Now you will notice that the next several psalms are ascribed to Asaph. During the reign of King David, Asaph was the chief musician. David addressed some of the psalms to Asaph. Probably that Asaph would put the music to the lyrics that had been written by David. The name Asaph became a family name in Israel, a name that was associated with the musicians. They were composers and though they are ascribed to Asaph, probably not just the Asaph of David’s time but the descendents of Asaph who continued in the music industry, the family of Asaph. As you read the seventy-fourth psalm, in its context, this psalm was written after the destruction of the city of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. The seventy-fifth psalm in its context is at a different time than the time of David. The term Asaph is a family name. It is the musicians, a musical family in Israel that passed from generation to generation. Thus it isn’t just that chief musician that was in charge of the worship during the period of David’s reign.
In Psalm seventy-three we do begin what is known as the third book of the psalms. The psalmist begins with an affirmation, a basic foundational belief. Our faith is based on certain foundational truths. One of the foundational truths upon which our whole faith is built is the fact that God is good. That is an extremely important foundation stone because there are many times in our lives when we are going to be facing circumstances in which we do not know the full ramifications. During periods of trial and testing when I do not yet know the outcome, Satan is so prone to challenge this goodness of God in my own heart. If God is good, then why did God allow this to happen to me? It’s usually in the midst of the situation where we don’t yet know the final outcome. I’m in this period of limbo and I don’t know how it is going to work out but it looks like it’s disaster. Then Satan comes along and he makes this challenge of God’s goodness to my heart. It’s always in those areas where I can’t understand that the goodness of God is challenged.
It’s important that you have certain basic foundations upon which your faith is built so that when you come to the areas that you don’t understand you can fall back on what you do understand. I understand. I know that God is good. I may not be able to relate that to the present circumstances because I don’t understand this trial that I’m going through.
I think of Jacob in the Old Testament. He had these twelve sons who were to become the twelve tribes of Israel. The first ten sons were extremely jealous of the eleventh son that was born. There was an obvious favoritism that Jacob had towards Joseph, which caused his brothers to be extremely jealous. In their jealousy of Joseph, because it appeared that their father intended to make him the heir more or less of the family or give him the birthright, they decided that they would kill him. They would concoct some story for their father and so when Joseph had come at the request of his father to find out how his brothers where doing as they were out pasturing the sheep and they would wander from area to area to find the good pastures. They were out pasturing the sheep and they saw Joseph coming and they said, “Here comes that dreamer now. Let’s kill him and we’ll see what happens to his dreams”.
So as Joseph came to them they roughed him up and threw him in this pit and they were determined to leave him there. Let him starve to death there in the bottom of the pit. He cried and pled with them but to no avail. While they were sitting there laughing and joking while he was down in the pit crying, they saw this caravan going towards Egypt. They were traders. They said, “Hey, here’s a good deal. We don’t have to kill him, we can sell him as a slave and get a little money out of it”. So they haggled with the guys and bargained with them and they settled on twenty pieces of silver. So they sold their brother who was taken by the slave traders down to Egypt, chained to the back of the wagon, crying and pleading with his brothers to know avail.
They took this special coat that his father had given him and they killed one of the goats and they poured the blood of the goat all over the coat. They came back to their dad and showed him this bloody coat and said, “We found this coat out in the wilderness. Do you recognize it?” He looked at it and said, “That is the coat of Joseph and surely some wild animal has killed him”. He mourned and sorrowed for weeks, for months. They just let the old man mourn and let him believe in the lie. He drew a conclusion that his son was killed by some animal and they let him believe that. For years, actually, he grieved over the loss of his son Joseph because he loved him so dearly.
Years later, some seventeen years later, the death of Joseph is still a pain in the heart of Jacob. There was a famine in the land and they heard that there was a lot of grain in Egypt. So he decided that the boys should go down to Egypt and buy some grain. When they came down to Egypt it just so happened that while Joseph was in Egypt God was with him, God blessed him and after difficult circumstances God made him second to the pharaoh. He was in charge of all of the vast resources that had been stored up in the seven plenteous years and now he was in charge of dispersing them.
