Psalms 68:4



Psalms 68:4, “Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.”

When this verse speaks of JAH as the name of God it is just an abbreviated form of the name Jehovah. Jehovah or Yahweh  was the great name of God given in the Old Testament. The name means, “I am” or the eternally existent one. Jesus Himself revealed that He is Jehovah. John 8:58, “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Revelation 1:8, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”  

There are quite a few names given for God in the Bible. Of course we do not live in Old Testament times we live under the New Covenant. The most important name of God is the name Jesus Christ.  Concerning the name of Jesus Acts 4:12 says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved

Some people make the mistaking of thinking somehow they are becoming more spiritual by using the name Jehovah or the abbreviated form Jah. But the Bible makes it clear that Jesus is the greater name of God, the more glorious name, the more exalted name, the name by which men are saved, and the name at which every knee shall bow at the judgment. Anyone who fails to emphasis and to uplift the name of Jesus is falling away from the gospel.

The rest of Psalms 68 is going to go on to talk about things that God does. God has done many wonderful works. We do not know the age of the earth for certain but we know from tracing the genealogies of the Bible back to Adam that human history goes back about 6000-7000 years. Just imagine all of the things that God has done for mankind in all those years.

Psalms 68:5-6, “A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.”

A Father of the fatherless: it is important for a child to have a mother and a father. A father should be there to love a child, protect a child, instruct and guide a child and provide for a child.

There are many reasons a child could end up without a father. War certainly causes a lot of children to lose their fathers. Of course dying young from disease or an accident could cause a child to lose their father. It use to be in our society that most children had fathers. We live in a world now where there is great sexual immorality that is to say sex out of marriage and where there is great irresponsibility when it comes to children. So there are many many children in the world today that end up fatherless. And there are also man children that have fathers which do not love them.

God is called the Father many times in the Bible. We know that Jesus has a special place is heart for children because He said in Mark 10:14, “But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”

Where does life come from? It comes from God. So in that sense God really is our Father. Of course it would be wise to make sure that you are rightly related to God the Father through the forgiveness of sins that is found in Jesus Christ. But the point is God is a Father of the fatherless. He certainly has compassion on those little children who must suffer in life without a father or a mother. And you could have no better father than God the Father. He wants to guide and instruct you with His infinite wisdom. He wants to protect you from the evil of this world. And He wants to shower you with His eternal love.

God is also, a judge of the widows. When a woman loses her husband it can create a lot of hardships and dangers for her. Here in America and in much of modern culture we live in a society where women have equal rights with men. But in some societies still today such as in the Middle East and especially in ancient cultures women were much more dependant upon men. The man was there to protect the woman and to do much of the hard physical labour that a woman could not do because men for the most part or physically stronger than women. A woman who loses her husband is much more vulnerable to strangers taking advantage of her and is much more dependant upon the help of other people in society. Therefore a widow could be much easierly taken advantage of than a married woman. It is good to know that God is a judge of widows. He is looking out for them. He will grant them justice.

God setteth the solitary in families: As bad as it may be for a child to have no father or mother there is nothing worse for a child than to have no family at all. A child in such a situation is completely at the mercy of strangers.  

Many of the people and organizations in the world that are involved in helping innocent orphan children find a family are Christian. This should be no surprise because Christians have the Spirit of God inside them and so they are capable of having the proper kind of love for other human beings. God has His ways of helping the little children. Of course when it comes to family the best family a person will ever have is when they repent of their sins and turn to Jesus for salvation and become a part of the family of God. This family will last for all eternity. And is a family based on the common bond of the forgiveness of sins and the love of Jesus Christ.

He bringeth out those which are bound with chains: There are many different forms of slavery. And every race of mankind has suffered from slavery at some point in human history. The worst kind of slavery of course is the slavery of sin. But be it physical or Spiritual slavery God is all powerful and God can redeem a person from their circumstances. It certainly does a person little good to have physical freedom but not spiritual freedom.

When it comes to slavery however the Israelites certainly knew a lot about slavery because served as slaves in Egypt for 400 years until God redeemed them. God has the capability to redeem an entire nation from slavery He can certainly redeem an individual as well. The word redemption is one of the great doctrinal words of the Bible. It means to be bought out of the market place. Of course in New Testament times slaves were bought and sold in the market place.

Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.

But the rebellious dwell in a dry land. A dry land is a place without much rain. Without rain the crops will not grow and the people of that land will starve. If a nation is blessed it is blessed because God chose to bless that nation. If a nation does not prosper it is because God is punishing that country for being a rebellious people. The Bible is filled with wisdom. Yes even wisdom on how to run a country. A country that follows the principles of the Bible will be blessed and a country that does not will eventually find that its policies will result in failure.

God ordained government and the purpose of government should be to protect its people and to punish the criminals. To protect and to punish these should be the basic functions of government. The purpose of government should not be to control. The more a government grows and increases its control the less prosperous a country will become.

God loves the way of an eagle in the air. God loves freedom. God blesses freedom. Freedom allows people to go their own way in life to make their own decisions about the gospel of Jesus Christ and whether they will chose to follow it or not.

