Psalm 74:3

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 3. Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations. The ruin made had already long been an eyesore to the suppliant, and there seemed no hope of restoration. Havoc lorded it not only for a day or a year, but with perpetual power. This is another argument with God. Would Jehovah sit still and see his own land made a wilderness, his own palace a desolation? Until he should arise, and draw near, the desolation would remain; only his presence could cure the evil, therefore is he entreated to hasten with uplifted feet for the deliverance of his people.

Even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary. Every stone in the ruined temple appealed to the Lord; on all sides were the marks of impious spoilers, the holiest places bore evidence of their malicious wickedness; would the Lord for ever permit this? Would he not hasten to overthrow the foe who defied him to his face, and profaned the throne of his glory? Faith finds pleas in the worst circumstances, she uses even the fallen stones of her desolate palaces, and assails with them the gates of heaven, casting them forth with the great engine of prayer.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 3. Lift up thy feet. Or, thy hammers, that is, "thy strokes," to "stamp" or "beat down" the enemy "unto perpetual desolations." Thus the "feet" are used to "tread down with," Isaiah 26:6 ; and so the Greek taketh it here, changing the metaphor, and translating it, "Thy hands," which are also instruments to strike down with. Or, lift up thy feet, that is, come quickly to see the perpetual desolations, which the enemy hath made. Henry Ainsworth.

Verse 3. Lift up thy feet. Abu Walid renders it, Tread hard upon thine enemies. The Jewish Arab, Shew forth thy punishment, adding in a note that the lifting up the feet implies punishment, the bringing under by force being usually expressed by treading under the feet. Henry Hammond.

Verse 3. Lift up thy feet, etc. To these desolations they seek that God would lift up his footsteps, that is, that he would approach. In Genesis 29:1 , there occurs the phrase, to lift the feet; here the expression is much more marked -- to lift up the footsteps -- and must be taken to mean a swift, impetuous, majestic, and powerful approach; like a hero, who strikes the ground with heavy tread, and advances rapidly with far sounding footsteps. Hermann Venema.

Verse 3. In the sanctuary. Their cities had been laid waste, their provinces, their farms, their vineyards, their oliveyards. They themselves had been everywhere cut down without striking a blow in defence, and their means of life had been snatched away without resistance. Yet they speak not of these things; not because things of this sort ought not to cause grief, nor yet because the saints are not touched with a sense of their loss; but because those things which threatened the extinction of religion and the worship of God, overtopped the feeling of all these other misfortunes with an intolerable sorrow. Musculus.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 3. Church mischief.

  1. The church has enemies.
  2. Wickedness in the church is their great weapon.
  3. This causes much desolation to weak saints, to
    enquirers, to peace, to prayer, to usefulness.
  4. The cure for it is God's interposition.

Verse 3-4. The power of prayer.

  1. On one side were,
    1. Desolation: perpetual, etc.
    2. Desecration.
    3. Declamation: enemies roar.
    4. Demonstration: they set up.
    5. On the other side is,
    6. Supplication.
    7. This brings God to the rescue effectually and quickly.