Promotion and Demotion Time

When I choose a time, I will judge fairly.
-Psalm 75:2 (CSB)

There is a time when God does something.  It is a window of time that is remarkable. Throughout history, there are times that are 'opportune moments'.

The New Testament Greek has two words for time, 'chronos' and 'kairos'.  Chronos is measured time: how much time has gone by.  Kairos means a moment or window of time that is particular and unique.  It comes and goes.

When they translated the Old Testament into Greek, 'time' here in Psalm 75, is 'kairos',

Kairos time is the moment when the grand slam home run wins the game or those two or three innings when one team just kept getting hits.  It is a specific, unique window of time.

Another way to describe this kind of time is 'season'.  A season comes and goes.  Titus 1:3 is an example of kairos time:

In his own time he has revealed his word in the preaching with which I was entrusted by the command of God our Savior.

Two more examples are Acts 1:7-8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2:

He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

About the times and the seasons: Brothers and sisters, you do not need anything to be written to you.  For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night.

I believe that the concept of time in Psalm 75:2, "When the time is ripe I will arise, and will judge the world with perfect righteousness!" (TPT), is 'kairos' time.

There are times when God intervenes in history.  God is not a micromanager nor the clockmaker who is sleeping.  God is a living person who lets humans have free will, but also does interventions.

There's a note, before the first verse of Psalm 75, that says it is a work of Asaph, to the tune "Do Not Destroy".  David tacked on this same note to Psalms 57-59, which are songs that cry out for God's intervention.  I looked up this Hebrew phrase "al-tashcheth", in many dictionaries and they all say they are not sure what it means, beyond just what it says.

Is the phrase, "Do not destroy", spoken towards God or towards people?  I can not tell.  But there it is, at the top of those four Psalms.  I am going to take it at face value and guess that it means what it says.

It is a tone of lament in crisis.  The tone, tune or vibe being set is: "Don't let things be destroyed".  We say that sin is destructive.

Injustice, lies, gossip, greed.  The list of destructives goes on and on.  Saul was acting destructively towards David, and that is where we first see this phrase.

The Hebrew idea is destruction and corruption.  People who commit adultery destroy themselves (Prov. 6:32).  And being a fool who says, "God does not exist", is the essence of corruption (Ps. 14:1, 53:1).

Psalm 75 is set to the tune or the tone of the idea or motif: "Do Not Destroy" and destructiveness also carries with it the idea of corruption.  The scene or backdrop of Psalm 75 and Psalms 57 to 59, are a season of rising destructiveness and corruption.  This Psalmist, Asaph, and his mentor, David; wrote these four songs in times of trouble, asking for God's intervention.

Asaph was either reflecting on how God has functioned in the past and speaking encouragement that God will do it again, or he is speaking purely as a prophetic songwriter, giving words to what he heard God say.  Both ways are actually prophetic in the NT sense, because encouragement is the essence of NT prophetic ministry.

This is what God says:

"When I choose a time, I will judge fairly."

There are judgement times.  I am talking about God intervening and exercising his sovereignty to demote and promote.

Psalm 75 has ten verses.  Verses 2-5 and verse 10 are words that Asaph is quoting from God.  He either heard God or he is writing inspired words of what God has said in the past, that are God's character to say.

The song opens with thanksgiving.  We come into God's presence through thanks:

We give thanks to you, God;
we give thanks to you, for your name is near.
People tell about your wondrous works.

This is an awesome opening.  "Your name is near", means "We sense your presence".  It means, "We are overwhelmed by your gracious presence."  God's name to us is, "Near one".  These words prophetically resonate out through time and point to Jesus and the Spirit of God and the Father, who gives good gifts to his children.

Then we have the first oracle portion where what God said is quoted and sung back to God:

“When I choose a time,
I will judge fairly.
When the earth and all its inhabitants shake,
I am the one who steadies its pillars. Selah
I say to the boastful, ‘Do not boast,’
and to the wicked, ‘Do not lift up your horn.
Do not lift up your horn against heaven
or speak arrogantly.’”

Notice that it does not say, "At the end of time".  Nope.  It says that God chooses a particular time.

God, in Asaph's words, sees wicked ones, like an animal, like a rhino with it's horn coming at God.  Maybe the horn is a weapon.  I think it is symbolic of power.

In the next verse, Asaph writes words about promotion and demotion.  He says that God is the one who ultimately promotes.  God is seeking to promote people into higher levels of authority and assignment.

God brings people down and puts others up.  That is what it says here.

We had a conference at my church once, where everyone was asked to stand and the speaker prayed for God to confirm or deny the ministries of each one.

This is another time, I personally believe, where God is sorting people out; both in the world and in his church.

These are the next words of the song:

Exaltation does not come
from the east, the west, or the desert,
for God is the Judge:
He brings down one and exalts another.

I do not claim to understand this next section.  This is what the NET Bible notes say:

"The psalmist pictures God as forcing the wicked to gulp down an intoxicating drink that will leave them stunned and vulnerable. Divine judgment is also depicted this way in Ps 60:3; Isa 51:17-23; and Hab 2:16."

Here's the next stanza:

For there is a cup in the Lord’s hand,

full of wine blended with spices, and he pours from it.
All the wicked of the earth will drink,
draining it to the dregs.

As for me, I will tell about him forever;
I will sing praise to the God of Jacob.

The "telling about him", is remarking about God as judge, who demotes and promotes.  He did not just do it to Egypt, but does it now, at times.  

The song ends with another quote from God that the singers sing to remind us about God, what he does and will do when the time is right:

“I will cut off all the horns of the wicked,
but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.”

There is your praise chorus for today:

“I will cut off all the horns of the wicked,
but the horns of the righteous will be lifted up.”

That is the summation of this song.  God is going to cut the power from the wicked and lift up the righteous.  Demotion and promotion time, when God says it's time.

And 'the righteous' are not self righteous, religious, pious people.  The righteous are just people who are walking with God, people of faith, people who are faith-full.  Righteous people are God's kids.  Righteous people are people who have Christ in them and who Christ is living his life through.

There comes a time when God judges and promotes some people and demotes others.  That's my message for today.  Blessings.