Psalm 75 — The Fear of the Lord — Reading the Psalms


For the Chief Musician; set to Al-tashheth. A Psalm of Asaph, a Song.

1 We give thanks unto thee, O God;
We give thanks, for thy name is near:
Men tell of thy wondrous works.
2 When I shall find the set time,
I will judge uprightly.
3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved:
I have set up the pillars of it.     Selah
4 I said unto the arrogant, Deal not arrogantly:
And to the wicked, Lift not up the horn:
5 Lift not up your horn on high;
Speak not with a stiff neck.
6 For neither from the east, nor from the west,
Nor yet from the south, cometh lifting up.
7 But God is the judge:
He putteth down one, and lifteth up another.
8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine foameth;
It is full of mixture, and he poureth out of the same:
Surely the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.
9 But I will declare for ever,
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
10 All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off;
But the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up.

In this psalm we see, through Asaph’s voice, the judgment and power of God over all peoples. God knows his authority and tries to awaken our ears to this reality. Who are we to think we stand by our own skill? God alone has the power to lift and dissolve. And yet, so often we stand in our own arrogance, proud of our small accomplishments. When we, in our pride, lift our creations and accomplishments on high, we’ve turned from God to idolatry.

Asaph’s psalm expresses these ideas in extremes. God is loud and active in these words. Asaph too is loud with his voice. It is not from anywhere on earth, neither east nor west, he tells us, that glory originates. Glory comes from above. And not glory only, but also the foaming cup of the Lord, ready for all. Are we strong enough – or fool enough – to try to drink it on our own?

This psalm is full of the fear of the Lord. It ought to inspire fear in us as we read it. We ought to leave this psalm with a desire to praise. We fear not those who can hurt body alone, but he who has power over body and soul In this fear, we grow to love a powerful and merciful God. He will indeed lift us up.


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