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Psalms 73-83


A Devotional Journey   
     led by Dr Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
        Psalm 73 addresses the question of why the wicked seem to prosper and the righteous seem to suffer.   It is linked in many regards to Psalm 49.
        Psalm 74 is a prayer for God's help both in the prospect of physical violence and the face of emotional abuse.  This psalm appears to date from the time of the exile in Babylon (586 B.C.).
        Psalm 75 is a song of reassurance to be sung by people under threat of attack from their political enemies.  It is thought to come from the time of the Assyrians (730 B.C.).
        Psalm 76 celebrates God's protection of the holy city of Jerusalem.  This song may relate to the time of the Assyrians -- particularly the point when Sennacherib's army was decimated by God's intervention and had to abandon its attack (2 Kings 19:35).
        Psalm 77 summarizes how God has worked in the writer's life.  The song opens with a reminiscence of a past prayer for  God's help and ends an affirmation of His abundant and decisive answer.
        Psalm 78 is a reminder of Israel's past sins and a warning not to repeat them.  The basis of present trust is most commonly depicted in the Psalms as the past actions and faithfulness of God.
        Psalm 79 dates from the time of the exile to Babylon and is a prayer for God's mercy and forgiveness.  Taken with Psalm 77, which details God's saving actions under Moses, and Psalm 78 which details God's saving actions under David, this psalm is particularly moving.
        Psalm 80-83 are more psalms regarding national life and God's place in it.  They deal in turn with help after the exile, rejoicing in a new era (perhaps after the exile), and calling down God's judgment on pagan nations and their rulers.
        We live in a world of consequences.  The Good News is that no matter what consequence we deserve, nothing can be as severe as the consequence from which God himself has saved us through Christ's death on the Cross.  Therefore, we can be assured that He will be with us in any other king!
        Think of something for which you need God's forgiveness today.  Then consider what this sin has resulted in your life.  Ask God to help you even with the consequences of your sin and remember that He did that very thing for the people of Israel who could later sing about this salvation, and that He has continued to help people who do not deserve it throughout all periods of history -- including our own. 
        Let God help you make a new start.
© A. Eugene Pearson 2010