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PSALM 75

THE "PROMOTION" PSALM!

"For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the Judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another."

Psalm 75:6-7

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

PSALM 75

To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph

"Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah. I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them. But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted."

 

 

LESSON 1, THE SUPERSCRIPT:

We return to one of the Psalms. It's been a favorite for years. No doubt it will both illuminate our minds and challenge our hearts.

Psalm 75 only has ten verses, each divinely inspired of God. Its "superscript," that little modifying phrase before the first verse, nearly a "title" to the whole piece, is informative also. Word for word, here it is: "To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph,"

"To the chief musician" indicates the future usage of the Psalm. This one is going to be set to music and sung by one of the great choirs of Israel, composed of godly Levites. The "chief musician" is much like the "music director" or "song leader" at Church. "Natzsach" means "one who oversees, one who excels, one who is preeminent, one who is bright,  one who is perpetual or enduring, one who is chief!" Taking these definitions literally, the real Chief Musician then is Jesus!

Hebrews 2:11-12, partly quoting Psalm 22:22, says of Jesus: "For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare Thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." See it? Jesus singing!

Also Zephaniah 3:17 reveals God's musical Ability. "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. " Amen!

Truthfully, God is the Chief Musician, and the proper addressee of Psalm 75 too!

Again: "To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph," the whole superscript of Psalm 75.

But, what does "Altaschith" mean?

It combines two words in Hebrew, really in Aramaic they say. The prefix "al" means "no," negating its neighbor.

The accompanying verb means "to destroy, to corrupt, to to ruin." Guard and protect and honor this Psalm!

This prohibition applies to all God's Word of course. But especially to the chapters which are carefully labeled so. "Destroy not!"

Here's one of the general warnings about tampering with Scripture. "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." Deuteronomy 4:2

Now, who is Asaph?

Twelve Psalms mention him. He is certainly one of the Levites who sang these Hymns. But he wrote some of them too! His name means "gatherer." Perhaps he helped collect material, words and tunes, like a research assistant, for King David. He was skilled enough in Scripture to be called a "seer," nearly a "prophet," by the Chronicler. "Moreover Hezekiah the king and the princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the LORD with the words of David, and of Asaph the seer. And they sang praises with gladness, and they bowed their heads and worshipped." 2nd Chronicles 29:30

Also, I just found another source who defines "Asaph" as "one who assembles," or just "the  assembler." Now we have singing, in a public service! Sounds good.

Psalm 75.

To be sung to the whole nation! "To the chief musicain"

To be specially protected! "Altaschith"

Written by the "prophet" Asaph! He was one of those singing preachers, multi-talented no doubt. "A Psalm of Song of Asaph"

Oh, by the way, "Psalm" is "mizmor," derived from "zamar," meaning "to make music, especially that which praises God!"

And "song," spelled "shiyr," emphasizes "making melody wherever one goes," particularly as he "travels" from one place to another!

And do I believe these "superscripts" are inspired of God?

Yes, I do!

Lord willing, tomorrow, Verse number one.

Until then ... "To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Psalm or Song of Asaph" surely provides us meat for thought.

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Oh yes ...

Only four Psalms carry this serious warning, "Do not destroy."

"Altaschith."

Preachers, what a series of sermons they might become!

Psalms 57, 58, and 59, plus ours today, Psalm 75. What binds them together like this?

 

 

LESSON 2, VERSE 1:

The Psalm opens with these words, Psalm 75. "Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare."

Talk about beginning with God!

I call it a Psalm of Thanksgiving, based on its first sentence alone. At least to some degree it is.

God's Name "Elohiym" is used here. Found 2,606 times in the Bible, the root of the Name means "strong" One! Mighty One! Chief! Leader! Person with Highest Rank!

I suspect the almightiness of God, His omnipotence, is found as much in this Name as in any other.

Notice that the "thanksgiving" is repeated, occurring twice in the verse! Sounds like Paul in Philippians 4:4. "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." Or like Jesus with all His "Verily, verily" statements.

