"I am the vine, you are the branches"
Moses Songs, Part 2
Another Song of Moses?
The Bible tells us that Moses wrote the 90th Psalm; and the rule of thumb is that if the next Psalm does not tell us who wrote it, then chances are it was the person who wrote the previous one. This is the case with Psalm 91. Let's see if this Psalm could have been written by Moses.
Is This Another Song of Moses?
Psalm 91 starts with, "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty." Who but Moses would have known about this? God told Moses and the Israelites to slaughter the Lamb and put its blood upon the doorposts; and the death angel would pass over their homes and they would be protected (Exodus 12:1-13). Moses asked to see God's glory: "And it came about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away and you shall see My back, but My face shall not be seen" (Exodus 33:20-23). And of course, the people had the Tent of Meeting, God's presence, the Ark of the Covenant with them.
Psalm 91:2-10 continues, "I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust!' For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, nor the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plagues come near your tent." Who trusted God more than Moses in his lifetime? The imagery of an eagle was used by God referring to the Exodus (Exodus 19:4), how He bore Israel on eagles wings, and brought them to Himself at Mt. Sinai. Moses knew about the craftiness of the evil one and how it caused the people to rebel and caused the plagues and pestilence that came upon the people in the wilderness. He also knew about how God delivered the righteous from these plagues. When a plague of serpents came and bit the people because of their sin, God told Moses to craft a bronze serpent and to lift it up so all who repented and looked at it would be saved. "And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived" (Numbers 21:6-9).
Israel encountered many people who they had to do battles with (Numbers 21:21-35, 31:1-24). One famous battle occurred with Amalek in Exodus 17:8-16. Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill to see the battle. When Moses lifted up his hands toward God to pray, Joshua and his men were winning the battle; when he put down his arms, Amalek and his men were winning the battle. So Aaron and Hur held up the arms of Moses so that Joshua would win the battle. The imagery of arrows flying and thousands falling at your side could be something that Moses would write about. And of course, with the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram in Numbers 16:1-35, God told Moses to tell the people to "Get back from around the tents of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram." God in His anger opened up the ground and swallowed up their families and their tents and all of their belongings. Moses saw firsthand how God can protect the tents of the righteous and recompense the wicked.
Verse 11 of Psalm 91 continues with, "For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down." The Israelites had the cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to not only lead them, but protect them. "And the angel of God, who had been going before the camp of Israel, moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from before them and stood behind them. So it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel; and there was the cloud along with darkness, yet it gave light at night. Thus the one did not come near the other all night" (Exodus 14:19-20). Pharaoh is a reference to the adversary. The imagery of a snake, a cobra, and a lion reference the devil, who rages like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8) and is the serpent going back to the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1). God's people will have the victory over the adversary, the devil. Matthew 4 tells us that at the temptation of Yeshua, the devil quotes Psalm 91 when He wants Yeshua to jump from the pinnacle of the temple, stating that the angels would lift Him up so He would not strike His foot against a stone. The devil knew that the angels were given charge over God's righteous.
Let's go back to the beginning of this newsletter. Revelation 15:2-3 tells us that John saw those who came out of the tribulation victorious over the beast, the Anti-Christ, the devil, and over his image and the number of his name, with harps singing the Song of Moses. The ending of Psalm 91 tells us that, "Because He has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; and set him securely on high because he has known My name. He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will rescue him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him, and he will behold My salvation." We must remember that Moses was also a prophet and in his last song to Israel he prophesied how the people would rebel against God, but that they would come back to Him. So In Psalm 91, the writer sees that the redeemed will have the victory over the devil and that God will deliver them. When they call upon His name, He will be with them in their trouble and He will honor them and they will see His salvation.
The Songs of Moses in the Feast Days
The first song of Moses in Exodus 15 represents the Feast of Passover, the Messiah's first coming, for we know that the first Passover took place. We also know how Israel had the victory over Pharaoh, Egypt, and their slavery; and Yeshua who is our Passover lamb has given us the victory over the devil, the world, and our sin. The second song in Deuteronomy 31 speaks of how the people wandered back into slavery because of idolatry. This represents the time that we, the disciples of Yeshua, are in now. We have forgotten that we, the Bride, are to prepare ourselves for Yeshua's second coming and we have worshiped other gods, the world, which have taken the place of Yeshua in our lives. Like the parable of the 10 virgins in Matthew 25:1-13, we have fallen asleep, we are not alert, not ready, not watching, not waiting, and not longing for our Bridegroom to appear (Matthew 24:44). We must be making our garments white, as these are the righteous acts of the redeemed. We must be going about our father's business, building up our holy faith so that we can be victorious and overcome the beast (the devil) when he appears (Jude 20, 1 John 5:4).
