Psalm 74: Deliverance from Oppression

What reasons does God have for rejecting people?

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Psalm 74:1 A special song by Asaph.
Why, God, do you keep rejecting us? Why does your anger rise like smoke against the sheep of your pasture?
King James
Psalm 74:1 <Maschil of Asaph.> O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever? why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?

What is God’s purpose in saving people?

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Psalm 74:2 Remember the people you purchased long ago, your very own, saved for Jerusalem where you live.
King James
Psalm 74:2 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.

What does an enemy gain by destroying our place of worship?

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Psalm 74:3–7 Walk to the Tabernacle left in ruin by the enemy who destroyed everything.
In the middle of your meeting place, your enemies raised their flags and roared. They were like men swinging axes to bring down a forest. With hatchets and axes, they smashed the carved woodwork into kindling. They burned your tabernacle to the ground and dishonored the place where you live.
King James
Psalm 74:3–7 Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary. Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs. A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees. But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers. They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.

Why are God’s enemies allowed to insult him?

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Psalm 74:8–10 Saying to themselves, Let’s totally crush them, they burned all the places of worship in the land. “We see no signs of God,” they said. “He has no prophets anywhere, and there’s no indication of one coming anytime soon.”
How long will your enemies defy you, God? Will they be allowed to insult you forever?
King James
Psalm 74:8–10 They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land. We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long. O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?

Why is God so slow in judging those who oppose him?

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Psalm 74:11 Why do you restrain your strong hand of judgment? What’s keeping you from destroying them right now?
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord isn’t slow in keeping his promise, not like some people think. He is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, giving time for everyone to repent.
King James
Psalm 74:11 Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

What reasons do we have to recognize God as King?

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Psalm 74:12 God, you have been my King for a long time, bringing deliverance to the land.
King James
Psalm 74:12 For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.

What is the difference between seeing Pharaoh’s army drowned in the Red Sea and reading about the event thousands of years later?

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Psalm 74:13–14 By your might, the Red Sea parted, and you crushed the Egyptian monsters in the water. You were the one who crushed the monsters and made them food for the desert creatures.
King James
Psalm 74:13–14 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

How difficult is it to see the hand of God at work in all creation?

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Psalm 74:15–17 You caused the springs to fill the streams and dried up the rivers that never stop flowing.
Day and night belong to you. You created the moon and stars and put the sun in place. You set Earth’s limits and defined the seasons with summer and winter.
King James
Psalm 74:15–17 Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou driedst up mighty rivers. The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.

What could cause God to forget the mockery and insults brought against him?

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Psalm 74:18 Remember, Lord, how your enemies have mocked and insulted you.
King James
Psalm 74:18 Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O Lord, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.

How does the praise of the poor and needy compare to the gratitude of others?

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Psalm 74:19–21 Don’t give the life of your doves to wild beasts. Never ignore the needs of your people. Remember your agreement with us, for cruel enemies lurk in Earth’s shadows. Don’t let the oppressed bow in shame. Let the poor and needy rise up to praise you.
Luke 7:47 Isn’t it obvious? Her sins were very great, so she is exceptionally grateful to be forgiven. Those who receive only a little forgiveness have little love to give.
King James
Psalm 74:19–21 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: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.
Luke 7:47 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

What can we gain by defending ourselves? What might we lose?

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Psalm 74:22–23 Come now and defend yourself, remembering the fools who scoff at you all the time. Don’t ignore your enemies’ shouting, for the uproar from those who oppose you keeps getting worse.
King James
Psalm 74:22–23 Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily. Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually.