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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

Psalms 75

Verse 1

Introduction

Psalm 75 is God’s answer to the prayer (of the remnant in great distress) in Psalm 74. In the face of the devastating onslaught of the wicked, the God-fearing remnant looks up to God. The supplication of Psalm 74, that God should arise to plead His cause (Psalms 74:22), is answered in Psalm 75. God stands up as Judge (Psalms 75:8).

Thanksgiving

For “for the choir director” (Psalms 75:1) see at Psalm 4:1.

For “Al-tashheth“ see at Psalm 57:1.

For “a Psalm of Asaph” see at Psalm 50:1.

This psalm is also “a Song”, meaning it is a song of praise.

The remnant bursts into praise because of what God is going to do (Psalms 75:1). Usually we give thanks to God for what He has done and given, but by faith the remnant, like Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20, give thanks to the LORD for what He is going to do (2 Chronicles 20:21). The repetition “we give thanks” emphasizes the thanksgiving. God is the object of it.

The reason is that God’s Name is “near”. This means that the moment is near when He will act in favor of His own and make His Name known on all the earth. It also means that God is near in their thoughts (cf. Philippians 4:5). He is no longer the absent God as they experienced Him in the previous psalm, where the Name of the LORD is blasphemed (Psalms 74:7; Psalms 74:10Psalms 74:18).

The wondrous works of God that are declared are those of His redemption of His people. They have heard of His wondrous works; they have been declared of them. By this they have been reminded of the history of redemption. This encourages them in view of the imminent deliverance from the affliction in which they are.

Verses 2-3

The Messiah Judges With Equity

In these verses the Messiah speaks. He does so in the ‘I’ form (Psalms 75:2). He, and no one else, will “judge with equity”, when He has received what is appointed for Him. God has appointed the heavens and the earth for Him to rule over them. At the time appointed by Him, He will give Him the government in His hands (Mark 13:32; cf. Psalms 2:8).

The Hebrew word mo’ed – which is translated here as “appointed time” – means a certain or destined time and place. At the time appointed by the Father, Christ will act, and that in accordance with the will and thought of God. When God has given Him the government in His hands, He will begin His government by judging evil (John 5:27). His judgment will be “with equity”; it will be carried out perfectly justly according to the evil committed.

If He accepts His government, it will cause “earth and all who dwell in it” to “melt” (Psalms 75:3). All human governments appear to have no foundation because they have ruled according to corrupt principles. By His righteous judgments, which He brings upon them through the king of the north, they will become aware of this. Thereby all their strength will melt. What He now brings in its place is stability (cf. Psalms 104:5). He firmly sets the pillars of His government inviolable and unshakable.

Verses 4-8

Warning

Against the background of His coming reign, there follow warnings addressed to the boastful and the wicked (Psalms 75:4). It is, as it were, a final call to reflect on their boasting and belief in their own strength. The boastful are advised not to boast by taking a haughty attitude against God. The wicked He tells not to lift up their horn, the symbol of strength.

Let them not lift up their horns on high, i.e. to God (Psalms 75:5). It is supreme folly to contend with God for power (cf. Psalms 2:1-Numbers :). They will also do well to “not speak with insolent pride [literally: neck]”. In their haughtiness toward God, they stretch out their necks to appear greater.

They must remember that “exaltation” does not come from some place on earth (Psalms 75:6). It comes “not from the east, nor from the west, nor from the desert”. ‘The desert is the south. The north is not mentioned. Possibly that direction is not mentioned because from that direction come the judgments as the disciplinary rod of God, which mean humiliation and not exaltation.

In any case, exaltation does not come from any agency or man on earth, but from God, for “God is the Judge” (Psalms 75:7). Both humiliation and exaltation come from Him and are done on the basis of a judicial decision from Him. “He puts down one” because He as Judge decides it. By virtue of that same capacity as Judge, He “exalts another”. He acts according to right, not in preference or at will.

Those who exalt themselves He humbles (Luke 14:11; Luke 18:14). This is what the presumptuous wicked will experience. “A cup is in the hand of the LORD”, a cup filled with the judgment of the Judge (Psalms 75:8). The wine of judgment “foams” and is “well mixed”. This indicates the impetuosity and sharpness of judgment (cf. Revelation 14:10; Revelation 16:19).

God is pouring from the cup. He pours it completely empty. “All the wicked of the earth must drain [and] drink down its dregs” (cf. Isaiah 51:17; Jeremiah 25:15). The cup contains nothing but the anger of God over the sinful lives of the wicked. Every sip from this cup is completely deserved. Therefore, they must drink it down to the last drop; there will be no residue left in the cup. Reduction of sentence is not possible.

When the time comes to judge, there is no escape. Nor is there any mitigation possible. Even the dregs must be drunk, that is, even the king of the north will ultimately be destroyed (Daniel 11:45). The judgments come sparing nothing and completely upon all the wicked. None of the wicked will escape them. “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).

Verses 9-10

The Messiah Honors God

The end result is sung by the Messiah (Psalms 75:9). Singing is the consequence of redemption. There is no doubt about the redemption. He will proclaim what God has done in the judgment of the wicked and the deliverance of His people forever. He will also “sing praises to the God of Jacob”.

God is the God of Jacob. This points to the connection between the mighty God and the weak Jacob. God fulfills all His promises to a people who so often behaved like Jacob by going their own ways. Therefore, the God of Jacob is the God of election and the God of grace. The life of Jacob is an illustration of the school of God in the life of a believer, how God transforms Jacob from a heels holder into Israel, which means the prince of God.

The wicked have continually boasted on their own strength – horns are a symbol of strength (Psalms 75:10; cf. Revelation 17:12). The Messiah will “cut off” their horns, as warned of in Psalms 75:4 and Psalms 75:5. He will break their strength.

In contrast, what happens to the horns of the righteous is that they are “lifted up”. The strength of the righteous is not his own, but he derives his strength from the strong God. He is his strength. He lifts up his horns as a heave offering in order to offer it to God. By doing so, he indicates that he owes his strength to Him alone.

The LORD will also use the righteous, that is, the faithful remnant, that is, give them strength, to defeat the enemy (cf. Zechariah 12:6; cf. Joshua 10:24; Romans 16:20).

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Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 75". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/psalms-75.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniƫl', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.