The last song of Moses, Psalm 91, represents the Fall Feasts: the Feast of Trumpets (at the sound of the last trumpet, Yeshua will return), Yom Kippur (is your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life?), and the ingathering when God will be our tabernacle, our eternal home. This is when it will happen, during the Fall Feasts. The Fall Feasts still have to be fulfilled in the coming of Yeshua. At this time, the redeemed of the Lord will come out of the tribulation victoriously, for they have made their garments white (Revelation 6:11, 7:9, 14-17) and they have overcome the world and the beast (Revelation 12:11-12a). They will sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb (Revelation 15:2-4). So let us now look at Psalm 91 through the eyes of the redeemed.
The Song of the Redeemed
"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I trust!' For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper, and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark." Psalm 61:4 says, "Let me dwell in Thy tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Thy wings." This imagery of the shelter of God's wings was used by the Psalmist over and over again. The Lord Himself used this imagery of eagles' wings in Exodus 19:4. Isaiah, looking toward the future kingdom in chapter 4, sees the redeemed being washed clean and in verse 6, it speaks of a canopy, a tent, a tabernacle: the Lord Himself. "And there will be a shelter to give shade from the heat by day, and a refuge (shelter) and protection from the storm and rain." In Exodus 19:9 we see this idea of a canopy in the imagery of a cloud. "And the Lord said to Moses, ‘Behold, I shall come to you in a thick cloud, in order that the people may hear when I speak with you.'"
We must understand what was taking place here in Exodus 19. God was taking Israel as His own special treasure, His Segulahas it is in Hebrew. He was actually betrothing her and the thick cloud was the canopy, or Chuppah, which is used in Jewish weddings as a covering over the Bride and Groom. We don't have time to go into it now, but the Ten Commandments, or the Torah as a whole, was the Ketubah, which is a Jewish wedding agreement. All of this represents God as our shelter, our protector, our refuge. In the Song of Solomon chapter 2 verses 3-4, we see this same imagery: "As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love" (KJV). So we see when the redeemed of the Lord abides in Him, God places us under His shadow, His protection.
Starting in Psalm 91:5 he continues, "You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not approach you. You will only look on with your eyes, and see the recompense of the wicked. For you have made the Lord, my refuge, even the Most High your dwelling place. No evil will befall you, nor will any plague come near your tent." Many people believe in a rapture before the tribulation, but is this correct? Today we see Christians all over the world being persecuted, tortured, and even martyred. If this was true, then it would have to be true going all the way back to the first Century, when thousands were martyred by Nero and the Roman Emperors at that time. No, God does not want us to suffer His wrath, but His wrath is damnation. Our protection under God, if we abide in Him, is Eternal Life, for He is our eternal dwelling place. So we need not fear when God judges the wicked, for it is not God's wrath that we suffer, but that from the hand of the wicked.
Verse 11 continues, "For He will give His angels charge concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in their hands, lest you strike your foot against a stone." You see, when we abide in God, that means we walk in His ways, putting Him in the center of our lives. He not only surrounds us with His angels to keep us, but we are in His word, which is a lamp unto our feet. It keeps us from falling and stumbling and even stubbing our toe. "Keeping" is a covenantal word which implies that when we are in covenant with God, we are His special possession, His Bride; and God protects us unto salvation.
Verse 13: "You will tread upon the lion and cobra, the young lion and the serpent you will trample down. Because he loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name." Yeshua (Jesus) said over and over again, "He who overcomes . . . ". This is exactly what we see in Revelation 15:1-3 when the redeemed come out of the tribulation as overcomers, victorious over the beast, the serpent, the devil himself. Notice that the Psalmist uses the past tense, "because he loved me . . . because he knew My name." Again, the word "knew" implies a covenant, as in the way a wife and husband know each other. The redeemed will sing the song of Moses because they knew God, because they loved God, because they abided in God, walking in His ways and in His word. They will overcome the beast and all the wickedness that will surround them, and they will be victorious because God will cover them in that shadow of His wing.
The Psalm ends in verse 15: "He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him, and honor him. With long life (eternal life) I will satisfy him, and show him My salvation." Yeshua will come for His Bride and the marriage supper will take place. He will give honor to her and robe her in His glory. Moses, the great prophet, will be telling the story through his songs of God and His people. As believers, shouldn't we be celebrating Passover and all of God's Appointed Times? For they are the telling of the story of God and His people, and we as believers are bearing witness to this truth. If we want to abide in the shadow, then we must walk in God's ways; and God Himself has appointed these times as a witness to the truth.