Psalm 74:1 Why have you rejected us forever, O God?
Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?
2 Remember the people you purchased of old,
the tribe of your inheritance, whom you redeemed—
Mount Zion, where you dwelt.
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.
“Why have you rejected us forever, O God?”(v1)
Have you ever felt like your dreams were dashed to pieces? The psalmist is recounting in vivid detail his dreams being shattered along with the gates and glory of Jerusalem.
Most commentators place this Psalm somewhere in the vicinity of 587 BC. The palpably real account of the destruction of Jerusalem and the “assembly place” (v.8) is only paralleled in this poetic and descriptive manner in one other place (Lamentations 2:5-9).
Amazing, Ancient Exploits
“But you, O God, are my king from of old.” (v. 12)
Somehow in the midst of this tremendous ordeal, the bard begins to sing of ancient exploits. He recounts the deeds of a God who has subdued seas, provided for his people plenteously, and rescued his people. Suddenly, the deafening silence is not as terrifying as Asaph once thought it.
Now, in the final verses, Asaph sings of his ordeals and laments the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah, but with less desperation. His “King from of Old” has punched a whole through death and made a way in the desert. The ordeals which once held sway over him and threatened violence are nothing but a shadow. The Psalmists’ enemies can no longer execute violence against him. The fears and threats are only “haunts of violence”(v20). Much as David said centuries before, this Psalmist need not fear death, for death is only a shadow. God, the Shepherd of Israel, has destroyed death by his death on the Cross and His resurrection life.
Not even the death of our dearest dreams can threaten the security we have in our King’s hand.
Almighty God, who in death has destroyed death, resurrect our dreams that we may with full confidence realize that the day and the battle are yours. May we live in the hope of your new creation for your praise and glory, through Jesus Christ. Amen