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The first of Asaph’s psalms: Psalm 75−76

Aseph was one of the musicians David appointed to lead the nation’s worship when he moved the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He wrote twelve psalms, which pour out his response to the changes in the Israelite kingdom from David to Rehoboam.

The idea that God could judge is not in fashion these days. But Aseph identified a very real and practical reason for God’s judgement.

8-9 From the heavens you uttered judgement;
the earth feared and was still
when God rose up to establish judgement,
to save all the oppressed of the earth.

We chose evil, rather then just being happy with good. Why doesn’t God intervene and stop the evil we chose? He does, for the sake of the oppressed  but not necessarily in the timeframe of the few breaths we have.

Finally, to speculate: Psalm 76 could have been written after the Ark of the Convenant had been moved to Jerusalem but before Solomon built the Temple.

Psalm 76

In Judah God is known,
his name is great in Israel.
His abode [tent] has been established in Salem,
his dwelling-place in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows,
the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war. Selah

Glorious are you, more majestic
than the everlasting mountains.
The stout-hearted were stripped of their spoil;
they sank into sleep;
none of the troops
was able to lift a hand.
At your rebuke, O God of Jacob,
both rider and horse lay stunned.

But you indeed are awesome!
Who can stand before you
when once your anger is roused?
From the heavens you uttered judgement;
the earth feared and was still
when God rose up to establish judgement,
to save all the oppressed of the earth. Selah

Human wrath serves only to praise you,
when you bind the last bit of your wrath around you.
Make vows to the Lord your God, and perform them;
let all who are around him bring gifts
to the one who is awesome,
who cuts off the spirit of princes,
who inspires fear in the kings of the earth.

 

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