Psalm 79 Commentary

Psalm 79 Commentary

The psalm reflects on the events of 587 BC when Jerusalem was flattened by Babylon. God hates sin. The fate of the Canaanites had finally become the fate of Israel. The reason is simple: Israel was indistinguishable from the Canaanites who the LORD destroyed because of idolatry.

The psalmist petitions the throne of grace for mercy.

This psalm is important because it gives us the heart of the saint in times of wholesale judgment. Firstly, the saint is affected when the LORD swings the axe on the sinful community. He reacts by reaching out to the LORD in prayer. This is important. Don’t let your tears fall to the ground. Lay prostrate in the presence of God.

“Do not hold against us the sins of past generations,” He prays. Communities or individuals can benefit from the righteousness of past generations. They can equally suffer as a consequence of past ungodliness. What a man does is important both in the present and in the future.

We know from the Books of Kings and Chronicles that Jerusalem survived for such a long period because the LORD kept on remembering David. Won’t the righteousness of the man Jesus Christ count more in the favor of those that have taken sides with him?

The scripture brings us these thoughts as we reflect on humanity’s fate in the face of the final judgment. And we know the LORD answered the psalmist’s prayer at Calvary. Here the sins of past generations, including our own are forgiven. They no longer count against us. Mercy has come quickly to meet us. And we are no longer in desperate need. The redeemed of the LORD can say so.

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Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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