“Shafts of lightning will fly
With true aim.
He will leap from the clouds
To the target,
As from a well-drawn bow.
Hailstones full of wrath will be hurled
As from a catapult.
The water of the sea will rage against them.
Rivers will relentlessly overwhelm them.
A mighty wind will rise against them.
Like a tempest
It will winnow them away.
Lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth.
Evildoing will overturn the thrones of rulers.”
The Lord will send aimed shafts of lightning. He will leap from the clouds to hit the target like a good archer. Hailstones will come down as from a catapult launcher. The sea and waters will rage and overwhelm them. A tempest will roar across the land. Lawlessness will destroy the earth as the evildoers will take over the royal thrones. So the judgment has come upon earth.
“‘I would hurry to find a shelter for myself,
From the raging wind and tempest.’
Confound their speech!
I see violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go around it
On its walls.
Iniquity and trouble are within it.
Ruin is in its midst.
Oppression and fraud
Do not depart from its marketplace.”
David wanted to find a shelter for himself in the wilderness that would protect him from the raging wind and stormy rain. At the same time, he wanted Yahweh to confuse the speech of those in the city. Like today, he said that there was so much violence and strife in the city. Does that sound like the good old days? Violence in the cities has been around for over 2,500 years. So what is new? There was iniquity and trouble within the city both day and night, around the walls of the city. Ruin was coming to them because of the oppression and fraud of their marketplace. Those old fashioned business men were cheating in the marketplace. Wow! That is strange to hear.
A psalm of Asaph
“The Mighty One,
He summons the earth
From the rising of the sun
To its setting.
Out of Zion,
The perfection of beauty,
God shines forth.
Our God comes.
He does not keep silence.
Before him is a devouring fire.
A mighty tempest is all around him.
He calls to the heavens above.
He calls to the earth.
Thus he may judge his people.
‘Gather to me!
My faithful ones!
You made a covenant with me
The heavens declare his righteousness.
God himself is judge!”
This Psalm 50 is the first of 12 psalms ascribed to Asaph. Asaph was a transcriber or author of psalms at the time of David and Solomon. This may also refer to the group named after him that were musicians at the Temple. This Asaph is described in 1 Chronicles, chapter 6, as one who could trace his ancestors directly back to Levi. In 2 Chronicles, chapter 5, he is listed as a Temple singer at the time of Solomon during the transport of the Ark of the Covenant. This is a song of praise to the power of God, who is in charge of the earth. He has control of the rising and the setting of the sun. His beauty shines from Mount Zion. He has appeared as a devouring fire and a tempest. He has come to judge the people of earth from on high in heaven. He wanted the faithful ones who had made sacrifices to him to come closer to him. He was coming to judge them. With that it was time for another musical interlude pause, the Selah.