating with Him, personally, in all the ways that He has given us to know His love and love Him in return.
yes Annelise, I agree that Spirit eventually will materialize in all matter (if thats what you meant): I do not see matter in control but for the time of exile, it does appear to be in control, hence the yetzer hora seems to be a choice of matter over spirit but that is not reality: Spirit is the root and substance THROUGH all reality so God is in all or there is no “all” but only a figment of ones imagination or vain imagination: The vail (covering) over the eyes is what gives rise to the yetzer hora but once the vail is removed, reality is as SURE as God and it is Spirit in matter, controlling all matter. NATURE (elohim) then are the forces of nature and YHVH is the Savior of nature by raising MAN out of nature to take care of it: Only MAN will care for nature as intended (hence Jesus rises above nature but not to use it and abuse it, but to HEAL IT): Again the stories are the metaphor or a REALITY that will manifest in all creation, making all things NEW: It is written, I WILL do a new thing in the earth, a Woman (desire) shall compass a MAN (good will -good Intention) and this is the picture (not to be confused with the substance) of all God intends and is DOING in the earth, especially in his people, in the heart he made for himself.
I know, we’re chatting… maybe it’s better if people type at different times of day 🙂
To reply to your comment starting “lol, we are chatting:) to keep it as short as possible…”, I’m wondering… how do you think that the Christian Bible came to be written? It exists in our world now in manuscripts and books and the memory of a lot of nations that physically exist. Do you have thoughts about how it came to be written down, or which groups of people understood it as the words of God to you?
I’m trying to see how that was a direct answer to the question. Were you saying that it doesn’t matter to you who wrote the Christian Bible (or any part of it) and where it came from, because you think that it was God who eventually allowed it to come together? And you believe that it is from Him because of your own prophecy.
If I’m right about that then I think you believe the book of psalms is inspired by our Maker. There are a few verses in Psalm 78 that say:
“He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our ancestors to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.”
Do you think that’s true? That is to ask: Do you think that the Jewish people living today (Monday 28 January, 2013) who say God gave the Torah to their forefathers, really heard about it from their parents? Do you think that their parents really heard about it from the grandparents of Jews today; and they from the great grandparents… and so on? And do you think that if you went far back enough in a time machine to the great-great-etc. grandparents of the Jews you know today, you would finally come to a day in real history where the Israelites were commanded with some laws that they literally had to keep in the days and years and generations after that, and were told to teach their children?
If not, then what is the ‘real’ significance of Psalm 78? And how should the Jewish people read it, since it seems to be addressed by God to them as a simple commandment and a simple memory of their national history with Him?
Btw, I’m sorry I won’t be able to reply again this week, but I hope to after that. I’ve been getting some pain in my wrists the last few days, and I think that starting a new job where I type a lot has meant that the normal amount I type each week is now too much. I think it’s RSI so I’m going to take a break from typing as much as possible, at least for a week.
Hopefully someone else can take up our conversation, otherwise talk with you later. It’s interesting to hear your perspective.
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