And remember that the verb "to give thanks" is picturesque. It suggests "shooting or hurling or throwing or casting" something heavenward! Probably it encourages us to lift our voices and hearts and hands upward, expressing gratitude to our Father in Heaven, from Whom all blessings flow!

"Yadah" also means "to praise" 53 times in the Bible. While "giving thanks" enters with about 34 instances in Scripture.

But notice why the Psalmist gives such thanks. What event or fact prompted such a beneficial outburst? "For that Thy Name is near Thy wondrous works declare."

Yes!

It's like the exclamation of Numbers 23:23, "What hath God wrought!"

Most Bible teachers believe Asaph has written these words of thanksgiving immediately in the aftermath of some great work of God, some act of mighty deliverance. Many think when God slew those 185,00 Assyrian soldiers encamped against Israel! The slaughter occurring in a single night! "Then the angel of the LORD went forth, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians a hundred and fourscore and five thousand: and when they arose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead corpses." Isaiah 37:36

Wow!

Whether this miracle or another, they are all astounding, His "wondrous works!" That's all one noun in Hebrew, "pala." It means "marvelous, extraordinary, surpassing, distinguished."

These things "declare" God's near-by Presence!

"Saphar" means to declare in this sense; "to write, scribe, number, count, account, tell, recount, relate, rehearse." Just keep that idea of "preciseness" in your definition when you use it.

"Saphar" also has a hint of "performance" therein, being translated that way twice in the King James Text. This is declaration by exhibition, by action, by display!

Elsewhere the Bible speaks of God's "wondrous works," still using "pala" as its foundation.

"Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works." 1st Chronicles 16:9

"Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God." Elihu to Job, Job 37:14

Then comes a precise example. "Dost thou know the balancings of the clouds, the wondrous works of him which is perfect in knowledge?" Job 37:16

"I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD: that I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works." Psalm 26:6-7, again linking thanksgiving and God's wondrous works!

"O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works." Psalm 71:17

Here's Israel, doubting God's wondrous works! "The wrath of God came upon them, and slew the fattest of them, and smote down the chosen men of Israel. For all this they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works. Therefore their days did he consume in vanity, and their years in trouble." Psalm 78:31-33, His wondrous works as an aid to belief, to faith!

"Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works." Psalm 105:2

Furthermore: "They forgat God their saviour, which had done great things in Egypt; wondrous works in the land of Ham, and terrible things by the Red sea." Psalm 106:21

Then this prayer, Psalm 119:27. "Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works."

Then a short paragraph, just demanding inclusion! "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness." Psalm 145:3-7

Lastly, King Zedekiah to the Prophet Jeremiah: "Enquire, I pray thee, of the LORD for us; for Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon maketh war against us; if so be that the LORD will deal with us according to all his wondrous works, that he may go up from us." Jeremiah 21:2

What history!

But God is still God.

What has the dear Lord done for you lately?

Something wonderful?

Make a list, then thank Him profusely!

Prodigally!

Like they sang at Church one night this week: "Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing," praise to His dear Name!

But at least I can use the one tongue He gave me!

"Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare."

Amen!

                                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, VERSES 2 AND 3:

We are studying Psalm 75, verse by verse. No journey is as "exciting" as a trip through some chapter of Scripture. Truthfully, the Bible student is following the very thoughts of God Himself, Scripture being inspired as it is.

Verses 2 and 3 of this Psalm seem to belong together. They exist in tandem, apparently being spoken by the Lord. Who else could say such things?

"When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah." Psalm 75:2-3

Some terrible things obviously had been happening, much like today in the so-called modern world.

Wicked things, wrong things, outrageous things!

Things God just can not ignore, continually!

Most likely these words, our Text, were spoken by the Lord to encourage His people. The Israelites, specifically, but us Believers, generally, as well.

The Lord says, in so many words, "Judgment is coming!"

At the appointed time!

The verb "shall receive" is strong. "Laqach" means "to seize, to fetch, to lay hold of." God is going to "get a hold of" this old world one of these days! In His Time!

