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. Psalm 74
The writer of Psalm 74 appeals to the Lord that He would move in their midst. He reminds the Lord of the covenant that God established with Israel and is asking the Lord to move mightily in their midst. To bring healing and restoration. God has given us the opportunity to seek His face and we should never treat it lightly. He not only hears the prayers of His people but He moves greatly when His people pray.
The writer speaks of the enemy’s battle cry and smashing the sanctuary of the Lord. The writer is pointing to what the enemy has done is asking the Lord to move because of the wickedness of the enemy. We today can still pray for the justice and righteousness of God. But the enemy we face is not flesh and blood. The enemy we face is a spiritual enemy who is already defeated. We must remember to fix our eyes upon Jesus in all and every circumstance.
The writer speaks of God’s miraculous power being absent from Israel and the absence of the prophets. He is asking the Lord to move mightily with His strong right hand. Many times when we are waiting upon the Lord it can be very difficult. But God will move in His perfect time and in the waiting He is doing a deep work in our hearts.
The writer many of the great things God has done and God has accomplished. Because of this he knows that his request of the Lord to move mightily on behalf of Israel is not only possible but something the Lord can easily accomplish. Where he is struggling is why the Lord is not moving right away. Why does it seem that God is distant and absent? He is not distant and absent, He is merely preparing the way for His will. That work begins in our hearts.
The writer continually reminds the Lord of His covenant with Israel. He asks that the Lord would not forget the poor and the down trodden. There are times when it seems that the wicked prosper and that the Lord is absent. But God’s will and His timing are sovereign. Many times they are outside our understanding and therefore we must simply trust the Lord by faith. He will move and He has simply called us to seek Him. His will will be accomplished.