“Human wrath serves only to praise you.
You bind the last bit of your wrath around you.
Make vows to Yahweh!
Let all who are around him
To the one who is awesome.
He cuts off the spirit of princes.
He inspires fear in the kings of the earth.”
This psalm ends emphasizing the importance of individual vows to Yahweh. They were to bring gifts and sacrifices to Yahweh. Yahweh was awesome, baby, awesome. He had the princes and the kings of the earth fearful of him.
“But you indeed are awesome!
Who can stand before you?
When once your anger is roused?
From the heavens
You uttered judgment.
The earth feared.
The earth was still.
God rose up to establish judgment.
He wanted to save all the oppressed of the earth.”
God was awesome! No one could stand before him once his anger was aroused. From heaven he uttered his judgment. Thus the earth feared and was still. God established his judgment. He wanted to save all the oppressed of the earth. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.
“Glorious are you!
You are more majestic
Than the everlasting mountains!
The stouthearted were stripped
Of their spoil.
They sank into sleep.
None of the troops
Were able to life a hand.
At your rebuke!
O God of Jacob!
Both rider and horse lay stunned.”
This great victory is probably a reference to the defeat of the Assyrians under King Sennacherib when he tried to attack Jerusalem under King Hezekiah in 2 Kings, chapter 19. This was the time that the angel of Yahweh struck down 185,000 Assyrians in one night. Obviously this made a big impression upon the Israelites. God was glorious and more majestic than the so-called everlasting mountains. The enemy was stripped of their spoils as they sank into a sleep that they never recovered from. Both riders and horses were unable to do battle. Perhaps, the extremely high number of causalities made it difficult to repeat. Clearly the God of Jacob had brought them victory.
God is known.
His name is great
His abode has been established
His dwelling place is
There he broke
The flashing arrows,
And the weapons of war.”
Psalm 76 is another in the string of Asaph choral psalms. This one is a song with stringed instruments about the ultimate victory of God in Judah and Jerusalem. God was known in Judah, the southern stronghold. His name was great in northern Israel. His home was in Jerusalem or Salem, the ancient name of Jerusalem. He dwelt in Zion, the Temple on Mount Zion. There he broke all the instruments of war of the people who were attacking Jerusalem. He broke the arrows, shields, and swords. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.
“But I will rejoice forever!
I will sing praises
To the God of Jacob.
All the horns of the wicked
I will cut off.
However the horns of the righteous
Shall be exalted.”
This psalm ends with the psalmist rejoicing forever. He would sing praises to the God of Jacob. On the other hand, the symbolic horns of power of the wicked would be cut off. Meanwhile the horns of power of the righteous would be exalted.
“Not from the east or from the west,
Not from the wilderness comes lifting up.
It is God who executes judgment.
He puts down one.
He lifts up another.
In the hand of Yahweh,
There is a cup,
With foaming wine,
He will pour a draught from it.
All the wicked of the earth
Shall drain it down to the dregs.”
Judgment does not come from the east, the west, the wilderness in the south, or the mountains in the north. Only God can execute judgment. He puts one down and lifts the other up. The cup of anger was important in the prophetic tradition. The wicked would drink from the wine cup with the specially mixed foaming wine. They would drink it all down until nothing was left, their judgment.
“I say to the boastful.
‘Do not boast.’
I say to the wicked.
‘Do not lift up your horn!
Do not lift up your horn on high!
Do not speak with an insolent neck.’”
This oracle continued by reminding the boastful that they should not be boastful. He reminded the wicked that they should not lift their horn on high. The horn was the symbol of strength or power. Of course, they should not speak with insolence.
“At the set time,
That I appoint,
I will judge with equity.
When the earth totters,
With all its inhabitants,
It is I who keep its pillars steady.”
Now we have some kind of oracle by a prophet spoken in the Temple by a prophet who spoke in the name of God. He pointed out that at a set time, when he decided when it would be, God would judge the earth with equity or fairness. Thus when the earth totters, God would keep it steady for all its inhabitants. This might indicate that they were familiar with earthquakes. This section then ends with the musical interlude meditative pause, Selah.
To the choirmaster leader, according to Do Not Destroy, a psalm of Asaph, a song
“We give thanks to you!
We give thanks!
Your name is near!
People tell of your wondrous deeds.”
Psalm 75 is psalm of thanksgiving set to the tune of “Do Not Destroy,” the same as Psalm 57,58, and 59. Like the preceding and following psalm it is a song of Asaph, the Temple Singer. Here there is also a mention of a choirmaster leader. Clearly this is a thanksgiving to God because his name is near. This could be a reference to the Temple. People spoke about the wonderful things that he has done.
“Have regard for your covenant!
The dark places of the land
Are full of the haunts of violence.
Let not the downtrodden be put to shame!
Let the poor and the needy praise your name!
Plead your cause!
Remember how the impious scoff at you all day long!
Do not forget the clamor of your foes!
Do not forget the uproar of our adversaries
That goes up continually!”
This psalm concludes with a call to God to rise up and help them. The psalmist reminded God about his covenant. There was violence in the land. The downtrodden, the poor, and the needy should not be put to shame. He wanted God to remember how the non-pious people scoffed at his name. Their adversaries were continually clamoring against God.