The Exodus Book of Psalms--Part 17
Apr 23, 2010
Even as Psalm 69 prophesied of the crucifixion of Christ, Psalm 70 petitions God from the grave for deliverance, as if Christ were praying. "O God, hasten to deliver me," he writes in verse 1. "Let those be ashamed and humiliated who seek my life," he continues.
Verse 4 says,
(4) Let all who seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee, and let those who love Thy Yeshua say continually, "Let God be magnified."
This short psalm ends with the plea, "O Lord, do not delay." David himself was always in need of deliverance, because of the constant intrigue going on among his enemies plotting to overthrow him. This was prophetic of Christ's situation as well, and the plot of the New Testament was fulfilled on the feast of Passover.
This has an obvious connection to Moses' Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was set up on the first day of the first month (Abib), and then dedicated for 12 days (one day for each tribe--see Num. 7:11). This dedication was completed on Abib 13, and the following day was the preparation day when they killed the Passover lambs on the afternoon of the 14th.
We are not told specifically in Exodus 40:34 what day the tabernacle was filled with the glory of God, but it seems obvious that it was glorified on the 14th of Abib, the day after the dedication was completed. Perhaps also it was glorified in mid-afternoon at the time of the "hour of prayer" (Acts 3:1) which was the time of the evening sacrifice. This was also the time when Jesus died on the cross many years later.
This glorification of the tabernacle took place at Passover, while in a later time, Solomon's Temple was glorified on the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles in the seventh month (1 Kings 8:2). Thus, the glory of Moses' tabernacle at Passover prophesied of the death of Christ, while the glory of Solomon's temple at Tabernacles prophesied of the second coming of Christ and the manifestation of the Sons of God.
Psalm 70, then, with its cry of distress and prayer for deliverance, is associated with the feast of Passover, since it is one of the many psalms depicting Exodus 40. By extension, it applied to all of His followers who followed Him "outside the camp, bearing His reproach" (Heb. 13:13). All of the martyrs since Abel have been asking, "Lord, how long?" (Rev. 6:10). And David joins with them saying, "O Lord, do not delay" (Ps. 70:5).
Their hope is bound up in the second coming of Christ, when Solomon's temple will be glorified on the last great day of the feast (John 7:37-39).
This psalm pictures Jesus in the grave, awaiting the redemption of His soul. Verse 2 says,
(2) In Thy righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline Thine ear to me and save me."
Verse 5 continues, "For Thou art my hope." Meanwhile, the adversaries who seek to usurp the throne say,
(11) God has forsaken him; pursue and seize him, for there is no one to deliver."
Isaiah 53:4 echoes this as well:
(4) Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; yet we ourselves [as sinners] esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
In other words, God's enemies considered David, Jesus, and Christians to be "smitten of God." In their religious zeal, they condemned those truly called, as if they were the ones that God had ruled against in the divine court. The chief priests, for example, condemned Jesus on a charge of blasphemy (Matt. 26:65, 66). They passed sentence upon Him in the name of God and justified themselves in their own minds by the idols of their heart.
It was in the divine plan to allow these usurpers to carry out their plan, in order to perfect the love of God in His people through suffering. The enemies of Christ appeared to win their case. But David, Christ, and Christians themselves have all appealed this earthly court decision to the Supreme Court of Heaven. We are confident that we will win the appeal, because we understand the Word of God. But it is not until the glorification of the Temple at Tabernacles that the verdict will actually be established in the earth for all to see. Those who win the appeal will be glorified in their bodies. "Our hope", Paul says in Rom. 8:23, is "the redemption of our body."
And so David says in Psalm 71:20,
(20) Thou, who hast shown me many troubles and distresses, wilt revive me again, and wilt bring me up again from the depths of the earth.
So David sees the future with the eyes of faith and says in verse 23,
(23) My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to Thee; and my soul, which Thou hast redeemed.
David had mentioned this same hope in Psalm 16:10, saying,
(10) For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Sheol; neither wilt Thou allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.
Peter quoted this verse in his Pentecostal sermon in Acts 2:27, applying it as a prophecy of Christ, who was raised from the dead and ascended to the throne in heaven. However, this promise applies to all who believe in Him and who have sided with Him in this dispute. Many of these have also come under persecution as part of His body. Many have been put to death. But their hope is the same as David's, and Christ's resurrection is the proof that the dead are indeed raised in the end.
This is the seventeenth part of a series titled "The Exodus Book of Psalms." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones