We are in the third lesson of studying the psalms through the lens of key historical events of the Old Testament. Take some time this week to read the events of the Exodus (Exodus 1-12) before you read the related Psalms.
The covenant with Abraham is about God being a promise-keeper—He will do what He has promised to do! Remember God’s covenant promise to Abraham? Numerous descendants, a promised land, and a worldwide blessing to them and all the nations of the earth. The events of Exodus open with the descendants of Abraham, although numerous, they are in slavery to the Egyptians. The events of Exodus provide us with the unfolding story of God’s redemption of His people. The events of the Exodus begin with God’s people in slavery in Egypt and end with them possessing the Promised Land. These events are remembered, reflected upon, and celebrated in the Psalms. The Lord brings His people out of slavery, through the wilderness, and into the promised land.
In Exodus 15, we find the song of celebration sung by the people after they cross through the Red Sea. It provides a pattern for celebrating the Exodus and is often referenced in the psalms with terms such as “mighty acts of the Lord,” “His outstretched arm,” “His wonders,” “His wonderful works,” or “His great deeds.” This language can be used to refer to creation as well but is primarily referencing the Exodus events (see Psalms 136 and 145). There is also language that references God’s redemption of His people “redeeming” God’s people “crying out” and the Lord “hears” their cries. Reference in the Psalms when the psalmist’s troubles are conveyed using terms of waters, seas, deep, torrents, or floods all reference remembrance of the Exodus events (see Psalms 26, 68, 145, 18, 74, 77, and 81).
In Psalm 78 we find the events of the Exodus and the wilderness wanderings in a historical overview. Psalm 80 describes the Exodus and the settling of the people into the Promised Land. Psalm 99 references the pillars of cloud and fire that led the people in the wilderness. Psalms 105 and 106 significantly feature the Exodus events and highlight the Lord as promise-keeper to His covenant with Abraham, but also in Psalm 106 the people’s sin and unbelief in the midst of the Lord’s glorious redemption and faithfulness. Other Psalms that reflect the Exodus events are Psalms 114, 135, and 136.
Take some time to read through the events of the Exodus and then read some of the psalms referenced above and look for the correlation between the two. How are the people responding? What tone or mood is expressed in that part of the psalm? How are they reflecting upon the Exodus events in the psalm?
Not only do the psalms use language that reference and reflect the Exodus events, but they also serve to reveal the character of God. We see the character of God described as:
- The Creator who restores order
- One who conquers evil
- Steadfast in love (note the refrain in Psalm 136)
- Mighty and invincible in power
The events of Exodus reflected in the psalms serve to remind us of God’s unchanging goodness and His promise of the redemption of his people out of Egypt (the descendants of Abraham), but also of his future promise to redeem all people in Christ Jesus. Despite the people’s grumbling, complaining, disobedience and idolatry in the wilderness events of the Exodus, God remains faithful to His covenant promise! This is a great encouragement for us today. For our God is eternally steadfast in His love toward us, abundant in mercy, mighty in power regardless of our faithfulness toward Him. We live with the assurance Christ Jesus has bought on the cross. In Christ Jesus, we are loved, accepted, redeemed, forgiven, secure, with full assurance of our future—an eternity spent with the Lord God in His new creation, the new heaven and earth (Eph. 1:3-14). The Exodus points to Christ Jesus. He is the perfect Passover Lamb of the Exodus, at the cross He conquered evil and death, and He is the new Moses, the Son of God, who has set us free from the bondage of sin and death. “Jesus Christ fulfills all that Exodus foreshadows.” —Christopher Ash
Take some time to read through Psalm 81 where we find God’s promise of future hope. A hope that applied to the Israelite people in the time of the Exodus and the Old Testament, but a promise that applies to us as well. It is grounded in his covenant promise that He is our God and we are His people. It is a call to turn to the Lord, trust Him, and walk in obedience to His ways. God’s covenant promise is secured in Jesus—Immanuel, God with us. Wherever you find yourself today, remember the Lord God’s unfailing love and invincible power in our lives. This great love and power is not dependent upon our performance but is anchored securely in the person and work of Christ Jesus. Rejoice in that truth today!
Use the Dig In Psalms Study Guide as you read through the Psalms.
Rejoicing in Christ Jesus,
©2022 Susan Cady, susancady.com