July 14 2023
Today, Friday July 14
“We Give Thanks to You, O God…”
To the Chief Musician. Set to ‘Do Not Destroy.’ A Psalm of Asaph. A Song.
“We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.
"When I choose the proper time, I will judge uprightly. The earth and all its inhabitants are dissolved; I set up its pillars firmly. Selah 'I said to the boastful, 'Do not deal boastfully,' And to the wicked, 'Do not lift up the horn. Do not lift up your horn on high; Do not speak with a stiff neck.' "
For exaltation comes neither from the east Nor from the west nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, And the wine is red; It is fully mixed, and He pours it out; Surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth Drain and drink down.
But I will declare forever, I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 'All the horns of the wicked I will also cut off, But the horns of the righteous shall be exalted."
We have arrived at Psalm 75, which means we will be half-way through the Book of Psalms when we finish our chats on this chapter! What an amazing journey so far! I have learned so much more about the Psalms and their history in this study that already, as I read through them monthly, they mean so much more to me and have experienced in them a “new life”. I trust that you are enjoying them in a new and fresh way too.
From the title of Psalm 75 we learn several things. First, it was written by a man whose name was Asaph. But from the contents of this chapter, we don’t believe that it was the same Asaph who wrote Psalm 73, who was appointed by David to be his chief musician and worship leader in the Jerusalem Worship Center. Also, he is not the same Asaph that wrote the previous Psalm 74, about the Babylonians soldiers destroying Jerusalem and the temple. This third Asaph of Psalm 75, was probably a descendant of the original Asaph in Psalm 73, and he lived in a time between the two other Asaphs’.
Most Bible scholars and commentators believe that the Asaph of Psalm 75 was one who lived in the time of the prophet Isaiah and King Hezekiah. Remember the historical account we are given in Isaiah 36-37, and 2 Kings 18-19, about King Sennaherib of Assyria who attacked Jerusalem. He came from the north destroying everything in his path. This is how John Phillips in his commentary described it:
“One day the horrified Jews of Jerusalem looked out over the battlements of their city and saw the dreaded cohorts of Assyria drawn up before their gates in a tight cordon. Those dreaded storm troops and siege troops, those sappers and soldiers, those fierce, violent men who had ravaged scores of cities already stretched as far as eye could see. They had marched at will over all the Middle East. They had left behind them smoking ruins, flayed and impaled human beings who screamed out their last hours in indescribable anguish, mounds of corpses, demoralized survivors. They were invincible.
Now they were encamped outside Jerusalem. Their spokesman and propaganda chief had done his best to further demoralize king, garrison, and citizens. His contemptuous letter had been handed to Hezekiah who, in turn, had read it to the Lord.
The sun set on the sight. The paralyzed Jews crept to their beds in dread of what the morrow might bring: rape and ruin, torment and torture, deportation and degradation; and for king and court, heads of state, and military officers: death by torture.
The sun arose one morning shortly afterward. The Jews crept back to the walls. The tents were still there, the Assyrian banners were still flapping in the breeze. But what was this? Vultures were assembling and circling the camp. There was a dreadful stillness yonder, the stillness of death. Then the truth dawned. The Assyrians were dead! God had read that letter, and He had replied to it by return post. The Assyrians were dead; Jerusalem was saved; the horror was past. In the thrill of it all Psalm 75 was written, and also Psalm 76.”
In one night, God sent one angel who killed 185,000 of the Assyrian soldiers. Of course, the people rejoiced, and Asaph wrote this Psalm of thanksgiving and worship. We can’t even begin to imagine the thanksgiving that was in the hearts of all the inhabitants of Jerusalem that morning! They were doomed to die, but miraculously God had defeated their enemy by His mighty power!
My friend, we have so much to be thankful for if we have been saved from the penalty of death for our sins against a holy and just God! We were as good as dead, but now we live! We have so much more to be thankful for as we see God save our family members and friends! And as we see them delivered from addictions and the bondage of sin! Praise the Lord!
Take time today to remember all that you can be thankful for and rejoice that “His name is near”!