Psalms 68:7-10, “O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah: 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. Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary. Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.”

We were just told in a previous verse that the rebellious dwell in a dry land. Now we are told in these verses that God will provide for and bless His children. You can be certain that if you follow God God will take care of you.

These verses are specifically talking about how God blessed the nation of Israel. What should be noticed is that Sinai is mentioned. Sinai is where God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. The reason that Israel became so great a nation in its early days is because it was a nation that followed God’s laws. Righteousness always exalts a nation. But sin is a reproach to any people.

Psalms 68:11, “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.” Where did the Bible come from? We have the answer right here. The LORD gave it. Great was the company that published it. God used many people in the writing of the Bible. And God has also used many many people over the past several thousand years to make copies of the Bible and to preserve it. It is only since the 1880s that the philosophy of textual criticism has been around. Of course there have always been those who have denied the preservation of God’s Word. It is just that now they try to use arguments about history and archeology to convince people of their lies. In other words their lies have become more cunning and more deceptive. If people lie the more they lie the better they get at lying. This is true of the individual and this is true of the human race as a whole.

There is no other book in the world so well crafted as the Bible. There is no other book in the world in which so many men had a part in writing. It is well worth studying out how God gave His Word and studying the background of the people God used to write His Word. It is also worth studying How God has preserved His Word. A lot can be learned about the faithfulness of God through such studies.

Of course the Lord gave His Word and is still in the business of giving out His Word. This is probably one of the reasons that God spake the world into existence so that would have an illustration and an understanding of just how important the giving out of the Word of God is. God’s great work in this world is the spreading of the gospel and the teaching of His Word to believers. What an opportunity and a privilege it is for anyone to be a part in this work.

Psalms 68:12-17 “Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil. 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. When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon. The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan. 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. The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.”

What is made very clear in these verses is that God gives victory over His enemies. Israel faced many enemies in the 40 years they wandered in the desert and when they came into the promised land. Bashan was land east of the Jordan. The reason it is mentioned is because God gave a great military victory to the children of Israel there.

Numbers 21:33-35, “And they turned and went up by the way of Bashan: and Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he, and all his people, to the battle at Edrei. And the LORD said unto Moses, Fear him not: for I have delivered him into thy hand, and all his people, and his land; and thou shalt do to him as thou didst unto Sihon king of the Amorites, which dwelt at Heshbon. So they smote him, and his sons, and all his people, until there was none left him alive: and they possessed his land.”

Many important spiritual and practical lessons can be learned by studying the history of the nation of Israel in the Old Testament. Even when it comes to important issues in politics there are some lessons that can be learned. Some of the most important issues that a nation can face have to do with foreign politics that is to say how to deal with other nations especially when it comes to war. When it comes to war God is the one who will decide who wins. God is the one who makes wars to cease the Bible says. Psalms 46:9,  “He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth.”

This truth should be obvious to anyone who has read the Old Testament. Unfortunately most people involved in governments do not learn this lesson. 

The most important applications of the Old Testament are spiritual. When we study the history of the Israel we see that they fought many many wars and faced many many enemies. When they trusted in God they won just like here against Bashan. And this is the important lesson learned. There will be many many spiritual battles for you to face as a follower of Jesus Christ. In certain sense the victory is already won if you have the forgiveness of sins that is found in Jesus Christ. But in a practical sense there will be many spiritual battles to come and you will need you faith in the promises of God if you are to win the victory.

It is important to look back on the past and remember the great victories that God gives. Remembering the things that God has done will help to encourage and strengthen your faith in the face of present challenges.

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.” Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto GOD the Lord belong the issues from death.”

Psalms 68:18 is quoted in the New Testament. Ephesians 4:7-13 says, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

Speaking of Jesus Christ it says, He ascended on high, He led captivity captive. The phrase led captivity captive refers to Christ’s work of redemption. All the world is lost in sin. All the world is blind to the truth. The world is enslaved by the power of sin. They are captives and only Christ has the power to set them free.

Aside from the forgiveness of sins and eternal life one of the great things that God does for us when we become His children is He gives us spiritual gifts, abilities that we can use to serve Him. Abilities that are meant to help in the spreading of the gospel and in the edification of other believers. There are many different gifts that God has given. Some of them are listed here in Ephesians chapter 4. It is important to learn what spiritual gifts God has given you as a Christian so that you can know how to serve God in this life. All gifts are important one gift is not more important than another.

The Apostle Paul talked about this in the book of 1 Corinthians 12:4-31 which says, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.”

In organized Christianity we tend to make the mistake of giving too much honor to the preacher. The reason people make this mistake is the preacher is often the one who is standing up in front of people and therefore gets the most attention. Preaching is of course very important but so are all the other members and gifts given to the boy of Christ. We must all do our part diligently to help in the spread of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

God bringeth out those which are bound with chains. Perhaps you feel the chains of sin holding down your soul. Well Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart. He has the power to free you from those sins which enslave you. Turn to Him today and find freedom in His love and in His forgiveness.


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