So Defiantly

4 To the arrogant I say, ‘Boast no more,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horns.
5 Do not lift your horns against heaven; do not speak so defiantly.'” Psalm 75:4-5

The horns in the Bible are frequently a sign of power and strength, much like they are on many animals. The second part of verse five is merely rephrasing the earlier part.

In this part of the song, Asaph was merely exhorting the proud and arrogant to keep it all in check. They could shake their fist at God but that’s about it.

Recently I’ve had a chance to play with my 18 month old niece. She really loves to be “chased” so I chase her around the coffee table over and over again. I stop and change course and she goes the other way. We do that until she figures out that she doesn’t need to go around in a circle to “get away” from me, so she goes into another room. If I had really want to, I can take one medium step and scoop her up.

The proud and arrogant are somewhat similar to my niece. They absolutely think they have pulled one over on God and that they can outrun Him in the long run (and they’re smarter and wise them Him). What they clearly don’t realize is that it would take one tiny step for God to “get” them if He so chose. But they continue to defy Him at every chance possible.

Similarly, there are times we try to outfox God. Oh, we would never admit it, but we do things because we forget He’s watching (or worse, we don’t care that He’s watching). Then we turn course and try to outwit Him again going a different direction.

For that reason, it’s important for all of us to keep “short accounts” of our relationship with God. Confess when we need and get back to doing Kingdom work.

Judge With Equity

2 You say, “I choose the appointed time; it is I who judge with equity.
3 When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm. Psalm 75:2-3

Have you ever encountered a situation where you wanted God to bring judgement on a particular person now? We all have. It’s a very common reaction to some of the heinous evils we encounter throughout our lives. With the internet we’re able to hear about some of these evils fast and in greater numbers.

Fortunately, though, God is patient. He will judge with equity and at the appointed time, and not a minute sooner. Nothing escapes His knowledge or view.

Nothing.

It may be tough to do at times because, quite frankly certain life events do not seem fair to us, but praising God for His fairness and perfect judgement is the right thing to do.

The Churches

We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds. Psalm 75:1

Through churches throughout the world, people stand up and tell of His wonderful name.

The underground churches, where open worship is forbidden, rise up and tell.

House churches do it.

Churches with dirt floors, churches with magnificent interiors, churches in the country, churches in the cities, churches around the world tell stories of what He has been doing in people’s lives.

The stories never get old because lives are being transformed. If we knew what was going on in churches around the world, we would be astounded. God is still at work in this country and around the world, make no mistake about it!

We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds.

Rise Up

22 Rise up, O God, and defend your cause; remember how fools mock you all day long.
23 Do not ignore the clamor of your adversaries, the uproar of your enemies, which rises continually. Psalm 74:22-23

At the end of the day, God is in control of the world. Nothing escapes His view. Nobody catches Him by surprise. We should be grateful that He is patient, must as He was patient with us. And He still is.

Today is a day to be encouraged about a God who is in fact in control. Yeah, the storms of life rain down on us from time to time, but in the end He is there.

Whether you are taking care of your kids all day, trying to supervise a dozen employees, or trying to make sense of what the teacher is telling you, be encouraged about God’s incredible patience and power.

Line in the Sand

Do not let the oppressed retreat in disgrace; may the poor and needy praise your name. Psalm 74:21

Keeping with the theme of the last few devotionals, there’s something to be said about fighting for what is right and good and wholesome. What does that mean?

Preachers have been mildly warning about this for years, but too often Christians have let the culture dictate what they should be doing instead of leading the way. Now that the Church has embraced the culture for so many years, the culture decided to take their morals a few levels lower than many Christians wanted to go.

That line in the sand has been crossed, and many in the church find themselves waking up to see how far they’ve drifted as a culture.

So, rather then cursing the darkness and lashing out against what we perceive as our enemies, it’s best that we shine a candle into that darkness. The Scripture today gives us a clue how to do that: praise. When people us at peace and as people of praise, they have to take a second look. They may not understand it. They may not like it. They may even mock us for it. But they do have to take notice.

We must remember, this world is not our home. The people we discuss these issues with are not our enemies.

For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places]. Ephesians 6:12

So we fight. On our knees. Are you ready to plead with God on your country’s behalf?

In one his sermons before he passed away, the late David Wilkerson said this: “Abraham pleaded with God on behalf the wicked city of Sodom.”

Think about it.