Sunday, 20 June 2021
“But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another.” -Psalm 75:7
The Psalm is one of gratitude to the Almighty God for His deliverance from a time of great distress as well as acknowledging Him as the Great Judge of the universe. Being another Psalm of Asaph, it could be tied with Psalm 74, where the people had cried out to the Lord to save them from the attack of their enemies and in Psalm 75, we see an answer to their prayer. *A Bible scholar terms it “Joy in God's great reversals,” observed in the Psalm by God’s putting down of one, and lifting up another (Psalm 75:7). The Psalm is a great reminder to us that both Salvation and Judgment belong to the LORD!
The structure of the Psalm based on the various speakers (the NKJV Study Bible):
The people’s praise of God for the sense of His presence (Psalm 75:1)
God’s announcement of His sovereign judgment at a proper time(Psalm 75:2-5)
The people’s affirmation that God is the true Judge (Psalm 75:6-9)
God’s declaration of His intention to bring final judgment (Psalm 75:10)
The Christian life is one of challenges while we are on the earth—it may occur due to varied reasons: our own sins and waywardness may bring in consequences of suffering; there are other times we are afflicted by troubles sent by the enemy; otherwise, troubles we face in the fallen world we live in. How does the Christian respond at such times?
If sin has brought in afflictions, only coming back to the Lord in repentance can bring restoration. If you are facing afflictions by the enemy or the consequences of the acts of wicked people that not just affects you but a whole community/nation, etc.— the Psalm has some lessons to strengthen us in the times of our affliction:
The LORD has a set time to act (Psalm 75:2)
God is not bound by man’s time or his thinking. Isaiah 55:8 says: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. We need to be patient to wait for His time to see Him act on our behalf.
Remind yourself of Who is in control (Psalm 75:3)
Though we think the foundations of the earth are shaking, we need to remind ourselves of the One who is in control- He holds everything together: “…He sustains everything by the mighty power of his command.” (Heb.1:3 NLT). We need not fear for His presence is near!
The boasting of wicked men is only for a time (Psalm 75:4-5)
God hates the proud and arrogant—they that strut like a proud animal parading its horns of strength—a warning is given to such in Psalm 75:10-one day God will cut them off! These are people who are defiant to God and His ways and rebel against Him- their pride will be brought low. James 4:6[NLT]: “As the Scriptures say, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Exaltation comes from the LORD (Psalm 75:6-7)
In the competitive world we live in, people trample down one another to rise to the top. The principle in God’s Kingdom is humility that brings in exaltation. Matthew 23:12: “But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Promotion is from God!
God has the last word! (Psalm 75:8,10)
God will judge justly! The wicked and the rebellious will drink from His cup of wrath-God will decide the time. The final Judgement seen in Revelation also depicts the wicked drinking of the cup of His wrath (Rev.18:3,6)- all who defy Him and mistreat His children wills surely face His wrath.
There is a grave warning to those who reject the salvation offered through God’s Son, who will one day face His wrath “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (John 3:36)
Continue to praise Him (Psalm 75:9)
A child of God is to continue trusting in God’s sovereignty and praising Him for His deliverance- even in the midst of the trouble, knowing that God will act in His time!
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the LORD.
Listen: ‘My Defence’
*Derek Kidner: Psalm 73-150- A Commentary