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Psalm 76

As I have noted previously, I am reading through the Old Testament chronologically, using a list I found through the Blue Letter Bible. Between Isaiah 39 and 40, the chronological order includes Psalm 76. It probably should go, specifically, after Isaiah 37 and the victory over Assyria, but here is where it fell. It is a Psalm of victory and celebration over Assyria.

This Psalm includes the biblical subheading, "For the choir director; on stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph, a Song."

This is a subheading added by your favorite bible translation, to help the reader. This is a subheading that came with the Psalm. I've already read a few commentators who theorize that Psalms 75 and 76 are written to honor God for saving Jerusalem from Assyria. So it cannot be King David's Asaph. Maybe there was another Asaph. Or maybe that became the name for that role. It is unclear.

God is known in Judah; His name is great in Israel.

Psalm 76:1

That's a pretty great way to start a song, lifting up the Lord and His great name.

The psalmist goes on to point out that the Lord's tabernacle is in "Salem"; and He dwells in Zion. Both names for Jerusalem.

In verse 3 the psalmist gives the Lord the credit for breaking the flaming arrows, the shield, sword, and weapons of war.

Thou are resplendent, more majestic than the mountains of prey.

Psalm 76:4

More praise for the Lord.

Verses 5 and 6 talk about how the strong enemy suddenly died, couldn't lift their hands and were plundered. Horse and rider "fell asleep" because of the rebuke of God.

The psalmist reminds us to fear the Lord, especially when He is angry.

Verses 8 and 9 remind us that this defeat was brought on because of judgement of the Lord. He rose up to save the humble; which we learned Hezekiah humbled himself before the Lord after making his mistake with the Babylonian envoys.

For the wrath of man shall praise Thee; with a remnant of wrath Thou shall gird Thyself.

Psalm 76:10

I've stopped and read that last verse over and over and can't quite decipher it.

Verse 11 encourages the listeners to make vows to the Lord and fulfill them, bring him gifts, and fear Him.

He will cut off the spirit of princes; He is feared by the kings of the earth.

Psalm 76:12

The knowledge of Hezekiah's recovery was so widespread that it arrived in Babylon. Imagine how far spread was the word of the most massive, cruel, and juggernaut of an army suddenly stopped in its tracks, mysteriously, and send humbly back to its home city... I'm sure every king on earth did fear Him.

As kings of today should do.

I love the opening commentary on this psalm from the MacArthur Bible Commentary:

This psalm teaches that God is willing to use His great power for His people.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary, page 647

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