The result of the UK General Election has taken many by surprise. Political pundits made confident forecasts. Politicians made strong assertions. The outcome was, however, entirely different. Men failed to account for the sovereignty of the Most High. “There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand” (Prov. 19:21)
The Psalms, like all of Scripture, are ever relevant. In particular, Psalm 75 can be appropriately applied to our own times.
Rulers should have David’s resolve to “judge uprightly” (Ps. 75:2). Instead we hear of their unashamed pride in legislating to destroy God’s law. They delight in seeking to change God’s creation ordinance of marriage. David Dickson comments that “when a land is destitute of godly and gracious governors, the whole country is left loose”.
David in ruling according to God’s law was “to bear up the pillars” of the land when it and the inhabitants were “dissolved” (Ps. 75:3). As Dickson observes, David was “but a shadow of what is to be found in Christ, of whom he is a type”. The “kingdom and country is ill guided where Christ reigneth not; but when people subject themselves to Him, He sets the kingdom or country upon true pillars, and sustaineth all by His power”. Our nation is sadly shown to be a house divided against itself. The pillars are shaken. They have rejected the bonds of unity in true religion and are riven by an evil spirit of division.
Will any hear the reproof from God’s Word: “Deal not foolishly” (Ps. 75:4)? Such are addressed as “fools”, those who have rejected the word of God and no wisdom can be in them. There is an overweening arrogance in many of our rulers. They are warned: “Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck” (Ps. 75:5). Yet even though roundly defeated and humiliated, politicians will not let go of their God-defying policies and actions. Nick Clegg for instance expressed satisfaction concerning his role in redefining marriage in the midst of his electoral disaster. “The fruits of a wicked man’s prosperity are pride, vain-glory, audacious boasting against the godly, wherein they grow more and more insolent against all warnings of God’s word” (Dickson).
Why are such rulers so proud in their their sinful rebellion against God? It is because they have forgotten God and His government in the world. Nevertheless, “God is the judge” (Ps. 75:7). He is the one that governs the world. Promotion does not come from man. “As God hath a mind . . . to have the glory of His justice displayed, . . . so He setteth them up or putteth them down” (Dickson).
David ends the psalm with the joyful and hopeful expectation of all the horns of the wicked being cut off and the horns of the righteous being exalted (Ps. 75:10). As Dickson points out, Christ will achieve this. The pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand. When we see how suddenly political careers can be cut off we ought to recognise how easy it us for the Lord to turn things around as quickly as He pleases, when He arises to plead His own cause. There is a bright future for that cause. “The godly shall be victorious over all their wicked opposers” (Dickson).