Psalm 68

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

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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, Eph 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, Joh 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. #(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 willingly, ver. #(29, 31). There is that beauty and benefit in the 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.

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