RISE UP, GOD, AND SAVE US

Opening Prayer

Lord God, you are faithful to your promises to redeem, to help, to deliver, to bless. Help me to stand in those promises today.

Read PSALM 74

Psalm 74

maskil[a] of Asaph.

O God, why have you rejected us forever?
    Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember the nation you purchased long ago,
    the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed—
    Mount Zion, where you dwelt.
Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins,
    all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary.

Your foes roared in the place where you met with us;
    they set up their standards as signs.
They behaved like men wielding axes
    to cut through a thicket of trees.
They smashed all the carved paneling
    with their axes and hatchets.
They burned your sanctuary to the ground;
    they defiled the dwelling place of your Name.
They said in their hearts, “We will crush them completely!”
    They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land.

We are given no signs from God;
    no prophets are left,
    and none of us knows how long this will be.
10 How long will the enemy mock you, God?
    Will the foe revile your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand?
    Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!

12 But God is my King from long ago;
    he brings salvation on the earth.

13 It was you who split open the sea by your power;
    you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
14 It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan
    and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.
15 It was you who opened up springs and streams;
    you dried up the ever-flowing rivers.
16 The day is yours, and yours also the night;
    you established the sun and moon.
17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth;
    you made both summer and winter.

18 Remember how the enemy has mocked you, Lord,
    how foolish people have reviled your name.
19 Do not hand over the life of your dove to wild beasts;
    do not forget the lives of your afflicted people forever.
20 Have regard for your covenant,
    because haunts of violence fill the dark places of the land.
21 Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace;
    may the poor and needy praise your name.
22 Rise up, O God, and defend your cause;
    remember how fools mock you all day long.
23 Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries,
    the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually.

Footnotes

  1. Psalm 74:1 Title: Probably a literary or musical term

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Meditate

We are called to the obedience of faith; may we learn to be faithful to that calling.

Think Further

The Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc all over the world. Millions died. Many communities were devastated. Personal livelihoods were destroyed, and countries have fallen into great debt. This pandemic is symbolic of many other disasters that befall human beings, personally and collectively. However, we still have hope in God our Savior.

Psalm 74 reflects the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual conditions of the exiles in the immediate aftermath of the destruction of Judah in 587 BC. Israel’s enemies had ripped the heart out of the nation: the temple at the center of its universe. The destruction was total, with every valuable item stripped, removed, and carried away as plunder along with the exiles taken into slavery. The situation was bleak. The nation lay in ruins and the people descended into spiritual hopelessness. Furthermore, God was silent – or so it seemed. This lament gives expression to deeply felt anguish and seeks to rouse the nation to place their confidence in the God who alone is able to come to their aid. He has proved his power to save in the past. After all, he is their King, Creator, and Redeemer who silenced Pharaoh, overcame the Red Sea, the River Jordan, and all other obstacles in order to plant his covenant people into their Promised Land. His anger, which has led to the present circumstances, was roused by their faithlessness. God can be trusted to do again what he has done in the past.

Apply

With what difficulties are you confronted? Use this lament to give expression to your pain and to awaken faith in the God who alone can intervene on your behalf.

Closing prayer

Oh Lord, haunts of violence still fill the dark places of the land (v 20). May your kingdom come. May it come in me and through me. Come, Lord Jesus!

Last Updated on December 3, 2023 by kingstar

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