Psalm 76: The Dwelling Place of God is Established

(12 verses, 1:08 to read)


What I am about to READ

  • God saves the righteous, but judges the wicked


  • vv. 1-3 teach us that God has established a dwelling place on the earth.
  • vv. 4-6 show God’s victory over His enemies.
  • vv. 7-9 are a warning against the wrath of God.
  • vv. 10-12 are a depiction of the Divine Service.


  • It is commonly thought that God is everywhere, and so there is no sin in skipping the Divine Service to go fishing. While it is true that God is everywhere, He isn’t everywhere to save. God was not at Sodom and Gomorrah to save. However, God actually locates Himself in the Divine Service for us. He doesn’t need to do this, but He does this out of great love for us, so that we may receive from Him life and salvation won for us by Christ. This Psalm, then, is a meditation on commandments 2 and 3.
  • The imagery here of the defeated enemies is reminiscent of the Exodus, which found Israel’s enemies dead at the Red Sea. In the same way, Christ’s death is the death of death and hell for us. No longer can these enemies hold any sway over us, because they lay stunned at the feet of Christ. He has stripped them of their spoils of war, which is you and me! We are the spoils Christ has taken from the Old Evil Foe!
  • In fact, none of God’s enemies can stand before Him when His wrath is kindled. This is even true of much of mankind, as we see over and over again in the Old Testament history of God’s people. When they fail to believe God’s Word, God punished them, often by killing them by the hand of their enemies, snakes, or plagues. This fear of God’s wrath acts as a check against our sinful flesh.
  • However, when we sin, we can flee to God for refuge. He has made vows to us in Holy Baptism to rescue us from sin and death. In fact, the whole of the Divine Service is a promise from God to save us from our enemies. There, even as we bring offer our offerings and praise to Him, He gives Himself to us to bring us life and salvation. There, in the Divine Service, God saves the righteous–those who have been declared righteous by faith for the sake of Christ’s all availing sacrifice.


  • Prayer: Righteous father, teach us to fear Your wrath so that we may live a blameless life before you. Forgive us when we fail to love and trust in You as we ought, and give us a heart that seeks to do Your will. Amen.

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Post below, or join the conversation in our Facebook group:

-Rev. Jordan McKinley, pastor
Trinity Lutheran Church, Vallonia, IN

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