The superscript for this psalm generates some discussion because David, of course, was not around for the dedication of the temple. That happened during Solomon’s reign. This of course would not preclude the psalm from having been used on that occasion, but that context is not the nature way that these superscripts are generally phrased. Others have suggested that it was actually during re-dedication of David’s palace after reclaiming it from Absalom. One other school of thought is that the psalm was composed during dedication of the threshing floor of Araunah (2 Samuel 24:18-25), after the terrible pestilence that claimed the lives of 70,000.
This latter seems quite likely, and the reference to the Lord’s anger does lend some credence to it. David referred to his former view of his prosperity in verse 6, and the fact that it was his own self-glorification that had led to his command for the numbering of his forces makes for a convincing argument for this explanation. The lesson for us could also be in how quickly our fortunes may be turned when we forget to depend upon the Lord. As Clarke noted “Peace and prosperity had seduced the heart of David, and led him to suppose that his mountain – his dominion, stood so strong, that adversity could never affect him.” We must never forget that all that we are blessed with comes from the Lord, and any or all of it could be lost in the twinkling of an eye. Entire life savings have been wiped out by recent economic tragedy, loved ones we depend on sometimes die. It is the Lord that is always our rock and our salvation.
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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