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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

August 01 2023

Today, Tuesday August 01

“Deliver Us and Provide Atonement…”

Psalm 79:9-11 A Psalm of Asaph.

“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! 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. Let the groaning of the prisoner come before You; According to the greatness of Your power Preserve those who are appointed to die.”

The Asaph who wrote Psalm 79 lived in the time of Jeremiah the prophet when the Babylonians captured the city of Jerusalem and destroyed it. He is mourning over the terrible atrocities that have taken place and pleading with God to bring relief.

Yesterday we mentioned the long-term consequences of our sins as Asaph was asking God not to “remember former iniquities against us but instead send His tender mercies speedily to meet us, for we have been brought very low” (v. 8). God’s judgment for our sins can curse and impact our family for generations to come. But in the same way, our godly living can bless our future generations.

A good example of a godly family bringing great blessings on future generations is Jonathan and Sarah Edwards who lived in the early 1700’s in New England. Both of them lived very disciplined and godly lives. God blessed them with 11 children. Years later a reporter tracked down 1,400 of their descendants and found among them 80 college presidents, professors, and deans, 100 lawyers, 66 physicians, 80 political leaders, three senators, three governors, and countless preachers and missionaries!

I’m convinced that many of the wonderful blessings, freedoms, and prosperity that we have enjoyed in America are a carryover from our forefathers who founded this great nation on Biblical principles. But now our sins that have grown out of our pride, covetousness, greed, and forgetting and removing God from both our public and private lives is catching up with us. We are quickly losing the blessings and experiencing the curse of sin.

Galatians 6:7-8 states this very clearly: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.”

Today, in verses 9-12, we find Asaph interceding in prayer and pleading for God’s help. His concern was for the glory of God's name (vv. 9, 12), and he felt that a miraculous deliverance for Judah would accomplish that, but no deliverance came. Asaph was quick to confess his own sins and the sins of his contemporaries, for it was not only their ancestors who had disobeyed the Lord (v. 8). (Psalms 25:11, 31:3, 65:3, and 78:38.)

In ancient days, a nation's victory was proof that its gods were stronger than the gods of the enemy, so the Babylonians taunted the Jews and asked, "Where is your God?" (v. 10) (See Psalm 42:3, 10; 115:2.) Moses used this same argument when he pled with God to forgive the nation (Ex. 32:12; Num. 14:13).

Asaph was also concerned about the justice of God. Twice he mentioned the pouring out of blood (vv. 3, 10), the slaughter of people, for the blood was very sacred to the Jews (Lev. 17). The shedding of animal blood at the altar at least covered the sins of the worshipers, but to what purpose was the shedding of so much human blood?

In verse 11, he prayed on the basis of the Lord's great compassion, perhaps remembering Jehovah's words to Moses (Ex. 33:12-23, Deut. 32:36). God had felt the burdens of the Jews when He called Moses to lead them out of Egypt (Ex. 2:24-25, 6:1-9), so surely, He would have pity on the prisoners and those ready to die.

The cross of Jesus Christ is for us today the only evidence we need that God loves us (Rom. 5:8). God has provided the “great atonement for our sins” (v. 9), and for His name’s sake He will forgive us and bring healing to our souls and even to our nation if we will repent and believe!

God bless!

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