Chapter 79

This psalm, if penned with any particular event in view, is with most probability made to refer to the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple, and the woeful havoc made of the Jewish nation by the Chaldeans under Nebuchadnezzar. It is set to the same tune, as I may say, with the Lamentations of Jeremiah, and that weeping prophet borrows two verses out of it (Ps. 79:6, 7) and makes use of them in his prayer, Jer. 10:25. Some think it was penned long before by the spirit of prophecy, prepared for the use of the church in that cloudy and dark day. Others think that it was penned then by the spirit of prayer, either by a prophet named Asaph or by some other prophet for the sons of Asaph. Whatever the particular occasion was, we have here, I. A representation of the very deplorable condition that the people of God were in at this time, Ps. 79:1-5. II. A petition to God for succour and relief, that their enemies might be reckoned with (Ps. 79:6, 7, 10, 12), that their sins might be pardoned (Ps. 79:8, 9), and that they might be delivered, Ps. 79:11. III. A plea taken from the readiness of his people to praise him, Ps. 79:13. In times of the church’s peace and prosperity this psalm may, in the singing of it, give us occasion to bless God that we are not thus trampled on and insulted. But it is especially seasonable in a day of treading down and perplexity, for the exciting of our desires towards God and the encouragement of our faith in him as the church’s patron.