Text – 79:1 O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
2 They have given the bodies of your servants to the birds of the air for food, the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.
3 They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.
4 We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.
5 How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?
6 Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call on your name.
7 For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation.
8 Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.
9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake.
Summary – This Psalm is a Psalm of lament, and crying out to the Lord. Jerusalem has been destroyed and the temple, the place of worship, has been ruined and defiled. This appears to be the invasion of the Chaldeans (2 Chronicles 36:17-20) which who killed many Israelites, and stole the temple treasures. The Psalmists here describes the violence done to them by their invaders, and how low the people have sunk. He also recognizes that it is the Israelites own sin that has caused this. However, he now calls out to God to remember not their sin, but rather to atone for their sin, to show compassion on them and save them from their enemies. He asks God to do this to the glory of his name.
Insight – Sin always brings consequences into our lives. It may not look like a violent invasion, but it always has consequences. Sin always looks appealing, but if we choose to repeatedly follow it, and indulge in it, it will always ruin us. We were made by God to worship him alone, and he will not allow our turning from him to go unpunished. But since we are sinful people, where do we look to for help. Like the Psalmist we look to God, namely Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the Psalmist request in verses 8-9. His death for our sins is the reason God forgives our sins. Jesus Christ is our salvation, our deliver, and his death and resurrection is for our atonement. This was all done for his name sake, that we may glorify in his name.
Discussion – Why is it that our sins always bring negative consequences?
Catechism – Why does God deliver us, and forgive our sins? For the glory of his name
Prayer – Holy Father, We confess that we are sinful people, and deserving of your punishment. But we also know and believe in your Son, whom you sent to to make atonement for our sins, to deliver us, and forgive us. This is a great mystery to our eyes, but causes us to praise the great name of Jesus, to whom be all glory, and power. Amen.
Submitted by Jared M McNabb