Psalm 68 is a triumphant song of praise to God. From the enthusiasm and energy of the words one can visualize thousands of men and women (warriors, priests, princes, and king) joined in a great song of praise to the Lord God. Although it is often difficult to determine the event that resulted in the writing of a psalm, many believe that Psalm 68 reflects the time when the Ark of the Covenant was moved into Jerusalem.
Psalm 68 begins, “Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered, and let those who hate Him flee before Him.” Numbers 10:35 record the same words being said as the Ark was lifted up and carried in the wilderness. 2 Samuel 6:12 stated that “David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness.” How great the sound must have been when the Ark of the Covenant was taken into the city of Jerusalem and thousands accompanied it with songs and music!
How much more appropriate is that song of praise and victory today in Jesus Christ! Through the grace of God and the sacrifice of His son, the offer of salvation is open to every person. Through His death and resurrection, the ultimate weapon of Satan was, and is, cancelled out. In Christ, there is no fear of death – only joy and hope in life. Yes, Christians should raise their voices in song and praise to God.
Yes, the first words of the psalm were almost the same words that the Israelites sang as the Ark of the Covenant was lifted up and carried before the people in the wilderness. Everyday; and every Christian should lift up the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and let Him lead the way through the wilderness of this life.
In verses two through four, David wrote, “As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish before God. But let the righteous be glad; let them exult before God; yes, let them rejoice with gladness. Sing to God, sing praises to His name; lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, whose name is the Lord, and exult before Him.”
Today the power and influence of the forces and servants of evil seem to be extremely strong and almost unstoppable. Many, out of ignorance, have written off Christianity and the message of the Bible, because, in their minds, it is not working. However, such thoughts are wrong. The power of this world is very much like the buildings and structures built for a movie set. From the front, they seem to be very strong and real; but from the rear it is clear to see that the power is only an illusion. The power of Satan is nothing compared to “the great power and love of the Lord. Like wax in a fire or smoke in a wind, the power of evil will disappear before the glory of God,
Although those opposed to the Lord should be afraid, it is clear that those that love the Lord have nothing to fear, “But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.” This message of Psalm 68 is repeated time and again in the New Testament scriptures. Christians can approach the throne of grace with boldness and confidence, because they are joined to the saving sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Paul proclaimed, “Rejoice in the Lord always.”
Verse 5 states, “A father of the fatherless and a judge for the widows is God in His holy habitation.” One of the great continuous messages of both the Old and New Testament scriptures is the assistance that is to be given to the widows and orphans. Why? Because, before Christ, all people were lost in sin and without a heavenly father – the close relationship between God and each person had been “killed” by sin. Every person, without Christ, was like an orphan or a widow – helpless. But in Christ, each person has a father, a family, and the close loving relationship has been reestablished. Christians are no longer like widows or orphans. Therefore as God displayed His love and mercy to spiritual widows and orphans, likewise God’s people are to show love and mercy to the widows and orphans of the world.
In verse 19 the psalmist wrote, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Too many Christians try to “go it alone”, and fall. God wants his children to depend upon Him for strength and guidance. Yes, Christians are to go out into the world and tell people the Good News, but the burdens of worry, fear, discouragement, and doubt are to be left at the feet of the Lord. HS is able to deal with such things – Christians are not. Each Christian man and woman must decide to serve the Lord, and let Him worry about the results.
As the Ark of the Covenant was moved into the Tabernacle that had been constructed during the time of Moses, the imagery in verses 24-27 is vivid. “They have seen Your procession, O God, the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary. The singers went on, the musicians after them, in the midst of the maidens beating tambourines. Bless God in the congregations, even the Lord, you who are of the fountain of Israel. There is Benjamin, the youngest, ruling them, the princes of Judah in their throng, the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali.” You can see all the people, great and small, singing praises to God as the Ark was moved into Jerusalem and tabernacle.
Yet how much greater will be the scene when all of God’s children are finally joined with the Living God? Just think. Faith has been revealed, hope has been realized, and the greatest, Love, will remain. (James Shelburn)