“I remember the days of old.
I think about all your deeds.
I meditate on the works of your hands.
I stretch out my hands to you.
My soul thirsts for you
Like a parched land.”
David remembered the good old days when Yahweh had done so much. He meditated on the works of Yahweh. He stretched out his hands to Yahweh. His soul was thirsting for Yahweh like a parched land seeking water. This section ends with the musical interlude meditative pause of Selah.
“You keep my eyelids from closing.
I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
I consider the days of old.
I remember the years long ago.
I commune with my heart in the night.
I meditate and search my spirit.
‘Will Yahweh spurn me forever?
Will Yahweh never again be favorable?
Has his steadfast love ceased forever?
Are his promises at an end for all time?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he in anger shut up his compassion?’”
Asaph or this psalmist suffers from mental anguish. He feels that God has forgotten him. He could not close his eyes. He was troubled as he remembered the good old days. He was self reflective, searching his heart. He could hardly speak. He had a series of questions about God. Was he spurned forever? Would Yahweh never be favorable to him again? Had God forgotten his promises? Had God forgotten his steadfast love and graciousness to him? Was God so angry that he could not be compassionate? This is a questioning troubled person. This meditative section ends with the musical interlude pause of Selah.
“While the holy city was inhabited in unbroken peace, the laws were strictly observed. This was due to the piety of the high priest Onias and his hatred of wickedness. It came about that the kings themselves honored the place and glorified the temple with the finest presents. Even King Seleucus of Asia defrayed from his own revenues all the expenses connected with the service of the sacrifices.”
This author reminds us of the good old days when things were peaceful in Jerusalem. The Mosaic laws were strictly observed because the good pious high priest, Onias III was in charge from 199-175 BCE. He hated wickedness. In fact, the Seleucid dynasty of kings honored this Second Jerusalem Temple with many presents, especially the Asian King Seleucus IV (186-175 BCE). Everything was wonderful because this king sent money to defray the expenses of the Temple in Jerusalem. 175 BCE seems to be the turning point here. Before that, everyone was happy.