Psalm 106-107: Moses and Jesus

Psalm 106 is an interesting Psalm. On the one hand, it speaks clearly about the journey of Israel from Egypt to the promised land. It highlights the works of Moses as the intercessor and redeemer of the people by the power of God. But on the other hand, Psalm 106 gives us a glimpse into the redeeming power of Christ over and above Moses. Just look at this passage and it will not be difficult to see what I mean:

6 Both we and our fathers have sinned;
we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.
7 Our fathers, when they were in Egypt,
did not consider your wondrous works;
they did not remember the abundance of your steadfast love,
but rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
8 Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
that he might make known his mighty power.
9 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it became dry,
and he led them through the deep as through a desert.
10 So he saved them from the hand of the foe
and redeemed them from the power of the enemy.
11 And the waters covered their adversaries;
not one of them was left.
12 Then they believed his words;
they sang his praise.

now, in the context of the passage, Moses is the “he” that is referred to, for the Psalm is directed to God. That is made evident by verse 7; twice it refers to God with the word “your”,” your wondrous deeds” and “your steadfast love.” So the he must be Moses, for he did rebuke the Sea; he led the people on dry land, he was their redeemer in the sense that He brought them out of slavery, and the Israelites did, for a time, believe his words and sing his praise (in the sense that they praised God for Moses).

But some of this language is a little too extreme to simply refer to Moses: “He saved them for his namesake” in verse 8. “He redeemed them from the power of the enemy” in verse 10. And even the phrase “they sang his praise” in verse 12 is a bit much for Moses.

With language like this, I think it is safe for us to say that the Psalmist here is pointing, unknowingly, toward a future, greater savior of God’s people, One who will indeed save them for His own name’s sake, One who will redeem us by His very own blood from the power of the enemy, defeating the enemy in the process, and One of whom we will say for all eternity, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive honor and glory and blessing and praise.”

The Old Testament Scriptures are full of these points in which God is building a picture of Jesus Christ, the One who will become the greater Shepherd, the greater King, the greater Priest, the greater Prophet, the perfect Redeemer, and our great and awesome Savior.

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