Psalm 74

Psalm 74

Arise, O God, Defend Your Cause

A Maskil of Asaph.

74   O God, why do you cast us off forever?
    Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
  Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old,
    which you have redeemed to be the tribe of your heritage!
    Remember Mount Zion, where you have dwelt.
  Direct your steps to the perpetual ruins;
    the enemy has destroyed everything in the sanctuary!
  Your foes have roared in the midst of your meeting place;
    they set up their own signs for signs.
  They were like those who swing axes
    in a forest of trees.
  And all its carved wood
    they broke down with hatchets and hammers.
  They set your sanctuary on fire;
    they profaned the dwelling place of your name,
    bringing it down to the ground.
  They said to themselves, “We will utterly subdue them”;
    they burned all the meeting places of God in the land.
  We do not see our signs;
    there is no longer any prophet,
    and there is none among us who knows how long.
  How long, O God, is the foe to scoff?
    Is the enemy to revile your name forever?
  Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
    Take it from the fold of your garment and destroy them!
  Yet God my King is from of old,
    working salvation in the midst of the earth.
  You divided the sea by your might;
    you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters.
  You crushed the heads of Leviathan;
    you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.
  You split open springs and brooks;
    you dried up ever-flowing streams.
  Yours is the day, yours also the night;
    you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
  You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
    you have made summer and winter.
  Remember this, O LORD, how the enemy scoffs,
    and a foolish people reviles your name.
  Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts;
    do not forget the life of your poor forever.
  Have regard for the covenant,
    for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
  Let not the downtrodden turn back in shame;
    let the poor and needy praise your name.
  Arise, O God, defend your cause;
    remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!
  Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
    the uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually!


Psalm 74 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

He purchased. He redeemed. He dwelt.

The invasion by their enemies has devastated the people of Israel and Judah. They know that these enemies are a manifestation of His punishment for their waywardness. However, they have not forgotten the hope that God had spoken through His covenant long before. They have not forgotten the way that God had rescued them from their past waywardness time and time again.  They have not forgotten that God has dwelt among them, even through their destruction.

Don’t abandon your helpless people to their cruel enemies; don’t forget your persecuted people! 20 Remember the covenant you made with us. There is violence in every dark corner of the land. 21 Don’t let the oppressed be put to shame; let those poor and needy people praise you.

Psalms 74:19-21 GNB

He purchased. He redeemed. He dwelt.

The discipline of the Lord is swift and potent. It is part of our discipleship process; the act of becoming more like Jesus. He allows our hearts to be invaded by the consequences of our sin in order to bring us to repentance. The omnipotent truth slams us to the ground. The unimaginable grace lifts us to our feet. This is the love of a relentless Father who will receive all praise and glory in the end.

Notice, He cannot dwell until He has purchased and redeemed. It simply can’t happen. The price of Israel’s sin was high. The same is true for us. It would be an incredible feat to just purchase back those who had stained their garments. But, through His blood, He redeemed them as His own children as well. Then, He sent His Spirit to dwell among us in order to lead us in victory over our own sinful rebellion. We chose disobedience. He chose love.

It’s amazing to consider that many who call themselves Christians today refuse to open every part of their lives to King Jesus. After reflecting on all He has done for us, how can we not come to Him with our entire lives?

He purchased. He redeemed. He dwells.

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