We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be. How long will the enemy mock you, God? Will the foe revile your name forever? Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them! But God is my King from long ago; he brings salvation on the earth. It was you who split open the sea by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters. It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert. It was you who opened up springs and streams; you dried up the ever-flowing rivers. The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon. It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter. – Psalm 74:9-17
This passage is another in the group of Psalms apparently written for Asaph. These psalms are an interesting interlude into the mind of these God followers. They are expressing a somewhat universal desire to have God show up in a tangible way to combat the injustices common on earth.
They are looking for the long awaited Messiah. In the end the psalmist is willing to let God be God, and to acknowledge he is “my king from long ago, he brings salvation on the earth.” I assume the reference “split open the sea by your power” is hearkening back to the parting of the red sea during the time of Moses.
Then come this bit about crushing the “heads of the monster in the waters”, perhaps referring to the Behemoth and Leviathan described in some detail back in Job. These monsters are not only slain by God but they are turned into food for the “creatures of the desert”. Back in Job the only sense I could make of these somewhat mythical creatures is that they were a metaphor for the earthly “coils” we experience here on earth. If this is the case then this reference would be saying that God is turning the troubles of this world into food for His “desert people“.
Next comes an interesting water reference “It was you who opened up springs and streams; you dried up the ever-flowing rivers”. This seems to be referring to God’s provision of water in the desert in a tangible way. The water of springs and streams is implied to be ephemeral in contrast to the “ever-flowing rivers”.
Humans tend to prefer the certainty and predictability of ever-flowing rivers over springs and streams. God demonstrated numerous times in the desert that He would provide the water they needed, although not always the water they wanted.
In a spiritual sense God has promised us living water to quench our thirsty souls. He does not promise that this living water will come from “ever-flowing rivers”, but he does promise to be our one river and the provide all the water we need when we need it. Sometimes this water may seem like bitter water, but if we trust God he will make it sweet.
Prayer: God thank You for providing the living water we need in a way that reminds of the source of the water.