Sunday, May 5. Psalms 74 – 77

Book two of the Psalms (chapter 42 – 72) contained only one poem from Asaph. Book three (chapters 73 – 89) contain eleven, all in a row. Asaph’s identity is not clear whose identity is not clear. There is an Asaph who was one of the temple musicians in David’s time, but it is unlikely this is the same Asaph. Psalm 74 looks very much to have been written at the time of the Babylonian exile. Perhaps the Asaph of David’s time gave rise to a group of musicians who took his name in his honor.

Psalm 75 is a welcome relief from the previous one which ends unresolved. The writer is still waiting for Go to act when it concludes. In Psalm 75, however, God has acted and the Psalmist rejoices.

The speaker of the poem alternates between God and the poet. It is God who speaks in verses 2 – 5, and verse 10. The poet speaks in verses 1 and 6 – 9.

Verses 2-3 are especially significant. The world can seem an unsteady place at times, and yet, day after day and year after year, it holds together. That doesn’t just happen. It happens because God holds it together. We are often tempted to live in the moment. How many are they who, overcome by grief or shame or some other desperation feel as if their live is coming apart and they cannot bear to see the collapse? In such straits, they take their life. Like a ship in a storm aimed for the bottom of a wave, things look hopeless. Yet, if you just wait, the ship will tight itself and surface to face another wave. This doesn’t happen because it’s natural, but because God holds life’s “pillars firm.” Those who trust this and live accordingly will not lack awful days, but they will get through them because of an awesome God.