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 Eighteen

Psalm 74:18: “Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.”

“…reproach the living God:”

Earlier in this commentary [in verse three of this Psalm] we have already identified this enemy.

This enemy was found to be Satan.  He is an enemy to God, and therefore, he is an enemy to the people of God [to Israel, and to us today in the body of Jesus Christ].

Now mind you, Satan is not the only enemy we face.  He has his cohorts.  He has found some dupes to use in the reproach of the living God, and his people.

·         This reproach involves the contempt of God: God’s NAME, God’s ATTRIBUTES, God’s WORD, God’s people.

·         This reproach involves the scorn of God: God’s NAME, God’s ATTRIBUTES, God’s WORD, God’s people.

·         This reproach involves the derision of God: God’s NAME, God’s ATTRIBUTES, God’s WORD, God’s people.

Now, what better place in the BIBLE can we find an illustration of just such an incident of the reproach of the living God than when Rabshakeh went into his little rant against the God of Heaven, and against Hezekiah, the king of Judah [in B.C. 710]. 

Turn to the book of Second Kings, chapters eighteen and nineteen.  We will start with verse thirty-three in chapter eighteen:

[33] “Hath any of the gods of the nations delivered at all his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria?” 

Rabshakeh is about to hit the rhubarb, and that means he is about to run his car off the road.

[34] Where are the gods of Hamath, and of Arpad? where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivah? have they delivered Samaria out of mine hand?   

First of all, Rabshakeh, the gods of all the nations are false gods!

[35] Who are they among all the gods of the countries, that have delivered their country out of mine hand, that the LORD should deliver Jerusalem out of mine hand?

You ought to put a hand over your mouth, Rabshakeh, and fear the true God.

[36] But the people held their peace, and answered him not a word: for the king's commandment was, saying, Answer him not.

[37] Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.” [2 Kings 18:33-37]

These men feared God more than they feared man!   Remember, what the book of Proverbs saith in chapter nine, verse ten: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” [Proverbs 9:10]

Now, we will continue reading in chapter nineteen:

[1] “And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.”

Hezekiah is going the right direction … to God!

[2] “And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.”

Hezekiah is going the right direction … to God’s prophet!

[3] “And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

[4] It may be the LORD thy God will hear all the words of Rabshakeh, whom the king of Assyria his master hath sent to reproach the living God; and will reprove the words which the LORD thy God hath heard: wherefore lift up thy prayer for the remnant that are left.

[5] So the servants of king Hezekiah came to Isaiah.

[6] And Isaiah said unto them, Thus shall ye say to your master, Thus saith the LORD, Be not afraid of the words which thou hast heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have blasphemed me.

[7] Behold, I will send a blast upon him, and he shall hear a rumour, and shall return to his own land; and I will cause him to fall by the sword in his own land.

[8] So Rabshakeh returned, and found the king of Assyria warring against Libnah: for he had heard that he was departed from Lachish.

[9] And when he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against thee: he sent messengers again unto Hezekiah, saying,”

“…in whom thou trustest deceive thee,”

Fail not to see what happens next.  He is about to reproach the living God of Israel again by calling HIM a deceiver [a liar].  I wouldn’t want to be in his boots!

[10] “Thus shall ye speak to Hezekiah king of Judah, saying, Let not thy God in whom thou trustest deceive thee, saying, Jerusalem shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.”

[11] “Behold, thou hast heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands, by destroying them utterly: and shalt thou be delivered?

[12] Have the gods of the nations delivered them which my fathers have destroyed; as Gozan, and Haran, and Rezeph, and the children of Eden which were in Thelasar?

[13] Where is the king of Hamath, and the king of Arpad, and the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivah?

[14] And Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the LORD, and spread it before the LORD.”

The prayer of Hezekiah follows.

[15] “And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD, and said, O LORD God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth.

16] LORD, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, LORD, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God.

[17] Of a truth, LORD, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands,

[18] And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men's hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them.

[19] Now therefore, O LORD our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the LORD God, even thou only.”

When God is reproached, and when his people are reproached:

The proper response of the people of God is to prostrate themselves in all humility before God, and rehearse the whole matter before God.

Then, sit down and watch God work things out for HIS honor and HIS glory and for your salvation.

Now for the sequel which is located in verses thirty-five through verse thirty-seven:

[35] “And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the LORD went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses.

[36] So Sennacherib king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.

[37] And it came to pass, as he was worshipping in the house of Nisroch his god, that Adrammelech and Sharezer his sons smote him with the sword: and they escaped into the land of Armenia. And Esarhaddon his son reigned in his stead

Bottom line: Those that reproach the LORD will get their just desert.

Our verse again: “Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name.”

We have already commented earlier on this sin of blasphemy [see verse ten in this Psalm for that full discussion]. 

But what should be noted here is that blaspheming the name of LORD is almost always connected with the sin of the reproach of the living God

Blaspheming the name of LORD is called profanity.

And profanity is connected to swearing.

For this connection we will turn to the Third book of Moses called Leviticus, chapter nineteen, verse twelve: “And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.” [Leviticus 19:12] 

We learn here that swearing falsely occurs [by making a reference to God’s NAME] when you know full well that you are lying.

Furthermore, profanity is using God’s NAME lightly in a corrupted [or blaspheming] manner.

A person who is saved by the blood of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, ought not ever to be guilty of profanity.  

The believer in Jesus Christ is admonished by the word of God to:

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” [Ephesians 4:29]