Friday, March 19, 2010

Messianic Prophecy Hidden in Psalm 107

The other night, as I was reading and praying through some of the Psalms, something jumped out at me that I hadn't particularly noticed before: Psalm 107 contains a foreshadowing of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. In context, Psalm 107 is re-capping the inglorious history of Israel, and God's repeated rescue and healing of their nation after periods of backsliding. When we reach verse 23, the psalmist uses maritime imagery and attributes the power of the seas and "...tempest, that lifted high the waves" to the works of the Lord.

Verses 28-30 are where it gets really interesting:

Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.

29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea were hushed.

30 They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.

Does this remind you of a certain scene from the Gospels? Matthew's account in chapter 8 reads:

23Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!"

26He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

27The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"

(The other Gospel accounts are in Mark 4 and Luke 8, but I'll assume you're all familiar with the story). Not an earth-shaking revelation or new-fangled doctrine by any means, but just a point of interest that caught my attention. While none of the accounts cross-reference Psalm 107 in my study Bible, I can't help but speculating that the Messiah "stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed" in fulfillment of Scripture that day out on the lake. The disciples in the boat with Him most definitely were glad when it grew calm, and they wondered aloud who Christ was as He guided them to their desired haven. Reflecting on His life and ministry later on, I wonder if they saw Jesus in the Psalm - which specifically credits God with these wonders (thereby again affirming Christ's deity).

Admittedly, I have never seen the events of Psalm 107 in the account of Jesus calming the storm before. However, every time I read the account in one of the Gospels, a certain detail distracts me: I hope that someone in the boat had the good sense to cover Jesus with a blanket when He fell asleep. I can't help it; that is always the first thing that comes to mind (maybe because I am a mom)? You can catch a terrible cold out on the water that way, and when you fall asleep your body temperature drops. The hypostatic union in no way negates that fact. The One Who stilled the storm and calmed the waves still allowed Himself to be susceptible to our infirmities - presumably including catching chills. I will give those rugged fishermen the benefit of the doubt.

Interesting parallel to the Psalm of thanksgiving, in any event.


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Thanks for that thought, Marie. It does make you wonder if the disciples recognized Jesus calming the storm as the same act proclaimed of God in Ps. 107. I'm going to have to note that in my Bible!

Bob said...

I have been pretty thoroughly convinced now that the New Testament is chock full of Old Testament allusions and references. Finding them is like a hidden treasure.

And it more than just a literary phenomenon: it is history in one era pointing back to another era.

The disciples, I am sure, knew what was happening.

Thanks for pointing this out.

Lloyd said...

Thank you for your insights and wisdom that makes us all want to study what God is trying to reviel to us. I am not really convince that the disciples fully understood the diety of Jesus at this time, but after the cross it finally sunk in. Nice post. God bless, Lloyd

Marie said...

Thanks folks; glad you enjoyed it.


Thanks for commenting/following - I just visited your blog and will come back soon when I have more time - it's very uplifting!

Tho Mas said...

Awesome. I just made the same discovery this morning! Also, if you continue to psalm 107:36-42 you will see connections with Mark 6 (same exact verses!)
It's not blatant, but significant enough not to miss.
Keep in mind, this is a page over from the Mark account of the calmed storm!

Brians View said...

I just decided to look this up, because I came to the same conclusion probably 20 years ago, in fact, although I don't have the Psalm right in front of me now, there are other similarities to other parts of Scripture as well. In fact, I do believe it's actually prophesied the event that you mentioned and perhaps others. I know you posted this 6 years ago, but I hope you'll be notified of this response and consider looking at the Psalm again and see if you see any other references as well. There are so many gold nuggets in God's Word!