The noun "congregation" is "moed," translated "congregation" 150 of its 230 times in the Bible. It's also "assembly" 4 more times and "synagogue" 1 time. But furthermore, as a valid definition, "moed" is "season" (13 times) and "appointed" (12 times) and "time" (12 times) and "days" (1 time) as well as "sign" (1 time). See, it has both a personal connotation and a chronological one as well.

The real Judge here is None Other than Jesus! Of this we can be sure. Listen to our Lord in John 5:22. "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son. That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father."

When given the "nod" by His Father, Jesus is going to "seize" this wicked world, the whole lost, rebellious crowd, and just as scheduled, judge them properly!

The adverb "uprightly" is "meyshar," meaning "evenly, level, smooth." No partiality in that judgment! No "favorites" either! This Judge cant be bribed! Or influenced in any way. His legal Manual is the Word of God!

The verb "judge" or "shaphat" often contains the idea of "punishment and vengeance," only in the most holy sense.

Not remedial now, but punitive.

Our Text again: "When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah." Psalm 75:2-3

When we're working "verse-by-verse," our eyes never need to be very far from the Scripture we're expositing.

Notice what's going to happen to earth and all its inhabitants. "Dissolved" translates "mug," really "a fainting or melting away." Softened! Fainthearted! Dissipated!

"Earth" is "eretzs," the land included, mountains and valleys and plains, everything. Water too, no doubt.

The "inhabitants" are those who "indwell" the planet. "Yashab" is the word used, "to abide, to remain," not transient. In a bad sense Biblically, "earth-dwellers," which suggests being "completely at home" in this wicked system of iniquity!

Then, in a relatively rare verb, God "bears up" the whole world! Poetically, its "pillars." It's "takan," meaning "to equal, to weigh, to ponder, to direct," all being valid King James renderings of our word.

Then, truly, God does have the entire world "in His Hands." He is the Sustainer of the universe! Paul will write, much later than the Psalmist here, that the Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, is the One "by Whom all things consist." Colossians 1:17

Amen!

Today's Verses are encouraging!

God is going to move!

At the appointed Hour.

And, when He does, here's His attitude. "When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah."

God just does not need the wicked citizenry of earth to rule this sphere. He's got it all under control!

He can handle it!

And will.

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4, VERSES 4 AND 5:

Psalm 75 tells us how God "promotes" people.

"For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." Psalm 75:6-7, I would say there is no true promotion apart from the Hand of the Lord.

However, before we get to these two "promotion" verses, God has something to say to the wicked.

"I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck." Psalm 75:4-5

These words are, it seems, directed especially to those who "promote" themselves!

The word "fools" is amazing. It's spelled "halal," the very same as the Old Testament noun for "praise." Basically it means "to shine!" It's the "hallel" of "Hallelujah" even!

But in the sense this verse demands, it means "self-shining." Then, "bragging and boasting" ... on oneself!

The word can even regress to this point, "to rage, to be mad"  (as in crazy), and "to be of renown." Each of these three are valid translations of "halal" in our King James Bibles.

God is talking to a bunch of self-assertive eccentrics.

Ego-maniacs!

Then God advises: "Deal not foolishly."

The Lord uses again "halal," this time framing it as a verb. The negating adverb "al" is included, "Do not boast! That's what fools do!"

Do not "shine" upon yourself!

"I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck." Psalm 75:4-5

Notice how God parallels "fools" and the "wicked." The latter term being spelled "rasha," denotes people "hostile to God," rendered as the "ungodly" eight times in the Old Testament. This is an especially active, spreading, malignant kind of sin.

That's how drastically God views "pride!"

It right "up" there, or maybe right "down" there, with abject maliciousness. Pretty bad stuff!

In fact, remember the sins God particularly hates? Look at number one! "These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:16-19, God and pride!

The verb "lift up" means "to exalt, to be lofty, to erect, to set on high." You can just see and hear the egocentrism it implies, especially in this verse. It's spelled "rum" in Hebrew.

God immediately adds: "Lift not up the horn."

What's that?

"Horn" or "qeren" can mean anything from an ancient "musical instrument" to a simple "container" for oil all the way to a person's "power and strength." Contrasting us to the bulls and goats and other "horned" animals of Israel, the capabilities of one's "horns" remain about the same.

One's power, persuasiveness, forcefulness, bossiness, dominance!

God is saying, "Don't force everything for your own advantage. I am able to meet your needs! Trust Me alone."

That's partly why Jesus refused to make that stone turn into bread after He had fasted forty days in the wilderness! He wanted not to lift up His Own Horn! The Father could provide Jesus' next meal! And the Father did! "Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered. And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God." Luke 4:2-4

The Son would not get ahead of the Father. He would not promote Himself! He would not even feed Himself!

Back to our verses today, with God talking. "I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck." Psalm 75:4-5

The descriptor "on high" is "marom" in Hebrew. In its extreme the word implies "haughtiness." Utter pride!

This attitude approaches making oneself his or her own god. The "ego" becoming the very center of existence!

Then comes the verb "speak," in Hebrew "dabar," used here as a piel imperfect. The piel stem suggests vigorous action, animated and dynamic. Its sense of time is progressive, incomplete action. Really, habitual self-aggrandizement!

Now our short two-verse unit has used both major Old Testament verbs for "talking." They are "amar" and "dabar," in that order. Get this distinction, please. It came from a grammar teacher, not a commentator. "Amar" concentrates on the content of the message, what's being spoken. Whereas "dabar" centers of the act of speaking itself.

We have here the exact content of God's Message, denoted by "amar." God "said __________." But not so of the fools, no precise message, they are just "blabbering" anyway! Jabbering in God's ears.

Then, a "stiff neck" is mentioned. "Athaq tzsavar" in Hebrew, this is literally one of the traits of the heathen gods Israel too often followed. Such gods also were experts on pride! Being motivated and empowered by the devil himself, no wonder! Here was, and still is, the devil's goal: "And Satan said unto Jesus, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." Matthew 4:9

The Lord is saying to these self-centered fools, wicked to the core, "You are becoming like the gods you serve!" Stiff-necked, a synonym for "stubborn, rebellious, non-responsive," especially toward God.

Psalm 115:8 still says of idolaters: "They that make them (idols) are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them." Every man, every woman, ends up being just like his or her god ... or God! And as we know, there is truly only One Real God! Jehovah is His Name!

Two short verses, short on words, but definitely not on meaning!

Lord willing, more tomorrow.

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5, VERSES 6 AND 7:

We've come to what is perhaps the most alluring verse in the whole Psalm, Psalm 75. It has captivated the hearts of many Believers through the ages.

"For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." Psalm 75:6-7, two verses really.

One's work performance, that new supervisor, many years with the company, personality type, or even love for the job, all these must take a "back seat" when it comes to the Mighty Promoting Hand of the Lord!

Only God can made absolute promises when it comes to "promotion" and "blessings" and "good success!"

The noun "promotion" is that old Hebrew old stand-by "rum," but it's pronounced more like "room." It literally means "to be raised up!" Is that "to get a raise?" It also means "exaltation."

But get this! The word, the verse's "key" noun, the very subject of the whole sentence, is found at the very end, in Hebrew that is. "Rum" is the last word in the whole verse.

That gives it little emphasis grammatically. The Verse might be telling us more about the "direction" from which "promotion" does NOT come, than about the self-evident fact that God Alone sends it!

"Motzsa" is "east," defined as "the place of the going forth," the "going out" place! It represents the place where the sun "breaks out" of the darkness each morning, we believe. The only other time in the Bible "motzsa" is used, exactly in the same form as here, is Job 28:1. There it is translated, of all things, "vein!" Read it. "Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it." That is, a "breaking out" place.

Is God here saying that "silver" alone, "money," does not bring promotion? "Filthy lucre," as Paul called it, has probably led to more "ruin" than real "promotion!"

