Psalm 76 is a song of victory. It has a rich heritage among Christians. The Huguenots sang it as they marched into battle at Coligny. The Puritans sang it at Drumclog in 1679 when they defeated the government troops. Psalm 76 itself was sung in thanksgiving services marking the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. It’s a song of victory because it marks the end of war and the beginning of peace.

On May 12, 1962, General MacArthur spoke to the graduating class at West Point. In his speech the General quoted Plato to the effect that “only the dead have seen the end of war.” But this Psalmist celebrates the fact that God is not only victorious in the battles against evil, but also he is victorious over “War” itself. Verse 3 says, “He shatters the bow’s flaming arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.” This is an echo of Psalm 46 which says, “He makes wars stop from one end of the earth to the other. He breaks every bow. He snaps every spear. He burns every shield with fire.” In one study, it was discovered that of 3530 years of recorded history, only 286 years saw peace. Moreover, in excess of 8000 peace treaties were made—and broken. How will man ever see an end of war?

In a book entitled Peace Child, Don Richardson records the moving account of how the Sawi people of Irian Jaya came to understand salvation through Jesus Christ. For many months he and his family sought for some way to communicate the gospel to this tribe. Then they discovered the key for which they had been praying. All demonstrations of kindness expressed by the Sawi were regarded with suspicion except one act. If a father gave his own son to his enemy, his sacrificial deed showed that he could be trusted! Furthermore, everyone who touched that child was brought into a friendly relationship with the father. The Sawi were then taught that in a similar way God’s beloved Son could bring them eternal peace.

The whole world will have peace someday under Christ’s rule. We can have peace from our own wars in life now under Christ’s rule!

“Both day and night belong to you; you made the starlight and the sun. You set the boundaries of the earth, and you made both summer and winter.” (Psalm 74:16-17)