|All Stand Still|
Psalm 76:8, 9
The Story: The people of Solomon’s Jerusalem could hardly be described as humble. The descriptions we glean from Psalms 50, 73, and 74 portray a people whose hearts have begun to turn away from God and who are wallowing in the good things coming their way from the surrounding pagan world. They did not fear God; this was obvious by the fact that even the king made room for pagan idols in his royal court. They did not believe that God would do anything other than continue to bless them as He had been doing for most of Solomon’s reign. But Asaph was the liturgical spoil sport; to him fell the duty of reminding the people of God’s calling and requirements, and of the danger they were in as long as they failed to love and fear Him. When God decides to judge the world, no one can say to Him, “Hey, what are you doing!?” All the world is still before the Word of God’s wrath, as He unfolds waves of judgment against those who presume on His goodness and forsake His holy ways. Israel should have known this; their past – even their most recent past, with King David – gave ample testimony to God’s power and willingness to discipline His people. But because they had become so distracted by material prosperity, they needed to be reminded once again.
The Structure: Distracted by material prosperity? Comfortable with the world and its ways? Ripe for some discipline from the Lord? Where are the Asaphs who will call the people of God to fear Him and remember His judgment? We can offer all the “reasons” why we don’t teach the fear of the Lord, don’t instruct our people in the ways of God’s holy Law, and don’t reach out to the lost with the Good News of Christ. But when God begins to move against us for our failure to be His people, nothing we might say will stay His hand. The people in Asaph’s day indulged the world and its ways and continued to worship God, thinking He was just like them and “OK” with whatever they chose to do to make themselves happy. Asaph saw it otherwise, and he turned out to be right.
If God should rise up to begin judging the Church today, would we even be able to recognize it? How would we know?
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.