|When God Speaks|
Psalm 50:1, 2
The Story: Asaph, appointed by David as choirmaster in Israel (1 Chron. 25:1-3), begins his contribution to the Psalter with an idea familiar to all Israel – God speaking to the creation, calling the world to life, as it were, for another day. This image alludes to the sovereign power of God to command obedience from His servants, in this, case, the creation (cf. Pss. 147:15-18; 119:89-91). That it pleases such a God to reside in the midst of His people makes His sovereignty and might all that much more compelling. Asaph refers to Israel as “the perfection of beauty,” a reference to God’s purpose for His people which other psalmists would improve and enlarge (cf. Pss. 48, 125). Asaph intends, at the beginning of his first psalm, to set forth a primary theme of the divine economy: the sovereign God rules in the midst of His people unto glory and beauty – and not merely an external beauty, but one deeper and much more significant. We shall see how such a plan is faring among the people of Israel as our psalm develops.
The Structure: Asaph contributed twelve psalms to the psalter: 50, 73-83. His are powerful psalms of indictment and admonition to a people who, by the time Asaph actually began his ministry in the days of King Solomon, were already beginning, in spite of the glory of their nation, city, and temple, to drift from their divine calling (cf. 1 Kgs. 10, 11). Yes, Jerusalem and the temple located on Mt. Zion were beautiful, as beautiful as anything anyone in that day had ever seen. Israel, it seemed, had reason to be proud and pleased. But, as Asaph will show over and over in his psalms, not all that is made of gold glitters with the life of God. Mere external beauty cannot satisfy the demands of God and His Word.
Do you think it’s possible that Christians today put too much stock in appearances – both in their personal lives as well as in their church? Explain.
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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.