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Psalms 50; 53; 60; 75 Listen
A Psalm of Asaph.
1 The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.
3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
4 He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.
5 Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.
6 And the heavens shall declare his righteousness: for God is judge himself. Selah.
7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O Israel, and I will testify against thee: I am God, even thy God.
8 I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.
9 I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.
10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.
11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
16 But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee.
18 When thou sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers.
19 Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit.
20 Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son.
21 These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes.
22 Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver.
23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.
That's right; this one was written by Asaph, but it sounds a lot like David, don't you agree?
Following is Easton's entry regarding the identity of Asaph:
A Levite; one of the leaders of Davids choir (1 Chr. 6:39). Psalms 50 and 73-83 inclusive are attributed to him. He is mentioned along with David as skilled in music, and a seer (2 Chr. 29:30). The sons of Asaph, mentioned in 1 Chr. 25:1, 2 Chr. 20:14, and Ezra 2:41, were his descendants, or more probably a class of poets or singers who recognized him as their master.
Incidentally, "Zion" is a designation used in place of "Jerusalem," defined in II Samuel 5:7 (see notes), "Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David."
This Psalm is about the judgment of God. A distinction is made here between those who keep the covenant of animal sacrifice as opposed to those who do not. If they were righteous, they would obey God in sacrificing.
Here's a simple outline of this Psalm:
It's interesting to note the balance and structure of the content from the outline of the Psalm above. Our contemporary lesson here is obedience: If you love God, do what God says.
One more thing: If you're looking for a God-helps-me-in-trouble verse to memorize, you just can't top Psalm 50:15, "And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."
To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.
1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.
2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.
5 There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.
6 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
This Psalm, ascribed to David in the subtitle, is parallel to Psalm 14 (see notes). It's functionally identical and virtually word for word (see comparison table below) down through verse 4. As mentioned above, "Zion" at the end of this Psalm is a substitute name David used in place of "Jerusalem". It's used over 150 times in the Bible (38 in the Psalms). We also find portions of this one quoted in Romans 3:10-12 (see notes). It speaks of man's inherent depravity.
|Subtitle: To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
|Subtitle: To the chief Musician upon Mahalath, Maschil, A Psalm of David.
|Psalms 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.
|Psalms 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. Corrupt are they, and have done abominable iniquity: there is none that doeth good.
|Psalms 14:2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
|Psalms 53:2 God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
|Psalms 14:3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
|Psalms 53:3 Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
|Psalms 14:4 Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread, and call not upon the LORD.
|Psalms 53:4 Have the workers of iniquity no knowledge? who eat up my people as they eat bread: they have not called upon God.
|Psalms 14:5 There were they in great fear: for God is in the generation of the righteous.
|Psalms 53:5 There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.
|Psalms 14:6 Ye have shamed the counsel of the poor, because the LORD is his refuge.
|Psalms 14:7 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the LORD bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
|Psalms 53:6 Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God bringeth back the captivity of his people, Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.
It is obvious that David drew heavily from one Psalm to compose the other. We have no way of knowing which was written first.
To the chief Musician upon Shushaneduth, Michtam of David, to teach; when he strove with Aramnaharaim and with Aramzobah, when Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand.
1 O God, thou hast cast us off, thou hast scattered us, thou hast been displeased; O turn thyself to us again.
2 Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it: heal the breaches thereof; for it shaketh.
3 Thou hast shewed thy people hard things: thou hast made us to drink the wine of astonishment.
4 Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. Selah.
5 That thy beloved may be delivered; save with thy right hand, and hear me.
6 God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.
7 Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;
8 Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe: Philistia, triumph thou because of me.
9 Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?
10 Wilt not thou, O God, which hadst cast us off? and thou, O God, which didst not go out with our armies?
11 Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.
12 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.
The introduction to this Psalm written by David sets it up nicely. But first, let's look at a couple of unfamiliar words in the introduction from Easton's Bible Dictionary:
Michtam: writing; i.e., a poem or song found in the titles of Ps. 16; 56-60. Some translate the word golden, i.e., precious. It is rendered in the LXX. by a word meaning tablet inscription or a stelograph. The root of the word means to stamp or grave, and hence it is regarded as denoting a composition so precious as to be worthy to be engraven on a durable tablet for preservation; or, as others render, a psalm precious as stamped gold, from the word kethem, fine or stamped gold.
Shushan-Eduth: lily of the testimony, the title of Ps. 60.
The remaining names and places referenced in this psalm allude to Davids successful battles found in II Samuel 8:1-14 (see notes); II Samuel 10:16 (see notes) and I Chronicles 18:1-13 (see notes). Apparently the successes were not always immediate; this Psalm is presented as a community lament in which the people pray for Gods success after an apparent defeat. Whatever it may have been used for after David wrote it, he is praying for victory over his enemies. And here we are told in verses 6-10 that God will not only aid Israel in the defeat of their enemies within their borders, but also Moab, Edom and Philistia.
Incidentally, verses 5-12 here comprise Psalm 108:6-13 (see notes). As a matter of fact, Psalm 108:1-5 (see notes) is comprised of Psalm 57:7-11 (see notes). For a comparison of these three Psalms, click here.
Judgment's a comin' (Psalm 75)
To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph.
1 Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.
2 When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly.
3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah.
4 I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn:
5 Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.
6 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.
7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
8 For in the hand of the LORD there is A CUP, AND THE WINE IS RED; IT IS FULL OF MIXTURE; AND HE POURETH OUT OF THE SAME: BUT THE DREGS THEREOF, ALL THE WICKED OF THE EARTH SHALL WRING THEM OUT, AND DRINK THEM.
9 But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; BUT the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.
This is another Psalm of Asaph (see the note on Asaph above under Psalm 50 above). Another unfamiliar word appears in the introduction to this Psalm. The following is taken from Easton's Bible Dictionary:
Altaschith: destroy not, the title of Ps. 57, 58, 59, and 75. It was probably the name of some song to the melody of which these psalms were to be chanted.
Here's a brief outline of this Psalm:
If you ever wonder who's in charge, read verses 6-7, "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." The message of this Psalm is simple: at God's appointed time, judgment will come upon the wicked. It all washes out in verse 10, "All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted."