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Wednesday, July 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 68

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-35

Psalms 68

The Victorious God

It Is believed that this psalm was written at the close of the war with Ammon when the ark was brought back to Zion In triumph, 2 Samuel 11:11; Numbers 10:35. Soon after David captured Rabbah, he celebrated the peace he had secured, by naming his son Solomon, which means "prince of peace." Deborah’s triumphal song is a model, v. 7, 8; Judges 4:14; Judges 5:4; Judges 5:12.

Scripture v. 1-35:

Verses 1, 2 exhort "Let God arise (stand up), let his enemies be scattered: Let them also that hate Him flee before him," as a defeated band, scattered, driven away. Verse 2 adds, an appeal to let the Elohim God drive his unstable enemies away like smoke is driven by a strong wind; And to let them melt away or perish in the presence of God’s judgment wrath, like wax melts before an heated flame of fire, as described Psalms 22:14; Psalms 97:5; Micah 1; Micah 4; Judges 5:31.

Verses 3, 4 call upon God, in contrast, to let the righteous be glad within, and manifest it in rejoicing with exceeding or exuberant joy, bubbling or exulting in His joy, John 16:33; The righteous are to sing praises to the name of Jehovah God, extolling him who rideth forth continually upon, presiding over, the heavens. All are called to rejoice before, give glory to Him, Deuteronomy 33:26; Exodus 6; Exodus 3; Exodus 15:2; Philippians 4:4. See also Psalms 32:11; Psalms 58:10; Psalms 64:10.

Verse 5 describes Jehovah God as a compassionate, caring God of the widows and orphans, and a judge who showed mercy toward the weak and helpless, Psalms 10:14. From His judgment seat of holiness and righteousness, Israel’s Jehovah God is contrasted with the selfish, covetous, crooked judges, who accept bribes from the wealthy to but off their punishment for guilt, Psalms 146:7-9; Deuteronomy 10:18; Hosea 14:3; Psalms 11:4; Psalms 22:3.

Verse 6 asserts that God continually sets the solitary or desti­tute in an home, those destitute of human help. For them He cares, Psalms 25:16; 1 Samuel 2:5; Psalms 107:10; Psalms 113:9; Galatians 4:27. It is added He "brings out," liberates those bound in chains, in bondage, Isaiah 61; Isaiah 7, 12. In contrast He causes the rebellious against Him to dwell in a dry land, a place of want, Exodus 17:14; Exodus 17:16; Luke 19:14; John 19:15; Psalms 146:7; Acts 12; Acts 7.

Verses 7, 8 relate that when God went forth before his people marching as their captain through the wilderness of Sinai, the earth shook or trembled. And the heavens dropped low at His presence; Even Mt Sinai moved at the presence of the Jehovah of Israel as related, in word and song, Judges 4:4-5; Deuteronomy 33:2; Exodus 19:16. God marched before them to search out a resting place, Numbers 10:33; Exodus 13:21; Habakkuk 3:13.

Verse 9 adds "thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, or strengthen them in faith, when it (thine inheritance) was weak." This refers to the rain of manna and quail sent to Israel for food, not to their water which came from the rock, Psalms 78:23-24; Psalms 78:27-28; Exodus 16:4. As v. 8 shows his power so verse 9 shows his grace, as a free will gift to His people, Psalms 54:6; Hebrews 6:7.

Verse 10 declares ’Thy congregation (Israel) has dwelt therein," in the promised land. "Thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor," it is added, to prepare for them a home or homeland, out of Grace, not of merit, Ephesians 2:8-10; Deuteronomy 26:5; Deuteronomy 26:9; Psalms 74; Psalms 19. Out of the wilderness they marched, homeless, but God prepared for them a home, even as for us, John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 5:1.

Verse 11 relates that "the Lord gave the word: Great was the company of those that published it," Exodus 4:15; Revelation 22:19. Great choirs of females heralded the good news of His deliverance, Exodus 15:20-21; 1 Samuel 18:6-7; Judges 5:12; Judges 11:34.

Verses 12-14 further relates that "kings of armies fled apace," or in extreme haste, before Israel’s invasion of the promised land, and "she that tarried at home divided the spoil," found sufficient for her livelihood in her triumph over her fleeing enemies, whom God drove out, Judges 5:30-31; Judges 8:28. God provides for His children whom He leads along, Psalms 23; Philippians 4:19; Titus 3:5.
Verse 13 adds, "though ye have lien among the pots," where smoke blackened you from the burning flesh, "yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold," reflecting the shades of sunlight on her in her flight, Psalms 81:6; Psalms 74:19; Psalms 105:37; Psalms 149:4; Luke 15:16; Luke 15:27; Ephesians 5:26-27; Revelation 1:5-6.
Verse 14 asserts that "when the Almighty scatters kings in it (the promised land)," it was white as snow in Salmon, an high mountain of black forests near Jordan in the north, Judges 9:38; Psalms 57:7; Mark 9:3; Matthew 17:2. It became bright with prosperity, in contrast with the gloom of the wilderness, and the battles that ensued in driving out kings Cushan, Jabin, and Agog.

