(23 verses, 2:30 to read)
READ and LISTEN
What I am about to READ
Psalm 74 calls upon God to remember His works of salvation that He worked of old. These works are the grounds that the psalmist uses to establish certainty for God’s future deliverance of His people, who are now downtrodden and cast off.
MARK and LEARN
“O God, why do you cast us off forever?” (v. 1) – God is control of all things, even the times when He seems distant. The psalmist calls upon God because he knows that God is able to act.
“Remember your congregation, which you have purchased of old” (v. 2) – Uses the language of redemption, or literally “buying back.”
Verses 3-8 indicate that the temple in Jerusalem is destroyed and has been for some time (…the perpetual ruins – vs. 3) putting the composition of this psalm sometime after the destruction of the temple in 587 BC.
Verses 12-23 remind God what He has done in the past, which include imagery from the Exodus as the grounds for confidence in God’s future help.
“Leviathan” – Generally a great sea monster, also mentioned in Job 41:1 but here likely a personification of Egypt and her armies, who were crushed and washed up on the shore of the Red Sea after Israel crossed safely through.
The life of the Christian though often blessed can be full of deep turmoil and hurt. God may seem to be distant and far from helping, as those who experienced the fall of Jerusalem. How could God let this happen to His holy city, His holy people, His holy house? These are the times where we cry out to God not fully understanding why things happen the way they do, but trusting fully that God will deliver in the end, as the psalmist says “Arise, O God, defend your cause” (vs. 22).