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Psalm 68 Feb. 6 For the Chief Musician. A Psalm by David. A song.  1Let God arise! Let His enemies be scattered! Let them who hate Him also flee before Him. 2As smoke is driven away, so drive them away. As wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. 3But let the righteous be glad, may they rejoice before God; yes, let them rejoice with gladness. 4Sing to God! Sing praises to His name! Extol Him who rides on the clouds: to Yah, His name! Rejoice before Him! 5A father of the fatherless, and a defender of the widows, is God in His holy habitation. 6God sets the lonely in families. He brings out the prisoners with singing, but the rebellious dwell in a sun-scorched land. 7God, when You went forth before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness... Selah. 8The earth trembled. The sky also poured down rain at the presence of the God of Sinai— at the presence of God, the God of Israel. 9You, God, sent a plentiful rain. You confirmed Your inheritance when it was weary. 10Your congregation lived therein. You, God, prepared Your goodness for the poor. 11The Lord announced the word; the women who proclaimed it are a great company. 12Kings of armies flee! They flee! The women who wait at home divide the spoil- 13while you men sleep among the campfires-  the wings of a dove sheathed with silver, her feathers with shining gold. 14When the Almighty scattered kings in her, it snowed on Zalmon. 15The mountains of Bashan are majestic mountains, the mountains of Bashan are rugged. 16Why do you look in envy, you rugged mountains, at the mountain where God chooses to reign? Yes, Yahweh will dwell there forever. 17The chariots of God are tens of thousands and thousands of thousands. The Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the sanctuary. 18You have ascended on high, You have led away captives in your victory train, You have received gifts to distribute among men, yes, among the rebellious also, that Yah God might dwell there.  19Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burdens, even the God who is our salvation. Selah. 20God is to us a God of deliverance; to Yahweh the Lord belongs escape from death. 21But God will strike through the head of His enemies, the hairy scalp of such a one as still continues in his guiltiness. 22The Lord said, I will bring you again from Bashan, I will bring you again from the depths of the sea; 23that you may crush them, dipping your foot in blood, that the tongues of your dogs may have their portion from your enemies. 24They have seen Your processions, God, even the processions of my God, my King, into the sanctuary. 25The singers went before, the minstrels followed after in the midst of the ladies playing with tambourines, singing 26Bless God in the congregations, even the Lord in the assembly of Israel! 27There is little Benjamin, their ruler, the princes of Judah, their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.  28Your God has commanded your strength. Strengthen, God, that which You have done for us. 29Because of Your temple at Jerusalem kings shall bring presents to You. 30Rebuke the wild animal of the reeds, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the peoples. Being humbled, may they bring tribute of bars of silver. Scatter the nations that delight in war. 31Princes shall come out of Egypt, Ethiopia shall hurry to stretch out her hands to God. 32Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth! Sing praises to the Lord! Selah. 33To Him who rides on the heaven of heavens, which are of old; behold, He utters His voice, a mighty voice. 34Ascribe strength to God! His excellency is over Israel, His strength is in the skies. 35You are awesome, God, in Your sanctuaries. The God of Israel gives strength and power to His people. Praise be to God!   


68:6 God sets the lonely in families- He did this when He brought His prisoner people out from Egyptian bondage. The numbering of the tribes after they had crossed the Red Sea implies that every Israelite had a family group. Those who were alone were therefore placed within families. The community of God’s people today, who have likewise passed through the water of baptism as Israel crossed the Red Sea, should likewise be characterized by inclusiveness and a binding of individuals together in a new spiritual family in Christ. Cliques based around existing families or friendship groups mustn’t be allowed to stop this unique unity occurring- for it is this mysterious Christian unity which is powerful enough to convert the world if it is lived out as it should be (Jn. 17:21).
68:11 There is here and in :12,25 a strong emphasis on the participation of women in the spreading of the good news of God’s redemption of His people. The idea was quite radical in that conservative, male dominated world. The broad picture we are to take away is that absolutely all of us, men and women, whether or not others consider us appropriate witnesses, are to share the good news of God’s salvation with the entire world.
68:18 This is applied in Eph. 4:8 to the ascension of Christ in order to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit which He then gave to the first century church, in order to prepare it to be a place where God might dwell. Whilst the miraculous gifts were withdrawn once the church was established, Christ’s parables teach that we have each been given some gift by Him which we are to use to prepare for God’s Kingdom and to enable His dwelling amongst men on earth (Mt. 25:15). We have each been given something as a result of Christ’s sacrifice and victorious ascension to Heaven, and we are therefore to ensure that we use them.