Psalms of Honesty and Truth
Psalm 73 deals with a personal crisis of faith, but Psalm 74 moves to the national scene and focuses on the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 587-86 BC. Even though the prophets had warned that judgment was coming (2 Chron. 36:15-21), the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple were catastrophic events that shook the people’s faith. As he surveyed the situation, Asaph moved from despair to confidence and in the end affirmed that all was not lost.
We can’t help but think of our own nation and the crisis of faith that seems to be evident. Do we cry out, as the psalmist, “Where are You, God?” “Have You walked off and left us?” The answer is no, of course. But we have to realize that God does not reside where evil is. He does not walk among those who are arrogant, full of pride, snarky and sarcastic always jockeying for powerful positions of influence. He walks with the humble and holy who are seeking His forgiveness, His will and His purpose. He is also a gentleman who does not make us do anything. His desire and command is for us to put HIM first in our thinking and in our actions. God wants us to come to him from our own desire to be near Him, to love Him back with all that is in us. God wants to talk with us and walk with us!
Psalm 74, NLT
A psalm of Asaph.
1 O God, why have you rejected us so long?
Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture?
2 Remember that we are the people you chose long ago,
the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession!
And remember Jerusalem,[b] your home here on earth.
3 Walk through the awful ruins of the city;
see how the enemy has destroyed your sanctuary.
4 There your enemies shouted their victorious battle cries;
there they set up their battle standards.
5 They swung their axes
like woodcutters in a forest.
6 With axes and picks,
they smashed the carved paneling.
7 They burned your sanctuary to the ground.
They defiled the place that bears your name.
8 Then they thought, “Let’s destroy everything!”
So they burned down all the places where God was worshiped.
9 We no longer see your miraculous signs.
All the prophets are gone,
and no one can tell us when it will end.
10 How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to insult you?
Will you let them dishonor your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your strong right hand?
Unleash your powerful fist and destroy them.
12 You, O God, are my king from ages past,
bringing salvation to the earth.
13 You split the sea by your strength
and smashed the heads of the sea monsters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan[c]
and let the desert animals eat him.
15 You caused the springs and streams to gush forth,
and you dried up rivers that never run dry.
16 Both day and night belong to you;
you made the starlight[d] and the sun.
17 You set the boundaries of the earth,
and you made both summer and winter.
18 See how these enemies insult you, Lord.
A foolish nation has dishonored your name.
19 Don’t let these wild beasts destroy your turtledoves.
Don’t forget your suffering people forever.
20 Remember your covenant promises,
for the land is full of darkness and violence!
21 Don’t let the downtrodden be humiliated again.
Instead, let the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Arise, O God, and defend your cause.
Remember how these fools insult you all day long.
23 Don’t overlook what your enemies have said
or their growing uproar.
REMEMBER US, LORD GOD OF CREATION…
The nation had been ravaged, the city of Jerusalem had been wrecked, and the temple had been destroyed and burned–but the essentials had not been touched by the enemy! The nation still had Jehovah God as their God, His Word and His covenant had not been changed, and Jehovah was at work in the world! God is at work in our world today, and we need not despair.
When all seems lost and hopeless, look up! God is there and He has been there all the time.
Don’t worship the church building or the people gathered there, worship almighty God. Let us humble ourselves, repent of our sins of snarky attitudes and prideful obsessions and possessions and pray for His deliverance and He will save us. He will save our nation. Let us lay down the world’s way of thinking and think and act more like Jesus taught us to behave…kingdom thinking with higher goals.
In Jesus Name, Amen