The appeal of the scattered heritage to the mighty God of Israel 

The scene is one of devastation and conquest. Synagogues and the Sanctuary had been burned and ruined, and the beauty of the interiors desecrated and pillaged. God’s people were slain, and the outlook, humanly speaking, was grim. 

But Asaph’s eye of faith would not be blinkered by the harsh facts. Faith marshalled its arguments before God, and a prayer of importunity persisted from the mouth of Asaph. He pleads a purchased, redeemed people; a God who is in covenant, and that the divine Name had been dishonoured and blasphemed by the enemy. Furthermore, he reminds the Lord of His omnipotence over nature, and His activity in the history of His people: the history of salvation and deliverance. We ought in these days, to use the very same arguments in prayer.

Psalm 79

   1  O God, the heathen entered have
         thine heritage; by them
      Defiled is thy house: on heaps
         they laid Jerusalem.

   2  The bodies of thy servants they
         have cast forth to be meat
      To rav'nous fowls; thy dear saints' flesh
         they gave to beasts to eat.

   3  Their blood about Jerusalem
         like water they have shed;
      And there was none to bury them
         when they were slain and dead.

   4  Unto our neighbors a reproach
         most base become are we;
      A scorn and laughingstock to them
         that round about us be.

   5  How long, Lord, shall thine anger last?
         wilt thou still keep the same?
      And shall thy fervent jealousy
         burn like unto a flame?

   6  On heathen pour thy fury forth,
         that have thee never known,
      And on those kingdoms which thy name
         have never called upon.

   7  For these are they who Jacob have
         devoured cruelly;
      And they his habitation
         have caused waste to lie.

   8  Against us mind not former sins;
         thy tender mercies show;
      Let them prevent us speedily,
         for we're brought very low.

   9  For thy name's glory help us, Lord,
         who hast our Savior been:
      Deliver us; for thy name's sake,
         O purge away our sin.

  10  Why say the heathen, where's their God?
         let him to them be known;
      When those who shed thy servants' blood
         are in our sight o'erthrown.

  11  O let the pris'ner's sighs ascend
         before thy sight on high;
      Preserve those in thy mighty pow'r
         that are designed to die.

  12  And to our neighbors' bosom cause
         it sev'n-fold rendered be,
      Ev'n the reproach wherewith they have,
         O Lord, reproached thee.

  13  So we thy folk, and pasture-sheep,
         shall give thee thanks always;
      And unto generations all
         we will show forth thy praise.

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