Psalm 74: How Long, O God? An Ancient Prayer for Israel Today

Psalm 74: How Long, O God? An Ancient Prayer for Israel Today

Psalm 74 is a prayer of Asaph from 586 BC when Babylon came and destroyed Solomon’s Temple and Jerusalem. However, like many of the Psalms, they are prayers that Israel can pray now and we can pray for Israel. Let’s dig in…

Psalm 74

O God, why have you rejected us so long?
    Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture?
Remember that we are the people you chose long ago,
    the tribe you redeemed as your own special possession!
    And remember Jerusalem, your home here on earth.
Walk through the awful ruins of the city;
    see how the enemy has destroyed your sanctuary.

There your enemies shouted their victorious battle cries;
    there they set up their battle standards.
They swung their axes
    like woodcutters in a forest.
With axes and picks,
    they smashed the carved paneling.
They burned your sanctuary to the ground.
    They defiled the place that bears your name.
Then they thought, “Let’s destroy everything!”
    So they burned down all the places where God was worshiped.

We no longer see your miraculous signs.
    All the prophets are gone,
    and no one can tell us when it will end.
10 How long, O God, will you allow our enemies to insult you?
    Will you let them dishonor your name forever?
11 Why do you hold back your strong right hand?
    Unleash your powerful fist and destroy them.

12 You, O God, are my king from ages past,
    bringing salvation to the earth.
13 You split the sea by your strength
    and smashed the heads of the sea monsters.
14 You crushed the heads of Leviathan
    and let the desert animals eat him.
15 You caused the springs and streams to gush forth,
    and you dried up rivers that never run dry.
16 Both day and night belong to you;
    you made the starlight and the sun.
17 You set the boundaries of the earth,
    and you made both summer and winter.

18 See how these enemies insult you, Lord.
    A foolish nation has dishonored your name.
19 Don’t let these wild beasts destroy your turtledoves.
    Don’t forget your suffering people forever.

20 Remember your covenant promises,
    for the land is full of darkness and violence!
21 Don’t let the downtrodden be humiliated again.
    Instead, let the poor and needy praise your name.

22 Arise, O God, and defend your cause.
    Remember how these fools insult you all day long.
23 Don’t overlook what your enemies have said
    or their growing uproar.

Psalm 74 NLT

Kidnapped from Israel

As I’m writing this, the kidnapped hostages taken to Gaza against their will on October 7, 2023, are slowly coming home to their families in Israel or respective countries. As it turns out, this psalm was written by someone who experienced something very similar. Pastor Sandy Adams explains…

The year was 586 BC. On July 18, of that year King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian army breached Jerusalem’s walls and invaded the city. Eighteen days later, on August 6, the Babylonians burned the sacred Temple to the ground…

Psalm 74 was written by a Jew who was taken prisoner to Babylon. He’s writing from a broken heart. Tears stain the parchments. Regret fills his heart over the plight of his people and the reputation of his God…

God delivered Israel from Egypt. He can bring the nation out of Babel.

Sandy Adams

Satan the Serpent

Ever since the Fall of Man in Genesis 3, Satan, the slithering, sneaky, serpent (Leviathan) tries again and again to hurt humans. Especially, God’s chosen people, the Jews. Whether it’s by antisemitism or evil people who steal, kill and destroy, Satan will keep on trying.

I watched a documentary on the Holocaust and a survivor called what the Nazi’s did “infinite evil”. I immediately thought, that person hasn’t read the Book of Revelation. God — Jesus — wins the battle against evil. It is definitely NOT infinite. There will be an end to evil!

Jesus is the Temple

The first temple was destroyed in 586 BC. Subsequently, the rebuilt temple, along with King Herod’s, embellishments, was destroyed in 70 AD. Yet, a 3rd temple will be built in time for the Antichrist to desecrate it. That’s the “the sacrilegious object that causes desecration” that Jesus, quoting Daniel, talks about in Matthew 24. Then there will be a final temple of the Millennial Reign as described by the Prophet Ezekiel.

Ultimately, in the New Heaven and the New Earth, there won’t be a temple because Jesus will be the Temple.

Right now, there is no temple in Israel for the Jews. Nevertheless, God gave us His Son, Jesus Christ — Yeshua Ha’Mashiach — our Savior to be our Temple. The folks at Spoken Gospel provide some insight…

Jesus says he is the true temple of God (John 2:20–22). Jesus is how God will be present with and communicate to his people.

But Jesus also says that he, as God’s new embodied temple, will be destroyed. He will repeat the temple’s destruction by Babylon in his own body. The first temple was destroyed because of Israel’s failure. Likewise Jesus’ body would be destroyed because of his people’s sins. On the cross Jesus would experience the divine silence and rejection of God (Matthew 27:46). And for a time God’s enemies seemed more powerful than God’s promises. But Jesus rose from the dead. Unlike the temple, he would never be destroyed again. God’s reputation is secure; he is more powerful than both the weight of Israel’s sins and death itself. And since Jesus will never die again, God’s presence and our communication with God can never die either.

Spoken Gospel

Future Hope for Israel is in Jesus

As born-again Christians, we study the Bible and when we read the Book of Revelation, we are assured and comforted that Jesus wins in the end. That’s laid out in Revelation 19 and 20. All believers — as well as the saved Jews — will live in peace with the King of kings for 1000 years.

As we pray the Psalms over Israel, we also need to pray for Shalom — peace — a peace that is rooted in both Jew and Muslim knowing Jesus as their Messiah. Pray for open doors to spread the Gospel.

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."

Do YOU Know Jesus?

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

The Return of the Captives to Israel

Hymn of Heaven

Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be The Glory!

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