Psalms 68:1

 

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:1-2, “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.[2] As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.” This is an idea that David has expressed many times in the Psalms. As king, David was the head of the army. There were many battles and wars. David had many enemies who wanted to see him dead: unjustifiably so. And David knew that his enemies were evil because they were not believers in the one true God. His enemies were not believers because they purposely rejected God. Anyone who rejects the Lord Jesus Christ is headed for a terrible destiny. We know this. David mentions “fire” in verse two. The fires of hell are in the future of everyone who rejects Jesus. Our work is to pray for them, but we know as David did that God will judge the wicked, and when it happens, it will be a good thing. But God must do it, not David and not us. And so David concluded at the end of verse two, “so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:3-4, “But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.[4] Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.” Because God will punish the wicked, and because God is Judge, and because God will right all wrongs; we have every reason on the subject of the wicked to “sing praises to his name.

 

It is interesting that the word “JAH” is not translated in verse four. In Hebrew it is a shortened form of the word Jehovah. The other forty-eight times that the word “JAH” is found in the Bible it is translated as “LORD,” which is the same way that the word Jehovah is also usually translated.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:5-6, “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.[6] God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” David describes God to us a little bit in these two verses. God loves people: all people. And God sees our vulnerabilities, and He is compassionate towards us. God is especially compassionate to those who are the most vulnerable: the fatherless and the widows. Even with all the social programs, those are the ones who are the most vulnerable today. Boys need a father that they can look up to. If a boy does not have a father, there is a strong possibility that he will find the wrong father figure to follow, or not learn from a father-figure. Some boys have a grandfather or an uncle or a step-father who become the father-figure for them. A girl needs a father too, and needs to experience a father’s love, strength, and protection. If a girl does not have that growing up, it can leave a great void in her heart. And if fatherless boys and girls are really blessed, God becomes their heavenly Father. Everyone can have the heavenly Father through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Even with all the social programs, widows still need help. They do not have a husband to whom they can give a honey-do list. It might be impossible for some widows to even change a light bulb. Widows can also have one of the greatest sufferings of life: loneliness. God cares about the fatherless and the widows, and we should too. It says in the New Testament in James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

 

Psalms 68:6 tells us about people who are suffering and that God helps and that God helps them because God knows that they are suffering. First it says, “God setteth the solitary in families.” Loneliness causes great suffering. Everyone needs a family for love, for support, for learning, for fellowship, and for protection. God created the family. God created Adam, and then God made Eve; and God brought them together. God designed men and women so that when they came together, they would have children. Adam and Eve had children as a result of their love for each other, and that was the first family. It is God’s will that you be a part of a family. Because things can go wrong in life, sometimes people start a new family. That is good and the way it should be because “God setteth the solitary in families.” If you believe in Jesus, you are part of the family of God on earth: what Jesus called His church. Hopefully, you are involved in Jesus’ church and you are spending time gathering with your brothers and sisters in Christ. God does not want you to be “solitary” in your Christian life. God’s will is for you to be joined to the family of God and meeting with them. If you cannot find a church that you can join in these last days, then you should start one because God wants Christians to be active and involved in the Christian family. It is not enough to read the Bible and pray at home. It says in Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another; and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

 

In Psalms 68:6 it says that God “bringeth out those which are bound with chains.” God is the author freedom. God gives to man free will: a free choice. God gives to man the earth, and says to each of us: go and conquer the earth based upon your abilities and your opportunities. Freedom and liberty come from God. Freedom and liberty is God’s will for every person. The heart and soul of men and women cry out for freedom and liberty. Therefore, to be a person “bound with chains” is a great problem and a great suffering for anyone. Prisoners are bound with chains because they are locked up and some of their freedom is taken away. They can still become the person that they want to be in their heart, but it is always a good story when we hear of someone who had paid their debt to society, became a better person while they were locked up, and are finally allowed to go back out in the world to seek their own happiness. Anyone who is locked up and then is set free, it is God who set them free. I hope they know that and are thankful to God. Some people are “bound with chains” spiritually speaking because of sins in their lives. Jesus wants to set you free. He wants to forgive you. He wants to give you victory by teaching you to live a life of faith by the Spirit instead of a life ruled by the works of the flesh.

