The Exodus Book of Psalms--Part 8
Mar 29, 2010
This psalm is identified in its postscript at the end as being written "to the chief musician upon Shushan-eduth." Many bibles have misplaced this as the heading of the next psalm, but Dr. Bullinger proves that this should be the postscript of Psalm 59.
Shushan means "lilies," and has to do with the Passover and wave-sheaf offering. It is also the reason for the so-called "Easter Lily."
The word eduth means "testimony or witness." So Shushan-eduth literally means "lily testimony," and indicates the double witness of Passover--that is, the Second Passover. Recall that if someone was unable to keep the regular Passover in the first month, he was allowed to keep a Second Passover a month later (Num. 9).
So Psalm 58 is specifically about Passover and the Second Passover. In the original Passover, God delivered Israel from Egypt. David wrote Psalm 59 as a Passover psalm of deliverance, but it is applied specifically to David's need for deliverance. The Psalm begins this way:
(1) Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; set me securely on high away from those who rise up against me. (2) Deliver me from those who do iniquity, and save me from men of bloodshed.
The rest of the psalm focuses upon judgment of the law upon the wicked who attack the righteous unjustly (vs. 4), who spread lies and curse people (vs. 12). David pictures them as "dogs" (vs. 6, 14), howling and growling their lies and curses around the city.
Psalm 59 correlates with the story in Exodus 34, where Moses was given the law for the second time. Recall that when he saw the people worshiping the golden calf, he broke the tables of stone containing the law that he had just been given on the mount (Ex. 32:19). I like to say that Moses was the first law-breaker.
But after the time of intercession, God called Moses to the mount again to give him the law a second time. Exodus 34:1 says,
(1) Now the Lord said to Moses, "Cut out for yourself two stone tablets like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you shattered."
Moses did so, and God gave him the same law a second time. When Moses returned, his face was glowing as the glory of God was seen in his face. Whereas Psalm 58 focuses upon the glory of the Lord, Psalm 59 focuses upon the second law.
Moses returned with his face glowing, carrying the second set of law tablets, on the eighth day of Tabernacles. This was the conclusion of his eighth trip up and down Mount Sinai, as I showed in chapter 9 of The Laws of the Second Coming. The feast of Tabernacles was the only feast where the people were actually required to read the law (Deuteronomy, the "second law"). So we read in Deut. 31:9-11,
(9) So Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. (10) Then Moses commanded them saying, "At the end of every seven years at the time of the year of remission of debts, at the Feast of Booths, (11) when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place which He will choose, you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing."
The timing is significant, because it associates the law with both the Feast of Booths (i.e., "Tabernacles") and the seventh year (Sabbath land rest). It shows that the Feast of Tabernacles is fulfilled when the law is written on our hearts. Secondly, insofar as TIMING is concerned, the law was read at the time of the feast in the seventh year--the Sabbath year. This suggests that the law will be written in our hearts (in fulfillment of the New Covenant) in the Sabbath Millennium, the 7th thousand year period of Adamic history.
Even as Moses received the Ten Commandments twice, so also did Moses give the law twice. The first is in Exodus, while the second is the entire book of Deuteronomy, which means "second law."
Likewise, on a broader scale, God made two covenants with Israel, the first in Exodus 19, and the other in Deut. 29, where we read in verse 1,
"These are the words of the covenant which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He had made with them at Horeb.
And in the broadest sense of all, God made two covenants which we know as the Old Covenant and the New Covenant.
Under the Old Covenant, all men are condemned by the law, because no one was able to fulfill his vow to be obedient. Paul says, "All have sinned," and David said, "there is no one righteous, no not one." For this reason we were in need of a New Covenant, where God would write the law on our hearts, changing our very nature by His Spirit, so that we would do the works of the law by nature and not by compulsion.
It is the same law, but the form changed, along with God's method in making us obedient.
Another picture of the two laws is seen in the fact that there are two Passovers as well. This is where we intersect with Psalm 59, which is about the double-witness Passover. Passover is about justification by faith in the blood of the Lamb. The Second Passover is for a person who is on a journey far from God, or who is unclean by reason of touching a dead body (i.e., being mortal). See Num. 9:10. For such people, there is yet another Passover season in which he will be justified.
This speaks of the end of the Age. It is not a time when Jesus would have to come and die again, for He died "once for all" (Heb. 10:10). Instead, it is a time where all men, who were not justified in their life time will yet have a Second Passover experience where they are justified by faith at the Great White Throne. There, "every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess," Paul says in Phil. 2:10 and 11. No man can make such confession apart from the Spirit of God, Paul says further in Rom. 14:11. So this is where all men will be justified, for at that point no one will have any doubt that Jesus Christ is both Savior and King.
And so, Exodus 34:1 speaks of the second law, and verse 18-23 speaks of the feast days beginning Passover and the week-long feast of Unleavened Bread. Over all, the correlation of Psalm 59 to Exodus 34 shows that the wicked are certainly judged by the law, but that there is also an element of mercy and grace in the law itself, particularly when applied to the Second Law and the Second Passover.
It is a message of Hope. It is the underlying good news of the time of the restoration of all things that is inherent in the feast of Tabernacles.
This is the eighth part of a series titled "The Exodus Book of Psalms." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones