Psalm 79: Lessons Regarding What God Offers a Rebellious Nation

Introduction: This psalm describes when Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah for the third time (circa 586 B.C.), burned God’s temple, and sent a wave of Jews into Babylonian captivity.  This means that a descendant of Asaph wrote it because Asaph lived during the reigns of David (circa 1,000 to 962 B.C.) and Solomon (circa 962–922 B.C.). For some Jews, they might have felt as though God had abandoned them in their darkest hour. But it was their ongoing rebellions against Him that unleashed these sad events, and God had not abandoned the Jews. Here, the Bible reveals seven things God offers a rebellious nation. These include: (1) discipline, (2) restoration, (3) mercy, (4) compassion, (5) justice, (6) deliverance, and (7) hope in Him.

First, as a form of loving discipline, God allowed His people to be sent into captivity after they repeatedly rebelled against Him. God disciplines rebellious nations out of love with the goal of bringing them to repentance and restoration. Second, the psalmist lamented that the pagan nations mocked and despised the Jews. But God can restore a wayward nation when it repents. Third, the psalmist cried out for God to show His people mercy and forgiveness. God will also show mercy to a nation when it repents. Fourth, the psalmist cried out for God’s compassion. Thankfully, God is filled with compassion when His people turn to Him. Fifth, the psalmist cried out for God to avenge the wrongs against His people. God also promises to be just and fair to His people and avenge the wrongs against them. Sixth, the psalmist cried out for God to hear the groaning of His enslaved people. God can and will deliver His people. But He does so in His timing and according to His will. Finally, the psalmist praised God because He believed that God would restore His people. God also offers hope when His people turn back to Him.

1. Discipline: God Disciplines Rebellious Nations Out of Love. Ps. 79:1-3.

  • Nebuchadnezzar burned Jerusalem and deported its people.  As part of God’s judgment upon the people of Judah, He allowed Nebuchadnezzar to burn Jerusalem, including God’s temple, and deport the Jews to Babylonian captivity:  “Grieving over the Destruction of Jerusalem, and Prayer for Help. A Psalm of Asaph. 1 God, the nations have invaded Your inheritance; they have defiled Your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins. They have given the dead bodies of Your servants to the birds of the sky as food, the flesh of Your godly ones to the animals of the earth. They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem; and there was no one to bury them.” (Ps. 79:1-3). In 586 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah for the third time and sent a third wave of Jews into Babylonian captivity.  Those who remained in Judah later fled to Egypt after certain Jews killed Nebuchadnezzar’s appointed governor.  God had freed His people from Egyptian bondage and gave them the Promised Land as their inheritance. Yet, before the Jews took the Promised Land, Moses gave God’s warning that their right to enjoy the Promised Land was conditional upon their obedience:  “But it shall come about, if you do not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:”  (Dt. 28:15).  This included a warning of exile and great suffering (Dt. 28:64-65). But the Jews ignored these warnings.  Out of mercy and grace, God sent His prophets to repeat these warnings.  But the Jews rebelled against God and ignored His Word.  After the Jews ignored all lesser forms of discipline, God fulfilled His promise and sent the Jews into exile.  This was one of the darkest points in Jewish history.  

  • The siege of Jerusalem fulfilled a prophecy.  To warn the people and to give them an opportunity to repent, the prophet Jeremiah warned that the Babylonians would soon lay siege to Jerusalem:  “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am about to turn back the weapons of war which are in your hands, with which you are warring against the king of Babylon and the Chaldeans who are besieging you outside the wall; and I will gather them into the center of this city.”’  (Jer. 21:4).  But the Jews ignored this warning.

  • God purified His house with fire.  God allowed His temple to be burned with fire: “And he burned the house of the LORD, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; even every great house he burned with fire. So all the army of the Chaldeans who were with the captain of the bodyguards tore down the walls around Jerusalem.” (2 Kgs. 25:9-10). This purified the temple from the false worship that had gone on within it.  It also fulfilled a prophecy that His house would be burned:  “then I will cut off Israel from the land which I have given them, and the house which I have consecrated for My name, I will cast out of My sight.   So Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.  And this house will become a heap of ruins; everyone who passes by will be astonished and hiss and say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land and to this house?’” (1 Kgs. 9:7-8).  God’s glory inhabited the temple since Solomon dedicated it.   The temple would now lay in ruins until the exiles returned in Ezra’s day.  

Nebuchadnezzar’s soldiers laid siege to Jerusalem and caused great suffering1

  • Nebuchadnezzar was the instrument of God’s judgment.  In case any Jews felt that God was remiss in failing to stop Nebuchadnezzar, the prophet Jeremiah warned the people in advance that God planned to send Nebuchadnezzar as His instrument of judgment: ‘“behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these nations round about; and I will utterly destroy them and make them a horror and a hissing, and an everlasting desolation.”’ (Jer. 25:9)  “and say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne right over these stones that I have hidden; and he will spread his canopy over them.”’’  (Jer. 43:10).  But the Jews ignored these warnings.

  • The death of God’s people fulfilled a prophecy.  The psalmist lamented the death of God’s servants: “They have given the dead bodies of Your servants to the birds of the sky as food, the flesh of Your godly ones to the animals of the earth. They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem; and there was no one to bury them.” (Ps. 79:1-3). But Moses had warned that this would happen in a prophesy: “Your dead bodies will serve as food for all birds of the sky and for the animals of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away.” (Dt. 28:26). To again warn the Jews, Jeremiah repeated this prophecy: “The dead bodies of this people will be food for the birds of the sky and for the animals of the earth; and no one will frighten them away.” (Jer. 7:33). To give the Jews a third warning, Jeremiah repeated this prophesy again: “And I will frustrate the planning of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will make them fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I will make their carcasses food for the birds of the sky and the animals of the earth.” (Jer. 19:7). The Jews, however, ignored these repeated warnings.

  • God judged the Jews because of their pride and refusal to change their sinful ways. Through Jeremiah, God repeatedly warned the proud Jews that God judged them because they would not repent and change their ways:  “Then Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the LORD had sent him to prophesy; and he stood in the court of the LORD’S house and said to all the people: ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I am about to bring on this city and all its towns the entire calamity that I have declared against it, because they have stiffened their necks so as not to heed My words.’” (Jer.19:14-15). God took every step possible for the Jews to change their ways before He exiled them.

  • God disciplined the Jews out of love to save them from becoming another pagan nation. Although many Jews might have believed that God had abandoned them, God’s discipline was a sign of His love for His people: “So you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son.” (Dt. 8:5). “Blessed is the man whom You discipline, LORD, and whom You teach from Your Law,” (Ps. 94:12). “My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His rebuke,” (Prov. 3:11). “For whom the LORD loves He disciplines, and He punishes every son whom He accepts.” (Heb. 12:6). “But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” (1 Cor. 11:32). If God had not disciplined the Jews, they would have become just another pagan nation.

  • God’s disciplines a nation to lead it to repentance and restoration. God disciplined the Jews out of love so that they would repent and return to Him: “Those whom I love, I rebuke and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.” (Rev. 3:19). When a nation repents, God promises to heal it: “and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chr. 7:14). Are you praying and fasting for your nation to repent of its sins and return to God?

2. Restoration: God Can Restore a Wayward Nation When it Repents. Ps.79:4.

  • God allowed the Jews to be humiliated and have the pagan nations mock them. Because the Jews had become prideful and rejected God’s laws, God allowed them to be humbled: “We have become a disgrace before our neighbors, an object of derision and ridicule to those around us.” (Ps.79:4). “You make us an object of reproach to our neighbors, of scoffing and ridicule to those around us.” (Ps. 44:13). “You make us an object of contention to our neighbors, and our enemies laugh among themselves.” (Ps. 80:6).

God humbled the Jews by allowing them to be taken captive2

  • God humbled the wealthy and the powerful.  God carried off the rich and powerful.  He only spared the poor (2 Kgs. 24:14; Jer. 39:10).  He repeatedly promised to save the humble and cast down the proud:  “When you are cast down, you will speak with confidence, and the humble person He will save.”  (Job 22:29).  “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling.”  (Prov. 16:18).  “A man’s pride will bring him low, . . .”  (Prov. 29:23).  “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.”  (Matt. 23:12).  “But He gives a greater grace.  Therefore it says, ‘God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”’ (Jam. 4:6).  The Jews’ pride had deceived them:  ‘“ . . . The arrogance of your heart has deceived you,’ . . . declares the LORD.”  (Jer. 49:16).  God again fulfilled His Word.