These aliens came, the Hebrews. Joseph in these seventeen years had matured and changed and no doubt had his hair and beard cut like the Egyptians. They didn’t recognize him, however he recognized them. So he gave them a bad time and said, “You guys are spies. You’re not down here because you need grain; you’re down here to spy out the land. I ought to throw you all in jail”. They said, “No, no, we are not spies. We are brothers. All of us have the same father. One of our brothers is dead and the youngest brother is still at home with his dad”. Joseph said, “That’s a likely story. I can’t believe that”. He kept giving them a bad time but he finally sold them the grain and said, “Now look, don’t bother coming back again because I really believe that you are spies. If you come back again I’ll know you’re spies. The only way you could prove that you are not is you bring that younger brother with you that you talked about”. That was a full brother to Joseph. The rest were sort of half brothers. This was the full brother to Joseph; he also was the son of Rachel.
So when they got home with the grain Joseph had the servants put all of their money back in their sacks. They thought, “Oh no what are we going to do. We can’t go back there again because he’ll think that we ripped of the grain and took our money with us”. So they were telling Jacob about this rough character down in Egypt that “He was mean and thinks they were spies. He gave us such a bad time. In fact he kept one of our brothers down there because he thinks we are spies. He’s still in jail. It was tough dad, really tough. He said, Don’t bother coming back unless you bring the younger brother with you”. Jacob said, “Why in the world would you tell him you had a younger brother?” and they said, “How did we know he was going to say well bring him down?” They got in this big rhubarb over it.
Finally the were running out of grain again. Jacob said, “You boys better go down to Egypt” and they said, “Get Benjamin ready to go”. “O know Benjamin can’t go” and they said, “You think we are going to go without Benjamin then you are mistaking because that guy is mean. He’s a rough character and we are not going to go without Benjamin”. He said, “I cannot let you go. I’ve been bereaved of my son Joseph and if Benjamin would die, I would go down to my grave in grief. No you cannot take him”. They said, “We’ve got to take him. That’s the only way we can get grain”.
So Jacob not knowing the full story, not knowing that this guy down in Egypt who has power and authority over all of Egypt is his son Joseph who he thought was dead. He didn’t know that. He didn’t know that in just a matter of time he was going to be reunited like his son was back from the grave. He’s going to see Joseph again; he’s going to embrace Joseph again. He doesn’t know that. All he knows is that there is some rough character down in Egypt giving his boys a bad time and now insisting that the youngest brother come. So Jacob cried out, “All things are against me!”
If God is good Jacob, then why is God allowing all of this pain and sorrow and suffering? But he didn’t know the full story. So many times when we are in the midst of a trial we cry out, “All things are against me! I don’t understand what is going on, it’s all working against me”. Not so. We are judging before we know the whole story. All things are not against you. All things are working together for good to those who love God because God is good.
So there are times in my life when I cannot understand the circumstances and I fall back on the fact that I know God is good and I know that all things are working together for good because I love God. I can’t see what good is here. I don’t understand why this is happening to me. I know that God loves me and I know that God is good. I know that God is in control and so I rest on these foundational truths. I fall back on them many times, as I do not understand the circumstances of life.
The psalmist begins with and important foundation.
TRULY God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious of the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked (73:1-3).
The thing that the psalmist was wrestling with is the age-old question of why does God allow the wicked to prosper and why does God allow the righteous, many times, to suffer persecution? If I’m a child of God then why doesn’t God give me a life of roses? Why does God allow me to discover the thorns? Why does God allow me to go through painful experiences if I’m his child? Look at these wicked, they don’t seem to have any trouble like I do.
The psalmist was looking at the wicked wealthy people who were living blasphemes kinds of lives as he was really going through some heavy water and just trying to keep his head above water. He looks and sees the wicked who doesn’t seem to have any problems. I know that God is good but I was almost wiped out when I tried to figure out why? When I’m doing my best to live a good life do I have all these problems and here are these wicked out here who don’t seem to have any problems, they seem to have it made. This was the thing that almost tripped up the psalmist. He almost was wiped out by this.
