Psalm 79

Please read Psalm 79 (13 verses)

The psalmist prays to the Lord and speaks of the carnage that has been meted out against the people of God. God has delivered His people into the arms of their enemies, for they refuse the exclusivity of His love and constantly want novelty and physical satisfaction. Jerusalem has been sacked and levelled to the ground. The people are slain and their bodies left as carrion for the birds of the air and the wild beasts. Their blood is poured out like water all around the holy city, for they have paid double for all their sins.

The writer calls out to God to step in and avenge the blood of His people and render the enemy helpless. The worst of the slaughter is not the physical but the disgrace that now has overtaken the people. They are viewed as weak and defeated and forsaken by their God the Lord. The psalmist prays that the Lord will rise up and restore the reputation of His beloved ones and avenge the horrible deaths their fellow citizens have suffered.

They are in desperate need and think that the Lord is punishing them for their own sins and the sins of past generations. The people know that only the Lord can sort out this mess and forgive them freely for all their transgressions. They appeal to the name of God, that He will not forget them, or the nations around them will believe they are forsaken by God and therefore vulnerable and open to plundering. The psalmist asks God to avenge His people and pay back more retribution than the punishment that been given to them, that His name alone is vindicated. The punishment inflicted by the wicked nations is seen to be against the Lord Himself, and therefore cannot be let go and forgotten. The people promise to remember the works of the Lord through all the generations…

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