The Exodus Book of Psalms--Part 1
Mar 19, 2010
Last year I wrote a book called The Genesis Book of Psalms. It is a commentary on Psalm 1-41. As most of you may know, the Psalms are divided into 5 books, one for each book of the Law. If you have The Companion Bible, you will see how Dr. Bullinger explains this and outlines these 5 books.
My book goes into much more detail than Dr. Bullinger tries to go, since I correlate each psalm with its specific corresponding story in the book of Genesis. I also show how each psalm prophesies of Christ in both of His appearances. In addition to this, I show how the order of each psalm (i.e., the psalm number) is arranged to reveal the meaning of the number itself, so that it is a revelation of the meaning of numbers.
The problem is that so far I have not found the time to start on The Exodus Book of Psalms. Many have inquired about this, but I only have a limited number of hours in the day. Weblogs take time, and I no longer have time even to answer all the emails that come in--to say nothing of time that must be spent in research.
So I thought it would be profitable to give you a basic outline of The Exodus Book of Psalms without getting into all the meaning of the numbers and other details. It begins with Psalm 42 and goes to Psalm 72. These psalms were written in the context of events occurring in the days of the psalmists (the sons of Korah, Asaph, or "to the chief musician"), but they also correlate with the events in Israel in the time of Israel's exodus from Egypt.
The Exodus Book of Psalms ends with the usual doxology at the end of Psalm 72, much like the doxology at the end of Psalm 41. All of these books end with a doxology of some sort.
This was written in regard to Israel's oppression during their sojourn in Canaan, but it also is about Israel's sojourn in Egypt before their deliverance under Moses. So it correlates with the first chapter of Exodus. It speaks also of the future when Israel was destroyed by the Assyrians and brought into captivity.
Hence, verses 2 and 9 say, "Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?" Verse 3 prays that they would be led to "Thy holy hill and to Thy dwelling places." Under Moses, this foreshadowed Israel being led into Canaan and eventually to Jerusalem and Mount Zion.
It also speaks prophetically of the future while Israel and Judah both were in captivity. God's presence had left Jerusalem in Ezekiel 10 and 11, and prophesied in Jer. 7:12-14. In this later application, the "holy hill" and "Zion" is the New Jerusalem and the New Mount Zion of Hebrews 12:22.
This psalm extends hope to Israel while in captivity. The people call out to God, as in verse 1, for divine intervention to judge (adjudicate) their cause in the divine court. "Vindicate me, O God, and plead my case against an ungodly nation," we read in verse 1. Verse 5 ends with "Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him."
This is a psalm that looks back to the days when God delivered them from the oppression of their enemies. "Our fathers have told us the work that Thou didst in their days, in the days of old" (vs. 1).
This correlates with Exodus 7-13, which is the story of the 10 plagues upon Egypt. These plagues were the means by which God delivered Israel from Egypt. Isaiah prophesies in 10:24 that Israel's future deliverance would be "after the manner of Egypt." Of course, the 10 plagues were Old Covenant types, but what is coming is a greater fulfillment. For example, instead of covering the land of Egypt with literal blood, the world is to be covered by the blood of Jesus Christ, so that His glory is seen throughout all the earth.
This psalm commemorates God's marriage proposal to Israel at Mount Sinai after their deliverance from Egypt. Thus, it correlates specifically with Exodus 19:4-6, the "wedding vows."
This was Israel's acceptance of Christ as King and Law-giver, as expressed in verse 6, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Thy kingdom."
Much of the psalm describes both God and Israel dressed in fine garments for the wedding, since these garments represent the robes of righteousness and garments of salvation.
"All Thy garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia . . . Kings daughters are among Thy noble ladies; at Thy right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir" (vs. 8, 9).
"Then the King will desire your beauty; because He is your Lord, bow down to Him" (vs. 11).
"She will be led to the King in embroidered work; the virgins, her companions who follower her, will be brought to Thee" (vs. 14).
This psalm looks back to Israel's Old Covenant marriage at Sinai, but more importantly, it looks forward also to the New Covenant marriage.
This psalm recalls how Mount Sinai shook with the divine presence (vs. 3). Mountains speak of kingdoms in the world. At His presence, all that is not of God will be shaken (Haggai 2:6, 7).
Yet the psalmist promises that the people of God will not be shaken, for as citizens of the New Jerusalem, they enjoy its "refuge" (vs. 1). "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God" (vs. 4). The Old Jerusalem had its river (water source) to sustain them in times of siege. The New Jerusalem has the living water supply of the Holy Spirit which flows out from our innermost beings (John 7:38).
"The nations made an uproar; the kingdoms tottered; He raised His voice, the earth melted. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold . . . He makes wars to cease to the ends of the earth" (vs. 6-9).
This, of course, is the divine purpose in shaking the "mountains." It is not to destroy people, but to shake apart the oppressive governmental structures that have oppressed the people, and which have usurped the allegiance that should have been given to God.
This is about Israel accepting Christ as King, first at Sinai, and later in the larger context of the whole earth accepting Him as King.
"O clap your hands, all peoples . . . for the Lord Most High is to be feared, a great King over all the earth" (vs. 1-2).
"For God is the King of all the earth . . . God reigns over the nations, God sits on His holy throne" (vs. 7-8).
Those who are yet carnally minded will run in fear from the presence of God. This is what the Israelites did in Ex. 20:18, where "they trembled and stood at a distance."
The Old Covenant was rooted in fear, though it was designed to cause the people to learn how to love God. The Old Covenant is the time where people grow spiritually and learn to love Him. "Perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18). It is really only through the New Covenant that we can achieve perfect (i.e., mature) love.
The psalmist, however, speaks of those who have not yet achieved such love. "They were terrified, they fled in alarm. Panic seized them there, anguish, as of a woman in childbirth" (vs. 5, 6).
Yet those who are of the New Covenant are described as well in verses 9-14. "Let Mount Zion be glad, let the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of Thy judgments."
God's judgments are not fearful to those of the New Covenant, for they have found forgiveness of sin through the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
This is the first part of a series titled "The Exodus Book of Psalms." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones