Darby's Bible Synopsis
Psalm 74 complains of the hostile desolation of the sanctuary, when rebuilt in the land. God's enemies, as faith here calls them, roar in the congregations. Man's ensigns, not God's, are the signs of power. All public Jewish worship was laid low. Not only this what might have been a comfort in such a time fails. There are no signs from God to meet it, no prophets, none that know how long (know, that is, by the teaching of God, when He will come in in power). Still there is here faith that God will not forsake His people, and that word, How long? if there be no answer as to it, turns into a cry. It cannot be for ever. God's faithfulness is trusted in. Heretofore He had smitten Egypt and delivered His people through a divided sea. All power in creation was His. The enemy had reproached the name of Jehovah. Israel is still held to be, in the remnant, as God's turtledove. He is entreated to have respect to the covenant, for the dark places of the earth (or land) are full of the habitations of cruelty. The oppressed, the poor, the needy, are, as ever, presented to the eye and heart of God. We have them ever come before us as those of whom God thinks, in whom Christ delighted in the land. And so it is even as to the spirit we have to be of. He calls on God to arise and plead His own cause. The tumult of those who rose up against Him daily increased. While looked at as the poor and oppressed, it is remarkable how faith identifies the interests of the godly remnant and of God, and pleads their cause with Him. It is spoken of as from without. God is addressed: only God is reminded that His name in Israel has been blasphemed. This name recalls (Psalm 74:19-20) the covenant relationship with, and tender love of Jehovah towards, His people.
Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt.
Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.
Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs.
A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees.
But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers.
They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground.
They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all the synagogues of God in the land.
We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.
O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?
Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom.
For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth.
Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters.
Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou driedst up mighty rivers.
The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun.
Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter.
Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.
O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever.
Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.
O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name.
Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily.
Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually.