April 28: Psalm 76
The victorious power of God
87.87.87 CWM Rhonda (Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah/God of Grace and God of Glory)
God the Lord is known in Judah; great His name in Is-ra-el;
His pavilion is in Salem; His abode on Zion hill.
There He broke the bow and arrows, bade the sword and shield be still.
Bade the sword and shield be still.
You are glo-ri-ous with light, grander than the hills of prey.
Thou hast spoiled the valiant-hearted; wrapt in sleep of death are they.
Mighty men have lost their strength and none are ready for the fray.
None are ready for the fray.
Horse and char-iot low are lying in the sleep of death’s dark night.
Jacob’s God, Thou didst rebuke them; Thou art fearful in Thy might.
When Thine anger once is risen, who may stand before Thy sight?
Who may stand before Thy sight?
When from heav’n Thy judgment sounded, all the earth in fear was still,
While to save the meek and lowly God in judgment wrought His will
Your wrath over man brings praise and those remaining are kept still.
Those remaining are kept still.
Make your vows now to Jehovah; pay your God what is His own.
All lands, bring your gifts before Him; fear is due to Him alone;
He brings low the pride of princes; kings of earth fear Him alone.
Kings will tremble at His throne.
The concept of redemption as “battle” is found in Psalm 76. This majestic psalm evokes the memory of the defeat of Pharaoh’s army in order to describe how the Lord, with fire and fury, shook the earth and overthrew His foes: “You caused judgment to be heard from heaven; The earth feared, and was still, when God arose to judgment, to save all the humble of the earth… with a remnant of wrath Thou shall gird Thyself.” One rarely hears modern Christians speak of Christ’s redemptive work as an outpouring of the divine anger, but most assuredly it was. True combat always involves anger, and the redemptive deeds of Christ were the supreme and ultimate war ever waged in this world. Indeed, this truly was a war to end all warfare, for it graced human history with the key to its final peace. (Reardon, p. 149-150)