And all the horns of the wicked He will cut off, But the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.Psalm 75:10(NASB)
There are times when we look at all the evil that is flooding the world, and the terrible atrocities that are carried out by wicked men, and we are grieved. We grieve because they never seem to be judged for their wrongdoing or punished for their evil deeds. We wonder why things are so unjust in the world, and long for the day when the unrighteous will be held to account and the wicked will be judged by righteous standards.
But this is not a new concern that has surfaced in the 21st century. Over a thousand years before Christ was born, King David and the psalmist, Asaph, were complaining of these same injustices. Lot was sore distressed by the lascivious lifestyle of the wicked in Sodom, and even before the flood, Noah, a preacher of righteousness, was witness to the same dilemma - for we read that in those days, "there was only evil - continually."
Asaph was a Levite, who wrote a number of psalms. He faced the same problems of prideful evil-doers who seemed to flourish, while God's people remained down-trodden and abused. In Psalm 75, we find Asaph longing for the day when these wicked men would be forced to drain the dregs of the foaming cup of God's wrath. In this psalm, Asaph acknowledges that God will one day judge the wicked in righteousness. But like us, he wonders how long it would be before justice would be poured out on the godless society of his day - just as we wonder today!
While Asaph shared our concerns, he was a man of faith who did not doubt that God was the sovereign Judge of the earth. He did not waver in his belief that the Lord would most certainly punish the wicked... at the right time, and in the right way. As with all scripture, the writings of Asaph are God-breathed, and in this little Psalm, we find that his writing alternates between his own thoughts and words he attributes to the Lord.
Asaph began by giving thanks to God for remaining close to His people. He rejoiced that all the wondrous works of God were being declared by men. But the psalmist was so confident that God's promises are secure, that his writings continued as if the Lord, Himself was speaking. "When I select an appointed time," God said, "I will judge the world with equity. All who dwell on earth will melt. It is I who have firmly set its pillars in place. I said to the boastful, 'Do not boast,' and to the wicked, 'do not lift up the horn. Do not lift up your horn on high. Do not speak with insolent pride.'"
The psalmist was so confident that God would judge the world in righteousness and equity, at His appointed time, that his praises resounded with a triumphant note of sure victory as he declared, "And all the horns of the wicked He will cut off, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up." He rejoiced in the prophetic certainty that God would one day cut down the strength of the wicked, while the strength of the righteous would be lifted up.
A 'horn' in Scripture symbolises great strength, but Asaph does not fear what man can do to him for his greater confidence is in the Lord, Whose strong arm is mighty to save. He knows, without a shadow of a doubt, that Yahweh will one day judge the world in righteousness - and condemn the wicked ways of unrepentant, fallen man.
Like Asaph, we can have great confidence and the unshakable assurance that the terrible atrocities that are carried out by wicked men today, and throughout the pages of history... those deeds that are so grievous to us and the unjust activities of wicked men, will be held to account in God's appointed time and in His perfect way.
About three thousand years have passed since Asaph wrote this joyful hymn of triumph over the wicked, but the truth that God will one day judge the world in righteousness is as fresh and factual today as it was in those days of Israel's kings, when holy men of God penned the holy Scriptures for our learning.
May we never doubt the faithfulness of God to vindicate those that are His and to cut off the 'horns' - the strength, of the wicked. And may we rejoice.. that in Christ we have the sufficient strength to stand firm in the evil day, knowing that our hope is in Him.
I give thanks to You, O heavenly Father, that You are close to Your people and will one day judge the world in righteousness. I praise and glorify Your holy name, for Your Word of truth, and the great comfort I gain from psalmists like Asaph, whose trust and confidence in You, is reflected in their edifying psalms of praise and thanksgiving. Thank You that You are a God of justice as well as a great God of love, and that a day is coming when You will stand up as Judge of the earth, and put all wrongs to right. Thank You that You will one day punish those that speak with insolent pride, as they drink the dregs of Your justified anger, and thank You that the strength of evil men will one day be cut off and Your people will be raised up into newness of life. Thank You that I am Your child and I will sing praises to You in Your court forever. In Jesus' name, I pray, AMEN.