Theme: The Psalmist’s Testimony and Ours
In this week’s lessons, we are reminded that God is sovereign over all things, and he will execute justice and judgment in his own time.
Scripture: Psalm 75:1-10
The very last verses of Psalm 75 contain a testimony agreeing with all the psalm has been teaching (vv. 9, 10). I take them to be the testimony of the individual, indicated by the pronoun “I” occurring twice in verse 9 and a third time in verse 10. By reciting them, you or I or anyone else can add his or her testimony to these truths.
Generally speaking, scholars have explained the last verse of the psalm in either of two ways: 1) as an additional oracle from God which is added on to the psalm, somewhat like a musical reprise;1 or, 2) more commonly, as a promise by the worshiper that he will do what he can to check the influence of the wicked and help the righteous.2 Either is possible. But I see this verse rather as the substance of the testimony the individual worshiper will be giving; that is, God will do as he says. If we were conveying this idea by printing it according to English style, it would be by a colon after the previous statement and with quotation marks around verse 10. Thus we would have: “As for me, I will declare this forever (I will sing praise to the God of Jacob): ‘I will cut off the horns of all the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.’”
That is exactly what you and I are called to do, of course. If we have become followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and know him to be the true “King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:16), we will want to make this known. We declare him as the rightful king who alone will execute right judgment.
But we say something else as well. Judgment is coming. Jesus is the Judge. We warn people of that coming judgment. There are foretastes of judgment even now, for evil usually does not triumph but is rather brought low. As we read yesterday, Pharaoh drowns, Nebuchadnezzar is humbled, Herod writhes in agony, and Hitler kills himself in his bunker. But we also declare that being forced to drink the cup of the wrath of the God who reigns over all things is not necessary since Jesus has drunk that cup to the bottom for all who will believe on him as their Savior. Jesus drank the cup of God’s wrath (as he asks in John 18:11, “Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”) so that you and I might drink from the cup of salvation.
An unidentified later psalmist had it right when he declared, “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD” (Ps. 116:13).
1For example, Marvin E. Tate, Word Biblical Commentary, vol. 20, Psalms 51-100 (Dallas: Word, 1990), p. 259.
2See H. C. Leupold, Exposition of the Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1969), p. 547; J. J. Stewart Perowne, Commentary on the Psalms, 2 vols. in 1 (Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1989), vol. 2, p. 38; Alexander Maclaren, The Psalms, vol. 2 (New York: A. C. Armstrong and Son, 1893), p. 365; and Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, vol. 2a, p. 295.
How have scholars understood verse 10?
How does Dr. Boice understand it?
Application: How can you apply verse 10?
Prayer: Pray for opportunities to wisely and compassionately warn others of the judgment that is coming, and what they need to do in response to Christ’s return.
For Further Study: That God is sovereign over all things, including judgment, also means that he is sovereign in the salvation of his people. Download for free and listen to James Boice’s message, “Sovereign Grace.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)