A maskil of Asaph.
O God, why have you rejected us forever? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture? Remember the nation you purchased long ago, the people of your inheritance, whom you redeemed—Mount Zion, where you dwelt. Turn your steps toward these everlasting ruins, all this destruction the enemy has brought on the sanctuary. Your foes roared in the place where you met with us; they set up their standards as signs. They behaved like men wielding axes to cut through a thicket of trees. They smashed all the carved paneling with their axes and hatchets. They burned your sanctuary to the ground; they defiled the dwelling place of your Name. They said in their hearts, “We will crush them completely!” They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land. We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be. How long will the enemy mock you, God? Will the foe revile your name forever? Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them.
The divided heart of King Solomon led to the division of Israel. After his death civil war split the country in two—Israel in the north and Judah in the south. The Assyrians conquered Israel in 722 BC and took the people captive. In 586 BC Judah fell to the Babylonians. This psalm describes the destruction of Jerusalem.
God’s people turned their backs on Him. Again and again He sent prophets to get their attention and warn them of coming doom, but each time they mocked the messengers. Like a loving father disciplines his children, God brought the Babylonians into play. They smashed the beautifully carved paneling of the temple and set it on fire. “They burned every place where God was worshiped in the land.”
As it was in the land of Israel, so it is in our lives. The solemn truth is this: We will reap what we sow. Sow obedience and reap God’s blessing.
Father, remind me often of that solemn truth. Help me to sow the things today that will grow great blessing in my life tomorrow. In Jesus’ name. Amen.