Ep.169: Psalm 75: God Crushes It!

Ep169_Psalm075. Power Images of God.

Hello. I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”. 

Psalm 75 uses three power images for God: God steadies the pillars of the earth (v. 3); God prepares a potion in his cup of wrath for his enemies (v. 8); and God cuts off the horns of the wicked (vv. 4-5, 10). Let’s look at these three images.

First, God says,
  I will choose the appointed time;
      I will  judge with equity.
    When the earth and all its people quake,
      I will hold its pillars firm (vv. 2-3).

This is God asserting that he will judge fairly. When the earth and its people quake, when world leaders further personal agendas, appointing only judges who agree with them, when nations build bigger bombs and missiles, when people revolt against their leaders; in all these shakings and quakings, it is God who holds the pillars of the earth firm. People may rage and collect guns and propagate fake news, but underneath are the everlasting arms. 

Second, God presents another power image when he says,
  To the arrogant I say, “Boast no more,”
      and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horns.
    Do not lift your horns against heaven;
        do not speak defiantly” (vv. 4-5).
    “I will cut off the horns of the wicked,
        but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up” (v. 10). 

A word about horns. Ranchers remove horns and testicles from cattle to make them less dangerous and aggressive, safer to handle. Hunters hang racks of antlers on their walls. That says it all. You know you’re a real hunter when your wall hangings show the beasts you have conquered. God is the great hunter in this psalm, dehorning proud warrior nations, domesticating them to serve his purposes. 

The poet presents a third power image for God:
  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 (v. 8).

God’s wine is a picture of his anger. In his wrath, he makes the wicked drink wine until they are insensibly drunk, unable to strut about and make war and speak defiantly against God. 

Let’s pray. 

Our father, we prefer to think of you as a loving God, a safe God, but with the poet in Psalm 75, we reflect on your power and anger. We thank you that you are interested enough in human society to throw down the powerful nations and to implement justice. 

As our earth quakes and shakes with climate change, political divisiveness, fake news, drug abuse, and violence, we thank you that you judge with equity and hold firm the pillars of the earth. 

As authoritarian leaders exalt themselves, proudly displaying their horns of power–nuclear arsenals, warships, and armies–thank you, God, that you are the horn-cutter. Stop the arrogance of the wicked, crush their plans, bring the violent to a violent end. Bring wisdom and good governance on earth. 

As we see the greed and immorality of leaders, as they practice favoritism and nepotism and self-aggrandizement, we wait for you, God, to make them drink the wine of your wrath. They are drunk with self-importance, Lord. Pour out on them the wine of your anger that crushes them into submission, the wine of your wisdom that exposes their  foolishness and weakness, the wine of your justice that will put an end to their evil deeds.

O Lord, hold firm the pillars of the earth. Carry us in your everlasting arms.      


I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.