Today, Monday July 17
God Wants Us to Know Him
To the Chief Musician. On stringed instruments. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.
In Judah God is known; His name is great in Israel. In Salem also is His tabernacle, And His dwelling place in Zion. There He broke the arrows of the bow, The shield and sword of battle. Selah
Today as we begin to our study and meditate on Psalm 76, we are now beginning our journey through the second half of the 150 Psalms. First let me say how thankful I am that you are on this journey with us on a daily basis. I always knew that as a pastor I really couldn’t retire, and I wondered exactly what the Lord might have me doing during these “retirement” years. It was an awesome privilege and responsibility to be a senior pastor of three great churches over those 47 plus years of ministry.
Now I have an “invisible” audience over the social media to you and many others that allows me to continue to do what God called me to do and that is to “Make Him Known”! The heartbeat of God is that the world of people, that He loved so much that He sent His One and Only Son to die for, would know Him, love Him, and live a life that glorifies Him! I have simply joined God as a “co-laborer” in His harvest fields over these years to accomplish His mission! Thanks for being a part of this ministry with me through this daily “Pastor’s Chat”.
Many Bible students believe that Psalm 76 is a continuation of Psalm 75. They go together hand in hand. Most commentators agree that Psalm 76 also belongs to the time when God overthrew Sennacherib's host before the gates of Jerusalem. There are some that think that the Psalm was possibly a Davidic Psalm originally, though it does not bear his name. It found its way into the choir collection, and later King Hezekiah used it to express the sentiments of his own day and age. Hezekiah's use of the Psalm so overshadowed David's that it is associated far more with the Jerusalem of Hezekiah's day than it is with the Jerusalem of David's day.
Like the previous Psalm it is a hymn of praise. The Septuagint version of the Psalms contains the additional note: "A song with reference to the Assyrians." We see, then, that from earliest times that was the thought that leaped to devout minds when this psalm was sung. The background of this Psalm is probably God's judgment of the Assyrian army as recorded in Isaiah 37-38 and 2 Kings 18-19. Other "Zion" Psalms include Psalms 46, 48, 87, 126, 132, and 137.
In Psalm 75:1, Asaph was thanking God for the miracle that delivered Judah and Israel from the Assyrians and described God's mighty works that revealed the greatness of His character and His power. But the emphasis in Psalm 76 is on the God who accomplished the victory and not on the miracle itself. Sennacherib's officers boasted of their king and his conquests, but their dead idols were no match for the true and living God (Psalm 115:1-18). In Psalm 76, Asaph shares four basic truths about Jehovah God that we will look at over the next several days. First, in verses 1-3, God wants us to know Him.
In verse 1, Asaph named both Israel and Judah, for though the kingdoms had been divided politically, there was still only one covenant people in the sight of the Lord. When the northern kingdom of Israel was taken by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. many godly people moved into Judah where a descendant of David was on the throne and true priests ministered in God's appointed temple (2 Chron. 11:13-17; 15:9). God's name was great in Judah and Jerusalem (Psalms 47:1-2; 48:1, 10; 77:13), but it needed to be magnified among the neighboring nations, for that was Israel's calling (v. 11; Gen. 12:1-3).
"Salvation is of the Jews" (John 4:22), and if we are to know the true and living God, we must read the Bible, a Jewish book, and trust the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God who came through the Jewish nation and died for the sins of the world. The true and living God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 1:3; Eph. 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3).
God’s heart desire is that “We might know Him”, not just know about Him! Do you know Him today?