From Sadness to Joy

Claudia Elzinga

READ : Psalms 73-77

Book 3 of the psalms begins with psalms written by Asaph, founder of a temple choir. Psalm 73 describes his jealousy of the wicked who prosper. Then he describes how entering the temple made him realize that in the end the wicked would lose.

The destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians seems to be the occasion in Psalm 74, since it reflects language similar to that of Lamentations. The psalm begins with a note of great sadness. In the middle of the psalm there is a note of triumph, but it ends once again with a plea for deliverance.

Psalm 75 describes God as judge. With ideas similar to those expressed in the Virgin Mary’s Magnificat and those of the Song of Hannah, it tells how God brings low the mighty and lifts up the humble. Perhaps this is meant to be an answer to the pleas with which Psalm 74 ends.

The theme of judgment continues in Psalm 76. God by His judgments will “save all the oppressed of the earth” while He “cuts off the spirit of princes.” Remember that “Although the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.”

The beginning of Psalm 77 focuses on “I” and expresses depression, like Romans 7. But the later part focuses on God and His power, even as Romans 8 expresses victory as the focus is on the Holy Spirit.

PRAYER

Father, give us faith to believe that in the end those who trust in You will triumph. In Jesus’ name. Amen.