|Snatched from Wrath|
The Story: This brief verse captures two divergent ideas. The first is “the wrath of man.” Given the context it seems the best way to interpret this is as an objective genitive: the wrath that comes upon men. When God judges the nations, including His own people, it is unto His glory. His holiness is vindicated, His might is seen, and His mercy is also in view, since God’s wrath typically always leaves room for repentance. If the people of Jerusalem will not glorify God as He intends, He will get glory by bringing His discipline to bear against them (cf. Rom. 9:17, 22, 23). The second idea points to the mercy of God: like a belt snatched out of fire, God will wrap a remnant around Himself, thus retaining within His mercy those whom He is pleased to redeem from His wrath (cf. Jer. 13:1-11). God is merciful even in the midst of wrath; He will not forsake the promises He has made to His people. So, even as he warns the people of judgment to come because of their increasingly wicked ways, Asaph holds out the mercy of God, and the hope of redemption, for all who hear his warning and look to God in faith.
The Structure: The writer of Hebrews is emphatic that God will discipline His people so that they will get back on track with His ways (Heb. 12:1-11). What does that look like? Do we even know? If the wrath of God should begin to fall on the Church in America today, would we even know or be able to recognize it? Would we just blame the “secularists” or someone else for whatever might be the unfavorable circumstances that befall us? If we think we’re beyond the reach of God’s discipline, it’s merely an indication that we have veered so far from the plain teaching of Scripture, having remade God after our own image of what He should be like, that we can’t even recognize how far off the path we’ve strayed. But God will get glory from His people – one way or another.
In Psalm 80 Asaph will make a pointed plea to the Lord to restore and revive His people. Do you think we should be praying for revival in our churches? Why or why not?
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.