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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Psalms 75

Verses 1-10


The announcement that God's set time for intervention in judgment is near at hand. It is the answer to the appeal of the godly in Psalm 74 , who ask, “How long” ( Psa_74:9-10 )?

(v. 1) The appeal of Psalm 74 opens with a cry of distress: this psalm opens with praise to God, for His wondrous works declare that the time is near when all that God is, as set forth in His Name, will be displayed in judgment.

(vv. 2-3) The verses that follow give the occasion which calls forth the praise of verse 1. It is the announcement by God Himself that, in His set time, God will judge uprightly. We are often impatient for God to deal with evil. God, however, has His set time - when evil is ripe, and His people have learned their lesson - for intervention in judgment. Then the earth and its inhabitants will be dissolved. The social fabric will be broken up (see Isa_24:19-20 ); but even so God has established its pillars. God maintains the earth, though the world system formed by man is broken up.

(vv. 4-5) In these verses the psalmist gives a warning rebuke to men, based upon the announcement that God is about to intervene in judgment. The boastfulness of man in himself and his doings, and his rebellion against God, will call down the judgment of God. Hence the psalmist warns man not to boast, and exalt himself in his own strength, symbolized by the figure of a horn (the fighting strength of an animal), nor rebel against God.

(vv. 6-8) Deliverance cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. “Promotion” is a poor and misleading translation. The word is 'lifting up,' and continues the thought of verses 4 and 5. It is not the idea of exalting a person to a place of prominence, but rather deliverance of the crushed by 'lifting them' up from the dust. The expression is found again in verse 10, where the word 'exalted' should be translated 'lifted up.' This thought of 'lifting up' is found in verses 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10. The north is not mentioned because, it has been suggested, the enemy that attacks the land of Israel comes from that quarter, and hence there would be no thought of help coming from the North. The people of God have to learn that help does not come from any quarter of the earth. It comes from God: God is the Judge; He puts down one and lifts up another.

In the hand of the Lord there is a cup of judgment. This cup is full of mixture, an allusion to the aromatic herbs mixed with wine to add to its intoxicating qualities. The wicked will be made to drink this cup to its dregs.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 75". "Smith's Writings". 1832.