Read: Psalm 79:1 – 7; Jeremiah 7:33, 10:25; 14:7; 32:18
The setting of Psalm 79 was most probably the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar. Compare Jeremiah 10:25 with Psalm 79:6 – 7– either Jeremiah quoted the psalmist, or the psalmist quoted Jeremiah. The trouble first described in Psalm 74 came to full flower in Psalm 79; the worst case scenario became reality.
Think About It: Can we ever really be prepared for the worst to happen? Was God still present for His people while the worst was happening?
Prayer: Lord, help me to trust You in every circumstance.
Read: Psalm 70:1 – 4; Micah 3:5 – 12
Psalm 79 has two parts. Part 1, verses 1 – 4, describes the terrible plight of the people. Part 2, verses 5 – 13, is the prayer of the people in their distress. The plight of the people involves the savage destruction of buildings, of human life, and of reputation.
Think About It: What is the most serious aspect of the people’s distress? Why is that?
Prayer: That God’s reputation would be enhanced by my life.
Read: Psalm 79:5 – 13; Psalm 74:1, 9
Psalm 79:5 begins the prayer for deliverance. The first request of that prayer was to know how long God’s wrath would endure. Suffering is more bearable if we know that it has an end. Hell is horrible in part because it involves suffering without end: “Where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.”
Think About It: The psalmist said that God’s jealousy burns like fire. What does God’s jealousy tell us about His relationship with His people? Why is jealousy wrong in humans, but appropriate for God?
Prayer: Lord, help my love for you to be my first and greatest love.
Read: Psalm 79:6 – 12; 2 Thessalonians 1:3 – 10; Daniel 5:17 – 30
The prayer for deliverance in Psalm 79 boldly requested that God visit His wrath on the persecutors of God’s people.
Think About It: Is this a “Christian” attitude towards persecutors– why or why not? What did happen to the Babylonians persecutors, and when?
Prayer: Lord, help me to leave vengeance against those who wrong me in Your hands.
Read: Psalm 79:8; Isaiah 64:9; 2 Chronicles 36:11 – 21
The terrible suffering reported in Psalm 79 had a root cause: it was God’s long-delayed discipline for the sin of His people.
Think About It: What sins was God disciplining? Did God visit His discipline without prior warning? Was there opportunity for people to repent and escape God’s discipline? Why did people not heed God’s warnings?
Prayer: Lord, help me to hear and heed Your warnings to repent.
Read: Psalm 79:9 -12; Psalm 25:11; Jeremiah 14:7
In 79:9 – 12 the Psalmist provided God with reasons why He should deliver His people. The first of these reasons was for the sake of God’s own name, for His reputation, based on His attributes and character.
Think About It: What other reasons are suggested for God’s deliverance in Psalm 79:9 – 12? What does this suggest to me about requests that I make of God in prayer?
Prayer: Lord, help me to pray according to Your nature and Your will.
Read: Psalm 79:13; Isaiah 43:14 – 25; Luke 17:12 – 19
In Psalm 79:13 the psalmist made a promise on behalf of the people to the Lord: that when they are delivered, they will thank Him and praise Him to all generations.
Think About It: How has God delivered me? Do I remember to thank Him? Do I praise Him to others? Why do people fail to be thankful?
Prayer: Thank God for all the things He has granted to me that I did not deserve and had no right to expect.