The Apple of His Eye - Psalm 74The Apple of His Eye ... commentary of Psalm 74

The Apple of His Eye
… A commentary of Psalm 74

Verse Four

Psalm 74:4 “Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns for signs.”

“Thine enemies roar… 

This is reference to the future judgement of God on the house of Israel by “the nations from far,” and “from the end of the earth”

There is the judgment of the house Israel that was near … in the prophet Jeremiah’s day [B.C. 607].  Israel would be taken into captivity for seventy years by the king of Babylon, and then return to the land: “And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.” [Jeremiah 25:11]

But there is also, the judgment of the house of Israel that was afar off.   This is the future judgment of the house of Israel along with all the nations of the earth in the Great Tribulation [beyond A.D. 2021]. 

The prophet Isaiah prophesies of this judgment in the book of Isaiah, in chapter five, verses twenty-four through twenty-eight. 

Now, let’s read there: “Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

Therefore is the anger of the LORD kindled against his people, and he hath stretched forth his hand against them, and hath smitten them: and the hills did tremble, and their carcases were torn in the midst of the streets.

For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly: None shall be weary nor stumble among them; none shall slumber nor sleep; neither shall the girdle of their loins be loosed, nor the latchet of their shoes be broken:

Whose arrows are sharp, and all their bows bent, their horses' hoofs shall be counted like flint, and their wheels like a whirlwind: [Isaiah 5:24-28]

The enemies roaring is like a lion.  They close in for the kill.

 Back to our text:Their roaring shall be like a lion, they shall roar like young lions: yea, they shall roar, and lay hold of the prey, and shall carry it away safe, and none shall deliver it. And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look unto the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.” [Isaiah 5:29-30]

Now there is more than one lion in the Bible.

a.        The “Lion of Juda” is Jesus Christ in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ in chapter five and verse five: “And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.” [Revelation 5:5]

b.       The “wicked” of Psalms ten, twenty-two and fifty-seven, are all likened to as to a lion.

c.        A “wicked ruler” in Proverbs twenty-eight, verse twenty-eight, is likened to as a lion in Proverbs twenty-eight.

d.       The “nations” are likened to as a lion: pointing to verse twenty-nine:  the book of Isaiah, chapter five, verse twenty-six: “And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:” [Isaiah 5:26]

e.       The “evil from the north” is likened to a lion, in the book of Jeremiah, chapter four, verse six and seven: “Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.
The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.” [Jeremiah 4:6-7]

f.         His “heritage” is likened to as a lion, in the book of Jeremiah, chapter twelve, verse eight: “Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it crieth out against me: therefore have I hated it.” [Jeremiah 12:8]

g.        The “heathen” is like a lion as found in the book of Jeremiah chapter forty-nine, verse nineteen, also see verse fourteen: “Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong: but I will suddenly make him run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?” [Jeremiah 49:19]

h.       God [seemingly] as a lion in the book of the Lamentations, chapter three, verse ten: “He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places.” [Lamentations 3:10]   Also, in the book of Hosea chapter five, verse fourteen: “For I will be unto Ephraim as a lion, and as a young lion to the house of Judah: I, even I, will tear and go away; I will take away, and none shall rescue him.” [Hosea 5:14] Also, in the book of Hosea, chapter eleven, verse ten: “They shall walk after the LORD: he shall roar like a lion: when he shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west.” [Hosea 11:10] [See also: 13:7, 8.]

i.         Israel’s prophets as like a roaring lion in the book of Ezekiel, chapter twenty-two, verse twenty-five: There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey; they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; they have made her many widows in the midst thereof.” [Ezekiel 22:25]

j.         The first of the beasts in book of Daniel, chapter seven, verse four: The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.” [Daniel 7:4] [Also, Revelation 4:7.]

k.        Israel’s leaders are likened as to lions in the book of Zephaniah, chapter three, and verse three: Her princes within her are roaring lions; her judges are evening wolves; they gnaw not the bones till the morrow.” [Zephaniah 3:3]

The Lion

l.         The Devil as a roaring lion in the First Epistle according to the Apostle Peter, chapter five, verse eight:Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” [1Peter 5:8].

m.      The “locusts” teeth as the teeth of lions in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, chapter nine, verse eight: “And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.” [Revelation 9:8]

n.       The “beast” has as the mouth of a lion in the book of the revelation of Jesus Christ: “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” [Revelation 13:2]

Thine enemies roar “…in the midst of thy congregations;”

1.       It is an inside job.  The enemies are in the midst.

If a nation has God with them, then no outside enemy can ever take them down captive or destroy them.  They will win every time – hands down!