  • The Jews’ humiliation from their exile also fulfilled a prophecy.  The Jews were humiliated. But this also fulfilled one of Moses’ prophesies: “And you will become an object of horror, a song of mockery, and an object of taunting among all the peoples where the LORD drives you.” (Dt. 28:37). Moses’ prophesies of the Jews’ humiliation included their exile from the Promised Land: “Moreover, the Lord will scatter you among all peoples, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; and there you shall serve other gods, wood and stone, which you or your fathers have not known.”  (Dt. 28:64; 4:27-28; 29:28; 32:26; Lev. 26:33).  To warn the people and to give them an another opportunity to repent, the prophet Jeremiah also warned that the Babylonians would soon send the people of Judah into exile:  ‘“[Y]ou will serve strangers in a land that is not yours.”’  (Jer. 5:19(b)).  “And you will, even of yourself, let go of your inheritance that I gave you; and I will make you serve your enemies in the land which you do not know; for you have kindled a fire in My anger which will burn forever.”  (Jer. 17:4). “ . . . All Judah has been carried into exile, wholly carried into exile.”  (Jer. 13:19(b)). “For thus says the LORD, ‘Behold, I am going to make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; and while your eyes look on, they will fall by the sword of their enemies.  So I will give over all Judah to the hand of the king of Babylon, and he will carry them away as exiles to Babylon and will slay them with the sword.”’  (Jer. 20:4). “For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “As My anger and wrath have been poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so My wrath will be poured out on you when you enter Egypt.  And you will become a curse, an object of horror, an imprecation and a reproach; and you will see this place no more.”  (Jer. 42:18). “Israel is a scattered flock, the lions have driven them away.  The first one who devoured him was the king of Assyria, and this last one who has broken his bones is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.” (Jer. 50:17).  “Remember the word which You commanded Your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful I will scatter you among the peoples;”’  (Neh. 1:8). “Therefore, son of man, prepare for yourself baggage for exile and go into exile by day in their sight; even go into exile from your place to another place in their sight.”  (Ezek. 12:3(a)). “I will scatter you among the nations and I will disperse you through the lands, and I will consume your uncleanness from you.”  (Ezek. 22:15). The Jews’ physical bondage was the outward manifestation of their spiritual bondage to sin.  When you rebel against God’s Word, God may also allow you to be placed into spiritual bondage. 

  • The Jews’ slavery while in captivity also fulfilled a prophecy.  The Jews’ slavery while in Babylonian captivity also fulfilled one of Moses’ prophecies: “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joy and a glad heart, for the abundance of all things; 48 therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you, in hunger, in thirst, in nakedness, and in the lack of all things;”  (Dt. 28:47(a)).  Jeremiah then repeated this prophecy:  “And you will, even of yourself, let go of your inheritance that I gave you; and I will make you serve your enemies in the land which you do not know; for you have kindled a fire in My anger which will burn forever.” (Jer. 17:4).  “But they will become his slaves so that they may learn the difference between My service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”  (2 Chr. 12:8). “Behold, we are slaves today, and as to the land which You gave to our fathers to eat of its fruit and its bounty, behold, we are slaves in it.”  (Neh. 9:36). God’s Word also gives you warnings to avoid His discipline.

  • The Jews’ weakness and fear also fulfilled a prophecy.  Moses also warned the Jews that their rebellions against God would cause them to feel weak and powerless against their foreign captors: “As for those of you who may be left, I will also bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies.  And the sound of a driven leaf will chase them, and even when no one is pursuing they will flee as though from the sword, and they will fall.”  (Lev. 26:36).  “Your carcasses will be food to all birds of the sky and to the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away.”  (Dt. 28:26).  The prophet Jeremiah repeated these warnings:  “I will make void the counsel of Judah and Jerusalem in this place, and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hand of those who seek their life; and I will give over their carcasses as food for the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth.”  (Jer. 19:7; 7:33; Ps. 79:2).  “The LORD has done what He purposed; He has accomplished His word which He commanded from days of old. . . . He has exalted the might of your adversaries.”  (Lam. 2:17).  “The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”  (Prov. 28:1).  When a nation rebels against God and His Word, it will feel helpless against His judgment.

