A psalm of Asaph.
1 The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets.
2 From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.
3 Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him and around him a tempest rage.
4 He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me my consecrated ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
6 and the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for God himself is judge. Selah
7 “Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you: I am God, your God.
8 I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
9 I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats?
14 Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
16 But to the wicked, God says: “What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips?
17 You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you.
18 When you see a thief, you join with him; you throw in your lot with adulterers.
19 You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit.
20 You speak continually against your brother and slander your own mother’s son.
21 These things you have done, and I kept silent; you thought I was altogether like you. But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face.
22 “Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue:
23 He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God.”
This is the first of twelve Psalms bear the name of Asaph. He was of high repute in the days of David and is mentioned as one of the main composer of the psalms. Asaph was certainly a prophet since he is called a seer. It seems from studying his writings that he was well educated and had a natural talent that made him well qualified to compose hymns or psalms in the honor of God. He also reflects the strong influence that David probably had on his life and his writings. Not only did he have a great grasp of the nature and attributes of God, but he also had a keen understanding of the corrupt nature of man. This knowledge probably was strengthening as the result of positions he held while serving in David’s reign. During his lifetime he witness a time in which there was great changes; since during his lifetime he probably witness the reign of the first three Kings of Israel. It was during his lifetime that the history of Israel saw some of its great changes. These changes brought about much displeasure from God, yet God still watched over his people by giving them David as their King. He probably lived during the period of Saul’s kingdom, and then was involved in David’s kingdom and was probably even alive and wrote during the reign of Solomon. As you read these psalms the prophetic characteristics of Asaph writings seems to have include a lot of the historical past of Israel as examples of God’s dealings with his people then and how this relationship will continue with his people in the presence as well as in the future. This is the only one of his psalms that stands alone. The others start with Psalm 73 and continue to Psalm 83.
This psalm speaks of God judging his people as well as the wicked. As I read this psalm I must also look to the words of Christ found in John 5: 24-30 where he speaks as having been granted the judge of mankind by the Father. God gave this authority to him because he is the Son of Man (verse 27). However, Christ also refers to himself as the Son of God in verse twenty-five. As I consider verse twenty-two of this psalm “Consider this you who forget God” in relationship to the verses in John chapter five I realize that the view that one has of Christ will affect their behavior on earth, and their judgment for eternity. Christ’s testimony was that he has been performing the task that the father had given him. Does your testimony reflect the task that Christ has given you? The first step in this process knows Christ as your Lord.
The last two verses set the stage for all of mankind. There are only two ways, God way or the ungodly way. One way is having God direct your way and the other way is living with God. The warning to all mankind is found in these two verses. “Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue:” is a warning that yes you can live your life without God, and do things your way; however, God will not be there to rescue you, even in death. “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God” are the ones who walk in God’s way. They recognize their sinfulness and are thankful for his salvation and their new desire is to take on the nature of the new creation that has been given to them though the redemptive work of Christ. Romans 12:1,2 are verses that all believers should memorize and meditate on day and night.