Standing Before God
Offer a prayer of rejoicing to God today for his unfailing love and faithfulness to you and all his people.
Read PSALM 76:1-12
 For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of Asaph. A song. In Judah God is known; his name is great in Israel.  His tent is in Salem, his dwelling place in Zion.  There he broke the flashing arrows, the shields and the swords, the weapons of war. Selah  You are resplendent with light, more majestic than mountains rich with game.  Valiant men lie plundered, they sleep their last sleep; not one of the warriors can lift his hands.  At your rebuke, O God of Jacob, both horse and chariot lie still.  You alone are to be feared. Who can stand before you when you are angry?  From heaven you pronounced judgment, and the land feared and was quiet-  when you, O God, rose up to judge, to save all the afflicted of the land. Selah  Surely your wrath against men brings you praise, and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.  Make vows to the LORD your God and fulfill them; let all the neighboring lands bring gifts to the One to be feared.  He breaks the spirit of rulers; he is feared by the kings of the earth. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectHow is God characterized and described here?
When I was at school we all had to stand when an adult entered the room, whether we feared or respected the particular teacher or not! This psalm, likely written after the successful defeat of Sennacherib’s army (see 2 Kings 18), shows that God is powerful and that God is to be feared.
The psalm is a celebration of God’s majesty (4), the power of his commands (6) and judgment (8). God is clearly a God who is known for his strength and his wrath, and has again saved his people from possible or even likely defeat.
Two issues arise from this passage for us to seriously consider. We are asked, first, who can stand before God? So often in our worship we can become a little blasé about what this means To be reminded of who God is can breathe new life and reverence into our relationship with him as we worship. Second, the writer offers advice about how we deliver on our promises to God. He is to be feared, so our vows must be serious, and must be fulfilled by us. God is great; if we underestimate him, we could well suffer!
If you’ve underestimated God or undervalued your relationship with him, confess it now.
Mighty Lord, my God, it is hard to grasp Your power and majesty, but help me never to underestimate You.
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