Monday, March 14, 2011

Psalm 74

Request for God to Remember His Covenant

Matthew Henry notes that this psalm is also entitled Maschil - a psalm to give instruction, for it was penned in a day of affliction, which is intended for instruction.  The displeasure of God against His people was the cause and bitterness of all their calamities. 

The burning / destruction of Jerusalem & the temple in 586 B.C.



In Psalm 74, the psalmist is declaring a community lament over the burning and destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, most likely in 586 B.C. by the Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians. 


As we have seen in previous psalms, verses 12-17 are a reminders to God's people of His deliverance in times past.  Though the enemy has wrought great havoc, it is not to be compared with the salvation (deliverance) God had previously given His people. 

For God is my King from old.  ~ Ps. 74:12

The psalmist is also reminding God of His covenant to His people (as if God needed to be "reminded" of anything!) 
Have respect to the covenant.  ~ Ps. 74:20

C.I. Scofield offers this definition for covenant:  A covenant is a sovereign pronouncement of God by which He establishes a relationship of responsibility between Himself and another entity (individual, nation, family, etc.)

Covenants are normally unconditional in the sense that God obligates Himself in grace despite any failure on the part of the person or people with whom He covenants. The human response to the covenant is always important, leading to blessing for obedience and discipline for disobedience.  But human failure is never permitted to block the covenant's fulfillment.  This is the beauty of God's covenants, and it is upon this truth that the psalmist is making his appeal to God!

Arise, O God, plead Your own cause.  ~ Ps. 74:22
The psalmist is, again, pleading to God to remember His people.  Israel's cause is God's cause also.  The same is true for the modern believer today:  God has a stake in those who carry His name.

The day is Yours, the night is also Yours;
You have prepared the light and the sun.
You have set all the boarders of the earth;
You have made summer and winter. 
~ Ps. 74:16-17
  • God allows our adversaries' reproach at times
  • God is my King from old
  • The day, the night, the seasons - everything is the Lord's
  • God keeps His covenant - He IS faithful
  •  I praise the Lord for His faithfulness to His covenant - that His grace makes His covenants with His people unconditional.  I praise God that human failure is never permitted to annul the covenant or block its fulfillment.  
  • I praise God that He won't cast His people off forever
  • I praise God for His might
      O Lord, I marvel at Your grace.  I bless You that You are a covenant-keeping God - that Your faithfulness is never dependent upon my own.  Thank You, O God, that even in Your discipline, Your faithfulness never wavers. 
     You are Almighty God, and my heart is full of awe.  Grant to me great understanding to know You more fully.  In Jesus' name I pray ~ Amen

No comments:

Post a Comment