  • Turn to God when you need restoration. When you feel rejected and despised, the psalms encourage you to turn to God to find restoration: “Save me from all my wrongdoings; do not make me an object of reproach for the foolish.” (Ps. 39:8). “God, You have rejected us. You have broken us; You have been angry; restore us!” (Ps. 60:1b). “God, restore us and make Your face shine upon us, and we will be saved. . . God of armies, restore us and make Your face shine upon us, and we will be saved.” (Ps. 80:3, 7). If you feel rejected or despised because of sin, turn to God to find His restoration.

3. Mercy: God Will Show Mercy to a Nation When it Repents. Ps. 79:5-8a.

  • The psalmist cried out for God to show His people mercy and forgiveness. In his desperation, the psalmist cried out for relief from their punishment: “How long, Lord? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire? Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which do not know You, and upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Your name. For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his settlement. Do not hold us responsible for the guilty deeds of our forefathers; ... ” (Ps. 79:5-8a). The psalmist’s prayer contains a clear warning for those who assume no concerns for their nation’s prior sins: “Sins accumulate against nations. Generations lay up stores of transgressions to be visited upon their successors; hence this urgent prayer.” (Charles Spurgeon on Ps. 78).3

  • All have fallen short and are in need of salvation.  Solomon, the wisest man on Earth, revealed that none could keep themselves free from sin:  “Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.”  (Ecc. 7:20).  “Who can say, ‘I have cleansed my heart, I am pure from my sin’?”  (Prov. 20:9).  “[T]here is no one who does good.”  (Ps. 14:1; 53:1).  “Do not bring your servant into judgment, for no one living is righteous before you.”  (Ps. 143:2).  Paul later quoted from these verses to reveal two of the central tenants of our faith, universal sin and the need for salvation (Ro. 3:23).  If you could be saved because of your works, Jesus died needlessly (Gal. 2:21).

  • Confess the nation’s sins.  The psalmist later led a prayer of national repentance: “We have sinned like our fathers, we have gone astray, we have behaved wickedly.” (Ps. 106:6). Ezra also later led the people in a prayer during which he repented for the Jews’ prior sins:  “and I said, ‘O my God, I am ashamed and embarrassed to lift up my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen above our heads and our guilt has grown even to the heavens.”’  (Ezra 9:6).  In preparation for Jesus, John the Baptist also called all sinners to repent.  ‘“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”’  (Matt. 3:2).  Jesus also began His ministry with a call to repentance:  “From that time Jesus began to preach and say, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”’  (Matt. 4:17; Lk. 18:13.)  If you say that you are without sin, the truth is not in you  (1 Jo. 1:8).  Yet, if you confess your sins, Jesus will forgive you: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (1 Jo. 1:9).  Have you confessed your sins?  Are you confessing the nation’s sins?

4. Compassion: God is Compassionate When His People Cry Out. Ps. 79:8b-9.

  • The psalmist pleaded with God to show His people compassion. Because the Jews suffered greatly in their captivity, the palmist pleaded with God to show compassion: “ . . . let Your compassion come quickly to meet us, for we have become very low. Help us, God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and save us and forgive our sins for the sake of Your name.” (Ps. 79:8-9). The psalmist knew that he did not worship an uncaring God. He instead worshiped a loving God who would lift up His humbled people. “The lower we are brought the more need we have of help from heaven and the more will divine power be magnified in raising us up.” (Matthew Henry on Ps. 78).4

  • God offers you His compassion and comfort when you call out to Him.  God responded to this prayer by making the Jews’ captors show them compassion: “He also made them objects of compassion in the presence of all their captors.”  (Ps. 106:46).  God also offers you His comfort when you are feeling pain or sadness:  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”  (2 Cor. 1:3-4; 7:6).  Thus, if you are feeling sad or depressed, cry out to God and seek out His comfort.