 

Psalm 68:6 tells us who are the ones that God will not set free and who will stay bound by the chains of sin: “the rebellious.” That is because “rebellion is as witchcraft.” Jesus said to the apostles when He called them, “Follow me.” When we get saved and accept the Lord as Savior, in order to become genuine Christians we must have an attitude of willingness to do whatever the Lord wants us to do and to go wherever He wants us to go and to say whatever He wants us to say. Also, it is a commandment to repent and to come to Christ. Anyone who refuses to do so is rebelling against God and against Christ, and that rebellion puts them in a very bad and dangerous place spiritually speaking. They are in danger of going to their judgment without the Savior. That will not end well.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:7-9, “O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah:[8] The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.[9] Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.” God can get people’s attention. He can manifest Himself in a powerful way if He chooses to do so. David looked back at the time when God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt and from Pharaoh, and the time when the Israelites passed through the wilderness, and David thought about the great things that God did with two things: earthquakes and rain. God is in charge of nature. He has the whole world in His hands. God can shake the world with an earthquake maybe to remind us all of how small we are. God also brings the rain. God provides our daily sustenance. He loves us and He takes care of us. We should remember that we are dependent upon everything that He supplies every day. All that you have comes from God. Make sure that it is dedicated to His service and to His glory. Notice verse nine. God’s people are His “inheritance.” God knows very well what we need even before we ask for it. If you need something, make sure you turn to the Lord Jesus to look for it. Some people are looking in the wrong places for what they want. No wonder they never get satisfied. Look to the Lord.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:10, “Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.” God is not just concerned about individual believers in Christ. God is also concerned about His “congregation.” God is concerned about His believers who assemble with each other. The Lord does not want believers to live for Him in an isolated state. He wants us to gather together to hear the Word of God, to fellowship, to pray for one another, and to sing spiritual songs as unto the Lord Jesus together.

 

It is interesting to notice that in verse ten the poor are mentioned in the same verses as the congregation of the Lord. Maybe that is because in order to become one of the congregation of the Lord, you must recognize your own spiritual poverty and turn to Jesus. That is why Jesus said in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for their’s is the kingdom of heaven.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:11, “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.” This Bible verse tells us something that is very important to God: His Word. “The Lord gave the word.” God is the origin of the Bible. That is why there are no errors. The Bible is perfect. The Bible has the truth from God. God gave His Word so that we would read it, study it, know it, and apply it to our own lives. We need the Word. The Word is our source of faith and practice. You will either follow the teachings of man, or you will follow the Word. The Word is so very important. It is the only way to know the truth about God as God Himself has revealed it. It is interesting that Jesus is called the Word. We have the written Word in the Bible, and we have the living Word in Christ. It says about Jesus in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and that Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

 

Notice that at the end of Psalm 68:11 it says, “great was the company of those that published it.” Everyone on the earth has been given the Word. But how many will study it well enough so that they can publish it? Not many. To publish the Word means to teach it and to help spread it around the world. One of the last commands that Jesus gave to His disciples was: “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature...” The greatest book in the world is the Bible. The most important book in the world is the Bible. Your own dedication to the Book of God will go a long way to determining your reward sin heaven. Will God call you “great?” That depends upon your relationship to the Word. Why do some people get saved but never seem to become strong Christians with a strong faith: it depends upon how much the Word becomes a part of their lives. It says in First Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:12, “Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.” This verse shows that God turns the tables. A king is at the top of authority and power in a country. In this verse a king is compared to a housewife, “she that tarried at home.” God determines the results of anyone’s activities and profession. Someone might say, “She is just a housewife.” What is he accomplishing compared to a man who is the king of the country who has an army at his command? God decides what the results will be. If God wills, the king in all his authority and power will accomplish nothing and will even turn and run in the face of the enemy. If God wills, the woman who has chosen the life of a housewife will accomplish more than anyone. Because she is raising the next generation, she might very well be putting her heart, her mind, her wisdom into a boy or girl who will accomplish something greater than them all. It is like the old saying, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the nation.” The person that is unknown to the world is known to God, and God will determine what the results of her life will be.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:13, “Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.” This verse goes with the previous verse. Lying with the pots speaks of the common work of washing dirty dishes. No matter how small the task you have been given and no matter how unimportant your work might seem, God can elevate you with silver and gold, and God can lift you up to fly above it all and to be higher than anyone. God is like that. He likes to turn the tables. Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengtheneth me.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:14-17, “When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.[15] The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan.[16] Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell in it for ever.[17] The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.” God decides what happens to “kings” and to all other leaders. That is because God is “Almighty.” Jesus is King of kings. When God chooses, He scatters kings and sets up new leaders and gives them a chance to rule part of the world. Of course, they will all give an answer one day to how they used their power. But they only rule with God’s permission. In verse fifteen the phrase “The hill of God” refers to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the place on earth where God has chosen to glorify His name. Jerusalem is the city of David. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Jerusalem is where Jesus died for the sins of the world. And Jerusalem is where Jesus will reign for a thousand years on the throne of David. God will do whatever it takes to make sure that the destiny of Jerusalem is secure according to God’s plan and God’s will. The armies of man will fail or succeed based upon God’s plan for Jerusalem. God has His own ways and His own armies. God gives victory or defeat.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:18, “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.” We know that this verse is about the Messiah because it says in Ephesians 4:8-12, “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.[9] (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?[10] He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)[11] And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;[12] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Jesus did ascend back to heaven forty days after He rose from the dead. And in order for His work to continue through His believers, He gave one or more gifts to every believer. God is the great gift-giver. Psalm 68:18 reminds us that God gives gifts to everyone, even to “the rebellious.” Before we eat, we thank God for His gifts that we are about to receive. Hopefully, people will see the many gifts that God has given to them, and they will turn to Him and thank Him.