Envious of the wicked when he saw the prosperity. The assumptions and conclusions that he begins to draw are not true because it is Satan who is painting the picture in his mind. It is Satan that is playing with his mind. It is Satan that is bringing the doubts concerning God, as he does with us. As Satan begins to work us over, he’s not really interested in the truth he’s only interested in creating generalizations, which are not true. But they are they way that I observe them at them moment. It’s the way to me that it seems to be though it’s not true, yet I’m going through a hassle so I look at the wicked and no one has any problems. All the wicked are free of trouble but here I am, I’m not free. He’s going on with a bunch of conclusions.
For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm (73:4).
There’s an indication in verse twenty-six that the psalmist made have had a heart problem, maybe a heart attack, and he was incapacitated by it. Here he is in sort of a semi-invalid state, maybe had a stroke. He said, “My flesh and my heart faileth” man I’m going down hill. It could be that he was dying. He could be laid up with his heart attack and dying. He looks at the wicked and says, “Hey they don’t have this suffering kind of a thing before death. They aren’t cut down and wither away. Their strength remains firm right up to the hour that they check off.”
They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men (73:5).
That’s not so. Wicked people suffer horrible deaths. Wicked people suffer lingering deaths. There are many wicked invalid people in the world and wicked people have lots of trouble.
Satan starts to build things up in your mind and you get a whole false concept of life if you allow Satan to feed his garbage to you.
Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; (73:6).
They are wrapped up. Like a person wrapped up with a chain so they are wrapped up in pride.
violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: (73:6-7).
They have so much, they eat so much that their eyes just sort of bulge out of their face.
they have more than heart could wish (73:7).
The wicked have it made, they don’t have any problems, they have more than their heart could wish, they eat the finest of the gourmet foods and they are fat.
They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily [proudly]. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth (73:8-9).
They speak out against God, they speak out against the people of God and they are blasphemous. They reproach God and they reproach the children of God.
Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wring out to them (73:10).
Again this full cup, they have more than their heart could desire. Their life is full.
And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? (73:11).
They speak contemptuously of God. Oh how does God know? How does God know that?
Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches (73:12).
This trip that Satan is taking him on in the mind leads him to some very wrong conclusions. The kind of conclusions that Satan is trying to bring you to and the conclusion is this.
Verily, I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency (73:13).
That it doesn’t really pay to live a good life and it doesn’t really pay to try to serve God. That’s the conclusion that Satan in bringing him to. Satan’s almost got it. I mean his foot has almost slipped, he’s just about to go down, “My feet were almost gone, my steps almost slipped”.
For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning (73:14).
My life is filled with pain and suffering. It seems like I have no relief. So here I am trying to live a good and righteous life, trying to serve God, and I have all of these problems and pain. It really doesn’t pay to try to live a good life and to serve the Lord.
If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children (73:15).
If I would just leave it here, if I were to draw these conclusions and leave it there then I would be an offense to the children, the generations to come.
When I thought to know this, it was too painful me; (73:16).
I just couldn’t think about it. Everytime I’d think about it, it was too painful. I just couldn’t handle it.
Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end (73:17).
The sanctuary of God gave him a whole new perspective to life because it brought him into the consciousness of the eternal. That is something that the sanctuary of God should always do for us. It should always bring us into the consciousness of the eternal. The problem with our analysis and the conclusions that we draw from them is that we are usually only analyzing that which we could see of the temporal material world around us and we draw our conclusions from that and we don’t eternity into view. “For what should it profit a man if he would gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
Here is the wealthy wicked and it seems he is increasing his riches. Man, he controls the whole world and he dies and goes to hell. So what profit is there? When you take the eternal, rather than being envious, the guy has been dead now for fifty years; shall I envy him still? His whole estate was blown by the kids. He made alcoholics and wrecks out of them. Now the whole family’s a mess. Shall I envy him? God forbid.
