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The first of Asaph’s psalms: Psalm 75−76

Asaph was one of the musicians David appointed to lead the nation’s worship when he moved the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. He wrote twelve psalms, which pour out his response to the changes in the Israelite kingdom from David to Rehoboam.

Watching Israel fall apart from its own unrighteousness must have been hard for the poet-priest. But the nation survived.

Why does the earth not fall apart? It’s not because of the boastful or the wicked.

Psalm 75:2-4At the set time that I appoint
I will judge with equity.
When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep its pillars steady.

Later in the Psalm, Asaph writes (or sings) about God’s judgement:

7 … but it is God who executes judgement,
putting down one and lifting up another.
… But I will rejoice for ever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.

So why does Asaph rejoice? Because the righteous (and he believes he is one of them) are lifted up. The judgement is about more than God bringing bad stuff to the wicked. It also brings justice to the oppressed and it brings God’s mercy.

Psalm 75

We give thanks to you, O God;
we give thanks; your name is near.
People tell of your wondrous deeds.

2 At the set time that I appoint
I will judge with equity.
When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep its pillars steady.Selah
I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast’,
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn;
do not lift up your horn on high,
or speak with insolent neck.’

6 For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up;
but it is God who executes judgement,
putting down one and lifting up another.
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
with foaming wine, well mixed;
he will pour a draught from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall drain it down to the dregs.
But I will rejoice for ever;
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 exalted.

 

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