|Rebuke the Guilty|
The Story: Here Asaph makes bold to call on the Lord to judge those who have brought the nation to its present deplorable condition. “They” probably refers to the pagan women and other foreigners who have contaminated Jerusalem with pagan deities and practices. But could it also refer to those, like Solomon, who opened the door to these abominable practices? Asaph would have to be very careful about indicting a sitting king; hence the “slanted” way of referring to his culpability in this situation. He sees the city – yet in the midst of its greatest season of splendor and wealth – as “burned” and “cut down.” Destruction begins from within; when the fires of spiritual compromise ravage the soul, cutting us off from the life-giving water of God’s grace and truth, real decline, corruption, and fruitlessness will surely follow.
The Structure: It’s surprising to find, in the midst of a psalm seeking God’s reviving grace, this note of imprecation. But this is not uncommon with Asaph. He knows that only when the problems plaguing the people are thoroughly extricated will real renewal come to pass. Revival does not come as a veneer to whatever we’re doing. It comes as a replacement of our compromised status quo. Whatever worldly enemies are causing the Church today to lose its vitality and lose sight of its mission must be eradicated and replaced with the true practices that are pleasing to the Lord.Meditate on Psalm 83:16 – another psalm of Asaph. How does this counsel us to pray for those who have subjected the Church to the ravages of the world?
For more insight on reading the Psalms, get the book, How to Read the Psalms, by Tremper Longman III.
The Worldview Bible examines the teaching of Scripture according to the Story and Structure of Truth – the Framework of Christian Worldview – using only other Scriptures for illumination. Information about The Framework of Truth is available on this site. Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.