When I was camping in a pop-up trailer with my family, a thunderstorm came up suddenly in the night. The wind shook the canvas and rocked the trailer. We wondered how long our shelter would hold up. Thankfully, the trailer and my family did not sustain any real damage. At times, this world can feel fragile and out of control. We might wonder if the next political or health crisis might be the end. In today’s reading, the Psalmist praises God because he knows that the world is in His powerful hands. In verse 3, God declares, “When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm” (v. 3).
One of the things that can make the world seem unstable is when arrogant and wicked people are in positions of power. In this psalm, God confronts them directly (vv. 4–5). He describes their judgment with two memorable images. He proclaims, “I will cut off the horns of all the wicked” (v. 10). The horn was a symbol of status and power. To cut off someone’s horn is saying that their position and ability to influence will be removed. In contrast, God says, “the horns of the righteous will be lifted up” (v. 10).
The second image is a cup. “In the hand of the Lord is a cup full of foaming wine mixed with spices; he pours it out, and all the wicked of the earth drink it down to its very dregs” (v. 8). God’s justice will one day be measured out. The New Testament teaches that Jesus is the one who drank the cup of God’s wrath (Matt. 26:42). But for those who do not have faith in Christ, judgment will come (Rev. 20:11–15).
>> Even though the world may look chaotic, God has it in His control. One hymn that expresses this truth well is “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” Listen, sing, or just read the words of this classic hymn as you conclude today’s devotional.
As the hymn says, “And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us / We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us. ”You are in control, Almighty God; we trust You.