Author: Asaph, or one of his descendants. Probably written after the Babylonians had leveled Jerusalem (2 Kings 25).
Verse 1 – O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; Your holy temple they have defiled; they have laid Jerusalem in heaps.
The nations invaded Jerusalem in 586 B.C. and desecrated the temple.
Verse 2 – The dead bodies of Your servants, they have given as food for the birds of the heavens, the flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth.
Verse 3 – Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.
Verse 4 – We have become a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to those who are around us.
The enemy had devastated Jerusalem and it’s people to such a state that the bodies of the dead were laying as prey for the animals. They were being mocked and ridiculed, cursed, and shamed.
Verse 5 – How long Lord? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire?
Some don’t know that, when children of the Most High start putting their faith and trust in themselves or things, our loving God becomes jealous. The attention and focus to objects should never take the place of Jesus in our lives.
If you are married and your spouse starts giving all their attention to another and ignoring you, do you not become jealous? Well why would our loving Father not be jealous if we place our attention somewhere else?
Verse 6 – Pour out Your wrath on the nations that do not know You, and on the kingdoms that do not call on Your name.
In the Old Testament, God often poured out His judgment on entire nations because of the sin from the people of those nations. Here, in theses verses, Judah was the one being judged by God because they had sworn allegiance to God, but were now rejecting Him by what they were doing (2 Chronicles 36:14-20).
Verse 7 – For they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling place.
Verse 8 – Oh, do not remember former iniquities against us! Let Your tender mercies come speedily to meet us, for we have been brought very low.
Verse 9 – Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and deliver us, and provide atonement for our sins, for Your name’s sake.
Do you ever think about what others, that know God is your God, think when you have difficulties and are not quickly delivered? I do. I even had someone ask me one time; “Why has God, if your His child, allowed you to go through all you’ve been through, and not deliver you?” I had a hard time answering them, but I tried.
First I said, “I don’t know why all the things that happened were allowed to happen, but this one thing I do know, God’s a good God. He is still on the throne and no matter where this takes me, somehow He will turn it all around for my good.” It’s called faith in the One who controls my life in the palm of His hand. He knows the end from the beginning and it will all turn out alright.
Verse 10 – Why should the nations say, “Where is their God? Let there be known among the nations in our sight the avenging of the blood of Your servants which has been shed.
1 Peter 1:6 – In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while if need be, you have been grieved by various trials. 1 Peter 5:10 – But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. That is a promise for every believer.
There’s our answer; suffering for a little while will strengthen us in our faith; it will establish you and perfect that which Christ died and rose again for; and then we are established to be on a firm foundation, recognized and accepted.
So don’t be discouraged when trials continue. God is establishing us by setting our feet on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ!
Verse 11 – Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; according to the greatness of Your power, preserve those who are appointed to die;
Verse 12 – and return to our neighbors seven-fold into their bosom their reproach with which they have reproached You, O Lord.
Verse 13 – So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, will give You thanks forever; we will show forth Your praise to all generations.