Summary: Do you ever feel like you have done everything you know how to do, even cried out to God for answers, yet He feels far away or even unwilling to help? Believe it or not, Asaph felt the same way, and his answer can really bring a sense of help and purpose
Psalm 74 was written by one of Asaph’s descendants after the Babylonian capture of Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and records the emotional distress at seeing God’s enemies triumph and calling on God to respond.
1 – 11
The writer asks God why has He rejected the people He purchased, ie: brought out of Egypt and placed in the Promised land. He describes how they destroyed the temple and destroyed the people. He desperately wants God to strike back.
But as we know, God allowed this to happen. In fact, He promised it would happen if Israel was disobedient.
Deut. 28:36 “The LORD will bring you and your king that you have appointed to a nation neither you nor your fathers have known, and there you will worship other gods, of wood and stone. 37 You will become an object of horror, scorn, and ridicule among all the peoples where the LORD will drive you.”
When Israel served other gods and did not obey Yahweh in giving the land its Sabbath rest, the Lord promised He would boot them out of the Israel. And He followed through.
But the promise was also that they would be disciplined and restored. And so the psalmist reminds God of His ultimate control of everything because frankly, they felt totally out of control.
12 – 17
He relates the account of the creation, of God’s mastery over the large sea creatures, over Leviathan, thought to be the Nile crocodile. He is also sovereign over nature, the seasons, and even the moon and stars. So too, He must have sovereignty over their dire situation.
18 – 23
Here the psalmist reminds God that the Babylonian enemy is not just hurting His people, but speaking against His name. And so he calls on God to defend Himself.
There are a couple of things we can glean from this. One is a theme we see through the next four psalms—that is, God as judge. Though Israel was under judgment, God was in ultimate control. Though they felt out of control, God was never out of control of the situation, and would judge those who came against His people, even though He allowed it.
In our lives, God will allow trials, even discipline, at the hands of those who don’t know Him. But He will always maintain control of your life.
John 10:28 “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”
Secondly, it is always a good thing to recognize when the real battle isn’t against you, it is against the name of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Defending Him is always the right way to go. It isn’t that God needs us, but it focuses us on the right battle.
Eph. 6:12 For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.
James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
We can draw near to God and know He is near us because of what Jesus has done.
Heb. 4:16 “Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.”
2 – 3
God is speaking now and says the time when He judges evil is a time of His choosing, and that the judgments will be fair. No one will get away with anything. He describes earthquakes, which happened frequently in Israel, and were thought of as God’s judgments. But Yahweh is saying that even then it is God who steadies the earth, just as He is the one who will bring judgment and there is nothing anyone can do to avoid it.
In response to that, God has some words to those who think they are not accountable.
4 – 5
It is useless to think you are powerful against the Lord of Hosts. People think they are free to say anything about God or His Son Jesus they want. But…
Luke 12:2 “There is nothing covered that won’t be uncovered, nothing hidden that won’t be made known. 3 Therefore, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in an ear in private rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”