Posted by: cindybythesea | June 16, 2011

Psalm 115 – Part 1, Act II

“The Lord is gracious and righteous, our God is full of compassion. The Lord  protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.  Psalm 116:5,6

Psalms 113-118, also known as the Egyptian Hallel, is split in to two parts, when read at the Passover Seder; a tradition that goes back not just centuries, but, millenia. When one begins to look at these verses in light of tribulation events, one begins to see the possibility, that these particular passages are not only prophetic in nature, but, are in many ways reflective of the original Exodus itself.

Who can forget the icy stare President Obama had for Prime Minister Netanyahu on his recent visit to Washington? Change the suit and ties for 1400 BC Hebrew and Egyptian attire and you have Moses and Pharoah.

Now, why is this important? Because, this is a match up, that is not yet over.

With that in mind, we’re going to look at Psalm 115 and continue to build towards the theme of events that will eventually culminate in the magnificent 118th Psalm.

There is a lot contained in these next two chapters and it is not my intent to do a verse by verse exposition. What I hope to do is discover, by looking at a couple of key verses, how this fantastic group of Psalms, known as the Egyptian Hallel, has been providing timeless clues for the completion of God’s plan of redemption, not only for the past, but, for the future.

Judgment & Salvation

When God brought his people out of Egypt, he accomplished this by doing two things. By bringing judgment and by bringing salvation.  I think this is an important concept to remember because it has future implication.  It was not until God brought judgment on Egypt that Pharoah relented and let the Israelites go.  In other words, the same night judgment fell on the first born, those under the blood of the lamb were saved.  So, you see, judgment and salvation occured simultaenously. In the same way, when Jesus was on the cross, sin was judged at the moment salvation was purchased.

In my last post, we discovered how Psalms 113 & 114 are read before the second up of Passover, the cup of Judgment. This would lead us to believe that Psalm 113 & 114 most closely correspond with the first cup, the cup of Sanctification, which by implication would indicate the calling out or sanctifying of the 144,000 in end time events.

It’s my conjecture therefore, that once the 144,000 are sealed, the simultaneous process of judgment and salvation will commence. (Something, we will discuss in more detail in Psalm 116).

According to the order of the Passover Seder, the last four Psalms 115-118 are recited before the 4th cup, the cup of Praise.  Now, this is important, because that means that the last four Psalms correspond with the 3rd cup of Passover, the Cup of Redemption, the cup from which the Lord’s table, communion comes.

Remember in the garden before his crucifixion when Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me, yet, not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)  What cup was he talking about?  He was talking about the third cup of Passover, the cup of Redemption. 

But, before we get to judgment and redemption, we see in the opening to the 115th Psalm the nations openly taunting an increasingly isolated and friendless Israel.

“Why do the nations say, Where is their God? Psalm 115:2

Where is their God????  The answer to that question already stated in the second part of the verse:

“Our God is in heaven, he does what ever pleases him.”  Psalm 115:3

In contrast to:

“But, their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths but, cannot speak, eyes but, cannot see; they have ears but, cannot hear, noses, but, they cannot smell;  they have hands, but, cannot feel, feet but, they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.”  Psalm 115:2-8

The nations of the world are woefully unaware of the God of Israel.  It isn’t hard to imagine them shaking their heads in derision over the tiny and isolated Jewish state. Once known as the people of the book, they watch with relish as the little thorn shaped nation is about to be destroyed.  They taunt her with words reminiscent of those by which Christ was taunted on the cross:  “He saved others, but, he cannot save himself.” Matt. 27:42

When, we get to the center of the Psalm, the mood shifts and we see three blessings striking in similarity to the Aaronic blessing.  Contained within these blessings come the establishment and the anointing of the 144,000 and their ministry.

The Aaronic blessing is based on Numbers 6:27, which says –

 “And they will put my name on the children of Israel and I, myself will bless them”

The Aaronic blessing: 

” The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”

Notice the trifold blessing – the Lord bless, the Lord make his face shine, the Lord turn his face toward you.  Compare now with Psalm 115:9-16.  Notice again, the trifold blessing.

