New Defender's Study Bible Notes
73:16 too painful for me. One of the great theological problems is the apparent prosperity of the ungodly, along with the suffering of the righteous. There is surely no solution to this problem in atheism or pantheism.
73:17 sanctuary of God. The solution to such problems is found only in the presence of a God who is both righteous and merciful, both holy yet forgiving, and on the basis of His redemptive work on the cross. The solution is not in this present world but in the resurrection and the world to come, where hell awaits the ungodly, and heaven awaits those whom God has redeemed through faith in Christ.
73:20 when thou awakest. God, of course, does not sleep (Psalm 121:4). The language is metaphorical, meaning “decide to act.”
73:20 despise their image. The word used here for “image” (Hebrew tselem) is used elsewhere in Genesis 5:3 and 9:6 (speaking of the image of God in man and the image of a father in his son) and, more often, in connection with idolatrous images constructed by man to worship. The wicked have made an “image” of themselves, in effect espousing their own god-likeness, and this will be despised by the God who is truly God.
Psalm 74 (title) Maschil. Two of the Maschil psalms (see note on Psalm 32) were written by Asaph. This is the first, the other being Psalm 78.