The Apple of His Eye ... commentary of Psalm 74
The Apple of His Eye
… A commentary of Psalm 74
Psalm 74:3 “Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.”
“…the perpetual desolations;”
LORD: “Lift up thy feet” … [this is anthropomorphic – showing God has human attributes].
Though “God is Spirit” [John 4:24], GOD “was manifest in the flesh”. This apparent contradiction is called “the mystery of godliness” in the BIBLE. We find in the First Epistle of the Apostle Paul to Timothy: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” [1 Timothy 3:16]
“Lift up thy feet”: The sense, or meaning of this is: Call this thing to your mind, O LORD!!! …these “perpetual desolations”.
Before we seek the meaning of these perpetual desolations as found in the Bible, we need to first ask a question … just what is a desolation?
Well, a desolation is an amplified type of destruction. According to Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, we have:
DESOLATION, a noun.
1. The act of desolating destruction or expulsion of inhabitants; destruction; ruin; waste.
2. A place deprived of inhabitants, or otherwise wasted, ravaged and ruined.
When desolation comes to a person or to a people they experience a sudden and overwhelming terror. This sudden and overwhelming terror can literally make the hair of the flesh to stand up on a person.
This is not unlike Job experienced when a spirit spooked him in the days of his calamity. Job was spooked! The scene of this is in the book of Job, chapter four: “Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up:” [Job 4:15].
This awful and frightful experience is more perfectly described in the word of God [in Psalm, seventy-three] in this way: “How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors.” [Psalms 73:19] This whole phenomenon occurs with the speed of a whirlwind!
You can see this also in Proverbs chapter one, in verse twenty-seven: “When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.” [Proverbs 1:27]
Desolation occurs whenever a man, or a woman, or a family, or a nation departs from God. The departure comes because of a division from God.
The result of division is shown in the Gospel according to Matthew in chapter twelve. Read verse twenty-five: “And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: [Matthew 12:25].
The result is always DESOLATION! A MAXIM!
Now, what is the consequence of desolation?
The consequence is this. When a desolation occurs the person or the people are removed from their home or their homeland.
For instance, God clearly told the nation of Israel through his prophet that he would remove them from the land if they would not put away their abominations from his sight, and return to him.
Now, check this thing out: … in the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah! “If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove.” [Jeremiah 4:1]
In addition to all of this, God may remove a person, or a people from their home, or their homeland, and thus, make them desolate in order to try or test a person or a people.
For this consider Job. He was made desolate.
Here is the scene of the trial of Job in the book of Job: “So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown.
And he took him a potsherd to scrape himself withal; and he sat down among the ashes.” [Job 2:7-8]
Job was out there somewhere and away from his home sitting on a scrap heap, scraping his boils and all the while lamenting over all his trouble! Here is the scene coming into our view in the book of Job, chapter sixteen: “But now he hath made me weary: thou hast made desolate all my company.” [Job 16:7] He was removed from his home, family and friends because of his affliction. God loosed his cord! He was made desolate. “Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me.” [Job 30:11]
When your cord is loosed this is God removing you from your set place.
Consider David. Turn to the book of Psalms, chapter twenty-five come down to verse sixteen and read: “Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.” [Psalms 25:16]
He was removed from his home, family and friends. God loosed his cord. He was made desolate.
Desolation involves removal. Desolation involves the cords being loosed.
Now, what are these “perpetual desolations”?
Remember this here: Something that is told to them in the now [prophesied] [who are living in B.C. 1040] will be the same something that will occur in their future [in B.C. 606.] and also, will be something that has happened in the past from the perspective of those who are living now [in the year A.D. 2020].
To repeat, Asaph sees something before it happens [in B.C. 1040] because the Spirit of God is in him [the prophet].
God puts the future things into the prophet.
Now, Asaph did not have the details in these “perpetual desolations”, [He just saw them from afar.], but we have the prophet Jeremiah who was up close to these events! For this, we go to the Book of The Prophet Jeremiah in chapter twenty-five, verses nine and twelve we have:
“Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.
“And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. [Jeremiah 25:9, 12]
In the Book of The Prophet Ezekiel, chapter thirty-five, verse nine, Scripture saith: “I will make thee perpetual desolations, and thy cities shall not return: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.” [Ezekiel 35:9]
The “perpetual desolations” deprived the land of Israel of its inhabitants.
The LAND, thus, become a wasteland, first, for seventy years, and next, for eighteen hundred and seventy-eight years.
