Wednesday, 20 January 2010

5. The Song of Moses and the song of the Lamb

Meanwhile, back at the 'church'. BTW If you want to read these blogs on 'the church' scroll to the bottom of the page where you will find various 'topic categories', choose 'church' and you can read the whole series...

The heading for this blog is taken from Rev 15:3 where we see those who sing these two songs. The Song of Moses we know from Exodus15 but the Song of the Lamb? I think it is the song of the 'redeemed' in Rev 5:9-10. So how are these two songs linked? They are both songs of deliverance with a view to the future. The book of the Revelation constantly uses themes from Israel's captivities in Egypt and Babylon and looks towards God's ultimate deliverances and to the purpose of that deliverance.

The Song of Moses is very interesting. There are a couple of themes in it which are surprising. At this point of Israel's history God had not promised to enter into a national covenant neither had he mentioned the possibility of a sanctuary in which he would live among them. Nevertheless there are pre-echoes present in the song of Moses. ...You have guided them in Your strength To Your holy habitation. Ex 15:13 NKJV and even more remarkable... You will bring them in and plant them In the mountain of Your inheritance, In the place, O LORD, which You have made For Your own dwelling, The sanctuary, O LORD, which Your hands have established. Ex 15:17 NKJV In the first reference Moses might have had in mind Sinai as God's habitation but the second reference clearly follows the possession of the land of Canaan. Let me make the point more clearly. God does not mention a national covenant until Exodus 19 and even then there is no mention of a sanctuary. The sanctuary, that I may dwell among them, comes into the story at Ex 25 after the national covenant has been enacted. And yet here, prophetically, Moses refers to the ultimate purpose of the possession of the land, it is to be the place of God's sanctuary.

The nation of Israel would have an identity which was determined by the fact that the nation surrounded the Sanctuary or, to put it the other way about, that they would be a nation at whose centre God would have his own Sanctuary. There were to be, and this was their destiny, a kingdom of priests to God and a holy nation. This is a key feature of the old covenant community and again of the new covenant community. Its key purpose, and this may shock, was not evangelism but to be a people centred upon God and available to him.

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