Psalm 79: Mercy for Jerusalem

Why did God allow foreigners to invade the land promised to his people?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 79:1 A song of Asaph.
Foreigners have invaded your land, God. They defiled your Temple and left Jerusalem in ruin.
King James
Psalm 79:1 <A Psalm of Asaph.> O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.

Why did God’s servants die tragically?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 79:2–3 Your dead servants have been left for the vultures and wild beasts. In Jerusalem, their blood was poured out like water, and no one was there to bury them.
King James
Psalm 79:2–3 The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth. Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and there was none to bury them.

What can cause Christians to be “targets of ridicule”? Is this good or bad? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 79:4 We’re the target of laughter and ridicule, an embarrassment to our neighbors.
King James
Psalm 79:4 We are become a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.

How can we distinguish God’s anger from the “rain” that falls on both the just and the unjust?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 79:5 How long will you remain angry with us, Lord? Will your flames of jealousy burn forever?
King James
Psalm 79:5 How long, Lord? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy burn like fire?

What does it mean to “acknowledge” God?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 79:6 Pour out your wrath on the people who don’t acknowledge you, who don’t look to you for guidance.
Proverbs 3:6 Let the Lord guide everything you do, and he will keep you on the right path.
King James
Psalm 79:6 Pour out thy wrath upon the heathen that have not known thee, and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy name.
Proverbs 3:6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

What should people do in the midst of tragedy?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 79:7 They have devoured Jacob and made his home a wasteland.
King James
Psalm 79:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

How can we avoid punishment for our sins?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 79:8 Don’t hold our past sins against us. Greet us with compassion and mercy, for we are in desperate need.
King James
Psalm 79:8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

Why might we mistake a blessing for a curse, or vice versa?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 79:8 Don’t hold our past sins against us. Greet us with compassion and mercy, for we are in desperate need.
King James
Psalm 79:8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

What does God gain by forgiving sin?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 79:9–11 To honor yourself and maintain your great reputation, Savior God, forgive our sins and deliver us.
Don’t let unbelievers say, “Where’s their God? We don’t see him anywhere.” Make your presence obvious by avenging the blood of your servants.
Hear the death-row prisoners’ groaning, and with your mighty power save them from execution.
King James
Psalm 79:9–11 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? let him be known among the heathen in our sight by the revenging of the blood of thy servants which is shed. Let the sighing of the prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou those that are appointed to die;

What distinguishes a believer from an unbeliever?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 79:12 Pay back unbelievers seven times the amount of reproach they have placed upon you.
King James
Psalm 79:12 And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord.

Why should they be punished in much greater measure than their offenses?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 79:12 Pay back unbelievers seven times the amount of reproach they have placed upon you.
King James
Psalm 79:12 And render unto our neighbours sevenfold into their bosom their reproach, wherewith they have reproached thee, O Lord.

Are Christians always thankful, praising God? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 79:13 We are your people, like sheep in your pasture, always thankful and praising you from generation to generation.
King James
Psalm 79:13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.