The hardships which God’s people suffer by the wrath of their enemies will be made to redound to the glory of God when He rises to make His judgments heard and sets the bounds to the wrath of man.
Force is of no avail when leveled against the God of Hosts.
1 In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel.
2 In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.
3 There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah.
4 Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey.
5 The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands.
6 At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep.
7 Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?
8 Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,
9 When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah.
10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.
11 Vow, and pay unto the LORD your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared.
12 He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the kings of the earth.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 76 – “The Wrath of Man Shall Praise Thee”
God is compared to the lion, that dreaded monarch of beasts, who finds his home in a den, into which no inferior animal may intrude. Even the hunter’s bows and arrows are broken in pursuit of him. As the mountains yielded prey to the young lion, so the hills around Jerusalem, where Sennacherib had pitched his camp, would be full of Assyrian spoil for the armies of the Lion of Judah. The stout-hearted captains of Assyria would there sleep their last sleep, Psalm 76:5.
Some of the meek of the earth may read these lines, Psalm 76:9. They do not avenge themselves. Weak and helpless, they turn their eyes to God, who cannot fail them. When He speaks His sentence of acquittal, no voice will be raised to dispute it. For when He arises in judgment He will save all the meek of the earth. There is a “thus far and no farther” to the wrath of man. God will not allow it to go beyond certain limits, and it is remarkable how He is able to make man’s wrath to subserve His purposes. Bring God the gift, of your love. Fear not, ye humble souls, but let your enemies be in fear! —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 76:10—Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder shalt Thou restrain.
From this review of the fate of the foes of Israel, the psalmist comes to this conclusion. He has seen the serried hosts of Sennacherib come up against the city of God, but the warriors have slept their sleep: it was as though the Almighty had snapped the instruments of war across his knee. The wrath of man had been allowed up to a certain point, to bring into clear evidence the greater power of God; and then He had quietly put a term to its further manifestation.
Pharaoh’s wrath against Israel only served to make God’s mighty arm conspicuous. So with Herod, who took Peter to behead him; and with the high priests who fumed against the early Church. So shall it be with the arch-enemy of all. Christ is mightier than he. All he has done has acted as a foil to our Lord’s glorious majesty. What he has wrought against man has only brought out more of the grace and the love of God. So shall it be to the end, when there shall be an eternal limit put to his hellish deeds, for he shall be bound by a great chain and cast into the bottomless pit.
Ah, tried soul, what is permitted to happen in your life will tend ultimately and eternally to the praise and glory of God, if only you will abide in Him, and suffer bravely, nobly, in the grace of Christ. And there always will be a restraint. There will always be a “thus far and no farther.” God’s faithfulness will not let us be tempted above that we are able. When the lesson is learnt, and the opportunity for the revelation of God is complete, and the tried soul is proved to have won as its reward the crown of life, then God will stay the enemy and avenger, and give spoils more glorious than mountains of prey. —Our Daily Homily