Coming into the sanctuary of God there is a new perspective because you brought in the perspective unto the eternal. You look down at the end of the path and you see what is at the end of the road. What is at the end of the path for you, the child of God? Maybe you are going through suffering, maybe you are going through hardships, maybe you are struggling and just barely making it. As Satan is pointing the guy down the street who is dealing drugs and driving that new sports car and seems to have everything and you say, “Man, I can’t even pay rent this month. Look at that guy. It doesn’t pay to try to live a good life and to try to serve the Lord because here I am suffering and hurting. That guy’s got everything and he’s so blasphemous. He talks against God and look at all he’s got”. Ya, but look at where he is going. Look at what’s at the end of his path. Look at what’s at the end of your path as you follow Jesus Christ.
Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end (73:17).
What a difference it makes in my evaluation of life.
Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: (73:18).
He talked about his own foot almost slipping but hey I’m not the guy in the slippery place. They are the ones who are in slippery places.
thou castedst them down into destruction (73:18).
The end of the path that they are on is a path of destruction and God will cast them down, they will slip right into eternity.
How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! (73:19).
Death at any moment, lurking, waiting.
they are utterly consumed with terrors. As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image (73:19-20).
It seems that God is just sleeping as far as allowing them this period of going in prosperity and blasphemes as though God is sleeping and not obvious of it. But Lord when you wake up, when you begin to move and when you begin to act, you will despise their image. He’s speaking there in the sanctuary of God.
Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked [convicted] in my reins [over my thoughts]. So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee (73:21-22).
I was thinking of man in terms of an animal with no future and no eternity. I felt this foolishness. I was thinking so wrong about this situation. I was looking at it from the wrong perspective. This is the consciousness that he had in the sanctuary of God.
Nevertheless I am continually with thee: (73:23).
God you are with me all the time. I have the joy of the knowledge of your presence with me. You don’t leave me and you don’t forsake me; Lord you are with me all the time.
thou hast holden me by my right hand (73:23).
You are taking me by the hand to lead me through the path of life.
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward [the end of the path] receive me to glory (73:24).
The end of their path is utter terror, it’s destruction, and it’s desolation. The end of my path is glory. God holds me by the hand; he’s leading me down the path to my father’s house. As David said, “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. It talks about the shadow of death that crosses the path that I’m on my way to my father’s house; he’s holding me by the right hand. He’s leading me. O God, I am so privileged, I am so blessed.
Whom have I in heaven but thee: and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee (73:25).
Lord, you are my life. My life is encompassed by you. Their life is encompassed by pride; it surrounds them like a chain. My life Lord is encompassed by you.
My flesh and my heart falleth; (73:26).
The old body, it can wear out and it will wear out.
but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put the trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works (73:26-28).
The contrast at the end of the road, “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have ever lasting life”. At the end of your path, the path of the wicked is perishing, destruction and desolation. The path of the righteous is everlasting life. “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever”. So the psalmist coming into the house of God saw life with a totally new perspective and that should always be and I pray that it always shall be. That this place will be a place where when people come in they get the right perspective of life itself for they are brought into the consciousness of the eternal.
Living out in the world, rubbing shoulders with the world, seeing the dishonesty, the cheating and the whole scam that is out there and trying to live a righteous life, many times, brings a lot of problems in our minds as Satan begins to hassle us. The coming in of the sanctuary of God, we get the right perspective and we realize how blessed we are to have that hope of eternal life in Christ. They have no hope.
Psalm seventy-four is thought to have been written at the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonian army under Nebuchadnezzar. There are others who believe that it was written at the time of the desecration of the temple by Antipas at the time of the Maccabees. However, the psalm itself would lend more towards the destruction of the temple under the Babylonians because he speaks of the utter destruction and Antipas did not destroy the temple, he did profane but he did not break it down and burn it as was done by the Babylonians.
The picture is this, the city of Jerusalem is a waste. The temple has been destroyed right down to the foundation because when Zerubbabel began to rebuild the temple he had to lay again the foundations of the temple. The city has been raised, the walls are destroyed, the Babylonians had carried the people away captive and there is just a few people left amidst the rubble of the once glorious city of Jerusalem and the temple of God.
O GOD, why hast thou cast us off for ever? (74:1).
Lord is this desolation going to go on forever? Will we ever rebuild? Will we ever come back? Will it ever be as it was?
why doth thine anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture? (74:1).
