Daily Family Worship

Psalm 79: In the Midst of the Ruins

by | May 26, 2024

psalm 79

It is not distinctly stated as to which part of the history of the Old Testament people of God is being referred to in this sacred composition. But the prophet Jeremiah, who lived and ministered about the time of the Babylonian captivity, has a parallel passage in his prophecy (Jer. 10:25); and so it is probable that the Psalmist is prophetically alluding to the destruction that the Babylonian army worked in the once-glorious city of Jerusalem. But whether or not this is the case, the pious and humble believer may often find a spiritual application in these verses; for the repeated assaults of sin and Satan frequently give him reason to come before the mercy-seat and lament the desolating power of the enemy.

Here in verses 1-5, we have a sad complaint that is lodged in the court of heaven. Alas! The world is full of complaints; and so is the Church, too – for she not only suffers with it, but also from its hands, like a lily among thorns. But notice Who the Psalmist directs his complaint to! It is none other than God Himself. Indeed, where else should children go with their grievances, except to their father – who is always able and willing to help? The heathen are the persons whom Asaph complained of. Not only were they outsiders from the commonwealth of Israel, they were also sworn enemies to it. Even though they refused to know the Lord, and would not bow the knee to Him; yet the Church very fitly appeals to Him against them – for He is King of nations, to overrule them and to judge them; and He is also the King of His saints, Who favors and protects them!

However, although these wicked enemies were very unrighteous in their works of destruction, yet the Lord was righteous in permitting them to do what they did – for His people had sinned and gone astray after idols; and He employed these wicked men to inflict chastisements upon them, so that they would be driven to return to Himself. Deliverances from trouble are mercies indeed when they are grounded upon the pardon of sin (verse 9). Therefore, we should be more earnest in prayer for the removal of our sins than for the removal of our afflictions. The people of Israel, under these calamities, had no hopes except in God’s tender mercies. Observe how they plead no merit, nor do they even pretend to have any; rather, they simply pray, “Help us for the glory of thy name; pardon us for thy name’s sake!” The Christian does not forget that as long as he is in this world, he is often bound in the chain of his sins. How fervently, then, should he continually pray, “O let the sighing of a prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power, preserve thou those that are appointed to die!” (verse 11) How glorious will the day be when – triumphant over sin and sorrow – the Church shall behold all her adversaries disarmed forever! (verse 12) Then shall she sing, from age to age, the praises of her Great Shepherd and King! (verse 13)

Lord Jesus, we praise You for the blessed hope that we have of the coming of that glorious Day when You shall come again and disarm all our spiritual enemies finally and forever! Hasten that day, we beseech You! Amen.

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