Thursday, August 26, 2010

Last night I had the privilege of teaching Psalm 74. Psalm 74 may well be the most heart-wrenching psalm in the psalter thus far that we’ve studied. The Babylonians led by King Nebuchadnezzar have ransacked Judea, Jerusalem, and utterly destroyed everything. They raided the Temple and burnt everything. Psalm 74 responds to this horrendous difficulty.

If you were to ask any Jewish person what the most precious symbol of worship is to them they would immediately respond: the Temple. The Temple symbolized God’s presence and God’s protection. And for God to allow the (more!) wicked Babylonians to come and utterly destroy His people and His dwelling place on earth was utterly shocking for the Jewish people (and Habakkuk—just read his prophecy).

The application I brought out last night at our study was this. When the most devastating disaster invades your life how do you respond? Psalm 74 gives the response of the psalmist (a descendant of Asaph). But how would you and I respond?

Most of the psalm is questioning God, wondering why God would abandon and reject His very sheep whom He sovereignly redeemed and purchased (v.2). I love, however, the stark transition in v.12: “But as for God, He is my King from of old.” What a transition. Regardless of how bad things get; no matter how torrential the tornado swirls upon your head, remember that God is the King and that God is the Ancient of Days.

The psalmist then meditates on the unrivaled sovereignty of God revealed in his power over creation and the universe (vv.13-17).

The lesson for us to learn can be found here: when the most devastating event happens, reveal your heart to God in honest prayer, remember the power of God, and trust in God’s sovereign plan and deliverance.

In our day and age, we do well to learn this lesson and seal it upon our hearts and minds.

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