  • God’s compassion shows that He is worthy of your praise. The psalmist asked for God’s compassion “for the glory of Your name” and for forgiveness “for the sake of Your name.” (Ps. 79:9). David also stated that God helped him in order to glorify God’s holy name: “He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness for the sake of His name.” (Ps. 23:3). “For the sake of Your name, LORD, forgive my wrongdoing, for it is great.” (Ps. 25:11). “For You are my rock and my fortress; for the sake of Your name You will lead me and guide me.” (Ps. 31:3). When you ask for God’s help, always give Him the glory. Never take the credit or fail to give Him the praise He deserves.

psalm 79 chiastic structure

Always give God the glory when He answers your prayers5

5. Justice: God Promises to Be Just and Fair to His People. Ps. 79:10.

  • The psalmist cried out for justice. The psalmist also cried out for God’s divine justice: “10 Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Let vengeance for the blood of Your servants which has been shed be known among the nations in our sight.” (Ps. 79:10). “God would answer Asaph’s prayer in time, when judgment came upon the Babylonian Empire, and they were conquered by the Medes and Persians. Babylon devoured Jacob and was in turn devoured.” (David Guzik on Ps. 78).6

  • God will one day judge the nations who reject Him. Believers never need to take justice into their own hands. They can instead trust that God will one day judge the nations who oppress His people or engage in other acts that He calls evil: “Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, and on the families who do not call upon Your name; for they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his settlement.” (Jer. 10:25). “You have rebuked the nations, You have eliminated the wicked; You have wiped out their name forever and ever.” (Ps. 9:5). “Pour out Your indignation on them, and may Your burning anger overtake them.” (Ps. 69:24). “Pour out Your wrath upon the nations which do not know You, and upon the kingdoms which do not call upon Your name.” (Ps. 79:6). “LORD, God of vengeance, God of vengeance, shine forth!” (Ps. 94:1). “But wrongdoers and sinners together will be broken, and those who abandon the LORD will come to an end.” (Is. 1:28). But God will judge evil in His timing. He wants to give every person the chance to repent and be saved (2 Pet. 3:9).

  • Jesus will reign with justice and righteousness.  Jesus is our righteous judge  (2 Tim. 4:8).  “I can do nothing on My own initiative.  As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”  (Jo. 5:30).  “But even if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and the Father who sent Me.”  (Jo. 8:16).  While David, Solomon, and Israel’s other kings sinned, Jesus never will.  His reign will be perfect, just, and righteous. “1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding . . . with righteousness He will judge the poor, and decide with fairness for the humble of the earth; . . . Also righteousness will be the belt around His hips, and faithfulness the belt around His waist.” (Is. 11:1-5). “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.”  (Is. 9:7; 16:5).  “Behold, a king will reign righteously, and officials will rule justly.” (Is. 32:1). ‘“Behold, the days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.”’  (Jer. 23:5; Is. 24:15; 42:4; Zech. 9:9-10).  His righteous reign is another reason to praise Him.

6. Deliverance: Pray to God When His People Need Deliverance. Ps. 79:11-12.

  • The psalmist cried out for God to hear the groaning of His imprisoned people. Babylonian captivity imposed tremendous hardships upon the Jews. Thus, the psalmist cried out for God to deliver His enslaved people: “11 Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; according to the greatness of Your power, let those who are doomed to die remain. 12 And return to our neighbors seven times as much into their lap their taunts with which they have taunted You, Lord.” (Ps. 79:11-12). God heard the groans of His people during Egyptian captivity “So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” (Ex. 2:24; 6:5). The psalmist had the faith to know that God would hear the cries of His people again. “To hear the groaning of the prisoner, to set free those who were doomed to death,” (Ps. 102:20; 146:7).

  • God was faithful to judge the Babylonians sevenfold and then deliver the Jews. The psalmist prayed for “seven times” the judgment for those who had destroyed Judah (Ps. 79:12). “The reproaches of the neighbors described in 79:4 are returned to in 79:12, and Asaph urges the Lord to repay those neighbors with their own reproach multiplied sevenfold. Those who shame God and God’s people will experience the fullness of shame.” (James M. Hamilton Jr., Evangelical Bible Theology Commentary Psalms (Vol. II: Psalms 73-150) (Lexham Academic 2021) p. 68). God heard the psalmist’s prayers. In 539 BC, after the battle of Opis, the Persian army sacked the capital city of Babylon, and they brought God’s judgment upon the Babylonians.7 In 538 B.C., God then influenced the Persian King Cyrus II to issue a decree to deliver the Jews and allow them to return from their Babylonian captivity to the Promised Land (Ezra 1:1-2; 5:13-17).

