Psalm 75 (NKJV)
1 We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near. 2 “When I choose the proper time, I will judge uprightly. 3 The earth and all its inhabitants are dissolved; I set up its pillars firmly. Selah 4 “I said to the boastful, ‘Do not deal boastfully,’ And to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up the horn. 5 Do not lift up your horn on high; Do not speak with a stiff neck.’ ” 6 For exaltation comes neither from the east Nor from the west nor from the south. 7 But God is the Judge: He puts down one, And exalts another. 8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, And the wine is red; It is fully mixed, and He pours it out; Surely its dregs shall all the wicked of the earth Drain and drink down. 9 But I will declare forever, I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 10 “All the horns of the wicked I will also cut off, But the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.”
Mary’s song of praise following her visit to Elizabeth centers on the theme of God as Judge. Saturated as she was in the hymnody of the Old Testament, Mary used the words and themes there to shape her praise. And her praise sounds remarkably like Psalm 75.
Psalm 75 celebrates that God is the Judge. God raises up one and casts down another. It is God who is the Lord – who rules in the affairs of men and nations. What then is our duty and responsibility? Our duty and responsibility is to humble ourselves before Him and to honor Him. Why? Because He swears that He will destroy all those who are proud and stiff necked.
This is true both of the rulers of nations and of we simpler folk as well, whether men, women, or children. God takes pride seriously. He hates a haughty countenance, despises him who thinks more highly of himself than he ought to think. Therefore, because God is the Lord and we are not, we are to be humble, open to correction. We are to bow the knee before God lest we be destroyed. We are not to be like the fool who advertised his pride on the billboards of Spokane: “Bow the knee? Not me.” But he will bow the knee – either now willingly or in the future unwillingly. Solomon warns us in Proverbs 29:1, “He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.” So what does this mean?
Men, are you cultivating relationships that provide you with accountability and correction? If you are married, do you listen to the wisdom of your wife and treasure the gift that God has given you in her? Married or unmarried, have you established relationships with other men who can correct you and exhort you? Men to whom you are directly accountable? If not, do so.
Women, are you cultivating relationships that provide you with accountability and correction? If you are married, do you listen when your husband endeavors to fulfill his calling of shepherding and husbanding you, correcting you? Are you willing to humble yourself before him as though he were God Himself and honor your husband for the office he holds? Married or unmarried, have you sought out relationships with other wise women who will speak the Word of God to you and not comfort you in your sin and complaint? If not, do so.
Children, are you listening to the correction and rebuke that you are receiving from your parents? God has put them into your life so that you can learn and grow and develop into godly, mature young men and women. Beware hardening your neck. Beware the hand of pride that would lead you to say, “I know better! My parents are foolish! They just don’t understand.” Listen and cultivate an obedient and humble heart. For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus the Lord.
Reminded that this is our calling as the people of God – to be humble and open to correction – let us kneel and confess that we have often been proud and froward instead.