79:1 A Psalm of Asaph. O God, a the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps.
(a) The people cry to God against the barbarous tyranny of the Babylonians who spoiled Gods inheritance, polluted his temple, destroyed his religion, and murdered his people. 79:2 The b dead bodies of thy servants have they given [to be] meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth.
(b) The prophets show to what extremities God sometimes allows his Church to fall to exercise their faith, before he sets his hand to deliver them. 79:3 Their blood have they shed like water round about Jerusalem; and [there was] none to c bury [them].
(c) Their friends and relatives did not dare to bury them for fear of the enemies. 79:4 We are become a reproach to our d neighbours, a scorn and derision to them that are round about us.
(d) Of which some came from Abraham but were degenerate: and others were open enemies to your religion, but they both laughed at our miseries. 79:5 How long, LORD? wilt thou be angry for ever? shall thy jealousy e burn like fire?
(e) Will you completely consume us for our sins, before you take us to mercy? 79:8 O remember not against us f former iniquities: let thy tender mercies speedily prevent us: for we are brought very low.
(f) Which we and our fathers have committed. 79:9 Help us, O God of our h salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy names sake.
(h) Seeing we have no other Saviour, neither can we help ourselves, and also by our salvation your Name will be praised: therefore O Lord, help us. 79:11 Let the sighing of the i prisoner come before thee; according to the greatness of thy power preserve thou k those that are appointed to die;
(i) Who though in respect to God they were justly punished for their sins, yet in consideration of their cause were unjustly murdered. 79:13 So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: l we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.
(k) Who were captives among their enemies and could look for nothing but death.
(l) We ought to desire no benefit from God, but on this condition to praise his name, ( Isaiah 43:21 ).