Psalms 74:1

1 You walked off and left us, and never looked back. God, how could you do that? We're your very own sheep; how can you stomp off in anger?

Psalms 74:1 Meaning and Commentary

Psalms 74:1

O God, why hast thou cast us off for ever?
&c.]. This the church supposed because of the prevalence, oppression, and triumph of the enemy, because of the hardships and afflictions she laboured under, and because of the hidings of the face of God from her, which unbelief interpreted of a casting off; see ( Psalms 77:7 ) when in reality it was not so, only in appearance, and according to a wrong judgment made of things; for God never did nor never will cast off, nor cast away, his people whom he foreknew, ( Romans 11:1 Romans 11:2 ) ,

why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?
the people of God are called "sheep", because subject to go astray, not only before conversion, but after; and because harmless and inoffensive in their lives and conversations; and because, though exposed to the insults and persecutions of men, and their butcheries and barbarities, and therefore called "the flock of slaughter", ( Zechariah 11:4 Zechariah 11:7 ) , yet bear all patiently, as the sheep before her shearers is dumb; and because like sheep they are weak and timorous, unable to defend themselves; are clean, and so distinguished from dogs and swine; and are profitable, though not to God, yet to men, and one another; and like sheep are sociable, and love to be together: and they are called the sheep of the Lord's pasture; because he provides good pasture for them, leads them into it, and feeds them himself with Christ, the bread of life, the tree of life, and hidden manna; with covenant grace and promises, even the sure mercies of David; with discoveries of his love and grace, and with his word and ordinances; and yet these, when under afflictions and desertions, are ready to conclude that God is angry with them, yea, is very angry; that his anger burns against them, and his fierce wrath goes over them, signified by smoking; see ( Deuteronomy 19:20 ) , alluding to men, who, when they are angry, become hot, as Kimchi observes, and their breath like smoke comes out of their nostrils.


F11 Bochart. Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 3. c. 29. col. 984.
F12 Vid. T. Bab. Gittin, fol. 56. 2.

Psalms 74:1 In-Context

1 You walked off and left us, and never looked back. God, how could you do that? We're your very own sheep; how can you stomp off in anger?
2 Refresh your memory of us - you bought us a long time ago. Your most precious tribe - you paid a good price for us! Your very own Mount Zion - you actually lived here once!
3 Come and visit the site of disaster, see how they've wrecked the sanctuary.
4 While your people were at worship, your enemies barged in, brawling and scrawling graffiti.
5 They set fire to the porch; axes swinging, they chopped up the woodwork,
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.