Next, "west" is spelled "maarab," that is, "the setting place." It's taken from a verb, "arab," that means "to grow dark, to become evening." But then again, "arab" in a more basic form indicates "to fellowship, to exchange, to share, to pledge, to mortgage," doing business! See Ezekiel 27:19 where it is rendered "market" or Ezekiel 27:34 where it's "merchandise."

But, in the end, business associates and so-called friends and all that "wheeling and dealing" do not guarantee anything! Especially "promotion!" They might bring frustration instead!

A whole life of investment, apart from the Lord, may be meaningless, fruitless, all in vain!

"For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." Psalm 75:6-7

The noun "south" is "midbar," the "wilderness." Uninhabited land. To the Jews, the "desert," dry and lifeless. It likely represents the "unexpected" places from which promotion might come. Like maybe a "rich uncle" dying, having placed you in his will! Or some other equally preposterous situation.

What mans calls "luck" or "fate" or "happenstance," is truly a "mirage" when it comes to real promotion, 99% of the time anyway!

No!

Promotion, the kind God has in mind, will not come via money!

Nor by those "good" friends you have, your associates and all their business deals either!

Nor by mere "chance!"

How, then, does one "get ahead?"

What's the secret to God's kind of prosperity?

Which is quite different form the world's idea of prosperity, I might add. One can be prospering spiritually while languishing physically or materially!

Here's the "key" for the child of God, for anyone maybe!

"God is the judge: He putteth down one, and setteth up another." That's it, Psalm 75:7.

"God" is "elohiym," the Powerful One! The Creator! The Triune God, Plurality in Unity! Three in One! Father, Son and Holy Spirit! "Elohiym" is grammatically plural while theologically singular!

"Judge" is "shaphat," the One who "governs, vindicates, punishes, rules, avenges," even "condemns, executes." As Judge, He "defends" too!

God decides who advances, and who does not!

"To put down" translates "shaphel." It means "to be made low, to sink, to be humbled, abased," even "debased" a time or two!

Think of Haman!

God's Hand is on the throttle of what is often merely called "providence." He is in control! To this degree, He knows the number of hairs on your head! When a single little sparrow falls! How the lily blooms!

He supervises the Fall of the year, a world-wide display of things being "put down!"

This same God, awesome and glorious, "setteth up" others! Using "rum" again, God "makes taller" some people, in impact and influence of course. He "lifts" them higher!

As Joseph was "controller" in Egypt, so God is "Controller" over everything today. Here's Genesis 41:44 as an example. "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up ("rum") his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt."

Using "rum," here's Hannah's testimony about our great God. "He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up ("rum") the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory." 1st Samuel 2:28

I am that beggar God lifted up from the dunghill! He did so when He saved my lost soul!

Think of this Text today. Try to remember verses that absolutely promise God's promotion!

Like Psalm 1:1-3.

Or Joshua 1:8.

Or Revelation 1:3.

Or even Psalm 122:6.

There are others.

Praise the Lord!

It's all in His Hands!

"For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." Psalm 75:6-7 

Amen!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, VERSE 8:

Not only does Psalm 75 contain a word of Hope and Encouragement. It's also a warning, especially for the wicked!

For example: "For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them." Psalm 75:8

This is today's "forgotten" message!

Very few preach judgment any more!

The "cup" here mentioned, "kos" in Hebrew, comes from an old root word that means "to hold together." That's exactly what a "cup" does! It "holds together" your drink, whatever that might be.

The idea of a "cup" being linked with "wrath" is endemic to Scripture. It's found everywhere. Think of Revelation 16 and the seven "vials" poured out on this old earth! That word "vial" is a Greek term meaning a "bowl or shallow saucer." That's the "cup" idea all over again. And those vials contain judgments, severe ones! Against an unrepentant, rebellious world.

The "red" color of the wine indicates "action" of some kind. The word "chamar" literally means "boiling, foaming, fermenting!" For that matter "wine," in Hebrew "yayin," means "that which effervesces," bubbles or rolls, in other words.

God is making these reprobates "drunk" with the wine of His Own wrath! It's possible that judgment will come to this earth and its inhabitants, and they won't even realize that God is the Source! They will attribute it to certain "meteorological" events or "global warming" or other "natural processes!" Or just to "bad luck" itself!

