June 13


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Psalm 73-77

We are in the Wisdom stream and starting the 3rd of 5 books in the Psalms. We are reading from the New American Standard Bible this week.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

God you certainly lead your children in triumph.  You are true to those who follow and obey you and you are terror to those who fight against you.  May we always be on YOUR side of righteousness; not self-righteous, not seeking approval from men, but seeking you for your sake alone.  Amen

Asaph wrote Psalms 73-83 (along with #50).  He was David’s song leader.  He was appointed to such position in I Chronicles 15:17.

73 – is his frustrated musing about the wicked prospering so and the righteous having struggles. These two scenarios contrasted against each other were troublesome.  The topic arises today as well.  And granted, the petition has merit.  All this grated against Asaph’s senses until he came and prayerfully sat with God in the sanctuary.  Asaph is transparent enough to strongly insinuate that his personal musing was only making things worse and it implies he should have never tortured himself with such thinking…i.e. and that he should have come into God’s house sooner.  God knows what to do with good people and He knows what to do with wicked people.  And He will!

74 – National disaster had struck and Asaph was writing in sheer despair. Some say it was during Shishak’s invasion from Egypt.  This would have been a few years after Solomon’s death and therefore Asaph would have been quite old at this time.  Nonetheless, Asaph is horribly distressed and calling on God to act fast instead of withdrawing his hand of retribution as the enemy attacks. His recalling all the faithful and mighty deeds of God on behalf of Israel, the natural wonders He has done – Asaph is virtually cheerleading, “hey God, you helped in the past, and uh, we need you again, –> now!”  His call in v. 22 is accurate to the bone: “Arise, O God, and plead your own cause;…”  He’s almost retreating and asking that if God won’t do what is needed for us, then do it for yourself and your own sake.  It’s certainly a fetching line.
75 – God is judge and will judge.  The wicked will be sifted through for destruction and the righteous will be cherished by God and exalted.  Yes the unfairness of this earth will tumble and juxtapose matters against what seems to be right and fair, but God is going to sort things aright in the end, [at times sooner], and permanently for certain.
76 – A great victory has been had in Judah.  The God of Israel has arisen again on behalf of His people.  It was a relief and a triumph.  The timing does not match to be in Asaph’s era, but some attribute this Psalm to be a response to learning that Sennacherib’s Army of Assyrians has been struck dead, all 185,000 of them [during I Kings 19].  The same phrasing could be sung as the Exodus was completed and Pharaoh’s army drowned in the sea. It is a Psalm of God meteing [sp?] out justice.  It is a warning to remain humble before Him and not be among the crass princes of the earth who have no regard for God.

77 – this and Psalm 78 are theologically linked but we will end this day with Psalm 77 and pick up with 78 next week.  77 is Asaph crying out to God for the people; longing for a reprieve from God – and no one else will do. There are sentiments of feeling forgotten by God, but regardless of how feelings fluctuate, remembering God’s deeds and meditating on what He has done plus His redemption for us brings us back to truth and anchors us.  He ends with illustrations of God leading His children amid natural and colossal wonders; the terrifying power of nature that God stirs and works amidst.

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