In Psalm 74 the question rings out, “O God, why have You cast us off forever?” (Psa. 74:1). Psalm 75 implies God’s answer, and it is simple: “I haven’t.” No matter how bad our problems may seem, no matter how difficult the challenges we face, and no matter how bad the consequences we must accept, God is still there, ready to aid, ready to deliver, and ready to show mercy, when the time is right. Therefore, learning to be faithful and thankful while operating on God’s timetable is essential, and it should form the foundation for the message we live by, stand by, and speak.The tone of Psalm 75 points to the end of Babylonian captivity when the psalmist recognized God’s hand in the decree of Cyrus that signified the end of a seventy year exile (Psa. 75:1-3) and finally felt vindication for the warning offered to the Chaldean captors about boasting in their power (Psa. 75:4-5). The faithful knew that God would redeem them eventually, and thus their faith depended not on the powerful armies of surrounding nations but on the God who can raise up any nation He so chooses (Psa. 75:6-7). God will judge nations as well as people, and there are consequences for the oppressor (Psa. 75:8). Therefore, regardless of our political situation, country of origin, or place of power, the honor and the glory always belong to the LORD (Psa. 75:9), and He will determine who rises and falls in power (Psa. 75:10). He always has.
The life lessons available in this simple psalm of thanksgiving are many.
- God deserves not only our petitions for help but also our thanks when it is provided.
- We must accept God’s timetable and recognize that the desired outcome is not simply justice, and not just our relief from oppression, but also our learning from the experience.
- The worldly position we may occupy in the moment is no guarantee of the future, and humility coupled with mercy should guide our interaction with others rather than power and dominance.
- We must ever trust in God for protection and deliverance, especially in recognizing His providence, lest we come to place our confidence in man and men.
- God will judge, the unjust will suffer the consequences of their behavior, and no country has immunity from this fact.
- Our praises offered to God should recognize His sovereignty, power, and love regardless of our current situation because we know who He is, we know that He does not change, and we know that He is worthy.
- We can have confidence in our faithfulness knowing that God will ultimately set everything right; therefore, it is not necessary for us to do so or to place Him on our own schedule. We accept this in faith and therefore must accept the timing in faith as well.
When we try to figure out how everything should be in life, we must content ourselves with studying God’s Word and applying it personally and leave the rest up to God, knowing that He knows best. It is a hard lesson to accept but a most important one to learn.