“We give thanks to you, O God.” A psalmist in the tradition of Asaph wrote Psalm 75 for the faithful to sing. All who would gather together in the covenant assembly of Israel were to remember that the Lord was near to them when they called upon His Name. They could sing and pray together about the “wondrous deeds” of the Almighty One.
Psalm 75 moves back and forth between the “we” of Israel who are the congregation of God, and a singular “I” who speaks and acts for God, not just in praise, but in the Lord’s judgment against the wicked. This one faithful Ruler can be none other than God, who will come at a set time that He appoints. He “will judge with equity.” When the earth totters, He will “keep steady its pillars.”
Though wicked emperors may be able to intimidate many people groups with their powerful armies, this one King over all can say something as simple as, “Do not boast,” and rebellious enemies are put in their place. They can no longer go forth in battle, lifting up their “horn on high.” They can no longer oppress others, speaking “with haughty neck.”
When Israel faced powerful foes “from the east or from the west,” or when an enemy invaded “from the wilderness,” it would have been tempting to think that those hostile forces were the only powers around. Yet this singular “I,” God, the Lord, this King over kings was the One who “executes judgment.” The forces that attacked His people from any direction were under His sovereign command. One day He would prepare a cup of judgment for them to drink, and all the wicked of the earth would taste His wrath.
This “I” who would rule the nations would also lead Israel in the praise of God. He would “sing praises to the God of Jacob.” He would be the One who would stop wicked kings, but He would also find a way to lift up the righteous above their enemies.
These words that Israel sang for so many centuries have fresh meaning for the church today. We know that the “I” of Psalm 75 is Jesus, who is both “God” and “with God.” (John 1:1) Though all have sinned, even in His own Israel, and deserve His wrath, a great multitude, even from among the nations, have been declared righteous through faith in Him (Romans 3:21-26). This same Jesus who drank the cup of death for us (Matthew 26:39), and rose from the dead for our justification (Romans 4:25), will come again to judge the world and to rescue His beloved people (John 14:3 and Revelation 1:7).
Because of the great revelation of the one “I” of Psalm 75, Jews and Gentiles all over the earth can sing with greater understanding. They have become the “we” of this psalm of Asaph, as they worship God together through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Our Father, we thank You because of who You are and what You have done. We humble ourselves before You, Almighty God. You will judge the wicked. You will vindicate Your people forever.