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 Ten

Psalm 74:10: “O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?”

Enemy?  Adversary? 

Earlier, in this commentary [in verse three] we identified this enemy, and this adversary.

The enemy here is Satan.  The adversary here is Satan.

…how long?

How long? A man asks.

Asaph asks in the Spirit, [in his day, B.C. 1048] yet not for himself, but for a day that is still yet coming, even in our future for us here today [A.D. 2021]: “O God, how long shall the adversary reproach?” 

Now, Asaph has been transported into the future by the Spirit of God, and sees the reproach by this adversary … this enemy to God, and to His people Israel, the apple of His eye.

But, before we consider this reproach by the adversary, we need to consider the existence of a universal marvel where men ask: God, how long?

For instance, a man makes an inquiry.  He asks God how long shall he live on this earth?  God answers the man in this manner.   His life is likened to something that is very, very brief: A man’s life is to have an expanse of time as a vapor.

This man responds: Tell me more about this vapor.

Alright, saith the Spirit of God through HIS Apostle [in the Epistle of James]:

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” [James 4:14]

Then, the man [like all men] makes further inquiry of God: What is the span in years for the little time I have to live my life here on this earth? 

Now, this man receives his answer, from the word of God, in the book of the Psalms:

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” [Psalm 90:10]

Notice, the manner in the way all men frame their questions to God.  It shows we only care about ourselves: How long shall we live?  That we care not for God, nor for the glory of God.  We are only concerned for self 

Now, the Devil has man’s number!    See for this the indictment of Job [and not just for Job but for all of us], in the book of Job, chapter two, verse four:

“And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life.” [Job 2:4]   This indictment indeed hangs over all of us here today!

But listen to me: If a man fears God, he will be the same man that is drawn to God.

If a man is drawn to God, this man will hunger for God … he will hunger to know God.  

If a man hungers to know God, then he will be a man who has left off from the mere addressing God in the impersonal manner: How long?  

Rather this will have happened.  He will be the man that is moved into the realm of a one-on-one personal relationship with the HOLY GOD through a supernatural adoption seen in the book of Galatians, chapter four, verse six:   

“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.” [Galatians 4:6]

What we have here is the intimate crying out: O God!  O God!  O God!  How long will you let this thing go on? 

What is important to God, now become important to me

God’s opinions, therefore, becomes more important than my opinions!  Can you see this?

The very framing of my thoughts, even the framing of all my questions in life are no longer directed to the benefit of myself, but are now directed to another … toward Jesus Christ, the SON of GOD.  It is explained like this: 

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” [John 3:30]

As I grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, a change comes:

God’s thoughts slowly become my thoughts.  I want to abide with HIM like the song says:

“Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.

When other helpers fail and comforts flee,

Help of the helpless, O abide with me.” [Henry Francis Lyte]

This is also, the abode of the psalmist, Asaph.

For the psalmist asked:

“LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?

How long shall they utter and speak hard things? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?” [Psalm 94:3, 4]

The prophet Isaiah asked:

“Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,” [Isaiah 6:11]

The prophet Jeremiah asked:

How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end.” [Jeremiah 12:4]

“O thou sword of the LORD, how long will it be ere thou be quiet? put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest, and be still.” [Jeremiah 47:6]

The prophet Daniel asked:

“Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” [Daniel 8:13]

Habakkuk, the prophet in desperation asked:

“O LORD, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!” [Habakkuk 1:2]

The prophet Zechariah seeking mercy for Judah asked:

“Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?” [Zechariah 1:12]

In the Revelation of Jesus Christ [in chapter six] we see the souls of them under the altar that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony:

“And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” [Revelation 6:10]

O God: How long? 

Till Jesus Christ brings in the regeneration [Matthew 19:28] the Kingdom of Heaven:

“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” [Daniel 7:27]

Back to our verse [verse ten]: “O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever?”

Swearing Like A Sailor

“…blaspheme thy name…”

Swear Like a Sailor

In the Epistle of Paul, the Apostle to the Corinthians, chapter fifteen, verse thirty-three, we have this sure principle:

“Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.” [1 Corinthians 15:33]

 Here is an illustration: In 1806, a Massachusetts sea captain, Christopher Prince (1751-1832) wrote down all of his exploits and experiences during the time of the American Revolution.  

Christopher Prince was raised in a Christian home.  While still yet a youth in his first voyage at sea as a sailor, he morally gravitated downhill to an almost certain damnation. Christopher Prince learned to swear like a sailor.

The following is part of his narrative.  We quote:

“After experiencing many of these trials, which I bore for some time with Christian patience, I at last gave way and for the first time in all my life I uttered a profane word. As soon as it had proceeded out of my lips, it filled my heart with anguish. I could not refrain from weeping aloud. All on board heard and saw me crying, and supposed it was because I had not caught but few fish, when they all had caught many. For many days I wept in private for what I had said. But not long after that I was several times placed in the same situation and repeated the same words without any remorse of conscience; and thus, I continued again and again until it was done without a thought I had done wrong. I soon neglected prayer entirely and reading the Bible.” [2]

[2] Prince, Christopher, Autobiography of a Yankee Mariner: Christopher Prince and the American Revolution, edited by Michael J. Crawford, Washington, D.C.: Brassey's Inc., 2002, pages 16-18.

Now, the end result of Christopher Prince's adventures and exploits, during the American Revolution, on board both British and American ships, as a naval enlisted man, as an officer of privateers, and a master of merchantmen was that he got saved

 “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” [Titus 2:4]

Christopher Prince, with all remorse, and in true repentance, came to the end of himself, and put his trust in Jesus Christ for his salvation.  The foul mouth, with all the blaspheming of God, and all the cursing was washed away by the blood of the Lamb of God.

 “But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” [1 Peter 1:19].

In the Third Book of Moses called Leviticus, we have the first recorded instance of blaspheming the name of the LORD GOD: 

“And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed.

And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:)

And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them.

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.

And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin. 

And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.” [Leviticus 24:11-16]

Note: This woman’s son reviled the God of heaven and earth with terms of reproach; even calling HIM evil.

In the Bible the instances of the word blasphemy appear along with its variations as follows:

Blasphemy = 12 times

Blaspheme = 10 times

Blasphemed = 16 times

Blasphemies = 6 times

Blasphemer = 1 time

Blasphemers = 2 times

Blasphemest = 1 time

Blasphemeth = 4 times

Blaspheming = 1 time

Blasphemous = 2 times

Blasphemy and cursing often run together as companions.  I can attest to this!  

While I was in the United States Navy during the Vietnam war [1971-1977] I morally gravitated downward, [like Christopher Prince did] to swear and curse like any sailor … all to my shame, and all to my guilt.

I was like the Apostle Paul:

“Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” [1 Timothy 1:13] 

I obtained mercy!  I received forgiveness.   I got saved!!!

Though a man may swear like a sailor,  though a man may curse, and blaspheme God, he can be forgiven if he [in true repentance] believes in Jesus Christ by faith.  

Here is the promise for us all who believe in Jesus Christ found in the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, chapter three, in verse twenty-two:

“But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.” [Galatians 3:22]

However, there is one particular blasphemy that never can be forgiven under the sun.  It’s this: it is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. 

Turn to the Gospel of Matthew, chapter twelve, verse twenty-two, and we will read from there through to verse thirty-two:

“Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.

And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils.

And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges.

But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you.

Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” [Matthew 12:22-32]

To impugn Jesus Christ’s Spirit, or to accuse the Son of God of having a devil, or an evil spirit, cannot be forgiven.  The person committing this sin is guilty of assigning the PERSON of the Holy Ghost as a devil.