Psalms 68

1 Up with God! Down with his enemies! Adversaries, run for the hills!
2 Gone like a puff of smoke, like a blob of wax in the fire - one look at God and the wicked vanish.
3 When the righteous see God in action they'll laugh, they'll sing, they'll laugh and sing for joy.
4 Sing hymns to God; all heaven, sing out; clear the way for the coming of Cloud-Rider. Enjoy God, cheer when you see him!
5 Father of orphans, champion of widows, is God in his holy house.
6 God makes homes for the homeless, leads prisoners to freedom, but leaves rebels to rot in hell.
7 God, when you took the lead with your people, when you marched out into the wild,
8 Earth shook, sky broke out in a sweat; God was on the march. Even Sinai trembled at the sight of God on the move, at the sight of Israel's God.
9 You pour out rain in buckets, O God; thorn and cactus become an oasis
10 For your people to camp in and enjoy. You set them up in business; they went from rags to riches.
11 The Lord gave the word; thousands called out the good news:
12 "Kings of the armies are on the run, on the run!"
13 While housewives, safe and sound back home, divide up the plunder, the plunder of Canaanite silver and gold.
14 On that day that Shaddai scattered the kings, snow fell on Black Mountain.
15 You huge mountains, Bashan mountains, mighty mountains, dragon mountains.
16 All you mountains not chosen, sulk now, and feel sorry for yourselves, For this is the mountain God has chosen to live on; he'll rule from this mountain forever.
17 The chariots of God, twice ten thousand, and thousands more besides, The Lord in the lead, riding down Sinai - straight to the Holy Place!
18 You climbed to the High Place, captives in tow, your arms full of booty from rebels, And now you sit there in state, God, sovereign God!
19 Blessed be the Lord - day after day he carries us along.
20 He's our Savior, our God, oh yes! He's God-for-us, he's God-who-saves-us. Lord God knows all death's ins and outs.
21 What's more, he made heads roll, split the skulls of the enemy As he marched out of heaven,
22 saying, "I tied up the Dragon in knots, put a muzzle on the Deep Blue Sea."
23 You can wade through your enemies' blood, and your dogs taste of your enemies from your boots.
24 See God on parade to the sanctuary, my God, my King on the march!
25 Singers out front, the band behind, maidens in the middle with castanets.
26 The whole choir blesses God. Like a fountain of praise, Israel blesses God.
27 Look - little Benjamin's out front and leading Princes of Judah in their royal robes, princes of Zebulon, princes of Naphtali.
28 Parade your power, O God, the power, O God, that made us what we are.
29 Your temple, High God, is Jerusalem; kings bring gifts to you.
30 Rebuke that old crocodile, Egypt, with her herd of wild bulls and calves, Rapacious in her lust for silver, crushing peoples, spoiling for a fight.
31 Let Egyptian traders bring blue cloth and Cush come running to God, her hands outstretched.
32 Sing, O kings of the earth! Sing praises to the Lord!
33 There he is: Sky-Rider, striding the ancient skies. Listen - he's calling in thunder, rumbling, rolling thunder.
34 Call out "Bravo!" to God, the High God of Israel. His splendor and strength rise huge as thunderheads.
35 A terrible beauty, O God, streams from your sanctuary. It's Israel's strong God! He gives power and might to his people! O you, his people - bless God!

Psalms 68 Commentary

Chapter 68

A prayer-- The greatness and goodness of God. (1-6) The wonderful works God wrought for his people. (7-14) The presence of God in his church. (15-21) The victories of Christ. (22-28) Enlargement of the church. (29-31) The glory and grace of God. (32-35)

Verses 1-6 None ever hardened his heart against God, and prospered. God is the joy of his people, then let them rejoice when they come before him. He who derives his being from none, but gives being to all, is engaged by promise and covenant to bless his people. He is to be praised as a God of mercy and tender compassion. He ever careth for the afflicted and oppressed: repenting sinners, who are helpless and exposed more than any fatherless children, are admitted into his family, and share all their blessings.

Verses 7-14 Fresh mercies should put us in mind of former mercies. If God bring his people into a wilderness, he will be sure to go before them in it, and to bring them out of it. He provided for them, both in the wilderness and in Canaan. The daily manna seems here meant. And it looks to the spiritual provision for God's Israel. The Spirit of grace and the gospel of grace are the plentiful rain, with which God confirms his inheritance, and from which their fruit is found. Christ shall come as showers that water the earth. The account of Israel's victories is to be applied to the victories over death and hell, by the exalted Redeemer, for those that are his. Israel in Egypt among the kilns appeared wretched, but possessed of Canaan, during the reigns of David and Solomon, appeared glorious. Thus the slaves of Satan, when converted to Christ, when justified and sanctified by him, look honourable. When they reach heaven, all remains of their sinful state disappear, they shall be as the wings of the dove, covered with silver, and her feathers as gold. Full salvation will render those white as snow, who were vile and loathsome through the guilt and defilement of sin.

Verses 15-21 The ascension of Christ must here be meant, and thereto it is applied, ( Ephesians 4:8 ) . He received as the purchase of his death, the gifts needful for the conversion of sinners, and the salvation of believers. These he continually bestows, even on rebellious men, that the Lord God might dwell among them, as their Friend and Father. He gave gifts to men. Having received power to give eternal life, the Lord Jesus bestows it on as many as were given him, ( John 17:2 ) . Christ came to a rebellious world, not to condemn it, but that through him it might be saved. The glory of Zion's King is, that he is a Saviour and Benefactor to all his willing people, and a consuming fire to all that persist in rebellion against him. So many, so weighty are the gifts of God's bounty, that he may be truly said to load us with them. He will not put us off with present things for a portion, but will be the God of our salvation. The Lord Jesus has authority and power to rescue his people from the dominion of death, by taking away the sting of it from them when they die, and giving them complete victory over it when they rise again. The crown of the head, the chief pride and glory of the enemy, shall be smitten; Christ shall crush the head of the serpent.

Verses 22-28 The victories with which God blessed David over the enemies of Israel, are types of Christ's victory, for himself and for all believers. Those who take him for theirs, may see him acting as their God, as their King, for their good, and in answer to their prayers; especially in and by his word and ordinances. The kingdom of the Messiah shall be submitted to by all the rulers and learned in the world. The people seem to address the king, ver. Verse 28 . But the words are applicable to the Redeemer, to his church, and every true believer. We pray, that thou, O God the Son, wilt complete thine undertaking for us, by finishing thy good work in us.

Verses 29-31 A powerful invitation is given to those that are without, to join the church. Some shall submit from fear; overcome by their consciences, and the checks of Providence, they are brought to make peace with the church. Others will submit ( psalms 68:29-31 ) service of God, and in the gospel of Christ which went forth from Jerusalem, which is enough to invite sinners out of all nations.

Verses 32-35 God is to be admired and adored with reverence and godly fear, by all that attend in his holy places. The God of Israel gives strength and power unto his people. Through Christ strengthening us we can do all things, not otherwise; therefore he must have the glory of all we do, with our humble thanks for enabling us to do it, and for accepting the work of his hands in us.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 68 Commentaries