The Apple of His Eye ... commentary of Psalm 74
The Apple of His Eye
… A commentary of Psalm 74
Psalm 74:6 “But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers.”
“But now they break down”
There is a time to break down. There is a time to build up. We can read for the veracity of this truth in the book of Ecclesiastes in chapter three, verse three: “A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;” [Ecclesiastes 3:3]
God himself, is not adverse, to breaking things down, yea, even commanding Israel that it be done to all the gods of the nation’s surrounding them.
We see instances of these commands in the Second Book Moses called Exodus, chapter twenty-three: “Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them,and quite break down their images.” [Exodus 23:24] Break them down!
And again, located in same book in chapter thirty-four, verse thirteen: “But ye shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves:” [Exodus 34:13]
Break them down!
Also, in the Fifth Book Moses called Deuteronomy, chapter seven, verse five and chapter twelve, verse three: “But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.” [Deuteronomy 7:5]
Break them down!
“And ye shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.” [Deuteronomy 12:3]
Break them down!
But when Israel fails to obey these commands … in breaking down alters, in breaking down the images and in breaking down the groves from these other nations that surrounded them, then the corruption [in the eyes of the LORD] reaches the point of no return. That’s when God pulls the trigger and moves in to correct the situation by inviting these other nations to invade Israel and to bring judgment including to breaking down the carved work in the temple of God.
If they won’t cleanse themselves and their own people and their own land, then God will get the cleansing operation done through their enemies.
Now, why does God command such a thing?
Here is reason why; it’s for the purpose of the cleansing of the people and for the cleansing of the land, so that they, and their land, and their God can be in agreement, and in harmony, in accordance with God’s word.
· God is Holy!
· The people need to be holy!
· The land needs to be holy!
“For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” [Deuteronomy 7:6] also [14:2]
God wants to dwell among HIS people Israel!
Exodus 29:45: “And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.”
God [in the New Testament salvation] is to dwell in the heart of the believer in Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 3:17: “That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,”
…the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers.”
Now, back to this matter of breaking things down. It is sad, sad story when things go way when carved work needs to be destroyed. Think about it. To build something large, or intricate, or both is a process that:
· Requires A Vision
· Requires A Design
· Requires Engineering/Calculations
· Material Procurement
· Requires Construction Skill
Building is a beautiful, and noble endeavor, but takes TIME, PATIENCE, and FOCUS.
It took seven years to the first temple in Jerusalem. “And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.” [1 Kings 6:38]
It took years to re-build the city Jerusalem after seventy-year captivity of Israel by the Babylonians was over. [Nehemiah 2:17]
Now, fast forward to our time – in body of Christ – the church.
Building a believer in Jesus Christ takes grace, sanctification and time to grow. Acts 20:32: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.”
God’s word of his grace is able to build you! Go for it!
We are built on a sure foundation, according to the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” [Ephesians 2:20].
It takes studying the word of faith, and preaching, and teaching, and prayer to be built up in the LORD: “Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” [Colossians 2:7]
We are as lively stones built up as a spiritual house: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” [1 Peter 2:5]
But what took years of careful building in the Christian can be beguiled, snared, or suffer loss, or even result with being castaway because of the flesh, the world or the Devil.
Colossians 2:4: “And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words.”
1 Titus 6:9: “But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.”
1 Corinthians 3:15: “If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
1 Corinthians 9:27 “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
… But never broken down.
Break down is the term only used in reference to Israel and to the Gentile nations.
Watch this roll out before our very eyes [of faith] to Israel in the book of the Prophet Jeremiah, chapter thirty-one, verse twenty-eight: “And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.” [Jeremiah 31:28]
NOTICE and HEED: Building and planting operations are in the same verse along with the negative operations of to pluck, to breakdown, to destroy, and to afflict.
Again, in chapter forty-five, verse four, we find this: “Thus shalt thou say unto him, The LORD saith thus; Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land.” [Jeremiah 45:4]
The divided heart will be found out! Hebrews 10:31: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”
Hosea 10:2: “Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: he shall break down their altars, he shall spoil their images.”
Thus far, we have found this break down operation is to be performed by:
1. By Israel – was to break down the idols in the land to cleanse the land and the people of the land. It is really a matter of the heart.
2. By Israel’s enemies - when Israel failed to obey God concerning the idols, images and groves existing in the land and vying for the people’s hearts.
3. By another person who is very much interested in breaking things down is the BEAST that is soon to be revealed in the upcoming Tribulation that is coming to this earth.
We read of this beast in the book of Daniel, chapter seven. See verse twenty-three: “Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” [Daniel 7:23] This beast wants devour the whole earth. He is a destroyer!
4. By Jesus Christ: And lastly, we have a happy ending. The LORD HIMSELF will break down the implements of war as HE ushers in the Kingdom of Heaven … the one-thousand-year kingdom on this earth.Read in the book of the prophet Hosea, in chapter two, verse eighteen: “And in that day will I make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, and with the fowls of heaven, and with the creeping things of the ground: and I will break the bow and the sword and the battle out of the earth, and will make them to lie down safely.” [Hosea 2:18]