  • Praise Jesus as your deliverer.  Isaiah prophesied that the Messiah would bring good news and deliver God’s people: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord anointed me to bring good news to the humble; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim release to captives and freedom to prisoners;” (Is. 61:1). Jesus quoted from this prophesy to reveal that it referred to Him (Lk. 4:17-18; Matt. 11:4-5). David also prophesied that the Messiah who would free the oppressed: “You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’” (Ps. 2:9). The New Testament confirms that David was referring to Jesus: “And He shall rule them with a rod of iron, as the vessels of the potter are shattered, as I also have received authority from My Father;” (Rev. 2:27). Jesus will one day come to judge evil: “Then that lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will eliminate with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;” (2 Thess. 2:8). “From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.” (Rev. 19:15). Jesus again deserves your praise for delivering you from evil.

7. Hope: God Offers Hope When His People Turn to Him. Ps. 79:13.

  • The psalmist praised God because he had faith that God would restore His people. Because he had faith in God to keep His promises, the psalmist sang God’s praises: “13 So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture will give thanks to You forever; to all generations we will tell of Your praise.” (Ps. 79:13). God is always faithful. Thus, during any trial, you can put your hope in Him. “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil,” (Heb. 6:19). Thus, He deserves your praise. “That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” (Ps. 30:12). “In God we have boasted all day long, and we will give thanks to Your name forever. Selah” (Ps. 44:8).

Psalm 79:13 KJV in 2020 | Kjv, Scripture verses, Psalms

Praise Jesus, the Good Shepherd, for the hope that He provides you8

  • God was faithful to preserve His everlasting covenant leading to Jesus.  God promised David an everlasting covenant:  “13 He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.”  (2 Sam. 7:13).  In their time of darkness, the prophet Jeremiah encouraged the people that God could not break His promises: “Thus says the LORD, ‘If you can break My covenant for the day and My covenant for the night, so that day and night will not be at their appointed time, then My covenant may also be broken with David My servant so that he will not have a son to reign on his throne, and with the Levitical priests, My ministers.”’ (Jer. 33:20-21; 2 Chr. 21:7).  By preserving the Jews, God showed that He was faithful to keep His covenant.  Jesus is the eternal King of Kings who came through David’s line to fulfill God’s “everlasting covenant” (2 Sam. 23:5)  “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”  (Lk. 1:32-33).  “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore.  The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”  (Is. 9:7). “These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful.”  (Rev. 17:14).  Thus, God is faithful to keep His promises.

  • God was faithful to heal His people and return them to the Promised Land.  God was also faithful to send a remnant back to the Promised Land.  “For we are slaves; yet in our bondage our God has not forsaken us, but has extended lovingkindness to us in the sight of the kings of Persia, to give us reviving to raise up the house of our God, to restore its ruins and to give us a wall in Judah and Jerusalem.”  (Ezra 9:9).

  • You also can trust in His promises to you.  The accuracy of God’s promises in the book of Kings show how you can also trust His promises for you as well.  “Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass”  (1 Thess. 5:24).  “Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments;”  (Dt. 7:9). “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (1 Cor. 1:9).  He is faithful even when you are not:  “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”   (2 Tim. 2:13).  Have you given thanks that you can trust in His faithfulness in your life?

  • Praise Jesus because He uses His sovereign power for good.  Jesus is in control and causes all things to work together for good (Ro. 8:28). Thus, He deserves praise for using His power for the greater good:  “whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.”  (Ro. 9:5).

Christ our hope

Praise Jesus for the hope that He provides9

  • Turn your trial into a testimony. One commentator observes: “The practical application from this psalm’s message should include the following. First, be quick to acknowledge any sins, individual and collective, that may have occasioned the chastening. Scripture reminds us that there is no honor in suffering because we have sinned; but the blessing comes in responding to the suffering with repentance and confession. Second, be cautious in seeking revenge on the troublemakers (1 Pet. 3:9-12). Rather, pray for them and warn them, and leave the vengeance to the Lord who will restore honor to His name. Third, by living faithfully, praying earnestly, and praising God publicly for His nature and His works, make God’s name known to the world (1 Pet. 4:14-16). The apostle reminds us that Christ Jesus, in shedding His blood for our salvation, also left an example for us to know how to suffer for the glory of God and the benefit of others.” (Allen Ross, A Commentary of the Psalms: Volume 2 (42-89), Kregel Academic (2013) p. 687).

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