The Exodus Book of Psalms--Part 11
Apr 13, 2010
Whereas Psalm 59 focuses upon the Second Passover and its relation to setting up the tabernacle of Moses in Exodus 40, and Psalm 60 focuses upon the judgment of the nations that will occur at the same time, Psalm 61 focuses upon the Inheritance (glorified body and immortality) of the overcomers.
In other words Psalm 61 is about the effect that this will have upon the overcomers, whose corporate "temple" has been completed in time for the First Resurrection.
David says in verse 2, "lead me to the rock that is higher than I." Perhaps this is a veiled reference to the rock mountain of Sinai, where Moses received the divine visitation and found his face glowing when he returned. Verse 5 then says,
"For Thou hast heard my vows, O God; Thou hast given me the inheritance of those who fear Thy name."
Our inheritance is the glory of God filling the temples of our bodies. This is pictured in Exodus 40:33 and 34,
(33) And he [Moses] erected the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the veil for the gateway of the court. Thus Moses finished the work. (34) Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.
When applied in a New Covenant sense, our bodies are the true temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16), and the tabernacle of Moses was a prophetic type that prophesied of a greater event to come. Then David tells us another part of this inheritance in Psalm 61:6,
"Thou wilt prolong the king's life; His years will be as many generations."
This has to do with granting immortality to those who receive this inheritance. The word "prolong" is the Hebrew word yasaf, "to add or increase." It is the root word of the name Joseph (yosaf), which prophesied, "God will add to me another son" (Gen. 30:24).
So the word "prolong" gives us a subtle link to Joseph, to whom was given the Birthright. This Birthright was about Sonship via the Fruitfulness Mandate. Yet David uses the word yasaf in verse 6 above to indicate the prolonging of life to "many generations." Though it is indefinite, we know from the Scripture that this is a promise of immortality. Verse 7 confirms this:
"He will abide before God forever [olam, "for the age"]; appoint lovingkindness and truth, that they may preserve him."
The Hebrew word olam expressed the sense of indefinite time, because they did not have a word that specifically meant "for all time." If anyone doubts this, he can look at the example of the Phinehas priesthood. In Numbers 25:13 God made "the covenant of an everlasting priesthood" (KJV). The NASB renders it "a covenant of a perpetual priesthood." The word used for "everlasting" or "perpetual" is olam.
The Phinehas priesthood came to an end after Eli's sons were corrupt and their father refused to correct them or put them out of the priesthood. A man of God finally came to him and appeared to contradict the covenant with Phinehas. In 1 Sam. 2:27-30 we read,
(27) Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, Thus says the Lord, Did I not indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh's house? . . . (30) Therefore the Lord God of Israel declares, I did indeed say that your father and the house of your father should walk before Me forever [olam]; but NOW the Lord declares, Far be it from Me--for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed.
And so we find that Eli and his two corrupt sons were killed, and a younger son, Eleazar became high priest. His son was Ahimelech, who gave bread from the table of showbread to David and his men. Saul killed him for this (1 Sam. 22), and his son, Abiathar, escaped (1 Sam. 22:20) and later became high priest during the reign of David.
Abiathar was finally replaced in the days of Solomon by a new family that was not descended from Phinehas. This was Zadok (1 Kings 2:27 and 35). Thus ended the covenant of the olam priesthood that God had made with Phinehas. It was obviously NOT an "everlasting" covenant, but one ofindefinite duration.
In other words, it was conditional upon the obedience of that family of priests. If they were perpetually obedient, then they would have a perpetual covenant. But if disobedient, this covenant would have an end.
In Psalm 61:7 "He will abide before God indefinitely." How long would this be? That would be conditional upon their obedience, but with the full glory of God inhabiting their bodies, it would never end. Hence David also says, "Appoint lovingkindness [chesed, "grace or mercy"] and truth, that they may preserve him."
Those who are given grace and truth will be preserved alive perpetually, because John 1:17 says,
"For the Law was given through Moses, but grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ."
And so David prophesied of a generation yet to come who would receive the promise of the Father, the Birthright of Joseph. They would receive this through Grace and Truth which came by Jesus Christ. So David ends with verse 8,
"So I will sing praise to Thy name forever; that I may pay my vows day by day."
This is the eleventh part of a series titled "The Exodus Book of Psalms." To view all parts, click the link below.