SO VERY SOVEREIGN
Lord, you are a perfectly righteous judge.
Read PSALM 75
For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” A psalm of Asaph. A song.
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.[b]
4 To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.[c]
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.”
a Psalm 75:1 In Hebrew texts 75:1-10 is numbered 75:2-11.
b Psalm 75:3 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here.
c Psalm 75:4 Horns here symbolize strength; also in verses 5 and 10.
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.
“When you accept … that God is in control of [hard seasons], you will discover a sense of divine refuge, because hope then is in God and not yourself.” (Charles R. Swindoll, “Think Theologically not Logically,” online article, 2009)
This is a song reassuring us that God is the final judge. It was written at a time when arrogant worldly powers threatened Israel’s security, possibly during the time of the Assyrian threat (2 Kings 18,19). It starts with thanksgiving from the congregation (1) and finishes with a declaration of praise (9, 10). Between these come two stanzas containing a reassuring word from heaven (2–5) and then a triumphant response from God’s people on earth (6–8).
God’s reassuring message reminds the people that he will not fail to call the arrogant to account. However, this will happen in his “appointed time” (2) and on his own terms. It is difficult for limited human beings to understand God’s unlimited perspective of time. We live in a “microwave generation,” in which we want everything now and are often unable or unwilling to wait. Patience is a lost virtue, increasingly painful to acquire. God insists that he will act and that he will act rightly – but it will be in his time, not ours. And he invites us simply to trust him in this.
The cup of spiced wine is a familiar biblical symbol for God’s judgment against the wicked – which is inevitable. God will always have the last word. He alone will decide the final outcome, both for the wicked and for the righteous. He brings one down, while exalting another. He is sovereign, and he is fully in control. Therefore we can trust him completely and never give way to fear.
No matter how dark or difficult your life’s circumstances are right now, make it your regular habit to celebrate and acknowledge God’s sovereignty in your life. Accept His timing, which may be beyond your understanding. When arrogant people threaten your security, be confident that God will ultimately overrule and judge them.
We believe, oh Lord, that the power to promote and to demote on the world stage is Yours and Yours alone.
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