79:1 O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
79:2 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.
79:3 They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.
79:4 We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.
79:5 How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?
79:6 Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call on your name.
79:7 For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation.
79:8 Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.
79:9 Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake.
There comes a time in a life of a believer when we are able to reveal if our hearts are truly in line with living in obedience to God. When a Christian is confronted with sin, we are all called to ask the question if we are truly going to give up our sin, or live or the world.
This is a Psalm that is revealing the heart of one who is sincerely mournful over their sin. There is a genuine cry for God’s Grace to be poured into their lives and for sin be erased. There is a longing for God’s wrath to be lifted from their midst, and for God to also judge those who have overtaken God’s people.
When we come before God with a heart that is filled with repentance, God is eager and willing to extend His hand of Grace and forgiveness towards us. Our hearts must first be at a point when we are mourning over our sin and understanding that God has the right to enact His righteous judgement in our lives. It is seeing that we are lost and are worthless and in desperate need of a Savior.
The Psalmist displays for us a heart that is truly repentant. We too should follow this kind of example and examine our own hearts when we are faced with sin. As Christians, when confronted with our wrongs, our response should be to repent and seek out God’s forgiveness and Grace. He is the one that can erase our sin, replace it with a new and clean heart that is ready to pursue holy, righteous living through His strength.
This psalm appears to have been written while God’s people were taken captive in Babylon. God had told Israel that He was going to remove His protection from them because they refused to repent from worshiping other gods. They are reaping the rewards for their unrepentant hearts. However, the Psalmist does not know that God was listening to the prayers of His people and He would soon deliver them from captivity. God heeded the prayer of the Psalmist.
Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.
Sometimes we feel like the Lord is not listening to us. We want an expedient answer to our prayers. But do not grow weary in your prayers because the Lord is listening to you call. He will never abandon you.
[Featured image from theversesproject.com]