Read Psalm 75
For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” A psalm of Asaph. A song.
1 We praise you, God,
we praise you, for your Name is near;
people tell of your wonderful deeds.
2 You say, “I choose the appointed time;
it is I who judge with equity.
3 When the earth and all its people quake,
it is I who hold its pillars firm.
4 To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.
5 Do not lift your horns against heaven;
do not speak so defiantly.’”
6 No one from the east or the west
or from the desert can exalt themselves.
7 It is God who judges:
He brings one down, he exalts another.
8 In the hand of the Lord is a cup
full of foaming wine mixed with spices;
he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth
drink it down to its very dregs.
9 As for me, I will declare this forever;
I will sing praise to the God of Jacob,
10 who says, “I will cut off the horns of all the wicked,
but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.”
Psalm 75 marks the halfway point through the Psalms. Similar to Psalm 57, 58, and 59, this psalm is set to the tune of “Do Not Destroy” for the fourth and final time. It is a prayer by Asaph to God consisting of thanksgiving, a word from God, a warning by the church, and anticipation of the Lord’s deliverance.
Asaph knew that judgment was coming. He knew God would destroy the people not following Him, but he prayed for deliverance of the believers. He rejoiced, even though he knew heartbreak was around the corner. This served as a warning for those who were not following God; there was a destructive fate ahead if they did not take the opportunity to turn to righteousness.
This chapter has many references to a horn. In the Old Testament times, the horn was a symbol of boastful power and strength. The foolish were using their horns to promote themselves and their power, exalting themselves even over God. It seems like an old issue… until we think of a phrase we use today. How often do you “toot your own horn?”
We do not want to be foolish. Charles Spurgeon, a preacher and Bible scholar, notes, “When possessed by the arrogant, the horn is said to be ‘cut down’ or humbled. While God rejects the horns of the haughty, he exalts the horns of the righteous.” The Lord sees how we act every day. Self-promoting tendencies and boasting of success will feel good for a moment, but we will be left with God humbling us. Rather, let us live for righteousness and let God lift us up in His timing.
God will judge with equity and He gives us plenty of opportunities to turn to Him. When we turn to Him, He is near and works in our lives. With a focus on His wondrous deeds and praising Him, it will be much easier to declare His praise than tooting our own horn in vain.
- Has your behavior this week been leading to life in Christ or sin and death?
- Have you been tooting your own horn often? Take a moment to confess and repent.
- How can you encourage another believer today?
If you are curious about learning more about the verse-by-verse breakdown of this chapter, check out this commentary by Charles Spurgeon.
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2 thoughts on “Psalm 75”
If we spend our moments making much of our Savior it leaves no room for boasting about ourselves. It can be something as simple as keeping a gratitude journal and writing down blessings. It’s scientifically proven that being grateful rewires the brain. His wonderful works abound, let’s notice them and thank Him. V1 says “Your name is near”. God in all his character and attributes is near his people, a constant reminder of his love, wisdom, grace and mercy. God is not unknown or obscure, but revealed himself to his own. His greatest manifestation was sending his only Son to bring salvation to a lost world. Let’s cerebrate and give thanks to Him, for great things he has done and will do!
The cure for pride is praise. If we want to be humble & not “toot our own horn” we must praise God & toot His horn! When tempted to claim credit for things in our lives, may we remember the Source of life who gives us our abilities, skills, gifts, and talents. May the only thing we boast in be our weakness, like 2 Corinthians 12 says. Our weakness causes us to depend on God for everything- which is the goal & it’s why we must fight our pride. Humility causes us to rely on God, not ourselves, & it’s why God takes the matter of pride so seriously, as seen in this Psalm. God wants us to rely on Him & not ourselves because He is a good Father who knows what’s best for us. May we trust in Him, and, in humility, rely on Him today. And when tempted to toot our own horn, may we praise God instead.