Psalm 74 – A Plea for Relief from Oppressors

Published May 10, 2023 by Rev. Pete Van't Hoff in Devotions

How often, the world mocks God. This, Asaph contemplates at Psalm 74.

1 O God, why have You cast us off forever?
Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
The tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed—
This Mount Zion where You have dwelt.
Lift up Your feet to the perpetual desolations.
The enemy has damaged everything in the sanctuary.
Your enemies roar in the midst of Your meeting place;
They set up their banners for signs.
They seem like men who lift up
Axes among the thick trees.
And now they break down its carved work, all at once,
With axes and hammers.
They have set fire to Your sanctuary;
They have defiled the dwelling place of Your name to the ground.
They said in their hearts,
“Let us destroy them altogether.”
They have burned up all the meeting places of God in the land.

And the psalmist rightfully cries out,

18 Remember this, that the enemy has reproached, O Lord,
And that a foolish people has blasphemed Your name.
19 Oh, do not deliver the life of Your turtledove to the wild beast!
Do not forget the life of Your poor forever.
20 Have respect to the covenant;
For the dark places of the earth are full of the haunts of cruelty.
21 Oh, do not let the oppressed return ashamed!
Let the poor and needy praise Your name.

22 Arise, O God, plead Your own cause;
Remember how the foolish man reproaches You daily.
23 Do not forget the voice of Your enemies;
The tumult of those who rise up against You increases continually.

Know thy enemy Beloved. But know thy God as well. Let us pray like Asaph.

Dear Lord and heavenly Father,

Blessed be Your holy name. Father, let me not be concerned with my own reputation, but Yours. Let the world be made known of Your great presence, of Your creative wealth, of Your redeeming love. If I should suffer in this life, may it be in light of my honouring You, my passion for living for Jesus, my yearning for the Holy Spirit. Blessed be Your holy name. May the world tremble at Your holy name. In Jesus name, Amen.

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