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Psalm 68

Jorine Johnson

1 God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered;

and those who hate him shall flee before him!

As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away;

as wax melts before fire,

so the wicked shall perish before God!

But the righteous shall be glad;

they shall exult before God;

they shall be jubilant with joy!

Sing to God, sing praises to his name;

lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts;

his name is the Lord;

exult before him!

Father of the fatherless and protector of widows

is God in his holy habitation.

God settles the solitary in a home;

he leads out the prisoners to prosperity,

but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

O God, when you went out before your people,

when you marched through the wilderness, Selah

the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain,

before God, the One of Sinai,

before God, the God of Israel.

Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad;

you restored your inheritance as it languished;

10 your flock found a dwelling in it;

in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.

11 The Lord gives the word;

the women who announce the news are a great host:

12 “The kings of the armies—they flee, they flee!”

The women at home divide the spoil—

13 though you men lie among the sheepfolds—

the wings of a dove covered with silver,

its pinions with shimmering gold.

14 When the Almighty scatters kings there,

let snow fall on Zalmon.

15 O mountain of God, mountain of Bashan;

O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan!

16 Why do you look with hatred, O many-peaked mountain,

at the mount that God desired for his abode,

yes, where the Lord will dwell forever?

17 The chariots of God are twice ten thousand,

thousands upon thousands;

the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.

18 You ascended on high,

leading a host of captives in your train

and receiving gifts among men,

even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.

19 Blessed be the Lord,

who daily bears us up;

God is our salvation. Selah

20 Our God is a God of salvation,

and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.

21 But God will strike the heads of his enemies,

the hairy crown of him who walks in his guilty ways.

22 The Lord said,

“I will bring them back from Bashan,

I will bring them back from the depths of the sea,

23 that you may strike your feet in their blood,

that the tongues of your dogs may have their portion from the foe.”

24 Your procession is seen, O God,

the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary—

25 the singers in front, the musicians last,

between them virgins playing tambourines:

26 “Bless God in the great congregation,

the Lord, O you who are of Israel's fountain!”

27 There is Benjamin, the least of them, in the lead,

the princes of Judah in their throng,

the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.

28 Summon your power, O God,

the power, O God, by which you have worked for us.

29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem

kings shall bear gifts to you.

30 Rebuke the beasts that dwell among the reeds,

the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples.

Trample underfoot those who lust after tribute;

scatter the peoples who delight in war.

31 Nobles shall come from Egypt;

Cush shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God.

32 O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;

sing praises to the Lord, Selah

33 to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens;

behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.

34 Ascribe power to God,

whose majesty is over Israel,

and whose power is in the skies.

35 Awesome is God from his sanctuary;

the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people.

Blessed be God!

This psalm of David has a theme of salvation for His people, the coming of the Kingdom of God, and the end to the wicked. Herein lies the hope for the wicked, that God’s promise is true and faithful, that He has selected a people for Himself and we will dwell in His presence forever. And those that are the enemies of believers and God Himself are scattered. This is the fulfillment of God’s covenant with Abraham, that His children (all believers in God, whether OT or NT) are blessed while those that curse are themselves cursed.

Structure: 

V 1-2: The wicked are scattered

V 3-5: Worship of God’s people 

V 6-11: Summary of all that God has done

V 12-16: The wicked retreat

V 17-20: Worship to God for He is Salvation

V 21-23: The defeat of the wicked

V 24-29: The mighty procession of God and His people

V 30-31: Proclamation of the defeat of the enemies of God

V 32-35: Worship to God

David uses theme of worship and the defeat of God’s enemies to show the victory that God has in store for His people and the final coming of God to dwell with mankind in His presence. For the Israelites when they were in the wilderness, they experienced the presence of God in Sinai, but there was still the separation between Israel and His people to not to get too close to the mountain. This is a psalm that shows the mighty procession of God’s people, singers, musicians, an incredible celebration as God dwells in the temple, and God desires for Sinai a part of His sanctuary now will be including an abode or a dwelling place for His people. 

The salvation of God is really incredible in this psalm. Verse 19-20 describe the salvation of God, the armies of God (V 17), and the final defeat of death. And also the defeat of the wicked is pretty incredible as they are struck down. And the praise and worship of the congregation of God’s people. This psalm is very much of a future when there will no longer the reign of the wicked and the persecution of the saints, the most vulnerable like the fatherless and the needy are taken care of, the mighty deliverance of God, and God’s dwelling into the temple where it is God who reigns forever and ever in perfect justice. Psalm looks for a hope, an eschatological future with the coming of the fullness of the Kingdom of God and the end to the wicked.

This prophetic psalm echoes the events of Revelation 19. In verses 1-10, the description of the people of God in entirety praising and worshipping God with Hallelujahs, the joy and the gladness in the coming defeat of the wicked, and the preparation for the Bride and the Groom (Christ and His Church). The final verses from 11-21 give a complete account of the Rider on the white horse who has a sharp sword in his mouth to strike down the wicked. The armies of Heaven followed in “fine linen, white and pure” riding “white horses” (Rev 19:14). The armies which I think represents God’s people are going for the incredible battle between Jesus (the Rider) and all of the wicked armies in Heaven. These are the singers and musicians that I think David prophesies of as they not dressed for battle but for celebration and praise. And Jesus defeats all the wicked in a momentary glimpse too quick even for John to mention in Revelation. In verse 19 the wicked gather together, but in verse 20, they are defeated.

That's fast! But that's the incredible power of God! Psalm 67:17 describe the might of God's army, the chariots, but in Rev 19 Jesus defeats the armies of the wicked singlehandedly. Jesus is the amy of God (Josh 5:14), and like David (the foreshadow of Christ) defeated the Philistines by striking down Goliath singlehandedly, so Jesus does the same!

And the believers get to experience the incredible presence of God. In Rev 21 and 22, this describes the future for God’s people to dwell eternally in the presence of God, seek His face, be united with the groom, and dwell forever and ever with Him. 

This is the hope for the saints of God, that there is an incredible future for God’s people. And that God is our salvation from all of the evils of this world, including the greatest evil: sin and death. Yes, our God indeed saves!

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