Now we need to consider another type of desolation. Not a perpetual desolation, but an abomination of desolation. The prophet Daniel [in Daniel 8:13], prophesies by the Holy Ghost what he sees coming in the future, [even into our future to those of us who are alive today]; that a specific person will be guilty of desolating [standing where it ought not], the Temple of God in the city of Jerusalem in the time of the Great Tribulation which is coming to this world.
During his First Advent on this earth Jesus taught his disciples [as it is recorded in the Gospel according to Matthew, in chapter twenty-four, verse fifteen]: “When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” [Matthew 24:15]
Run away!!! FLEE!
“Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.” [Matthew 24:16-22]
And in the Gospel according to Mark in chapter thirteen, verse fourteen Jesus emphasizes the importance of understanding the nature of this desolation: “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:” [Mark 13:14.]
This unclean person had no business being where he was! He is an abominable person involved in the abomination of desolation!
“Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.”
He is the same enemy targeted by the LORD in the book of the Exodus in chapter fifteen: “Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.” [Exodus 15:6]
He is the same enemy that Job had in the book of the Job in chapter six: “Or, Deliver me from the enemy's hand? or, Redeem me from the hand of the mighty?” [Job 6:23]
He is the same enemy shown here in Psalm six: “O thou enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end: and thou hast destroyed cities; their memorial is perished with them.” [Psalm 9:6]
He is the same enemy that the Son of God, Jesus Christ, spoke of in the parable of the sower located in chapter six of the Gospel according to Matthew: “He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?” [Matthew 13:28]
This same enemy is identified as the being the devil in this same chapter, in verse thirty-nine: “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.” [Matthew 13:39]
The enemy here is Satan. He is the enemy to the house of Israel. He is the enemy to the body of Christ the church. He is, therefore, the enemy to the Christian. The admonition given to all the believers in the LORD Jesus Christ is this: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” [1 Peter 5:8]
“…hath done wickedly in the sanctuary.”
Now the goal of the Devil is posture, and yeah, even to instigate the house of Israel into placing at the gate of the altar an image of jealousy before the sanctuary of God.
The goal is to corrupt and turn the people of Israel from God and drive them like a herd to their destruction. Call it his master plan.
His master plan involves the hijacking the promises of God given to Israel by blinding them to the purposes and plan of God has to place Israel as head all the nations. [Deuteronomy 28:13]
Blindness is a blight!
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” [Romans 11:25]
The Spirit of God through his prophet Ezekiel provides this supernatural window into the placement of these great abominations – like termites busy going about their business. Turn to the book of Ezekiel, chapter eight come down to verse five and we will read from there:
“Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north.
So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.
He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.
And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.
Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.
And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.
So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, pourtrayed upon the wall round about.
And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.
Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? for they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.
He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.
Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.
Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.
And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD'S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east. [Ezekiel 8:5-16]
Thus we have here the gory story of the complete and the total corruption of a people by the enemy. Watch out!!! There is something here for us to learn: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” [1 Corinthians 10:11]
It would behoove us as believers in Jesus Christ in the 21st century to learn from what happened to Israel, and furthermore to learn just how the Devil gained the mastery over them.
The Apostle Paul gave us this warning in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians. Ready? “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” [2 Corinthians 2:11]
Remember this, brethren, it is the little foxes that spoils the vine. Scripture for this! We have here in the Song of Solomon the real thing as they say: “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” [Song of Solomon 2:15]
Now this is the same game plan that Balaam taught Balak the son of Zippor, the king of Moab.
The doctrine of Balaam: The game plan on how to get the nation messed up [destroyed] is laid out for all of us to see in the book of Numbers, chapter thirty-one, verse sixteen: “Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.” [Numbers 31:16]
What is this matter of Peor?
Let’s read [concerning this matter of Peor] in the book of the Numbers, chapter twenty-five. We will start with verse one:
“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.
And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.
And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.
And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.
And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand;
And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned my wrath away from the children of Israel, while he was zealous for my sake among them, that I consumed not the children of Israel in my jealousy.” [Numbers 25:1-11]
Now the exact identification of what this stumbling block is … is identified by Jesus Christ HIMSELF in the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, in chapter two, verse fourteen: “But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.” [Revelation 2:14]
Conclusion: Balaam taught the nations of the world how to corrupt Israel: By casting a stumbling block before the people, which would in turn cause the people to trespass against the LORD.
Corrupt the people here a little, and there a little. “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” [Galatians 5:9]