promotion–to be high, to rise or raise (#7311, Strong’s Concordance)
Psalm 75:6 is one of the most misquoted verses, in my opinion. Before we get to that though, let’s take a quick look at the warnings before and the encouragement after verse 6.
Before verse 6, there is a warning to “the fools” to not “deal foolishly”. These are people who make a show and make noise in their display of foolishness. The wicked receive a warning as well to not boast of themselves nor speak with a stiff neck. The wicked are those who are guilty or morally wrong (#7563) and speak with arrogance about their ability and power. (verses 4-5)
Then comes verses 6-7:
For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth one down, and setteth up another.
What’s crucial is for us to understand this familiar verse in the context of the entire short psalm. That way, when we hear it preached again we will have more solid understanding.
Sometimes people feel an unhealthy or even an unjustified fear when they hear that God is judge. But no. I call it an encouragement. Note that verse 7 does not say promotion comes from God. I do not believe we are wrong to attribute elevation to the Lord, but it says that God is judge.
He decides for or against. We find in another place that His judgments are true and righteous altogether (Psalm 19:9). Do you see that this is greater than God elevating us or moving us from one state to another? He is JUDGE. Limiting Him by promotion is like limiting Him by healing, provision and blessing. Among the widespread exhortation to promotion and greater–which is all good–let’s look to God to decide our case when it comes to promotion.
Consider that when elevation happens naturally (e.g., at work), spiritually (wisdom and understanding), mentally (renewed mind), emotionally (destroyed yokes and bondages), physically (health), or financially (good stewardship according to the Word)…when elevation happens it is because God made a decision to set us up (v. 7). This is part of the reason God promotes us–because it’s His sovereign and strategic decision.
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