Scripture reading – Psalm 75

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Continuing our Scripture readings in the Psalms, we focus again on one of the twelve psalms attributed to Asaph, a chief musician during David’s reign. Psalm 75 challenges us to a Biblical perspective on the sovereignty of God and His rule over the nations and people of the earth.

The Praise and Thanksgiving of the Congregation (Psalm 75:1)

Psalm 75:1 summoned the congregation to acknowledge God is the Supreme Ruler of His creation and is due our praise and thanksgiving. Twice, in the first verse, a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving was encouraged: “Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks” (Psalm 75:1a; Ephesians 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). We should not only “give thanks” to the LORD but also remember His “name” [in essence, all that He is] is revealed in His works [creation; miracles]” (Psalm 75:1b).


The Promise to Serve as a Righteous Judge (Psalm 75:2-3)

Psalm 75:2-3 speaks of judgment, and some might suppose the rule and judgment of David is the focus. I believe, however, that the judgment of God is the subject. Who but the LORD has the authority to receive the congregation of the saints, judge them uprightly, and weigh them in the scales of His law (Psalm 75:2)?

The laws and judgments of men are perpetually shaky and uncertain. Yet, under God’s righteous judgment, “the earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved” (Psalm 75:3). If our hope for justice were founded upon the discretion of men, we would have cause for anxiety. God, however, assured His people, “I bear up the pillars of [the earth] (Psalm 75:3). Nations rise, and nations fall, but be assured the LORD holds up the pillars and the foundations of the world (Colossians 1:17; Hebrews 1:3).

An Admonishment of Foolish Leaders (Psalm 75:4-5)


We find a warning to every leader who rules over the lives of men with a heavy, proud hand. The LORD admonished, “4I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: And to the wicked, Lift not up the horn [a symbol of power and strength]: 5Lift not up your horn on high [i.e., don’t abuse your office]: Speak not with a stiff [proud, stubborn] neck” (Psalm 75:4-5).

How soon those in authority forget they are nothing without God! Civil government is ordained by the LORD (Romans 13:1), and those who rule and judge have divine mandates for which they will give account. From the King or President to the local magistrate, all in authority are commanded to be the servants of God for good and avengers of His wrath “upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:4).


God’s Sovereignty in Judgment and the Promotion of Leaders (Psalm 75:6-8)

God warned, “6For promotion cometh neither from the east, Nor from the west, nor from the south. 7But God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another” (Psalm 75:6-7). God is sovereign and the final Judge (Romans 14:12; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15). He promotes, demotes, and oversees the rise and fall of men and nations.

Like a cup of red wine poured out like blood, God promised to pour out His wrath upon wicked leaders, for “all the wicked of the earth” will drink to the full the wrath of God (Psalm 75:8)

The Promise of God’s Imminent Judgment (Psalm 75:9)

The psalmist painted a dark picture of God’s wrath upon rulers who fail to rule righteously and lawfully. Nevertheless, the believer’s faith in God’s justice moved the psalmist to declare his faith in God’s holy character and “sing praises to the God of Jacob” (Psalm 75:9).


The Promise of the Psalmist to Seek Justice (Psalm 75:10)

The judicial foundations of a nation may be shaken, and the wicked might boast and abuse their authority. Still, the psalmist (perhaps David) declared his pursuit of justice, writing, 10All the horns [power and strength of their office] of the wicked also will [the LORD] cut off; But the horns of the righteous shall be exalted” (Psalm 75:10).

Closing thoughts –

God is just, and He has promised the wicked will face His wrath and be judged. Yet, the righteous will be blessed. Fools will sing their praises and stiffen their necks against the LORD (Psalm 75:5), but a wise man will remember every promotion is an act of God’s grace (Psalm 75:6). God is the judge [governor; the final dispenser of justice]: He putteth down [humbles; abases] one, and setteth up [exalts] another” (Psalm 75:7).


Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith

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