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Psalm 79 Feb. 15 A Psalm by Asaph.  1God, the nations have come into Your inheritance, they have defiled Your holy temple, they have laid Jerusalem in heaps. 2They have given the dead bodies of Your servants to be food for the birds of the sky, the flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the land. 3Their blood they have shed like water around Jerusalem, there was no one to bury them. 4We have become a reproach to our neighbours, a scoffing and derision to those who are around us. 5How long, Yahweh? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire? 6Pour out Your wrath on the nations that don’t know You, on the kingdoms that don’t call on Your name; 7for they have devoured Jacob, and destroyed his homeland. 8Don’t hold the iniquities of our forefathers against us; let Your tender mercies speedily meet us, for we are in desperate need. 9Help us, God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name. Deliver us and forgive our sins, for Your name’s sake. 10Why should the nations say, Where is their God? Let it be known among the nations, before our eyes, that vengeance for Your servants’ blood is being poured out. 11Let the sighing of the prisoner come before You. According to the greatness of Your power, preserve those who are sentenced to death. 12Pay back to our neighbours seven times into their lap their reproach with which they have reproached You, Lord. 13So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, will give You thanks forever. We will praise You forever, to all generations.    


79:8 Don’t hold the iniquities of our forefathers against us- Ez. 18 criticizes the Jews at the time of the destruction of the temple (:1) for complaining that their sufferings were because of their fathers’ sins, and God rejoins that this wasn’t the case, He was punishing that generation for their actual personal sins.  But Asaph was under the impression that his generation were relatively innocent; likewise his complaint that he doesn’t know “how long” the sufferings would last appears to reveal an ignorance of Jer. 25:11,12; 29:10. See on 74:9. We can get some things wrong, be wilfully ignorant of others in our self-justification; and yet still be counted by God as faithful, just as Asaph was. And we must remember this in managing our irritations with others’ spiritual immaturity.
79:9 Because of how God is, as revealed in His Name of Yahweh, because mercy and forgiveness are paramount within the texture of His very personality which His Name reveals (Ex. 34:4-6)… therefore, we should repent. Reflection on the Name inspired Asaph’s faith in forgiveness and thus helped his repentance. It did the same for David (25:11) and for Jeremiah (Jer. 14:7,21), and it can do so for us too. Because God’s Name proclaims God as above all merciful and forgiving, therefore we should repent and ask for forgiveness.