Anyone who can believe man in all his intricacies just "evolved," just "happened," can believe anything!

Intellectually drunk!

Academically intoxicated!

Like a deceived bull, being led to the slaughter house!

"For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them." Psalm 75:8

And to top it all, this is a "mixed" drink! The noun "mixture" is "mesek," from the verb "to mingle, to pour!"

God mixing a "judgment cocktail!"

Wow!

And He is serving it, too! "And He poureth out of the same." That's the middle of our verse, Psalm 75:8

To "pour out," spelled "nagar," means "to let flow, to spill, to allow to run," pouring in that sense, deliberately!

But then, the wicked men and women of earth, very stupidly, do something! They "drink" the stuff! To the last drop!

"But the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them." Psalm 75:8, the last of the verse.

"Dregs," to the Psalmist "shemer," mean the impure droppings at the bottom of most mixtures. The nearly useless waste, often the most potent portion of the whole cup!

The verb "wring out," using "matzsah," is graphic. It's the verb used when Gideon "wringed" the dew out of his fleece, Judges 6:38. Or when the Priest "squeezed" the blood out of a little slain dove, an innocent sacrifice for sin, Leviticus 1:15.

"To drink" is "shathah," indicating a wild "banquet." Drinking prodigally, copiously, plentifully, excessively!

Mankind, not really knowing what he or she is doing, is lustily consuming the very cup of God's wrath!

Not merely sipping it!

Gulping it!

Completely!

Including the very dregs, the last of its deadly drops!

They "think" they're having fun, "partying" they say!

In reality, they are committing spiritual suicide!

"There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Twice in Proverbs, these very same words, Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25.

However, today, another drink is available!

Jesus says: "I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely." Revelation 21:6

Jesus is that Water!

To the "woman at the well" our Lord said: "Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:13-14

Amen!

Water of Life!

Or the Wine of Judgment!

God's very Wrath, liquefied!

Anyone thirsty?

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7, VERSE 9:

It's a short verse. But too important to combine with the rest of the Psalm. "But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob." Psalm 75:9

The Psalm started with "thanks." It's first words: "Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks."

It's going to end with "praise." See what I mean: "I will sing praises to the God of Jacob."

What's the difference between the two, thanks and praise?

Is there any real difference?

It might be slight, but, yes, there is a specific emphasis on each activity that's important.

To "thank" the Lord usually indicates giving Him appreciation for something He has done for you. Or for others you love.

To "praise" Him implies adoration and worship, not for some specific thing He has done, but for something He is! For some aspect of His Character! His Essence, His Godhood!

If you remember, the verb "give thanks" is "yadah," picturing us "throwing or hurling or casting" words of gratefulness Heavenward!

And the verb "sing praises" is "zamar," often meaning "to make music." Yet it is predominantly translated "praise" in the Old Testament. Everyone can't play an instrument, but everyone can make music in his or her heart, music that uplifts Almighty God. Savor and adore His Love and Holiness and Righteousness and Justice and Eternality and Omniscience and Omnipotence and Omni-presence and so much more!

Today's verse again: "But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob." Psalm 75:9

The word "declare," the Psalmist's resolve here, is "nagad," meaning "to tell, to utter, to expound, to report." It's a "communication" verb.

Asaph is determined to preach and praise and sing, not merely the rest of his earthly days, but "for ever," the Glories of the Lord!

"For ever" itself, the adverbial unit, translates "olam," all the way to the "vanishing point." Perpetually, without ending!

Here the Psalmist, again Asaph by name, equates "declaring" (specifically the verb "nagad") and "praising" (precisely "zamar") equally. They're synonyms to this writer.

He, being a singer, a musician par excellence, "preaches" via his songs! His music! Sister Fanny Crosby sure did, expounded the great doctrines of God using lyrics that compose our greatest spiritual songs and hymns ever.

This fact should encourage some of you musically talented folks today. "Sing the wondrous Love of Jesus! Sing His Mercy and His Grace! In the mansions bright and blessed, He'll prepare for us a Place!"

