This psalm seems to have been penned upon occasion of some great victory obtained by the church over some threatening enemy or other, and designed to grace the triumph. The LXX. calls it, “A song upon the Assyrians,” whence many good interpreters conjecture that it was penned when Sennacherib’s army, then besieging Jerusalem, was entirely cut off by a destroying angel in Hezekiah’s time; and several passages in the psalm are very applicable to that work of wonder: but there was a religious triumph upon occasion of another victory, in Jehoshaphat’s time, which might as well be the subject of this psalm (2 Chron. 20:28), and it might be called “a song of Asaph” because always sung by the sons of Asaph. Or it might be penned by Asaph who lived in David’s time, upon occasion of the many triumphs with which God delighted to honour that reign. Upon occasion of this glorious victory, whatever it was, I. The psalmist congratulates the happiness of the church in having God so nigh, Ps. 76:1-3. II. He celebrates the glory of God’s power, which this was an illustrious instance of, Ps. 76:4-6. III. He infers hence what reason all have to fear before him, Ps. 76:7-9. And, IV. What reason his people have to trust in him and to pay their vows to him, Ps. 76:10-12. It is a psalm proper for a thanksgiving day, upon the account of public successes, and not improper at other times, because it is never out of season to glorify God for the great things he has done for his church formerly, especially for the victories of the Redeemer over the powers of darkness, which all those Old-Testament victories were types of, at least those that are celebrated in the psalms.
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