Psalm 75

Read: Psalm 75:1; Isaiah 55:1 – 11; Acts 17:22 – 28

Psalm 75 answers the prayer of Psalm 74. God arises in judgment on the foolish, the wicked, and the proud. The psalmist wrote, “God’s name is near,” because His works declare it.  The “nearness” of God’s name means that His power and authority are close at hand, accessible.

Think About It: When have I experienced the reality of God’s nearness? How do I know that God is near?  What results in my life and thoughts from the awareness that God is near?

Prayer: Seek the Lord while He may be found, and call upon Him while He is near.

 

Read: Psalm 75:2; Isaiah 11:1 – 5; Deuteronomy 32:4; Zephaniah 3:5

God speaks in the first person in Psalm 75:2 – 5, in response to the praise of verse 1, as if in an antiphonal song. Verse 2 is variously translated, “at the set time,” or “the congregation,” because the “congregation” referred to is an assembly called by God at a particular time and place.  In other words, verse 2 tells us that God has set a time when He will call men to account, when He will judge them. In verse 2 God also tells us that when He judges, He does so uprightly, with equity.  The principle that God judges, and that when He judges He does so with perfect justice and equity, is fundamental and absolutely crucial to understanding all other truth.  If we don’t accept this principle, our understanding of everything will be wrongly skewed.

Think About It: What are the implications of thinking that God will not call men to account? Of thinking that God might be biased, that He might do something unfair?

Prayer: Thank God for the certainty of His perfectly just judgment.

 

Read: Psalm 75:3; Joel 3:16; Haggai 2:6, 21; Hebrews 12:26; 2 Peter 3:12 – 13

Psalm 75:3 seems to mean that God’s judgment first shakes everything up, but then re-establishes everything on firm footing. God’s judgment establishes the foundations, and holds everything up.

Think About It: What does God need to shake up in this world? In my life? What foundation has God established in my life? Am I building on that foundation?

Prayer: Thank God for the foundation of Jesus Christ in my heart.

 

Read: Psalms 75:4 – 5, 94:2; 2 Samuel 22:28; Isaiah 10:33; Deuteronomy 10:16

God’s judgment is aimed at the foolish or boastful, at the wicked who “lift up the horn.” To “lift up the horn” is a Hebrew metaphor for honoring or strengthening. In other words, the wicked foolishly exalt themselves and rely on their own strength. They are stiff-necked, a symbol of pride and the refusal to submit to authority and guidance. God clearly warns against arrogance and willfulness, and promises to judge it when He sees it.

Think About It: Pride, boastfulness, the folly of sinfulness, arrogance, refusal of God’s authority, willfulness– all of these things merit God’s just judgment.  What hits home in this list? What  might refer to me?

Prayer: Repentance of those attitudes of heart that God says He will judge.

 

Read: Psalms 75:6 – 7; Acts 4:12; John 14:6; 1 Corinthians 3:11

The sense of these verses is that promotion, or lifting up, comes only from the Lord. It does not come from the east or the west, nor from the “wilderness of the mountains,” which can refer, in the context of Jerusalem,  to both the desert to the south and the mountains in the north.  Help from the east was mistakenly sought by kings who formed alliances with the empires of Assyria and Babylon. Help from the west was sought by those who sought to grow wealthy through trade on the sea. Help from the wilderness was sought by those who fled into the mountain fortresses or hid themselves in the desert. None of these sources of help ever worked for the Jews; promotion only comes from the Lord.

Think About It: Do I seek other source of help? What tempts me in the east, west, and wilderness?  Do I recognize that promotion only comes from the Lord? How does this concept relate to the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Prayer: Lord, help me in my areas of need.

 

Read: Psalm 75:8; Matthew 20:22; John 18:11; Habakkuk 2:16; Revelation 15:7, 16:1

There is a cup in God‘s hand which He forces the wicked to drink to the bitter dregs. This cup, called the cup of God’s wrath, is symbolic of God’s judgment. Everyone must drink from it– unless someone drinks it for us. That is precisely what Christ has done!

Think About It: Do I perceive myself as deserving of the cup of God’s wrath? Do I understand that I have been delivered from that terrible fate because Jesus took that cup?

Prayer: Praise to Jesus for His wonderful, amazing love.

 

Read: Psalm 75:9 – 10; 1 Samuel 2:1 – 10; Luke 1:46 – 56

The last verses of Psalm 75 sum things up wonderfully. God’s judgment results in praise from His people, the cutting off of the wicked, and the exaltation of the righteous.

Think About It: How can I lay claim to the exaltation promised in Psalm 75:10? Do I consistently praise God for His saving work?

Prayer: Praise to God for my salvation and for His mighty works of deliverance.

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