For the director of music. To the tune of “The Lilies of the Covenant.” Of Asaph. A psalm.
This is the ninth of twelve Psalms bear the name of Asaph
1 Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth
2 before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Awaken your might; come and save us.
3 Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
4 O LORD God Almighty, how long will your anger smolder against the prayers of your people?
5 You have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the bowlful.
6 You have made us a source of contention to our neighbors, and our enemies mock us.
7 Restore us, O God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.
9 You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 It sent out its boughs to the Sea, its shoots as far as the River.
12 Why have you broken down its walls so that all who pass by pick its grapes?
13 Boars from the forest ravage it and the creatures of the field feed on it.
14 Return to us, O God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine,
15 the root your right hand has planted, the son you have raised up for yourself.
16 Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire; at your rebuke your people perish.
17 Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself.
18 Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name.
19 Restore us, O LORD God Almighty; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
This psalm written by Asaph is a prayer to the Shepherd of Israel. It is a prayer to come and save us. It is also a prayer to restore them so that His former glory is upon them. Yet at this time God is making them struggle in everything that they attempt to pursue. As I read this psalm, I realize a simple truth that we sometimes seem to forget in our pursue of growing closer to God. That truth is our incomplete nature without God, the void that we feel when we are not in God’s presence. In verses four through thirteen Asaph writes how God anger smolders against them, how God has provided them with things of sorrow, and made them a source of contention to their neighbors. If my friends or even my family turns and treats me like this then I would probably discontinue my relationship and live life without them. However, in my pursuing a relationship with God the truth is that these events should bring me closer to Him. The impulse to pursue God must come from a desire to fulfill that missing relationship I have in my life for God. Therefore, the impulse not to purse God must come from a desire to fulfill this missing relationship with the things of this world.
As I look at verse 17, I am reminded that the phase Son of Man was a title that the Lord used refer to himself. This title is used 80 times in the New Testament by the Lord. When we consider the phase “son of man” we must also consider these verses found in Daniel 7:13,14: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”.