The Judge of Mens’ Hearts
My Great God, I too say “Praise be to the Lord… from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen” (Psa. 41:13).
Read PSALM 75
1 We praise you, God,
we praise you, for your Name is near;
people tell of your wonderful deeds.
2 You say, “I choose the appointed time;
it is I who judge with equity.
3 When the earth and all its people quake,
it is I who hold its pillars firm.
4 To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.
5 Do not lift your horns against heaven;
do not speak so defiantly.’”
6 No one from the east or the west
or from the desert can exalt themselves.
7 It is God who judges:
He brings one down, he exalts another.
8 In the hand of the Lord is a cup
full of foaming wine mixed with spices;
he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth
drink it down to its very dregs.
9 As for me, I will declare this forever;
I will sing praise to the God of Jacob,
10 who says, “I will cut off the horns of all the wicked,
but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps. 139:23,24).
Asaph, the worship team leader in King David’s Temple, begins this psalm in the right place, with exaltation of the King of all the earth, praising him for his name and his wonderful deeds. God is also the one who sets the agenda when it comes to judgment and justice.
On my wardrobe I have a handwritten sign that reads, “God’s in charge here—not me, nor the doctors, nor the devil!” I find it helpful to be reminded of who is really in authority in my world—a world that is often painful and appears at times unfair. The timing of his judgment is in his hands. He may delay because of his great love for sinful people (2 Pet. 3:9), but he will not wait forever. What is amazing is that Jesus has drunk the cup of God’s righteous anger over our sin down to its dregs (Matt. 20:22), so that we don’t need to drink it anymore, now or ever. That is the good news we celebrate today!
Lifting up the horn is a symbol of defiant opposition, as the horns of a bull symbolize its strength and power and might be lifted up in the charge. In the book of Psalms, arrogance and wickedness seem to go together (Psa. 10:2; 73:3; 94:3,4). Psalm 75 may well have been in the mind of Isaiah when he prophesied to Hezekiah about the judgment of the arrogant Assyrian Sennacharib (2 Kgs. 19:21–34), but it stands as a warning in every age. Those who exalt themselves against God will be brought low, and those who humble themselves before him can expect to be vindicated and rewarded in the day of his judgment and justice.
For what do you praise God today? Wondrous deeds? Upright judgment? Firm hold on the world? Uplifting righteousness?
Lord, I bow before You as King. Thank You for drinking the cup of God’s judgment for me.