Psalm 106 is a retelling of the history of Israel. In summary, the Psalmist confesses both his sin and the sin of his fathers (vs. 6). They rebelled at the Red Sea, “yet He saved them for his name’s sake.” Once they crossed the Red Sea “they believed his words; they sang his praise.” They had to see God work and then trust Him.
However verse 13 gives the sad reality: “They soon forgot his works; they did not wait for his counsel.” Sin was followed by sin, disobedience multiplied by disobedience. Things got so bad that God was ready to kill them. “Therefore he said he would destroy them–had not Moses, his chosen one, stood in the breach before him, to turn away his wrath from destroying them.” (vs. 23)
It didn’t get any better.
“Then they despised, murmured, did not obey, yoked themselves to Baal, ate sacrifices offered to the dead.” A plague broke out among them. “Then Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was stayed.” (vs. 30)
Two times they were near extinction–two times someone stood in the gap for them. Someone interceded. But it wasn’t enough. Moses and Phinehas died. Israel sinned even more.
Until Jesus. He came as the ultimate intercessor. On the cross, he stayed the wrath of God, interceding not only for Israel but for anyone who will trust Him. “For our sake, God made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
And Jesus’ work didn’t stop there. Three days later he resurrected. Then he ascended. Now he intercedes.
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. (Romans 8:34, ESV)
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25, ESV)
My little children I am writing these things to you that you may not sin. But if anyone sins, we have anadvocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous. (1 John 2:1-2, ESV)
Moses’ intercession was limited to a certain event and time. Phinehas interceded and died. Jesus died to intercede! Now he lives to intercede! What you will never know is what he has intercepted in your life today. You will never know the pending danger, the looming temptation, the “almost” catastrophe that he stayed away by interceding. He saved you then and he’s saving you now–to the uttermost!
Thank God today for what you don’t know.