Psalm 75 (English Standard Version)
God Will Judge with Equity
To the choirmaster: according to Do Not Destroy. A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.
1We give thanks to you, O God;
we give thanks, for your name is near.
We recount your wondrous deeds.
2“At the set time that I appoint
I will judge with equity.
3When the earth totters, and all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep steady its pillars.
1 Samuel 2:8 (English Standard Version)
He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s,
and on them he has set the world.
4I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn;
5do not lift up your horn on high,
or speak with haughty neck.’”
6For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
7but it is God who executes judgment,
putting down one and lifting up another.
Years ago when I was an Army wife, I was introduced to this verse by a sergeant-major’s wife during a Bible Study. The promotion list was soon to come out, and many of the women in our study were eagerly / anxiously / hopefully waiting to see if their husband’s name would be on it. Promotion depended on so many factors, but a large one was the evaluation of the service member’s immediate commander. This means, of course, that if one’s husband didn’t get promoted, one could blame it on his boss. (As we progress up the military ladder, however, the coin shows another side — that if a person under your husband doesn’t get promoted, the wife could blame your husband.)
So that particular morning, as women were sharing horror stories of what their husbands had to put up with under terrible bosses — this woman opened her Bible to this verse. It is not from the Army that promotions come, she said to us. It is God who chooses who will get promoted and when. Then she added, since we know that God is a loving father, we can trust him to do the right thing for us on the promotion list.
My husband was eligible for promotion that year — but his name was not on the list. He was very discouraged amid the public “humiliation” that comes with being passed over. But the next year he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, and right then his #1 choice of a battalion command came open. Had he been promoted a year earlier, he would not have been free at the right time. So we spent two wonderful years at his dream job — leading the 313th Military Intelligence Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Wonderful years!
Yes, the Lord knew what he was doing. “We give thanks to you, O God; we recount your wondrous deeds.”
8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup
with foaming wine, well mixed,
and he pours out from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall drain it down to the dregs.
9But I will declare it forever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.
You could think horns of bulls, I guess. But I prefer French horns! Steve Park, a horn teacher at Utah State University, plays his French horn beautifully for this, Noctorno Op. 7, by Franz Strauss. If you are a lover of French horn, as I am, you can find many more pieces recorded by him on youtube.
“We give thanks to you, O God, we give thanks” — the first words of this psalm. As you listen, give thanks to God!
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.