Saturday 12th September

September 12th 

 

God is working his purpose out     Arthur C. Ainger (1841-1919) Millicent D. Kingham (1866-1927)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iiuxet4pJ-c  BBC

 

Psalm 75    

1 We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks; your name is near.
People tell of your wondrous deeds.


2 At the set time that I appoint I will judge with equity.
3 When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants, it is I who keep its pillars steady.
         
4 I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast’, and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn;
5 do not lift up your horn on high, or speak with insolent neck.’


6 For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up;
7 but it is God who executes judgement, putting down one and lifting up another.
8 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.
9 But I will rejoice for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.


10 All the horns of the wicked I will cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

 

“….it is I who keep its pillars steady“ (v3). There is a conversation going on. It’s a bit complicated to catch who is speaking: Verse 1 is the psalmist, verse 2,3 is God, verse 4,5 might be either the psalmist or God, verse 6-9 is the psalmist, verse 10 either God or the psalmist . The theme is God’s power over the world. A comforting message in this fragile time.

The world in this psalm is fragile and damaged (v3). Marauding nations on threatening. Armies are rampaging. The picture in (v4,5) is a group of rhinoceros going full tilt at the walls of a house. God’s people look to the east and west, and to the southern deserts (v6), hoping for rescue, but none comes.

But the psalmist speaks with confidence. The world will not break apart because God is holding it together. At the heart of the world is a strong steady presence. Nd that presence never stays still for long; soon it will be on the move. The weapons that have caused so much damage will be broken, and God’s judgement cup will incapacitate armies. The world will be stabilized (v7-10).

When our world seems to rock on its foundations, we have hope. It was God who created our world, and it is God who holds it steady until his purposes for the world can be fulfilled, and with the psalmist say, ‘I will rejoice for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob’ (v9).

 

Prayer

Judge of all the earth,

restrain the ambition of the proud

and established among us the reign of the Messiah,

who drain for the cup of judgement

and is alive with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Judge eternal, throned in splendour    Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iprlaDyHoM    First-Plymouth Church, Lincoln, Nebrasca

 

‘Judge eternal, throned in splendour’ was a favourite of Ernest Bevin, sung at his funeral. Bevin was the Foreign Secretary after ww2 and the founder of the T & G union in the 1920s. Bevin had a funny political story which I shall quote:

There were three men in a boat, see, a communist, a fascist, and a good union man. All of a sudden the boat sinks and the three are thrown into the water. There’s people on the river bank. The fascists salutes at them, but finds it impossible to swim with one arm, and e’ drowns. The communist begins shouting slogans at them, exhausts ‘imself, and ‘e drowns. This leaves only the union man, swimmin’ towards the bank in strong easy strokes. ‘E’s almost within ‘is depth, when the factory siren goes and ‘e drowns.

Ernest Bevin, Labour’s Churchill, Andrew Adonis, Biteback publishing, London 2020


Printer Printable Version