The Apple of His Eye ... commentary of Psalm 74
The Apple of His Eye
… A commentary of Psalm 74
Psalm 74:9: “We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.”
“We see not our signs…
They are perplexed! Victor! Israel requires assistance!
We see in the First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians this truth:
“For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:” [1 Corinthians 1:22]
In the Second Book Moses, called the Exodus, chapter four, we will start with verse one, and read:
“And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee.
And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.
And he said, Cast it on the ground.
And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail.
And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee.
And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again.
And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh.
And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.
And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land.” [Exodus 4:1-9]
This attribute is built into the very being of these people: [The Jews].
The Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom. Every Jew has this thing built into his very nature: HE NEEDS A SIGN!
The first Jew was a Gentile until he was called out of his country.
We read in the First Book Moses, called the Genesis, the book of beginnings:
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:” [Genesis 12:1-2]
Next, Abram became Abraham by a covenant established by God. This is seen in chapter seventeen. See verse three, and four:
“As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.” [Genesis 17:4-5]
Now, verse eleven:
“And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.” [Genesis 17:11]
The token of this covenant was visibly made known to Abraham by the circumcision of the flesh of his foreskin. This token [comparing scripture with scripture] is shown to be a sign.
In the Epistle of Paul, the Apostle to the Romans, chapter four, verse eleven, Abraham received the sign of circumcision:
“And he received the sign of circumcision a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe.”
The Jew requires a sign in order to believe. [Remember, we just read the proof text for this fact in the first nine verses of chapter four in the Second Book Moses called the Exodus.]
Next, skip on down to verse thirty, and read from there:
“And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people.” [Exodus 4:30]
Do you see why the signs were needed to be performed by Moses “in the sight of the people”? It was all done “in the sight of the people” so that they might believe that the LORD was indeed visiting HIS people, and had every intention of bringing a great deliverance, and great salvation in setting them free from their 400-year bondage as slaves to the Egyptians.
The book of the Acts of the Apostles collaborates with this. For it is recorded that Steven in his trial stood before “the council” and recounted to them this need for signs from their own history BOOK:
“He brought them out, after that he had shewed them wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.” [Acts 7:36]
God used these visible signs that were so great, and so wonderful, to mightily move in the hearts of Israel to sing a song of His mightiness, which song is located in the Second Book Moses called the Exodus:
“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying,
I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and the rider hath he thrown into the sea.” [Exodus 15:1-2]
Now, Israel has experienced these “wonders and signs” from God down through the annuals of time by his direct intervention into their affairs.
Do you remember the walls of Jericho, and how they came down? This event represented to them a mighty sign of God going before them and delivering their enemy into their hands.
Consider this also, how God gave Israel the seventh day [along with the special Sabbaths] as a sign to show HIM being the LORD God “that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you” [Exodus 31:13].
This truth, that the Jew requires a sign, reached such proportions, that even in the very face of the presence of the incarnate Son of God, Jesus Christ, when HE walked this earth nearly two thousand years ago among these unbelieving Pharisees [Jews]: They refused to believe in Jesus Christ.
UNBELIEF ate them alive, in spite of the benefit of all the signs, wonders and miracles performed before them.
Therefore, in response to this UNBELIEF, God refused to give them the very signs that they had demanded of HIM before they would believe in His Son [that He was the prophesied MESSIAH Savior of Israel].
The Lord Jesus Christ HIMSELF nails it down here in the Gospel according to Matthew, in chapter twelve, verse thirty-eight:
“Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.” [Matthew 12:38]
So, they got the sign of the prophet Jonas. Nevertheless, God was gracious to Israel:
“God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” [Hebrews 2:4]
To sum up, the signs and wonders that were performed by Jesus Christ [and His apostles] when He came to this earth almost two thousand years ago were to be a sign to Israel of who He was, and having rejected Him, their branches were removed from the tree.
Israel's rejection of these signs was prophesied centuries earlier in the most exacting precision.
“(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.” [Romans 11:8]
Thus, Israel got to the place where they could not see their signs!
“We see not our signs…
Victor! Israel requires assistance to wake up from their sleep!
Back to Psalm 74:9: “We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.”
This foretells of the famine that was to come into the land of Israel, a famine to last for more than four hundred years. This would not be famine in the natural sense but in a supernatural sense. The prophet Amos speaks of this dearth in the book of the Prophet Amos, chapter eight, verse eleven.
Here we go:
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:” [Amos 8:11]
From the prophet Malachi [B.C. 397] until John the Baptist [A.D. 27] in the Gospel according to Matthew, there was silence … a famine “of hearing the words of the LORD:”
No prophets! No
one was to know, how long?