Lord, why are you so angry with your own people. I can understand you’re being angry with the enemies, with the wicked, but Lord your own people.
Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; (74:2).
Now he’s going back to the fact that God had redeemed them out of the bondage of Egypt.
the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt [among your people] (74:2).
This is where your people came to worship you. He looked at it and saw the rubble and the ruin.
Lift up thy feet unto the perpetual desolations; even all that the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary. Thine enemies roar in the midst of thy congregations; they set up their ensigns [banners] for signs (74:3-4).
To see thee enemies flag flying over the Jerusalem was a hard thing for a man of God to see. It seems like the enemies have triumphed over us. The enemies were roaring their shouts of victory and glee as they were destroying the temple and destroying the houses.
A man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon the thick trees (74:5).
To the present day, they still have contests here in the United States of these loggers. With an axe they cut the trees and of course they time how quickly they can fell a tree. In those days where the logging was with axes, they used to have the contests and a man was known for his strength and brawn and power as he could take an axe and bring down a tree and how quickly he could bring down a tree with an axe. That’s the kind of contest that they had and a man was famous according to his ability to lift up an axe against thick trees.
But now they break down the carved work thereof at once with axes and hammers (74:6).
The temple of Solomon was filled with beautiful carved work, ornamentation. Now they were taking these axes that should be used in the forest in felling the trees and they are using them to destroy this beautiful hard work in the temple of God. How it must have hurt the hearts of God’s people to see the temple so desecrated and destroyed, that beautiful, beautiful building with all of the glorious hard works just to be hacked up and broken into pieces with axes and hammers.
They have cast fire into thy sanctuary, they have defiled by casting down the dwelling place of thy name to the ground (74:7).
It was taken right down to the foundation. As I said, Zerubbabel had to rebuild the foundation.
They said in their hearts, Let us destroy them together: they have burned up all they synagogues of God in the land (74:8).
The reference to the synagogues is what causes other theologians to say it happened at the time of Antipas because they did not really build synagogues throughout the land until a later date. During the time of Zerubbabel is when they started building the synagogues. They did have worship places and it’s thought that this references to the worship places.
We see not our signs: (74:9).
We see not our own flags flying but the enemy’s flags.
there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long (74:9).
No one is here to let us know how long this is going to go on. Jeremiah was in Egypt, Daniel and Ezekiel were in Babylon. No prophet was left there and so they were sort of in a quandary of how long this desolation is going to be. Jeremiah told him that it was going to be seventy years but the writings were probably not yet wide spread at that time.
O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever? (74:10).
God, is this the way it’s going to end? Is this the end of the story?
Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand: pluck it out of thy bosom (74:11).
Let’s get some action.
For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth (74:12).
Now he talks about how God did marvelous works in the past. God I want to see you work, I know you can do marvelous things.
Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: (74:13).
That is referenced to the dividing of the Red Sea so that the children of Israel could pass through as they came out of Egypt.
thou breakest the heads of the dragons in the waters (74:13).
The Egyptian army was often called the dragons and it is thought that this is a reference to the fact that God destroyed the army of Pharaoh in the Red Sea.
Thou breakest the heads of leviathan [crocodiles] in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness. Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood; thou driest up mighty rivers. The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. Thou has set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter. Remember this, (74:14-18).
He talks about God’s power manifested in nature.
Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, (74:18).
Just remember that Lord, they’ve reproached you.
and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name (74:18).
So Lord your reputation is at stake.
O deliver not the soul of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever (74:19).
So the prayer and the plea unto God.
Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name (74:20-21).
God your people, don’t forsake them completely. When they return, may they return in victory.
Arise, O God, plead thine own cause: remember how the foolish man reproacheth thee daily. Forget not the voice of thine enemies: the tumult of those that rise up against thee increaseth continually (74:22-23).
So he is calling upon God. We are history, we are wiped out, but God defend your own name. Bring down the enemy for the reproach that they had made against thee.
The seventy-fifth psalm begins with thanksgiving.
UNTO thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare (75:1).
God is manifested unto man through his works.
“The heavens declare the glory of God. The earth showeth his handiwork. Day unto day they utter their speech. Night unto night their voice goeth forth and there is not a speech nor a language where their voice is not heard”.
God manifest himself through his works “that your name is near your wondrous works declare” (75:1).
When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly (75:2).
This is a psalm again that is prophetic and messianic in nature. It is as though the Lord is speaking here, even Jesus Christ who declares “When I receive the congregation I will judge uprightly”. We hear someone cry, “There ain’t no justice”. As we look at many of the decisions that are being made in our courts we are sometimes prone to agree with that cry.
I think of Dr. Morgan who has spent a couple of years in jail in Washington D.C. because she won’t reveal where her daughter is hiding. She has presented proof to the courts that her husband was continually sexually abusing their six-year-old daughter. The courts still ordered that he have unsupervised visitation rights. She would come home from these visitations with her father sexually abused. So she took the daughter to the hospital where it was concluded that she had been sexually abuse while with her father. So she finally defied the court and hid her daughter rather than allowing him to have these weekends and sexually abusing her while he had her. So the judge threw her into jail for contempt of court for not revealing where her daughter is. She said, “Hey, if I have to spend the next twelve years in jail until she’s eighteen years old, so be it. I’m going to protect her from that man and his sexual molestation of her”.
Something’s wrong the justice system that would force a little girl to go on unsupervised visits with a man who was sexually abusing and she’s just six years old. Talk about justice. They have that goddess of justice; they need to put a blindfold over her when you look at some of the things that are being decided by our courts today. There is a day when justice shall prevail. He shall judge the world in righteousness and in truth. No one will be able to complain, “I’ve got a bum rap” when they are judged by the Lord. It’s going to be a righteous judgement. It will be absolutely fair.
Several years ago, when I was still in college…in ancient history…they did have cars in those days and I was driving my car down Riverside Drive next to Griffith Park, I was returning home from Bakersfield. I saw this car coming the other way. It was a four-lane highway with just a double line for a center divider. I saw this car weaving and coming across the double line coming right towards me. I was overtaking a car and passing it and this guy came across and was heading right towards me. I threw on my brakes and the guy crossed in front of me and hit head on the car that I was getting ready to pass. Somehow I got around it and escaped. It just happened, I was right there and I saw it as I was going by. I stopped and ran back to the lady and she had a little child in the car. I checked out to see if they were okay.
The fellow, after had hit her, went down over the embankment and went through a bridal trail railing and ended up on the bridal path. So I ran down to check to see if he was all right and he seemed to be a little staggered and was obviously okay. So I went up to my car and headed down to a phone booth to call the police, already traffic was piling up; it was a busy thoroughfare. I called the police and told them of the accident and where it was. They said, “Was anyone seriously injured” and I said, “Well, I don’t think so. They seem to be alright, I checked them out” and he said, “They will have to work it out for themselves”. I said, “Wait a minute, traffic is backing up for miles” and they said, “We can’t send out the units unless someone is injured”. I said, “There was some city property damage”. They said, “Oh, were was that?” They had broken the rail of the bridal trail.
Anyhow, I gave the woman my card with my phone number. I said, “Have the insurance company send me the forms. I witnessed the whole thing, I was the eyewitness and I’ll be glad to fill out the report for you”. A few weeks later I got this letter from Farmers Insurance, the forms. I filled them out and sent them in. I figured that was the end of it.
I went on and finished my senior year in college and was getting ready to go back to Missouri to start ministering back there in some churches as an Evangelist. I got this call from an attorney with Farmers Insurance and he said, “You remember the accident…” and I said, “Oh yeah, I remember that one very clearly”. He said, “We need for you to come to court and witness on that accident”. I said, “I wouldn’t think there would be any question on that one”. The man claims that he is a police officer and that she crossed the double line and hit him. I said, “What?” He said, “He’s signed depositions that she crossed the double line and hit him on his side of the highway” he said, “there were three witness and the others are gone and you are the only one left”. I said, “It just so happens I’m on my way. I’ve got some appointments back there to start ministering”. He asked if I could put it off for a week or so and stay and be a witness. He said they really needed my testimony in this because, he said, if they just go into court it will be his word against her word and there will be no trial. “We need your word. How about if I paid for you’re cost for going back to Missouri?” In reality, I didn’t know where I was going to get the money. I’ve been trusting in the Lord to supply and I said, “You’ve got a deal”. So Farmers Insurance paid for the beginning of my ministry.
