>For such a time as this – Psalm 74

>Psalm 74 laments the sad state of society and the apparent demise of true religion. The Psalmist begins by asking “O God, why do you cast us off forever? Why does your anger smoke against the sheep of your pasture?”

The Psalmist has good reason to cry to God and feel forsaken; the temple has been destroyed (verses 4-8) and there is no longer a prophet in the land (verse 9).

But he reminds himself and his readers that God is “King…from…old, working salvation in the midst of the earth” (verse 12).

He recites a litany of God’s marvelous works that sounds like passages from the book of Job, praising God for dividing the sea, breaking “the heads of the sea monsters,” crushing “the heads of Leviathan,” and giving him as “food for the creatures of the wilderness” (verses 13-14). God “split open springs and brooks” and “dried up ever-flowing streams” (verse 15). His is the day and the night; He has established the “heavenly lights and the sun”; He “fixed all the boundaries of the earth” and made “summer and winter” (verses 16 & 17).

Having affirmed God’s awesome works, the Psalmist reminds Him how “a foolish people reviles your name” and pleads: “Do not deliver the soul of your dove to the wild beasts; do not forget the life of your poor forever” (verses 18 & 19).

Then he records the striking words of verse 20:

Have regard for the covenant,
for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.

Suddenly the Psalm seems very comtemporary. We need to pray this prayer for God’s covenant people, struggling to live righteously in today’s darkened and violent society.

The Psalmist asks that the “downtrodden” will not be turned “back in shame” and that the “poor and needy” will be able to “praise your name” (verse 21).

He concludes with a passionate plea (verses 22 & 23):

Arise, O God, defend your cause;
remember how the foolish scoff at you all the day!
Do not forget the clamor of your foes,
the uproar of those who rise against you, which goes up continually!

God doesn’t forget the clamor of foes that continually rises up against Him. He doesn’t need our reminders in order to take action. But it’s good for us to pray this so that we are reminded of God’s power and His sovereignty.

The continual babble of unbelief and constant persecution of believers will cease one day. God’s arm is not short and His time is not delayed. His power and His timing are perfect. At just the right time, Christ will return in glory and destroy all those who oppose God.

Maranatha! Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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