The wrath of man shall praise thee

Hezekiah had prayed, and Isaiah had been sent with a message in which Sennacherib’s overthrow was promised: the king had not long to wait to see what he desired. God’s actions are prompt, for his preparations for war are always made; his arsenal is well stored. It was a word and a blow, and Assyria was smitten never to trouble Hezekiah again.

2 Kings 19:35-37

2 Kings 19:35

The few who survived looked upon the myriads of dead, lying “like the leaves of the forest when autumn has blown.”

2 Kings 19:36

Now that this terrible robber was no longer able to roam abroad with his marauding host, there was some rest to the surrounding nations, who thus profited by Hezekiah’s prayer.

2 Kings 19:37

Thus at the feet of his own idol he poured out his heart’s blood, and his blasphemies were heard no more.

Psalm 76

That jubilant Psalm, the seventy-sixth, was probably written at the time of the destruction of Sennacherib’s army; at any rate it is singularly descriptive of it. Let us sympathise in the holy joy of the writer as he triumphs in the triumph of his God.

Psalm 76:1

If unknown in all the world beside he is famous among his people. Because the world knows him not, it blasphemes as Rabshakeh did, but the Lord’s people delight to sound forth his praises to the world’s end.

Psalm 76:3

Without leaving his peaceful abode in the temple, he sent forth his word and snapped the arrows of his enemies before they could fit them upon the string, he ended the fight ere they could begin it. They did not cast up a bank nor shoot an arrow there. And shall not the Lord defend his church? Assuredly! She is safe, come what may.

Psalm 76:4

Heaps upon heaps, Assyria had stowed away her plunder, and the fame thereof went abroad, but Israel’s God eclipsed the mighty deeds of the destroying invader. Glory be to his name!

Psalm 76:5

They came to spoil, and were spoiled themselves,

Psalm 76:5

they have slept their sleep their last sleep, the sleep of death

Psalm 76:5

Their arms were palsied, the rigour of death stiffened their fingers.

Psalm 76:6

Never to neigh or rattle again; still were the trampings of the horses and the crash of the cars.

Psalm 76:7, 8

So complete a destruction was evidently a judgment from heaven, and those who heard of it cried out, “This is the finger of God!” Such a blow will yet be struck at the Papacy, for fall it must, to the astonishment of all mankind.

Psalm 76:9-10

Enemies are held in by God’s will, and when allowed to rage, God’s glory will be enhanced by their overthrow. Let us never yield to fear.

The Lord of hosts is mightier than the mightiest foes of his church.

Psalm 76:12

As men slip off a tender shoot from a plant, so can the Lord remove the proudest monarchs; be it ours to worship, love, and serve the King of kings. To his name be endless praises.


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