In The Word
Read: Psalm 74
An Appeal against the Devastation of the Land by the Enemy.
A Maskil of Asaph.
74 O God, why have You rejected us forever?
Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
2 Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
Which You have redeemed to be the tribe of Your inheritance;
And this Mount Zion, where You have dwelt.
3 Turn Your footsteps toward the perpetual ruins;
The enemy has damaged everything within the sanctuary.
4 Your adversaries have roared in the midst of Your meeting place;
They have set up their own standards for signs.
5 It seems as if one had lifted up
His axe in a forest of trees.
6 And now all its carved work
They smash with hatchet and hammers.
7 They have burned Your sanctuary to the ground;
They have defiled the dwelling place of Your name.
8 They said in their heart, “Let us completely subdue them.”
They have burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
9 We do not see our signs;
There is no longer any prophet,
Nor is there any among us who knows how long.
10 How long, O God, will the adversary revile,
And the enemy spurn Your name forever?
11 Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand?
From within Your bosom, destroy them!
12 Yet God is my king from of old,
Who works deeds of deliverance in the midst of the earth.
13 You divided the sea by Your strength;
You broke the heads of the sea monsters in the waters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
You gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
15 You broke open springs and torrents;
You dried up ever-flowing streams.
16 Yours is the day, Yours also is the night;
You have prepared the light and the sun.
17 You have established all the boundaries of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.
18 Remember this, O Lord, that the enemy has reviled,
And a foolish people has spurned Your name.
19 Do not deliver the soul of Your turtledove to the wild beast;
Do not forget the life of Your afflicted forever.
20 Consider the covenant;
For the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
21 Let not the oppressed return dishonored;
Let the afflicted and needy praise Your name.
22 Arise, O God, and plead Your own cause;
Remember how the foolish man reproaches You all day long.
23 Do not forget the voice of Your adversaries,
The uproar of those who rise against You which ascends continually.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
The psalmist vividly described the desecration of the Temple by Israel’s enemy. The elaborate artwork had been ravaged with hatchets and hammers. The sacred buildings were burned and defiled. The courts meant for prayer and worship were filled with the shouts of enemy soldiers. The psalmist was troubled that no prophet was present to give spiritual guidance or to tell when the tragedy would end. He questioned God, “How long?” It seemed to him that God was withholding aid. The psalmist petitioned God not to remain inactive, but to use His mighty hand to quickly destroy the enemy. The psalmist asked God to deliver His people as He had done many times before.
In our day, we can clearly see increasing wickedness from sinners. Christians are persecuted all over the world. Churches are attacked and destroyed by false religions and wicked governments. If we focus on these terrible events instead of on our mighty God, we could lose heart. But God tells us all throughout Scripture to not grow weary, lose heart, or give up. Why? Because God saves His people from destruction. Jesus’ name literally means “Yahweh saves.” God’s mighty works of salvation and creation reveal His power to deliver His people.
We may feel helpless in times of distress, but we are not powerless. God is with us and is for us. We have God’s Spirit inside of us to give us strength to stand firm. If you feel weak, cry out to God and get in His Word to be reminded of His power. God saves His people!