Psalm 79:1-13 A Lament Psalm by Asaph
Psalm 79:1-13 Horrific Things To Good People?
The occasion of the psalm is the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians in 586 B.C. It was a nasty scene. Asaph prays for the destruction of Israel’s enemies. That makes this an imprecatory, cursing, psalm. This psalm, of course, applies to that event but is also figurative of the position of Israel during the seven-year tribulation.
Asaph didn’t understand how God could possibly let His people be attacked and harmed (vv. 1-4). The temple had even been defiled. How could that happen? People today wonder why bad things happen to them. They don’t understand that God is all-holy and His laws cannot be violated.
The Holocaust was one of the most horrific events in human history, maybe the worst. And Christians are being slaughtered in our day. So two considerations:
1) Are the people being slaughtered believers? If not, then God doesn’t guarantee protection
2) Even believers and Christians are subject to God’s will. God allowed all of the apostles to be martyred
In the end, we have to say with Paul, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For WHO HAS KNOWN THE MIND OF THE LORD, OR WHO BECAME HIS COUNSELOR? Or WHO HAS FIRST GIVEN TO HIM THAT IT MIGHT BE PAID BACK TO HIM AGAIN? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.” (Rom. 11:33-36).
Asaph cries out, as did David before him, “How long, O Lord?” (v. 5, cf. Ps. 6:3; 13:1). Have you ever felt like God was ignoring you? I have. We just have to keep on trusting like Asaph did. I call it “flying on instruments” (see Flying On Instruments). Of course, it was wartime and Asaph asks God to “pour out [His] wrath” on Babylon (v. 6). Babylon was attacking Israel and devastating it (v. 7).
Asaph realizes that God could be allowing this devastation to Jerusalem because of the nation’s sins (v. 8a). So he asks for God’s mercy and compassion (v. 8b). He pleads for God’s help on the basis of His reputation (vv. 9-10).
Asaph asks Yahweh to help the victims of the siege (v. 11) and to multiply punishment to the Babylonians (v. 12).
The end result will be the worship of God into eternity (v. 13). Christians are exhorted to praise and thank God no matter the circumstances (cf. Eph. 5:20; 1 Thess. 5:18). The Jews did not fare well in this siege. They were taken away to Babylon. But after the Great Seven-Year Tribulation, they will enter the thousand year kingdom rule of Jesus Christ. And, then, as believers, they will praise Him throughout eternity!
What an awesome Day that will be!
Proverbs 12:26 Whom Do You Trust?
Johnny Carson used to host a quiz show before he became the long standing host of the Tonight Show. It was called “Who Do You Trust?” He ran commercials where he kidded that the proper grammatical form was “Whom Do You Trust?” Funny, huh?
But it was a good question. Who do you trust? If you hang out with hoodlums, you probably trust your hoodlum friends (cf. 2 Cor. 15:33). If you do, you will be led “astray” (v. 26b). That means you will get in trouble. Possibly, end up in a place for eternity that you don’t want to be.
Actually, you should seek out a strong believer to mentor you (v. 26a). If you pray, God will lead you to the right person.