The Apple of His Eye ... commentary of Psalm 74
The Apple of His Eye
… A commentary of Psalm 74
Psalm 74:20: “Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.”
The word covenant appears 372 times in the Bible.
Now, what is the meaning of this word covenant?
The first thing we need to understand about the Bible is that the Bible is a self-interpreting book. The Bible has within it a PERSON [WHO is an interpreter] WHO also is inside the believer of Jesus Christ.
The book of Hebrews, and the Gospel according to John, both reveal plainly this truth of why the word of God is self-interpreting.
First thing: The BOOK is alive! It is a PERSON! Read Hebrews chapter four, verse twelve to see this:
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” [Hebrews 4:12]
Now for the second thing, the Gospel according to John in chapter sixteen, verse thirteen provides more illumination concerning this interpreter:
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” [John 16:13]
And further, not only is the Bible a self-interpreting book, there is another principle of interpretation which is called the law of first mention. The law of first mention is this: The first instance of a word in the Bible will often be the key to understanding the meaning of a word.
Now, the first mention of this word covenant appears in the first book of Moses called Genesis. Go to the sixth chapter of Genesis, and see verse eighteen. We read here:
“But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee.” [Genesis 6:18]
This first mention of the word covenant reveals:
· A covenant is an agreement with a promise.
· A covenant is between two parties.
Now, note: There are different participants to covenants: God to man, man to God, or men to men. There are also different kinds of covenants.
Some covenants are made without conditions [as we shall see], and other covenants are conditional, that is, they are made with conditions that are to be kept by both parties.
But we will focus here on the covenants that God has made to man … without conditions.
For example, God made several covenants with Noah. Now see for these in the First Book of Moses called Genesis [Genesis 6:18, 9:9, 9:11-13, 9:15-17].
Again, there are different kinds of covenants. God promised Noah, and his descendants, by a covenant, that the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Notice here, this covenant was made by God without any conditions being placed upon man.
We will now further tighten our focus here to one particular covenant God made to one particular man.
God made an unconditional covenant to Abraham. We will begin reading in the First of Book of Moses called Genesis in chapter fifteen, verse eighteen:
“In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates:” [Genesis 15:18].
Abraham received a LAND GRANT from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.
In chapter seventeen, God expands on this covenant with Abraham.
Verse two: “And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.” [Genesis 17:2]
God promised to multiply Abraham’s descendants exceedingly…to fill all the land of the land grant.
Verse four: God further stipulates in this covenant:
“As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.” [Genesis 17:4]
Abraham was set to become a father of many nations!
Furthermore, this covenant was transferable.
Now, drop down to chapter seventeen, verse seven, and see this.
The covenant transfers to Abraham’s seed: to thy seed after thee:
“And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.” [Genesis 17:7]
Now something else, this covenant is still in force to this very day in the 21st century. It’s an everlasting covenant!
What is more, God sealed this covenant with Abraham’s miracle son, Isaac, conceived in Abraham’s and Sarah’s very old age.
“And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.” [Genesis 17:19]
Verse twenty-one: “But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.” [Genesis 17:21]
Keep this in mind: a covenant promise is made by an oath.
Now, an oath is a solemn affirmation or declaration. This particular covenant declared by God to Israel is made by promise according to the oaths of the tribes.
Check it out in the book of the prophet Habakkuk, chapter three, verse nine:
“Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word. Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.” [Habakkuk 3:9]
“Have respect unto the covenant…”
All through the years, and throughout all the generations, God has kept this covenant with the people of Israel. It is our God [WHO is God] WHO remembers all the promises that HE has made in covenant to all the descendants of Abraham [through Isaac] and called Israel.
Now, turn in your Bible to the Second Book of Moses called Exodus, chapter two, verse twenty-four. This SCIPTURE will show God remembers. God remembered HIS covenant to Israel while they were in Egypt for four hundred years:
“And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” [Exodus 2:24]
See chapter six, verse four:
“And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.” [Exodus 6:4]
God remembers HIS covenant:
Exodus 6:5: “And I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered my covenant.”