Verses 15-19 relate that God had chosen Zion as a dwelling place forever, with his chariots, in spite of heathen resistance they had just overcome. Bashan is addressed as the high hill of God, or like Zion the high hill of God, whose greatness came from God, creation, and choosing, Psalms 24:3; Psalms 65:6. Actually Bashan, an high snow covered summit of the anti-Lebanese mountains, was only an high worldly summit in contrast with Mount Zion, God’s exalted spiritual residence, Deuteronomy 4:48.

Verses 16, 17 challenge the leaping of Bashan’s hills, with the assertion that the Lord has dwelt in His hill Zion forever. For the chariots of the living God are said to be innumerable, really of angelic ministers of Michael’s realm, among whom the Lord exists, as He did in Sinai, His holy place under the giving of the law, Psalms 34:7; Deuteronomy 32:2; Hebrews 12:22. See also Genesis 32:2; 2 Samuel 10:18; 2 Kings 6; 2 Kings 16, 17; 2 Chronicles 28:7; Galatians 3:19.

Verse 18 declares "you have 1) ascended on high, 2) led captivity captive, 3) received gifts for men, even the rebellious, 4) that the Lord might dwell (reside temporarily) among them," a prophecy of our Lord’s coming triumph, Acts 1:9; Ephesians 4:8; Judges 5:12; Acts 2:4; Colossians 2:15; 1 Corinthians 15:54; Heb 2; 9, 15. See also Isaiah 55:7; Matthew 9:18; Luke 24:47; Psalms 78:60; Isaiah 57:15; Ezekiel 48:35; Acts 10:44-46; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Ephesians 4:7-12.

Verse 19 concludes a benediction of blessing upon the Lord because of the daily giving to us of His benefits as the God of our salvation, "Selah," or meditate on these things, Matthew 11:30; The God who wounds us in chastening also binds up our wounds, and heals them, 1 Samuel 2:6; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

Verses 20, 21 declare that the Lord helps His people in battling the wicked. To the God of our salvation is attributed or belongs the "issues from death," to give His enemies up to death, and save his people from death threats of their enemies, Deuteronomy 32:39; 2 Corinthians 1:10; Revelation 1:18. But the head and scalp of one going on in trespasses, He will wound, unto death, Psalms 110:6; Psalms 48:14.

Verse 22 states that the Lord will liberate again from Bashan, as He did before, from Og to Bashan, Numbers 21:33; and bring His people again from the depth of the sea, as He did through the Red Sea, Exodus 14:22. The term, "depths of the sea," means from imminent danger, as used Isaiah 49:12; Isaiah 51:11-15; Deuteronomy 30:1-9.

Verse 23 adds "that thy foot may be dipped (made red) in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same," as in the Ahab and Jezebel’s death, when their blood was licked up by jackal-like dogs, 1 Kings 22:38; 2 Kings 9:35-36.

Verses 24, 25 relate that they of Israel had seen the going of God, His active work, even through the processions of His orderly worship in the sanctuary. The singers went before, led the musical procession, singing the word, which precedes the music and emotions, and must be the basis of them. Then the players on instruments followed after the singers; Among the players were damsels also, young ladies, playing with timbrels. In worship musical instruments should only subordinate, when accompanying the singers of Psalms, hymns, and songs of prayer and praise, 1 Corinthians 14:15.

Verse 26 calls on Israel to bless or (glorify) God in the congregations, even from the fountain of Israel or from their hearts in spiritual sincerity, not just from their lips, John 4:24. Or they who came from the fountain (root-stock) of Judah in particular were to bless Him, Isaiah 48:1; Isaiah 51:1; Proverbs 5:18; Hosea 13:15.

Verse 27, 28 address little Benjamin with their ruler and the princes of Judah and their council, and the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali. These four tribes represent the whole of Israel here. In this capacity they are reminded that God has wrought or been the source of their strength and wrought for them, for which they are ever to show gratitude, in praise and obedient service, Psalms 42:8; Psalms 138:8; Deuteronomy 33:25; Isaiah 26:12; Philippians 2:13.

Verse 29 declares, "because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee," because God was "terrible out of His holy place," in judging His enemies, 2 Chronicles 32:23; Isaiah 60:3; Isaiah 60:16; Psalms 76:11; Isaiah 18:7.

Verse 30 charges Israel’s leaders to rebuke the company of spearmen of the reeds, rulers of Egypt, also referred to as bulls and calves of the people, till each one submit himself with pieces of silver, as tribute and token of allegiance to Israel, and her living God, Isaiah 60:9. For God shall scatter the people who love war and submit not to the reign of the Messiah at His coming, Isaiah 2:4; Hosea 2:18; Zechariah 9:10.

Verse 31 prophesies that "princes shall come out of Egypt and Ethopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God," for mercy in that day, in an attitude of prayer of presentation of gifts to the coming Messiah-king, Psalms 72:8; Isaiah 19:19; Isaiah 45:11; Zephaniah 3:10; Acts 8:27-28.

Verses 32-35 call for songs of praise to the reigning God of all the universe, whose strength and honor is excelled above or upon the earth, in the heavens, the clouds, or the sea. For He is the terrible, judging God, out of His holy place, giving power and strength to His people, the blessed God, Zechariah 10:12; John 15:5; Ephesians 6:10; 1 Peter 5:10; Philippians 4:13.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 68". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/psalms-68.html. 1985.
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