|Get with It!|
Psalm 76:11, 12
The Story: When the judgment of God looms, the last place you want to be is the status quo. Asaph issues his call to repentance, admonishing the people to take up some new vows with a new resolve to fulfill them. A vow is a solemn declaration, given the magnificent grace of God, to devote oneself to a particular course of action. Because God has been so good, I vow to Him such and such. Israel in Solomon’s day needed some new vows, but they also needed to “perform” those vows diligently if they were going to avert the wrath of God. As it turned out, they did not, and the dissolution of the monarchy and the nation was the result. Bringing gifts to God would be a way to seal their vow and express their faith. It might also help to refocus their perspective. The nations, “year after year”, were bringing gifts to Solomon and the people of Jerusalem (1 Kings 10). But they had presumed on God and His goodness in turning those gifts into idols and desiring the things of the world more than its Creator (cf. Rom. 1:18ff). The last verse reminds the people once again of God’s power: He who can “cut off” the King can cut off the people as well. Best to renew fear of the Lord while you can.
The Structure: Vows – that’s another topic we don’t hear much about in the churches these days. Oh, we take them – marriage vows, church membership vows, vows upon taking office in the church. But how serious are we about fulfilling them? When we make vows in a merely perfunctory manner, promising God to do such and such in view of His great goodness, and then don’t take those vows seriously, we actually invite the judgment of God against us (Eccl. 5:4-6). You get the impression that Asaph was dead serious about a lot of things many church members today seem to take with a grain of salt: vows, fearing God, keeping His Law, keeping the focus on Him in worship. Will we hear the prophet’s warning? Or will we, like Israel in Solomon’s day, simply find him an annoyance, go about our own way of being the people of God, and run smack into His judgment in due course?
Are you presently under any vows? If you were asked to recite those vows right now, and to explain how you are seeking to fulfill them, could you?
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.