Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Psalm 75

God is the Judge

Commentator Matthew Henry notes this about Psalm 75:
This is a psalm of Asaph; however, it agrees with David’s circumstances so exactly at his coming to the crown after Saul’s death that most interpreters apply it to that juncture, and suppose that either Asaph penned it as David’s poet-laureate, or that David penned it and delivered it to Asaph as procentor of the temple. 
In this psalm, David returns God thanks for bringing him to the throne of Israel.  He promises to lay out himself for the public good in the use of the power God had given him.  He notes God’s sovereign dominion in the affairs of the children of men. 
In verses 4 – 5, the ‘horn’ refers to an animal's horna symbol of strength.  To lift one’s horns is to act arrogantly.  The “stiff neck” is also an expression for rebellion and arrogance. 

Do not lift up your horn on high; Do not speak with a stiff neck. ~ Ps. 75:5
Verses 6 & 7 in this Psalm reminds us that it is from God alone that kings receive their power!   
For exaltation comes neither from the east
Nor from the west nor from the south
But God is the Judge
He puts down one
And exalts another
It is comforting to remember this truth, especially in light of wicked rulers over nations of the earth.  They are in God’s hand . . . they are in power only by His decree.  

The “cup” in verse 8 is used figuratively of God’s divine judgment.  He will pour His judgment out of the wicked. 

I love this prayer-poem by Ruth Harms Calkin - it is a wonderful reminder that, as His children, we are covered with the righteousness of Christ!  We do not need to fear or dread the judgment of God - we have been washed whiter than snow - may we live our lives as such!

His Sheep am I
              ~ Ruth Harms Calkin

Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.  ~ Ps. 51:7
Lord, now that You
Have washed me
Whiter than snow
Don’t let me wallow
In filth and mud again –
For I am a sheep
Not a pig.

I'm a sheep, not a pig!

  • God’s wondrous works declare His name is near
  • God is the Judge
  • God will judge uprightly
  • God is the One who determines kings & rulers on this earth - this is also reiterated in these verses below in the Book of Daniel: 
Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.   ~ Daniel 2:20-21

  • I praise the Lord that He is a righteous Judge . . . that I can trust Him to judge rightly. 
  • I praise the Lord that I will be judged on the righteousness of Christ . . . not my own merit!
  • I praise the Lord that He determines the rulers of this earth!
     O Lord, when I read the words of this Psalm, my heart is filled with gratitude. I truly marvel that You will judge me in light of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and that I have been washed white as snow by His blood.  Thank You forever for my salvation.
     Father, at times my heart is filled with fear when I consider wicked rulers of nations on the earth.  May I remember this Psalm and the words in the Daniel – that You are in control – You remove and raise up kings.  Their might is nothing compared with Yours.  Thank You for the comfort I find in that truth.  I pray that You would raise up righteous people to serve the government of the democracy of the United States, and that You would bless our nation and place Your hedge of protection around her. 
    In Jesus’ name I pray ~ Amen

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