If a nation departs, it’s because the battle was lost within [it’s a matter of the heart], now if they depart from God, that nation most assuredly will collapse.

The temple has breaches in the walls.

You have breaches in your house.

Your house needs repair.


Turn to the Second Book of The Kings, chapter twelve, verse seven:Then king Jehoash called for Jehoiada the priest, and the other priests, and said unto them, Why repair ye not the breaches of the house? now therefore receive no more money of your acquaintance, but deliver it for the breaches of the house.” [2 Kings 12:7

Go deeper!

Yea, it is more important: You have breaches in your heart.

You need repair.


You have lost your first love.

   “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” [Revelation 2:4]

I have not left you!  You left me!  Return!  Put away whatever is coming between us!

…they set up their ensigns for signs.”


2.       They signal for the kill.

Let me back up here.  I am old United States Navy sailor and something comes to my mind. 

There is a maritime example for this.  The use of flags or ensigns is a method to signal to other ships in the times of radio silence.  An ensign is a sign.  A sign signals a message.  Each flag signals or represents a unique message. 

For example, a few of the International Code of Signals is as follows:



Navy Meaning

International Meaning



I am taking in, discharging, or carrying dangerous cargo.




"Yes" or "affirmative".




I am maneuvering with difficulty; keep clear.




I am directing my course to starboard.




Coming alongside.

I am directing my course to port.



I wish to communicate with you.




You should stop your vessel immediately.




No or negative.




You are running into danger.




I require assistance.




Ship has visual communications duty.

I am dragging anchor.


Now, there are other flags used for signaling in maritime operations by other persons.

Mind you, there are others plying the seas of the world that are up to no good.  These may be called the pirates of the world that seek the souls of men, and these pirates fly a signal flag or an ensign with a sign of death.  They call it the Jolly Roger.   These pirates are the enemies that are the minions for the E-N-E-M-Y of whom we have already identified in the above: THE DEVIL.

 Now, pirates do not fly the Jolly Roger at all times. Like other vessels, the pirate ships are usually equipped with a variety of flags, and will often normally fly a false flag or one with no colors until they have their prey within their firing range.  

When the pirates' intended victim was within range, the Jolly Roger would then be raised, often simultaneously with a warning shot.   Then the prey is all done!!!

Now, a false flag operation is an act committed with the intent of disguising the actual source of responsibility and pinning blame on a second party.

Here is an instance of the use of a false flag and it is located for us to see in the book of First Kings, chapter eighteen: Do you remember Ahab calling Elijah a troubler of Israel“And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?” [1Kings 18:17]  

But the truth was really this: In fact, it was the polar opposite: the true troubler of Israel was Ahab. 

Run the Jolly Roger up on him!  Read the next verse: “And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.” [1 Kings18:18]

Now we understand what it means when they set up their ensigns.  It is for signs!

·         In the book of Numbers, chapter two, verse two: This ensign or flag was to identify the tribe: “Every man of the children of Israel shall pitch by his own standard, with the ensign of their father's house: far off about the tabernacle of the congregation shall they pitch.” [Numbers 2:2]

·         In the book of Isaiah, chapter five, verse twenty-six: This ensign or flag was to call the nations to the attack: “And he will lift up an ensign to the nations from far, and will hiss unto them from the end of the earth: and, behold, they shall come with speed swiftly:” [Isaiah 5:26].

·         In the book of Isaiah, chapter eleven, verse ten and twelve: This ensign or flag was to show the Gentiles seventh millennia has initiated: behold the Kingdom of Heaven: “And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.” [Isaiah 11:10]  “And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” [Isaiah 11:12]

·         In the book of Isaiah, chapter eighteen, verse three: This ensign or flag was to notify the inhabitants of the world that the Tribulation has arrived: “All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye.” [Isaiah 18:3]

·         In the book of Isaiah, chapter thirty, verse seventeen, and in the book of Zechariah, chapter nine, verse sixteen: This ensign, or flag, was to tell people of the household of Israel that he will bring them through the trouble: “One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.” [Isaiah 30:17] “And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.” [Zechariah 9:16]

·         In the book of Isaiah, chapter thirty-one, verse nine: This ensign or flag was to signify to the Assyrian that God is moving; You had better fear!: “And he shall pass over to his strong hold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign saith the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.” [Isaiah 31:9]