Book #3: 73-89, cont’d.
Psalm 75:1-This Psalm has been referred to by some as a “communal” Psalm because it begins with “We”…suggesting that this is a declaration made by a group of people, instead of an individual. It begins with a statement of thanksgiving to God for His presence and work among them.
Psalm 75:2-5-God makes it clear that He is the ultimate and final judge of all things. As powerful as men may appear to be on earth…they are but part of the creation over which God reigns and rules supreme.
Psalm 75:6-8-The mention of different points on the compass was to direct the attention of the reader to the nations in those directions. The “desert” is to the south. There is no mention of the north…some supposing that this was done on purpose since Assyria was to the north and they were approaching Jerusalem from that direction in order to make war (Isaiah 36-37 is possibly the background of this Psalm). Asaph warns the wicked to not celebrate for themselves...it is God Who will judge them for what they are.
Psalm 75:9-10- Asaph says that the righteous will be lifted up by God.
This is probably a Psalm of thanksgiving for the defeat of the Assyrians in 701 B.C. (cf. 2 Kings 18:13-19:37; Isaiah 36-37). If so, we find that once again (cf. Psalm 74), the author is not Asaph, himself.
Psalm 76:1-3-The author identifies God with his country by referring to it as “Judah…Israel…Salem…Zion” (:1-2). “Salem” is a shortened version of “Jerusalem”. It was in Jerusalem that the Assyrians were defeated (:3).
Psalm 76:4-10-The author gives total credit to God for the victory over the Assyrians.
Psalm 76:11-12-He calls upon all the people to worship Him.
Psalm 77:1-6-Asaph is so disturbed that he cannot sleep at night (:2), nor can he find the words to make sense of it all (:4). He says that he is disturbed when, “I remember God”. This means that when he thinks about what is happening and wonders why God would allow it to happen, it disturbs him. Especially when questions such as those found in verses 7-9 come to his mind. He says that he is going to focus his attention on the fact that God has always taken care of him in the past (:5-6).
Psalm 77:7-10-It seems to Asaph like God's judgment is lasting forever…and the fact that there appears to be no end disturbs him deeply.
Psalm 77:11-20-Asaph says that he will focus on God's faithfulness in the past...and find comfort there. He will remember His “work…and deeds” (:12); the fact that God is holy and will always do the right thing (:13); the memory that God “workest wonders” (:14) and has “made known” His strength before (:14); that in the past when the people were in trouble He had “redeemed” them (:15); and how God had miraculously led the people out of Egypt through the Red Sea (:16-20).
Prayer: Lord, even as the author of Psalm 76 declared that You are God of all of Israel…I declare that You are God of all of Jim, and James, and Jim Pennington, and James Louis Pennington…every bit of me. You are my God and I completely and totally submit my life to You…all of it!