Amen!

Yet, truthfully, this is not singing to each other! Look at the verse again, carefully. "But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob." Psalm 75:9

It's singing "to the God of Jacob," to the Lord Himself!

This is pure worship!

Pure praise!

Creature to Creator!

Redeemed to Redeemer!

A common human to the Only True and Living God!

And "the God of Jacob," remembering that patriarch's life and testimony, is the One Who can change us!

Jacob began life as a "crook," a "supplanter."

He ended his life a saint of God, transformed by the Holy Spirit! "By faith Jacob, when he was a dying ... worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff." Hebrews 11:21

Such is the Work of the God of Jacob!

He deserves thanks!

He is owed great Praise!

Who will join the chorus today?

"Let us then be true and faithful, trusting, serving every day. Just one glimpse of Him in Glory, will the toils of life repay!"

Amen!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, VERSE 10:

Some of Psalm 75 has concentrated on the wicked.

Some has focused on the godly.

But its last verse, verse 10, mentions both.

Beautifully so.

"All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted." Psalm 75:10

The term "horns" has been mentioned earlier in the Psalm, back in verses 4 and 5 to be exact.

We learned that it means, symbolically, "power, strength or might." It also can indicate "pride" in a person's life, especially when such horns are said to be "lifted up," elevated by that man or woman himself or herself. Most literally, of course, "qeren" speaks of the "horns" on some wild animal, say a bull or goat too.

We surely have the "typological" meaning here in our verse. "All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted."

The Lord is speaking. He is the Only One Who can say such things. He plans to "cut off" some and "exalt" others!

Like so many other Psalms, the 75th here contrasts the wicked and the righteous!

Let's check some word meanings. That always helps in any kind of Bible Study. After all, Scripture is verbally inspired, every single noun and verb and preposition and all the rest.

The descriptor "wicked" is "rasha," meaning "ungodly or guilty or even criminal." It suggests a form of sin that is particularly virulent. That attacks and spreads and infiltrates everything it approaches.

Conversely, the "righteous" are "just and lawful and correct," especially in the eyes of God! The word is spelled "tzsaddiyq." Here perpetual blamelessness is not necessarily implied. I just noticed a time where the verb form of "tzsaddiyq" is translated "cleansed!" Once dirty, now pure, through the Blood of Jesus!

The ungodly have a proclivity to "exalt" their own "horns." To live in pride and self-exaltation. To ignore God! Back to mid-Psalm a second, verses 4 and 5 again. "I (the Lord) said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck."

The righteous, however, have a tendency to stay humble. Their "horns" are not often exposed. Lowly and meekly they live.

I'm sure God's character will remain constant. Get ready for a 1st Peter 5:5 moment! "Likewise ... be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." And James 4:6 agrees. "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble."

We almost know in advance what God is going to do!

"All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted." Psalm 75:10

Yes!

The verb "cut off" is "gada," used only 23 times in the whole Bible! It means "to chop, to hew, to shave, to sunder."

Like a "bad" tree, felled prematurely! See Deuteronomy 7:5, the verb's first use in the Word of God.

And here's God "cutting off" something else. I'll underline "gada" for easy identification. "I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron." Bars of iron!

But the verb "shall be exalted" is "rum" again, from verses 4, 5, 6, and 7. It's pronounced "room." It means "raised." Made taller or higher! In other words, promoted or advanced!

The Psalm really has given us God's "formula" or "recipe" for success!

For promotion.

It's a "how-to" manual for the saint of God!

Please take the time now to read this. It will only require a few seconds. The Lord told me to do it.

"Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly. The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it. Selah. I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them. But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted."

By now, everything should fall into place.

Thank the Lord for this power-packed chapter of Scripture!

It's worth its weight in gold!

Then some!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

Every chapter in the Bible is God-breathed, inspired, just as is claimed. But this chapter, Psalm 75, is special! Where else can one learn of the real Source of promotion? We've enjoyed you studying the Word of God with us.

 

 

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