We got all the way up to the court at nine-thirty in the morning and the hearing was at ten o’clock. When the fellow saw me there he started talking with his attorney and his attorney got together with the Farmers Insurance attorney and they went into the other room and settled out of court. This guy was going to go in and swear before God that she had crossed the line to hit him. You think how could you have true justice when you have a person who will stand right there, take the oath with his hand on the Bible and then just tell a blatant lie to the court. How can the court really discern what is true. The judge isn’t omniscient; he wasn’t there to see it. There are many miscarriages of justice but not when Jesus reigns and rules.
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. I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: Lift not up you horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck (75:2-5).
Which was always interpreted in those days as a proudness, speak not in proudness.
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 (75:6-7).
So don’t exalt your self, don’t be proud; don’t seek to promote yourself. If it’s of the Lord, the Lord will promote it. For promotion doesn’t come from the east, the west or the south…north is assumed. But promotion comes from God. It’s interesting how people are constantly trying to promote themselves or some idea or some program that they are involved with, boasting of their powers or their abilities. Don’t lift up your own horn on high. Don’t speak with pride. The promotion comes from the Lord.
But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another (75:7).
This is a reference, in its context, to the kingdoms of the world. God sets upon the throne that he will. Nebuchadnezzar didn’t believe this. Nebuchadnezzar exalted himself in his position as king over Babylon. He had a dream and in his dream he saw this huge image. It had a head of gold, chest of silver, stomach of brass, legs of iron and feet of iron and clay. Daniel interpreted the dream for him. “You Nebuchadnezzar are the head of gold. God has showed you the kingdoms that will rule over the earth. Yours is the first, the most powerful, the head of gold but your kingdom will be replaced by an inferior kingdom, the Medes and the Persians which are the chest of silver. This kingdom will be replaced by the Grecian Empire, the stomach of brass. This kingdom will be replaced by the Roman Empire who will crush the other kingdoms, the legs of iron. The final ruling kingdom will be a federation of the ten nations of the Roman Empire. And during the days in their reign shall the Lord of heaven come and establish a kingdom that shall never end”.
Nebuchadnezzar was amazed at the interpretation and the ability of Daniel to interpret the dream that he had even forgotten. He said, “There is no God in all the earth like the God of Daniel who is able to interpret dreams and make known the things that were dark and mysterious”. Then he went right out and defied the interpretation. He built a huge image and set it up in the plains of Dura, of gold of all gold from top to bottom, head to toe. In that he was defying the interpretation for he was saying, “The Babylonian kingdom, my kingdom, will last forever”. It’s not going to be replaced by the Media-Persians. They are not going to be a succession. The Babylonian kingdom will last forever. He had the people bow down to this concept. It’s the Sound Of Music; everybody has to bow to consent to this. So God allowed Nebuchadnezzar to go insane and for seven seasons live like an animal out in the fields eating the grass like an ox until he recognized that it is God who rules over the kingdoms of man and sets up those whom he will and brings down those whom he will.
The psalmist is declaring that. It is God who puts one down and sets another up. God rules. God is the judge, to put one down and to bring another up.
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 (75:8).
Revelation chapter fourteen speaks of the cup of the wrath of God’s indignation that he is going to pour out upon this wicked world as he judges the world in righteousness.
But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. All the horns [power] of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted (75:9-10).
Father we thank You for thy word, a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. May we this week walk in the light of Your Word. Father, help us to keep a true perspective. Help us Lord to look at the end of the road. Help us Father not to be carried away by the lies of the enemy who would cause us to think that it really doesn’t pay to try to live a good or honest life, to do the right thing. O Lord, may we know that to live for You is eternal life. May we look at the end of the road where the path is leading. In Jesus name, Amen.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7189