Messiah’s Rejoinder To
The Saints’ Maranatha

a brief study of Psalm 75, adapted from PCC Prayer Meeting Exhortation on 6 February 2009

Psalm 75 is another psalm of Asaph. It was written by Asaph under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

But Psalm 75 unlike the previous two psalms of Asaph was written in such a way that it is more clearly Messianic, though it is not generally recognised as Messianic by those who hold strictly to the historical-grammatical method of interpreting the Psalm, or would accept only the psalms that are explicitly attributed to Christ in the New Testament as being Messianic. It has even been suggested that the Christological approach to the psalm (that sees every Psalm as explicitly or implicitly the word of Christ, which Christ might have sung or meditated on, or that His people may sing in union with him) is a modern innovation.

But listen to the Church Father Augustine in his opening comments on this psalm:

...Hear ye now the words of Christ. [he says] For these seemed not as it were to be His words… But whether [the] Head speaketh or whether [the] members speak, Christ speaketh: He speaketh in the person of the Head, He speaketh in the person of the Body.… He is speaking therefore as One, let us hear Him, and in Him let us also speak. Let us be the members of Him, in order that this voice may possibly be ours also.

Augustine is speaking about how we must sing the psalm in union with Christ and how sometimes the words of various verses in the psalms may clearly appear to be the word of Christ, while at other times, they may appear more to be the word of His body, the church.

This is especially so in Psalm 75. Though in the opening verse of this psalm, we do not have Christ speaking singularly, the 2nd and 3rd verses have the first person pronoun.

2 When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly. 3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it.

Who is this ‘I’? Commentators have some difficulty answering. They know it cannot be ‘Asaph’ who was a Levite. So they suggest 3 different options: David, God and the Messiah. W.S. Plumer says: “That person is either David as king of Israel, or Messiah as typified by David, or God as Judge of the whole earth.”

But why David when this is a Psalm of Asaph? And if God is the speaker, would it not be quite arbitrary and confusing since verse 1 addressed God in the second person, whereas in verse 9, the speaker addresses God in the third person!

9 But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.

Who alone upholds the pillars of the earth (v. 3) and also sing praises to God (v. 9)?

When we have searched the Scripture, we will not be able to find a more fitting answer than the Son of God, the Messiah!

We may entitle this Psalm, “Messiah’s Rejoinder to the Saint’s Maranatha.” It is a psalm which Messiah and his people may sing together unto the Father as they we anticipate the Coming Day of Judgement.

It has 4 parts.

·  In verse 1, we have Messiah and his people united in thanksgiving.

·  In verses 2-5, Messiah acknowledges His appointment as the Judge.

·  In verses 6-8, Messiah and His people affirm that the Judgement of Messiah is the judgement of God.

·  Finally, in verses 9-10, Messiah declares that the purpose of His judgement is the glory of God.

Here then are the four parts

1. Thanksgiving of Messiah
& His Saints

1  Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.

The ‘we’ in this psalm, as we noted, is not just anyone who sings this psalm. An unbeliever may not sing this psalm meaningfully, for he cannot identify with the ‘we.’ The ‘we’ refers to Christ and His Church in union with one another.

As our Lord teaches us to pray in the first petition, “Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,” so here we pray with our Lord: “Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks…”

Even as we think about the solemn subject of judgement, it is important for us to approach it with thanksgiving, “for that [God’s] name is near [His] wondrous works declare.” That is to say, God’s wondrous works everywhere declare the Name of God, that it is praiseworthy. Is it not true that if we look closely enough, God’s signature is in everything that he has made! And so everything that God has made declare His wondrous name.

The world did not come about by random chance. There is a Creator. And if there is a Creator, there will be a judgement. Solomon reminds us: “Remember now thy Creator… For God shall bring every work into judgment” (Ecc 12:1, 14).

Who is our Judge? Our Judge is none other than Christ Jesus, for He as says: “the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (Jn 5:22).

And so in verse 2-5, we have the acknowledgement of the Son of His role as Judge.

2. Acknowledgement of Messiah
the Judge

2 When I shall receive the congregation I will judge uprightly. 3 The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved: I bear up the pillars of it.

Christ is upholding all things by the word of His power (Heb 1:3). In so far as all things were created for the sake of the Church, all things are being, as it were, borne up by the pillars by the Lord until the day of judgement.

That great day of judgement is the day when the Lord receives the whole number of his congregation. The apostle Peter says that “the Lord [is] not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). Only when the full number of his elect is come in will Christ receive his congregation; and only then will he bring about the Judgement.

That day will also be know as the “day of wrath” (Rom 2:5), for on that day, the earth and all her inhabitants shall, as it were, be dissolved. “The elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” says Peter (2 Pet 3:10). The earth will be renovated and there will be a new heaven and new earth (2 Pet 3:13).

This is a great and terrible day for those who remain unrepentant and in unbelief. Therefore, the Lord is today warning and calling for repentance through the preaching of the Gospel:

4 I said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn: 5 Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck.

To lift up the horn is to be proud and to refuse to listen to admonishment and instruction. In the day of the wrath of the Lamb, the proud and stiff neck will cry unto “the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev 6:16).

He that sitteth upon the throne is the Lamb. But he is also the God-Man. His judgement is the judgement of God. Therefore, thirdly, we have an…

3. Affirmation of the Divinity
of Messiah’s Judgement

6 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south.  7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

We are all familiar with these two verses. We often refer to them to thank God when we get a promotion at work. Or we might use them to encourage someone to seek first the kingdom of God rather than worry about his promotion.

But these two verses are not only about job promotion. It is about the perfect justice of God. He deals with all men,—by His providential power,—according to his perfect justice today. He will reward those who walk righteously and chastise or punish those who walk lawlessly.

But God is longsuffering and slow to wrath. Therefore He gives time for man to repent, and therefore He does not deal with man according to what our sins deserve in this life.

But one day, God will deal with sinners with the full fury of His wrath.

8 For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.

Christ, our Lord, we must remember, has been appointed by the Father to judge and to execute judgement. This is why the day of judgement is called the day of the wrath of the Lamb.

The judgement of Christ is the same as the judgement of God, for Christ is God. Indeed, the purpose of Christ’s judgement is ultimately the glory of God, as we see it in his own declaration…

4. Declaration of the Goal
of Messiah’s Judgement

9 But I will declare for ever; I will sing praises to the God of Jacob. 10 All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

The appellation, “God of Jacob,” speaks of God as the covenant keeping God, for the name Jacob or Israel is used in the Old Testament as a short form for “the covenant people of God.”

Christ will judge perfectly; and for all eternity He will sing praises unto the Father in union with His people. For all eternity the mercy of God for the elect and His justice against the reprobate will be clearly shown and become a subject of everlasting praise.


In this world we will have much tribulation. We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And the more tribulation we experience—whether physical, emotional or spiritual,—the more we cry out with the Psalmist “How long, O LORD?” (cf. Ps 79:5; Ps 89:46, Ps 90:13; etc). And the more we cry out “Maranatha!” (1 Cor 16:22).

Christ our Lord has heard our prayer. He will come. He will come when the full number of the elect is brought in. And when He comes, He will set all things in order and correct all injustice, unfairness, cynicism, and wrongs.

Let us beloved brethren, therefore, wait patiently, cling on to our Lord and run the race with His strength, patience, hope and joy. Let us not allow any sense of grief or injustice entangle us and make us weary in the race. Amen.

—JJ Lim