“O house of Israel, trust in the Lord – he is their help and shield; O house of Aaron, trust in the Lord – he is their help and shield, You who fear him, trust in the Lord – he is their help and shield.”

“The Lord remembers us and will bless us, He will bless the house of Israel, he will bless the house of Aaron, he will bless those who fear him, both great and small.

And, then what appears to be a reference back to Numbers 6:27 again.

“May the Lord make you increase both you and your children, May you be blessed by the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

The Psalm finishes with this thought:

“It is not the dead who praise the Lord, those who go down to silence; it is we who extol the Lord, both now and forever more.”

The blessing of the Lord is for those who trust in him, both living and dead, who extol his name.  The dead who go down in silence, are those who go to a place absent of God, a place where there is no blessing; where there is no praising. An obvious tie back to verses 2-8 – “those who make them, will be like them.” 

A somber thought as we close out the 115th Psalm. 

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, they shall prosper who love thee”  Psalm 122:6  Watching and waiting with YOU for the soon return of Jesus! Cindy

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Responses

  1. Re. being like the gods one worships, I’ve heard it said that the world of commerce is cold, hard and unforgiving. So too do those who worship it become cold, hard and unforgiving.

    [Great observation Art! After I finished the post last night, I was overwhelmed with the realization of what hell or sheol is really like. I think the Psalm makes it very clear – like the idols who cannot see, walk, talk, smell, hear and so forth, so, shall it be for those “who go down to silence” those who will spend eternity in place absent of the presence of God. No kind voice will be heard, no voice at all with the exception of the indistinct wails or moans of those in torment, no kind or gentle embrace; only isolation, no fresh and clear air to breathe, just the heavy, hot and choke filled air. As I went to bed last night the words to an old hymn from my childhood kept coming back to me – “break down every idol, cast out very foe, now, wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” Words to a hymn, I hadn’t sung in years, rich with renewed meaning for me – thanks to the 115th Psalm. C]

  2. Cindy,

    Beautiful tie-in comparison of the Judgment/Salvation theme in this Psalm with the events on the first Passover night, and then with the events of Christ on the cross! Never thought of it that way before, but it is so clear now!

    That is what I love about the Word. It is so rich with subtle meaning and depth of doctrine!

    [Thanks Brent! It’s what I love about the word too! You can never exhaust its riches; there is always more to discover and learn. Thanks for taking the time to write today, grace and blessings! C]

  3. Cindy – I have heard that these particular scriptures were very “special” but have not ever heard or read a teaching on them. I find them abundantly sweet to my soul.

    I have come to believe (in that Revelation is especially symbolic) that the 144,000 are an “example” of the children of Israel. David had 288,000 in his army – 144,000 would be an image of 1/2 of the Army of the Lord. There are 10 virgins – 1/2 with oil and “ready to follow Jesus wherever He goes” – the other half — still virgins – but not prepared or ready to greet Him when He comes. Rev 12 points out two separate groups of people (if you read each scripture carefully). I believe Rev 12 also points to 1/2 – the first half = the man child “snatched” to heaven. The first half = the barley harvest and the last half (a group harder to get to listen – harder to separate the wheat from the chaff) are the last half.

    Those are just my views. I heard a friend (Messianic church) state that there are MANY barley/wheat hidden here in America that are just now waking up to their heritage. That group (144,000) will be found in all nations of the world.

    I love this teaching, Cindy. It is especially precious.

    [Thanks so much for writing Jeane and you may be right! There is still so much to learn and discover — much of what is unfolding before our very eyes. Interesting, that you mention those waking up to their heritage. My son in law just found out in the last couple of years that he is part Jewish, he now considers himself a Messianic Jew. My Uncle by marriage also, part Lebanese and part Spanish – found out a couple of years ago, that the Spanish part of his family were actually Jews who had been forced out of Spain. A devout believer and great Bible teacher, he is a Arab Messianic Jewish believer, wow – how rare is that! Blessings! C]


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