Read Deuteronomy 28, Jeremiah 20, Psalms 75-77 today. This devotional is about Psalms 75.
Psalm 75-76 sing praises to God for his sovereign justice.
As his chosen people, Israel praised God for his favor to them (75:1). In verses 2-10 the Psalmist explains that God’s justice happens in his time (v. 2) and that those he judges are powerless to avoid the judgment he brings (vv. 3-8). In the middle of Psalm 75, the Psalmist sings, “No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another” (vv. 6-7). We think that military might or political success are matters of human strength and ingenuity; this Psalm mocks our foolish assumptions and tells us that God sovereignly and precisely rules over the affairs of humanity:
- No one can become powerful unless God allows them to become powerful (vv. 6-7).
- No one can hold on to power if God determines to take it away (vv. 3-5).
While obedience to God should cause us to do all we can to bring righteousness and justice in our world, God has his own plans and those plans sometimes involve exalting the wicked so that his will can be done. But justice will be executed in God’s time.
Given all this, does it make sense to worry so much about who who occupies the oval office, controls the House of Representative, or has a majority on the Supreme Court?
Yes, we want righteous leaders who will make righteous laws and enforce them justly, so we should vote biblically and conscientiously.
But what if God allows unrighteous, unjust, unscrupulous, and unethical leadership to be elected because of his own purpose? When that happens, can you join the Psalmist in singing, “As for me, I will declare this forever; I will sing praise to the God of Jacob, who says, ‘I will cut off the horns of all the wicked, but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up’” (vv. 9-10)?
Can we trust God—and praise him—even when we don’t understand why he allows troubling things to happen? Can we wait for him to do justice according to his will in the time that he chooses?