Og, King Of Bashan

“And Og the king of Bashan: for His mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 136:20).

The Lord Jesus likely meditated on and sang Psalm 136 during His earthly walk. It praises God for great wonders (v.4)—wonders of creation (vv.5–9), and wonders of redemption and deliverance (vv.10–24). Christ, the Creator and Redeemer, certainly could have related to these truths. But how might He have related to Og?

This ancient king apparently was huge. His bed was made “of iron . . . nine cubits” in length (Deuteronomy 3:11). This is about 13 feet long! What a great victory it was for God’s people when Og was defeated.

Jesus knew that He had come to confront an enemy much stronger than Og. He met Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1–3 ff.) and said of him, “No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house” (Mark 3:27). Jesus knew that He had entered hostile territory (Satan’s house) with the purpose of binding Satan and delivering people “from the power of darkness” to His own glorious kingdom (Colossians 1:13).

Jesus, God’s “strong hand” and “stretched out arm” (Psalm 136:12), came to confront evil and win. For a time it seemed that Satan was winning. His bed, unlike that of Og was a “sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid” (John 19:41). But the second part of our text reminds us of God’s “mercy” which endures forever.

God’s wrath against evil fell squarely on Christ, but the Psalm reminds us over and over again that “His mercy endureth for ever.” Justice was met at Calvary, but a few days later the Father raised His Son in mercy from death’s bed. Together, Father and Son impart mercy “for ever” on the elect, through the agency of the Holy Spirit. PGH