A Daily Dose of Good News
Monday, July 20, 2020
This devotional is offered online at https://youtu.be/bj7wTIBUO3U
and will remain available throughout the day and the week.
For a printer-friendly version of today’s devotion, please click DDGN 20200720
Good morning! It is July 20 and it’s time for our Daily Dose of Good News and I’m doing this from my new backyard- which is glorious! Isn’t it so adorable? OK, Psalm 75 today…
We give thanks to you, O God;
we give thanks; your name is near.
People tell of your wondrous deeds.
At the set time that I appoint
I will judge with equity.
When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants,
it is I who keep its pillars steady.Selah
I say to the boastful, “Do not boast,”
and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horn;
do not lift up your horn on high,
or speak with insolent neck.”
For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up;
but it is God who executes judgment,
putting down one and lifting up another.
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
with foaming wine, well mixed;
he will pour a draught from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall drain it down to the dregs.
But I will rejoice forever;
I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.
All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.
Here ends the reading.
When I read this, I was comforted by part of line 3, which is comforting, I think particularly today, in the pandemic as we know numerous states have had increases and their positivity is over 10 percent. But, it says here, when the earth totters with all its inhabitants, it is I who keep its pillars steady. That reminded me, at first, of the passage when Samson is standing in the middle of that great hall and he’s got his hands on the pillars, and he pushes the pillars down and destroys that building and all the people who are in it. But this is not about God bringing destruction. This is about God reminding us, I am the one who stabilizes the pillars. Even when it feels like things are tottering, I stabilize. So a reminder for us to trust, in the midst of that, and to realize how big and strong God is, and that God holds us and God stabilizes us in the world today.
And then, I thought it was interesting, this commentary about horns, and they’re used in two different ways in this passage. First, horns are mentioned in a way similar to a shofar. A shofar is a horn like a trumpet, that people would blow during battles or wars or during times of celebration. So the horn is used as a way of promoting ourselves or trumpeting our good works, in the middle of the passage. And then horns are used in a different way at the end of the passage. Because horns, in Biblical times, also symbolized power, in terms of an animal has a horn and they use that for protection and they use that for strength. At the end, the horn is used in a way to represent power and how God deals with that. So let’s look at those two pieces, quickly, again…
“I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’ and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn; do not lift up your horn on high, or speak with insolent neck.’ So, I think that’s a great reminder for us these days to humble ourselves and to not speak “with insolent neck”. Do not be rude with one another. Don’t boast or try to inflate ourselves, or make ourselves appear more grandiose than we are. That’s probably a human characteristic, so I’m not judging anyone here for that. I do that, I’m sure you do that, or people you know do that. But rather than inflating ourselves or trying to make ourselves appear better or more grand than we are, to humble ourselves, and let God be the one who judges that. Let God be the one who lifts us up or humbles us, and to trust God in that. So I think it’s a good reminder for us to look at ways we might be purposefully or inadvertently rude with one another, or boastful, today. Maybe try to keep our eyes open for that and try to catch that and confess that when we do it.
Then the end of the passage is: “All the horns of the wicked I will cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted”. So, it’s a reminder that even those we think are powerful, if they’re wicked, God is going to cut off their horns. God is going to remove their strength, their power, their protection. For those who are righteous, who seek God, their protection will be expanded and their power will be increased. So, trusting God in all of that, that God stabilizes our world. God will lift up the righteous and lower those who are boastful and rude. And for us to remember the God we serve and to do that with humility and with compassion for one another, rather than with rudeness or boastfulness. So, good luck with that today. I hope that God shows you ways that you can continue to walk in God’s righteousness. Have a great day everybody. Bye-bye.