Psalm 106 and the OT: It’s all pointing to Christ


John Piper:

Psalm 106 is a summary of the history of Israel with a focus on her repeated sins and God’s repeated judgment and mercy. Psalm 106 is a picture of the Old Testament in miniature. It cries out for something more final, more lasting. The final verses (vv. 47-48) say, “Save us, O Lord our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, ‘Amen!’ Praise the Lord!”

Yes. And all that had been said before. Over and over, they called on the Lord to save them during the time of the judges, for example. And God did save them. He was merciful and gracious and slow to anger. But then over and over, they reverted to unbelief and disobedience. So the end of the psalm, just like the end of the Old Testament, cries out for something more. This psalm and the Old Testament itself are incomplete. They groan for something more. They point to the future. They are not ends in themselves. They are stories and books of promise.

Jesus: God’s Decisive Yes and Amen

And that is why the New Testament exists. Because the final, complete, decisive, lasting act of divine salvation happened when Jesus, the Messiah, came into the world. He was the final Adam (Romans 5:12-21), and the final prophet like Moses (Acts 3:22; 7:37), and the final Israel (Matthew 4:1-11), and the final high priest (Hebrews 7:23-24), and the final Passover sacrifice (1 Corinthians 5:7), and the final manna from heaven (John 6:31-32), and the final suffering servant of Isaiah 53 (Mark 10:45), and the final Son of Man of Daniel 7 (Matthew 24:30). His blood was the blood of the promised final new covenant in Jeremiah 31:31 (Luke 22:20). He therefore was the final, decisive Yes and Amen to all God’s promises (2 Corinthians 1:20).

So when we read the stories of the Old Testament like the one in Psalm 106 and we feel the oppressive weight of sin that never seems to have its final solution, we should think: It’s all pointing to Christ. This is not Christians reinterpreting the Jewish Scriptures. This is God revealing the completion of the Jewish Scriptures. And the point of the Jewish Scriptures and the long history of Israel was not in itself but in Christ.

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