 

The next two verses speak of the greatest gift of all: salvation. The Bible says in Psalms 68:19-20, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.[20] He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.” By salvation we mean being saved from our sins. And salvation is a gift. We do not earn the gift, but we do receive it. It says in John 1:10-12, “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.[11] He came unto his own, and his own received him not.[12] But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” It says in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:21, “But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses.” As we think about God’s plan for the future, we always want to include the coming judgment of the unsaved. How else are they going to get saved unless they realize how badly they need a Savior? The unbelievers are called God’s “enemies.” They have made themselves the enemies of God by having an attitude of rebellion against Him. They need to make peace with God by bowing before the Lord Jesus Christ and accepting Him as Savior. They need to repent. Whoever does not repent goes “on still in his trespasses.” Every sinner needs a change when they turn from their sinful ways to believe in the Lord Jesus and start following Him. Jesus said, “Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:22-23, “The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea; [23] That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.” The king of Bashan came out against the Israelites with his army when the Israelites were travelling through the wilderness to the Promised Land of Canaan. God gave the Israelites the victory because the Israelites trusted in the Lord and because the Israelites were going God’s way for them. Make sure that you are going God’s way for you, and then you will have God’s victory over the spiritual attacks. Notice the end of verse twenty-two where God said, “I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea.” One of the great miracles in the history of the children of Israel was the crossing of the Red Sea on dry land. Notice the word “again” in verse twenty-two. Was the crossing of the Red Sea a one-time thing? No: God will do whatever it takes to protect His people and to guide them. God has done countless miracles in impossible circumstances for His children. He has promised to that and He always keeps His promises. Learn to trust in the Lord for everything that comes your way, and you will see miracles and victories. You will see victory over your enemies in God’s way and in God’s time. It may not be until the second cominbg of Christ and the judgment that God does this, but He will do it. He will bring forth “the blood of thine enemies.” That is why we pray for them: that they might get saved through faith in Christ and escape such a terrible judgment.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:24-26, “They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary.[25] The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.[26] Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel. These verses speak of the congregations of God. God wants His believers to gather together in the name of Jesus. God’s power and Spirit are manifest in the congregations. Those who go and be a part of the congregations have seen the “goings” of God because God manifests Himself where Christians gather together. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” One of the things that Christians do when they are gathered together is sing the songs of Zion. Singers and players on instruments please the Lord because He wants us to make a joyful noise unto Him in order to glorify His name with songs and with singing in our hearts to the Lord.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:27-28, “There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.[28] Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.” The tribe of Benjamin was the smallest of the twelve tribes of Israel. No matter how God has made and no matter what gifts and abilities that He has given to you, He will protect you and He will strengthen you. If you trust in the Lord, He will make you capable of facing whatever comes your way. That is exactly what happened with David and Goliath. And that is exactly what will happen in your life if you learn to look to the Lord for strength and help.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:29-31, “Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.[30] Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people that delight in war.[31] Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.” David knew what everyone knows who understands Bible prophesy and the future that God has planned. Not only os Israel destined to be the greatest country, but Jerusalem is destined to be the greatest capital city. Only a few nations honor Israel now, but the day will come when all nations will honor her. Jesus will make that happen.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 68:32-35, “Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:[33] To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice.[34] Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.[35] O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.” Notice the phrase in verse thirty-two, “Sing unto God.” When you sing Christian hymns, do not sing just for people to hear you. Sing as unto the Lord. Praise the Lord through your singing, In your heart dedicate the words and the sentiments to the Lord Jesus. That is spiritual singing. Talking about God, the word “strength” is used three times in these verses. Almighty God will use His strength to take care of Israel and to take care of every believer. We do not rely upon the methods and deeds of man, we rely upon this great truth about our God and His love and care for us. It is wonderful to know Jesus the Savior. Our “strength and power” comes from God. We will be able to do whatever God gives us to do because He gives us power to do it, especially in regards to the spread of the Gospel of Christ. Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

 

 

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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