Here, we take a look at Psalm 68. It’s a long one, spanning 35 verses, so I decided to split it into two parts.
The Psalmist has two themes I’ve taken from this first half, which I will consolidate into one: The righteous has every reason to rejoice, for the Lord has restored us and rescued us from our enemies.
I believe this is a good and timely message for us as we stay in our homes and try to figure out what we can do. Even at home, whether we are alone and stranded or stuck with family members we aren’t used to hanging out with for longer than hours at a time, we can and will surely find reasons to rejoice in Christ.
We find those reasons, not in the circumstances we are in, but rather, in remembering how we are saved by Christ. For it was Christ who came to us, instead of us running to Him and pleading.
It was Christ who went forth into the wilderness, before we ever even realized the predicaments we were in, and it was Christ who, even then, established streams of living water which would not only refresh us, but transform us.
Alas, we were tormented from the outside, and ravaged from within… the enemy which sought our total annihilation and disintegration was brutal and ruthless.
We were clueless, simply because this was the only way we were conditioned to live ‘life’. For this, Christ, the Good Shepherd, took us in, and added value to us. Furthermore, while we were sheltered and protected, He went forth and vanquished the enemy, and these kings were sent to flight, that they would flee and stay away.
I will talk more about His victory in the second part. For now, enjoy! Let us rejoice and be glad in Him! -JB
“Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered; let those also who hate Him flee before Him. As smoke is driven away, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God; yes, let them rejoice exceedingly.
The wicked flee; they melt before the awesome presence of God, they perish.The righteous rejoice, and are glad with God.“– Psalm 68:103
We know full well that our rejoicing does not come from a feeling; nor is it programmed, as Pavlov’s dog. No, we are glad because God is who He is, faithful through the ages, His love unchanging in that it is eternal, everlasting, forever. We grow, for He is infinite, always overflowing, a raging river, and an endless spring.
For who He is, and therefore, for what He has done, indeed, we have no reason to flee,no reason to fear, but to rejoice! By Christ, through Christ, for Christ, we rejoice, and again, we rejoice!
“Sing to God, sing praises to His name; extol Him who rides on the clouds, by His name YAH, and rejoice before Him.
A Father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God is His holy habitation. God sets the solitary in families; He brings out those who are bound into prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.”– Psalm 68:4-6
Yes, we rejoice, and again we rejoice, acknowledging and praising our Creator, master of the winds that move the clouds across the skies, humbleand presenting each and every breath we take.
We rejoice. And every breath we take speaks His name, speaks and proclaim His glory. We rejoice – we ARE literal rejoicing – I intended to say literal and not literally – for by Christ’s resurrection so we have been made new creations – New wineskins, new garments, temples of the Holy Spirit: We are new inside and out, by righteousness we’ve been made a perfect fit with our Creator once again!
We’re temples of the Holy Spirit,where rejoicing happens, where prayer never ceases, and where gratitude is always present! In this reality, and unto eternity, we have Christ; one with Christ, we bring rejoicing, prayer, and thanksgiving wherever we go!
And to add to that, goodness and mercy shall follow me all my days, for we dwell in the house of the Lord – who is Father to the Fatherless, Defender of the widows!
By our strength we may intentionally redirect waters as they overflow, but it is Christ whom the waves and the winds obey. So we live and move and have our being in the One who makes all things new.
This is why streams of living water flow from our bellies. For once we were in the wilderness. Barren. Now, through Christ, we are planted by the streams, bearing fruit, yet not out of ourselves, but buy Christ, the Vine.
As we rejoice, we bear fruit. We bear fruit, therefore we rejoice. Such is Life. It is encouraging as much as it is humbling – for we appreciate the fruit, and acknowledge the Vine; God gently tutors us when we’re fixated on anything else, by reminding us that all this time, whether we are ‘focused’ or not, He is faithfully with us, loving us, caring for us, with mercies that are new ever morning.
What a Savior.
“O God, when You went out before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness, (Selah)
The earth shook; the heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel. You, a God, sent a plentiful rain, whereby You confirmed Your inheritance, when it was weary.
Your congregation dwelt in it; You, O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor.“ – Psalm 68:7-10
God did not wait for us to move out of the wilderness. In fact, He didn’t wait for us to move, period… But, in the fullness of time, He came to us, Life to death; and so the earth beneath us, up to Sinai and the mountains; all shook, and the heavens ‘dropped rain,’
What a beautiful perspective of how God comforts us. We are fully known and loved by Him, in His complete, everlasting, fully refreshing presence. We dwell in the goodness He bestows, and that He is, confirmation, that we are His, and He is ours.
“The LORD gave the word; great was the company of those who proclaimed it: “Kings of enemies flee, they flee, and she who remains at home divides the spoil. Though you lie down among the sheepfolds, You will be like 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 Zalmon.”– Psalm 68:11-14
I’ve needed to read the ESV for a more detailed perspective. Also needed to look up what a sheepfold looks like, and why that was mentioned versus a barn, a stable…
Could it be because it has one door (as Christ is the Door) and tended by a Shepherd (as Christ is the Good Shepherd)? That while our enemies, and kings of enemies flee, we are safe in the sheepfold? That we are as valuable (as doves’ wings laden in precious metal), whether we are inside or outside the sheepfold? That we are as valuable, quarantined or not?
The kings of enemies flee, and snow falls, that they would not return for a season. That their tracks would be seen if they dare to linger.
The Lord sends forth rain upon the wilderness, and snow upon the battleground. We rejoice, for our great and mighty God has refreshed us and brought us to safety. He has scattered our enemies.
(To be continued)