God remembers HIS covenant:
Leviticus 26:9: “For I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.”
And though Jacob failed, time and time again, because of their sin, THEIR God still recalls, and remembers HIS covenant with them – unconditionally:
Leviticus 26:42: “Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.”
God remembers HIS covenant unconditionally:
“And yet for all that, when they be in the land of their enemies, I will not cast them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God.
But I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.”
The last part of verse, verse twenty: “Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty.”
“…the dark places of the earth”
Now, dark places are full of darkness. NO WONDER!
These dark places constitute a kingdom of darkness. And where there is a kingdom, you will also find a king.
“And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.”
And there is something else to learn here, a king is also a ruler. And often, a ruler rules not alone. Thus, these dark places of the earth have rulers that are over this darkness.
Something to note here:
· These rulers are spiritual beings.
· These beings are spiritually evil.
We know this is so, because the Apostle Paul told us this is so [by the Spirit of God WHO is LIGHT], in the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Ephesians, in chapter six, verse twelve.
Get ready for this!
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Ephesians 6:12]
Again, these rulers rule the dark places of the earth!
And something else: These rulers rule the human heart from a dark place held by the chains of darkness.
Now, when a person gets saved, he gets delivered from the power of darkness. Amen! When the human heart receives [John 1:12] Jesus Christ, things change.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” [2 Corinthians 5:17]
A translation occurs. Go the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians in chapter one, verse thirteen and see this:
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” [Colossians 1:13].
And if a man does not get delivered from the power of darkness, he will end up in the Pit of darkness forever. Now we get a glimpse of this place, in the book of Jude, verse six:
“And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” [Jude 6]
“…full of the habitations of cruelty.”
In this case this word “habitation” refers to a state of dwelling … dwelling in cruelty.
Therefore, these dark places are full of the habitations of cruelty.
In the Second book of Samuel the Prophet, in chapter twenty-four, verse fourteen we have this habitation where cruelty abounds. Watch for the hands of men. Cruelty abounds in the hands of men.
“And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD; for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man.” [2 Samuel 24:14]
David knew the hand of man was very cruel, and is without mercy.
How did David know this truth?
Well, he read, and believed THE BOOK!
Do you believe THE BOOK?
The word cruelty first shows up in the Bible all the way back in the first book of Moses called Genesis in the narrative concerning Simeon and Levi slaying all the males in the city of Shechem.
This indictment appears in the book of Genesis, chapter forty-nine, verse five:
“Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.” [Genesis 49:5]
The actual narrative of what happened is recorded earlier in the book of Genesis in chapter thirty-four, starting with verse one:
“And Dinah the daughter of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob, went out to see the daughters of the land. And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.” [Genesis 34:1-2]
Now, skip down to verse twenty-five:
“And it came to pass on the third day, when they were sore, that two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah's brethren, took each man his sword, and came upon the city boldly, and slew all the males.” [Genesis 34:25]
In essence: In the act of transferring the guilt for the crime [a crime against Dinah [and thus the need for vengeance]], to all the men of the city instead of limiting the need for revenge to the actual person involved [that is Shechem], Simeon and Levi were both involved in a rash, savage, and over and beyond ferocious act.
The sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, were thereby determined to be guilty of cruelty.
Now, fast forward in time [4036 AM, 4746 JP, 33 AD] to the historical event of the crucifixion of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. We have here these prophetic “sayings” in the gospel according to Luke, chapter nine, verses forty-four and forty-five:
“Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. But they understood not this saying, and it was hid from them, that they perceived it not: and they feared to ask him of that saying.” [Luke 9:44-45]
The “Son of man”
was preparing his disciples mentally and
emotionally for what was soon to happen to Him.
Jesus Christ Himself was soon to experience the
ultimate cruelty any person could ever face: to
“be delivered into the hands of men.”