Psalm 79: God, Help Us!

Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; According to the greatness of Your power Preserve those who are appointed to die.  Psalm 79:11

A Lament over the Destruction of Jerusalem

 

Psalm 79 was written by Asaph in response to an attack on the city of Jerusalem and the sacking of the holy temple.  It is possible that the event behind the psalm was the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians; however, it may have been an earlier, less final devastation.  Asaph laments over a devastating invasion of Jerusalem and begs God to deliver His people by judging their hostile neighbors. When God acts, His people will praise Him forever.

79:1 Your holy temple:  It is not clear whether the destruction described in this verse was what the Babylonians did in 586 B.C.  The ruin of Jerusalem – it was in heaps – may indicate an invasion of the land prior to its total destruction.

1  A Psalm of Asaph. O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; Your holy temple they have defiled; They have laid Jerusalem in heaps.

79:6, 7 Pour out Your wrath:  An imprecation or curse on one’s enemies is often found in the psalms of lament(Ps. 137).  Vengeance is left to the Lord, but such a call for vengeance is based in part on the covenant provisions God had established with Abraham.  God had promised to curse those who cursed Abraham’s descendants (Gen. 12:2, 3).

6  Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, And on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name. 7  For they have devoured Jacob, And laid waste his dwelling place.

79:10 The appeal is based on the character of God as expressed by His name (Ex. 3:14, 15; 6:2, 2).  Another basis for the poet’s appeal is the international reputation of God (42:10).  If God delivered the Israelites, His power would be demonstrated to all the nations.

 10  Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let there be known among the nations in our sight The avenging of the blood of Your servants which has been shed.

79:11, 12 Groaning may also be translated as crying.  Your power refers to the powerful, outstretched arm of God that had delivered Israel from Egypt (Ex. 6:6).  Reproach refers to an insult or taunt (74:10, 18, 22).

11  Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; According to the greatness of Your power Preserve those who are appointed to die12  And return to our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom Their reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord.

79:13 Sheep of Your pasture describes the Israelites.  God’s care for the Israelites was so great that they were called His sheep.  The people vowed to bring thanks, or public acknowledgment and praise to God.

13  So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, Will give You thanks forever; We will show forth Your praise to all generations.

** “Your holy temple they have defiled.”  They have not only defiled the Jerusalem temple, they have defiled us human beings.  Each of us, Christians, is the temple of God where the Holy Spirit indwells.  We mustn’t be a mindless part to the supercomputer via the Neuralink* network.

 

♣ Note: Neuralink Corporation is an American neurotechnology company founded by Elon Musk and others, developing implantable brain–machine interfaces. The company’s headquarters are in San Francisco; it was started in 2016 and was first publicly reported in March 2017. Wikipedia

 


79 1  A Psalm of Asaph. O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; Your holy temple they have defiled; They have laid Jerusalem in heaps. 2  The dead bodies of Your servants They have given as food for the birds of the heavens, The flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth. 3  Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem, And there was no one to bury them. 4  We have become a reproach to our neighbors, A scorn and derision to those who are around us. 5  How long, Lord? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire?

6  Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, And on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name. 7  For they have devoured Jacob, And laid waste his dwelling place. 8  Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, For we have been brought very low. 9  Help us, O God of our salvation, For the glory of Your name; And deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, For Your name’s sake! 10  Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let there be known among the nations in our sight The avenging of the blood of Your servants which has been shed. 11  Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; According to the greatness of Your power Preserve those who are appointed to die; 12  And return to our neighbors sevenfold into their bosom Their reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord. 13  So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, Will give You thanks forever; We will show forth Your praise to all generations.