Reflections of the Psalms – Psalm 76

Posted on: April 25th, 2021

In Psalm 76, the writer, Asaph, reflected upon the glory and power of God. Too often today, people do not think about that enough. When God is even considered, their thoughts turn to Jesus Christ as the meek and willing sacrifice for mankind. The favorite verse heard is that “God is love”, and that is correct; but that does not diminish his great glory and power. If people realized that the supreme God had offered the hope of salvation, if they would consider the conse­quences of rejecting His offer, possibly more would accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

As is clearly seen in the psalm, God is all powerful. The struggle has never been a battle between equals. It was not even a civil war. Instead, it was a pathetic rebellion that was lost by Satan long ago. In Jesus Christ, the battle, and struggle, has already won. How tragic that so many have allowed themselves to be blinded by the god of this world. They will perish from their willful blindness.

In verse 1, the writer said, “In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel. His tent is in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion.” For the Jewish people, God was the One God and Israel was His people. The dwelling place of God was in the Promised Land of Israel, and especially in the temple built in Jerusalem. Although God had blessed the people and did dwell with them in the Holy of Holies, He was, and is, the God of all things in the universe. The words of the psalmist were true, but the Jewish people began to take that fact as an unconditional guarantee of safety. In addition, privilege soon became arrogance, and the people began to lose sight of the love and inward commitment that God expected.

Centuries later, a man asked a woman to give him water from a well. At that time, Jesus declared to the Samaritan woman that physical location was not the place of worship. Rather, all would worship “the Father in spirit and truth”. In addition, the offer of being God’s chosen would not come from a physical bloodline, but a spiritual bloodline of faith.

In verse 7 there is a phrase that is so common in the Old Testament scriptures, but is often passed over by the followers of love today. “You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry?” Again, the thought is joined together of great love yet anger at sin and the need for justice.

A study of history will show the many nations that were godless in their plans and attitudes. The history of the world reads like an obituary of great nations that stood against God and were broken. Peter stressed the patience of God in his letter, but that patience was balanced by the sure knowledge that there would be a final accounting. The theme in both the Old and New Testament scriptures is to “Be Prepared”.

In verse 11, the psalmist gives good advice to all people who want to serve the Lord, “Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them”. In other words, make a commitment and KEEP IT! Too often, commitments are things easily made and as easily broken.

God has promised to be faithful, but the covenant that is offered in Jesus Christ is conditionally based upon the faith and obedience of the one accepting Jesus Christ. No man or woman can expect to have the blessing promised if there is no love for the Lord and a willingness to be obedient to His Will. Too many warnings point to the need to make a commitment to the Lord, and then stay true to that commitment.

Finally, in verse 12, Asaph wrote, “He breaks the spirit of rulers”. Government, law, authority, and justice all come from the Lord. Many rulers have abused their positions of power. However, the final destiny and judgment of such people will always rest with the Lord God through Jesus Christ. Certainly, recent events point to the fact that corrupt and self-serving rulers and politicians will eventually be broken.

Jim Shelburn