PSALM 75 OVERVIEW
Title. To the Chief Musician. Here is noble work for him, for the cry of the last Psalm is about to be heard, and the challenge of the foes of Israel taken up by God himself. Here the virgin daughter of Zion despises her foe, and laughs him to scorn. The destruction of Sennacherib's army is a notable illustration of this sacred song. Al-taschith. Here is another of the "destroy not" Psalms, and the title may be intended as a check upon the natural fierceness of the oppressed, or a taunt for the savage foe, who is here bitterly bidden to destroy not, because the nation is well aware that he cannot. Here, in holy faith, the sucking child plays at the hole of the asp, and the weaned child puts his hand on the cockatrice den. A Psalm or Song of Asaph. For reading or singing. A hymn to God and a song for his saints. Happy were the people who having found a Milton in David had an almost equal songster in Asaph: happiest of all, because these poets were not inspired by earth's Castalian fount, but drank of "the fount of every blessing."
Division. The people's song of gratitude and adoration begins the hymn in Psalms 75:1 . In the next four Psalms 75:2-5 , the Lord reveals himself as ruling the world in righteousness. Then follows a warning voice from the church to her enemies, Psalms 75:6-8 , and a closing song anticipatory of the glory due to God and the utter defeat of the foe.
Verse 1. Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks. Not to ourselves, for we were helpless, but to Elohim who heard our cry, and replied to the taunt of our foes. Never let us neglect thanksgiving, or we may fear that another time our prayers will remain unanswered. As the smiling flowers gratefully reflect in their lovely colours the various constituents of the solar ray, so should gratitude spring up in our hearts after the smiles of God's providence.
Unto thee do we give thanks. We should praise God again and again. Stinted gratitude is ingratitude. For infinite goodness there should be measureless thanks. Faith promises redoubled praise for greatly needed and signal deliverances.
For that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare. God is at hand to answer and do wonders -- adore we then the present Deity. We sing not of a hidden God, who sleeps and leaves the church to her fate, but of one who ever in our darkest days is most near, a very present help in trouble. "Near is his name." Baal is on a journey, but Jehovah dwells in his church. Glory be unto the Lord, whose perpetual deeds of grace and majesty are the sure tokens of his being with us always, even unto the ends of the world.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Title. Al-taschith. Destroy not. This seems to have been used by David as a maxim during the violent persecutions of Saul, as if to remind himself to forebear revenge, though it was often in his power to inflict it, upon his unnatural enemy. F. G. Hubbard, in "The Psalms Chronologically arranged, with Historical Introductions". New York. 1856.
Whole Psalm. As these words are really a prayer, while at the same time the Psalm is thrown into the form, not of petitions, but of a thanksgiving, it ought to be considered as a thank prayer, uttered beforehand, and containing petitions within it. Berleb. Bible.
Verse 1. Thy name is near. The name of God is said to be near, because it had come into public notice, and was in every mind and every tongue -- opposed to what is unknown and obscure, which is said to be far remote. Compare Deuteronomy 30:11 . Hermann Venema.
Verse 1. The psalmist doubles this duty in the practice of the saints; Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, we give thanks, we do it; as if none else did it but they, or as if they had done noting else. Joseph Caryl, in "A Sermon before the House of Commons," entitled, "The Saints' Thankful Acclamation."
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 1. The unceasing thanksgiving of the church, her grand cause for adoration: the nearness of her God, and the evident proof thereof in the displays of his power.
Do we give thanks? We do give thanks. What thanks do we give.? When do we give thanks? Let us give thanks again.