A psalm of Asaph
This is the fifth of twelve Psalms bear the name of Asaph
1 In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel.
2 His tent is in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion.
3 There he broke the flashing arrows, the shields and the swords, the weapons of war. Selah
4 You are resplendent with light, more majestic than mountains rich with game.
5 Valiant men lie plundered, they sleep their last sleep; not one of the warriors can lift his hands.
6 At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and chariot lie still.
7 You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry?
8 From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet
9 when you, O God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land. Selah
10 Surely your wrath against men brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.
11 Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared.
12 He breaks the spirit of rulers; he is feared by the kings of the earth.
It is important when studying the Psalms to understand their historical background. As I study this psalm today, I not only reflected the life span of Asaph but carried it out to my life span as well. During Asaph’s life span he probably witness the reign of the first three Kings of Israel. If he lived eighty years then he could have witness twenty years under Saul, forty years under David and twenty years under Solomon. As I reflect upon my nearly sixty years on this earth, I look back at the leaders of the USA during my life time.
Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953-1961
John F. Kennedy 1961-1963
Lyndon B. Johnson 1963-1969
Richard Nixon 1969-1974
Gerald Ford 1974-1977
Jimmy Carter 1977-1981
Ronald Reagan 1981-1989
George Bush 1989-1993
Bill Clinton 1993-2001
George W. Bush 2001-2009
Barak Obama 2009-Present
As I reflect on verse one of this psalm in relationship to Asaph life to the history of Israel, I realized that God was known in Israel and that his name was great. This has been the same with the USA in my lifetime. However, as I look back upon the list of the presidents above, I wonder how many of them truly knew God was really in control? So, as you read this psalm look at the role that God plays on this earth:
he broke the flashing arrows, the shields and the swords
the weapons of war
You are resplendent with light
You alone are to be feared.
Who can stand before you when you are angry
From heaven you pronounced judgment.
God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land
your wrath against men brings you praise
the survivors of your wrath are restrained.
He breaks the spirit of rulers
he is feared by the kings of the earth.
As I study the psalms it forces me to evaluate the issues of life on an eternal timeframe not a daily timeframe. As I examine the activities of the human race and the goals that people place on the daily activities to reach these goals, I notice how the timeframe centers around today or tomorrow. When studying the Lord’s Sermon on the Mount we find these words in Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” when addressing how we need to approach the daily issues of life.