The Expository Files

Give Thanks For The Judgment

Psalm 75

This is one of four psalms that are according to, or set to, "Al-tashheth." This word means "do not destroy." Three other psalms (Ps. 57, 58, and 59) are also formed in this way. The best conjecture as to the meaning of this is that these are psalms or warning to the enemies of God not to become too proud in their own power because it is God's people that they are going up against.

1 (For the choir director; set to Al-tashheth. A Psalm of Asaph, a Song.) We give thanks to Thee, O God, we give thanks, For Thy name is near; Men declare Thy wondrous works.

We should praise God again and again. Partial gratitude on our part is in fact ingratitude. We praise God who is wondrous and mighty in works. He is not asleep as we suffer or as evil is done. The previous psalm was set in a time of horrible suffering, yet there was no complaint. How can we keep our faith and our composure when things go so horribly against us? We continue to remember God, and remembering His nature, His work and what He has promised to do, so we praise Him.

Such praise to God is common in the psalms, but we do not normally associate it in our own minds with the final judgment. But the world ending, punishment on the wicked pronouncing, judgment is what this psalm cites as reason for praise of God for His mighty works. We like to avoid thoughts of judgment and retribution, but they are a mighty and proper work of God. "For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus." (2 Thess. 1:6-8)

The Lord Rules The World In Righteousness

2 When I select an appointed time, It is I who judge with equity.
3 The earth and all who dwell in it melt; It is I who have firmly set its pillars. Selah.
4 I said to the boastful, 'Do not boast,' And to the wicked, 'Do not lift up the horn;
5 Do not lift up your horn on high, Do not speak with insolent pride.'"

In His own time and by His own righteousness God will judge the world. It will as melt, "with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up." Peter adds. (2 Pet. 3:10) Peter said that because of this the righteous should consider "what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness" (vs. 11). Asaph says that the wicked should not be boastful and proud. The certainty of the judgment should immediately and continually impact the conduct of all men. Thoughts of judgment compel the righteous to continue in righteousness and, when such thoughts occur to the wicked, it should cause them to cease their evil.

Further Warning To The Proud

6 For not from the east, nor from the west, Nor from the desert comes exaltation;
7 But God is the Judge; He puts down one, and exalts another.
8 For a cup is in the hand of the LORD, and the wine foams; It is well mixed, and He pours out of this; Surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs.

Man so often thinks that place and position come either by chance or are completely controlled by men. But God is in charge. He oversees the rise and fall of empires and houses. He also judges the same. When ascendant, man thinks only of his own power and position. When cast down, man thinks only of the power and position lost. Because man in both positions forgets God and His will and His way, they are judged and condemned. But the righteous remembers God in all stations and situations of life.

Anticipation Of Glory
9 But as for me, I will declare it forever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 And all the horns of the wicked He will cut off, But the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.

Asaph, a righteous man, speaks and sings of God with the confidence of a man who "knows whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day." (2 Tim. 1:12) This confidences remains in the heart of the righteous man in spite of the fact that every indication is that this psalm was written when the proud and wicked were ascendant. Confidence remains because he knows the final and ultimate outcome of the wicked and the ultimate glorious of the righteous.

Let "We give thanks to Thee, O God, we give thanks, For Thy name is near; Men declare Thy wondrous works" (vs. 1) also be our cry song and cry when depressed or oppressed and when in need of deliverance. Praise God, for He has an ultimate cure for every evil that is not repented of, the judgment.

By Jay Horsley
From Expository Files 11.5; May, 2004