Psalm 79:4

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 4. "We are become a reproach to our neighbours." Those who have escaped the common foe make a mockery of us, they fling our disasters into our face, and ask us, "Where is your God?" Pity should be shown to the afflicted, but in too many cases it is not so, for a hard logic argues that those who suffer more than ordinary calamities must have been extraordinary sinners. Neighbours especially are often the reverse of neighbourly; the nearer they dwell the less they sympathize. It is most pitiable it should be so.

"A scorn and a derision to them that are round about us." To find mirth in others' miseries, and to exult over the ills of others, is worthy only of the devil and of those whose father he is. Thus the case is stated before the Lord, and it is a very deplorable one. Asaph was an excellent advocate, for he gave a telling description of calamities which were under his own eyes, and in which he sympathized, but we have a mightier Intercessor above, who never ceases to urge our suit before the eternal throne.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Whole Psalm. See Psalms on "Psalms 79:1" for further information.

Verse 1-4. See Psalms on "Psalms 79:1" for further information.

Verse 1,. 4-5. See Psalms on "Psalms 79:1" for further information.

Verse 4. "We are become a reproach." If God's professing people degenerate from what themselves and their fathers were, they must expect to be told of it; and it is well if a just reproach will help to bring us to a true repentance. But it has been the lot of the gospel Israel to be made unjustly a reproach and derision; the apostles themselves were "counted as the off scouring of all things." Matthew Henry.

Verse 4. "A scorn and derision to them that are round about us." This was more grievous to them than stripes or wounds, saith Chrysostom, because these being inflicted upon the body are divided after a sort betwixt soul and body, but scorns and reproaches do wound the soul only. Habet quendam aculeum contumelia, they leave a sting behind them, as Cicero observeth. John Trapp.

Verse 4. It is the height of reproach a father casts upon his child when he commands his slave to beat him. Of all outward judgments this is the sorest, to have strangers rule over us, as being made up of shame and cruelty. If once the heathen come into God's inheritance, no wonder the church complains that she is "become a reproach to her neighbours, a shame and derision to all round about her." Abraham Wright.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 4. Saints the subject of derision to sinners. When justly so. When unjustly. What do they see to excite ridicule; what shall we do under the trial; how will it end?