Sunday Devotional 13th of August 2023
by Bruce Billington
Sunday Devotional – 13th August, 2023
We are continuing to explore the knowledge of God as expressed in the Psalms. This week we look at some verses from Psalm 75 – a Psalm of Asaph.
Psalm 75:7-8 – “But God is the Judge; He puts down one and exalts another. 8 For a cup is in the hand of the LORD, and the wine foams; It is well mixed, and He pours out of this; Surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs.”
God never ceases judging. He never vacates His throne. The world is never left to their own devices forever, despite what they might think. God puts down one and exalts another. Kings, leaders, and rulers are puppets in His hand. He causes everything to serve His purposes. Spurgeon says,
All power belongs to him; all else is shadow, coming and going, unsubstantial, misty, dream like.
God holds a cup or chalice in His hand and the fruit of what is being produced by any ruler or dynasty is being allowed to ferment and reveal what it is really made of. The wine is red, indicating that it has not been diluted to weaken its intoxicating powers. It is full-strength, fermented wine. It is a full of mixture of whatever substances (sin) that have been added to make it even more intoxicating.
Then, in His time comes terrible retribution. All their persecutions, evil actions, godlessness and lack of mercy and justice become additives to the cup God is holding. He gives them time to repent and reform, but at a certain time of His choosing the cup is poured out upon those performing such deeds. Any defiance of Him, at this time, is over. He will bring down all who arrogantly rise up against Him and His people. They will face the full force of His fierce judgment. History is full of examples of this.
We all should heed the warning and not look with envy upon those who seem to be prospering without Him and walking in a manner that is contrary to His ways. Promotion comes from God alone. Ultimately, He decides whom He will lift up and whom He will bring down.
This picture of the wine glass (cup) is terrifying. God will pour out its full, undiluted wrath upon the wicked, and they will have to drink it—all of it, even the dregs. The dregs (shemer) are the particles that settle at the bottom of the wine bottle. These bitter bits were usually filtered out as it was being poured from the bottle to the cup. Here, they illustrate the fact that God’s judgment will not be filtered or reduced in any way.
We should all pause here and consider this. As believers, we are free of condemnation for our sins, having been washed in the blood of Christ. Yet we are not free from God’s correction for our sins. God warns us that He will chasten or discipline us—His beloved sons and daughters—if we continue in sin (1 Corinthians 11:31–32; Hebrews 12:5–11). Unless, or until we repent, we will face the consequences of our sins here on earth. God also warns us repeatedly that we must stand before Christ to give an account of our works and service for Him, at His return. If we have been faithful, we will receive a reward. If we have been unfaithful, we will suffer the painful loss of rewards we could have received (1 Corinthians 3:11–15; 2 Corinthians 5:9–10).
As a result, we, along with all other people, need to heed every warning in God’s Word. One of the great lies of Satan is that we will not reap what we have sown, that God will not follow through with the judgment He has promised (Genesis 3:3–4; Galatians 6:7–8). But God will not be mocked. He means what He says, and He will do exactly what He says He will do.
We all need to constantly remind ourselves that the Way of the Lord is a serious business, and our great Lamb is also a Mighty Lion. Because the blessing of the Lord is so great, it is easy to overlook the fact that He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit (John 15:2).
We do not remind one another often enough that He is not only our Lord and Saviour – He is a holy, righteous judge and it is every person’s responsibility to repent and believe. Although true believers are not condemned to a lost eternity, they do face discipline and chastisement. The only way to avoid this is by remaining obedient to His Way and live a repentant life.
1 Corinthians 11:32 – “But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.”