Psalms for Troubled Times – Psalm 74

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Remember, Remember, Remember

Maschil of Asaph. O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.

O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever? Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom. For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.

Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name. O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever. Have respect unto the covenant:

Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily.
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Set in dark days, the Psalmist sees even the Lord’s temple overrun by enemies. He wonders why God would allow this, and why He doesn’t act. God seems far away.

We may feel the same way, but note this is a Maschil psalm, which means it is giving instruction.

First we learn it is ok to be honest with our God, and to question him. The psalmist reminds the Lord of his dealings in the past, knows He will act in the future, but is concerned for the present difficulties.

Three times he calls on God to remember.

1) Remember the assembly, the redeemed bought with a price, the sheep of thy pasture.

Of course the Lord remembers, and ironically, it is we who need the reminder that the Good Shepherd loves us, died for us, sought us, found us and brought us in to His pasture – the place of safety and sufficiency. (John 10) Remember His care.

2) Remember the reproach of the wicked, but again it is the psalmist who needs the assurance, feeling weak and vulnerable – thy turtledove – he calls upon the covenant faithfulness of His God. (Hebs 8:6-12) Remember His Covenant.

3) Remember the daily reproach to the Lord’s name while this sin is left unchecked. So the psalmist calls upon God to arise. It is the same sentiment John has at the end of Revelation. ‘Even so, come, Lord Jesus.’ (Rev 22:20) Remember His Coming.

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