Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, July 13th, 2024
the Week of Proper 9 / Ordinary 14
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 68

Smith's WritingsSmith's Writings

Verses 1-35


God made known in all the kingdoms of the earth, through the display of His goodness throughout the history of Israel.

(vv. 1-3) The psalm opens with presenting God as taking His place at the head of His people; scattering His enemies; the wicked perishing at His presence; while the righteous rejoice before God. It commences with the formulas used by Moses, when the camp of Israel moved forward on its journeys through the wilderness ( Num_10:35 ).

(vv. 4-6) Then, very beautifully, there is set forth the character of the One who leads His people. He acts as a loving Father, and a righteous Judge. The destitute, the oppressed, the lonely, and the captive are the objects of His care; but the rebellious are left to reap the result of their own folly - they perish in the wilderness.

(vv. 7-14) The history of Israel is recapitulated to set forth, not their failure, but God's goodness.

God led His people through the wilderness and manifested His presence at Sinai (vv. 7-8). He brought His congregation to dwell in the land, and in His goodness provided for His weary people and cared for the poor (vv. 9-10). Giving the word of direction, He led them to victory over all their enemies; so that kings fled, and spoil was secured, in which all had a share (vv. 11-12). Victorious Israel, who once had been lying in wretchedness and poverty, is now displayed in all the beauty that God has put upon her (cp. Eze_16:1-14 ), while the enemies in the land are scattered (vv. 13-14).

(vv. 15-19) Israel being settled in the land, God is presented as choosing Zion for His dwelling place. The powers of the world, represented by high-peaked mountains (JND), may look enviously upon Zion. Nevertheless, at Zion the Lord has chosen to dwell for ever as the centre of earthly government, waited upon by angelic hosts as the executors of His will.

Moreover, all this goodness to Israel flows from Christ having ascended on high. Doubtless the psalmist but little entered into the deep significance of his own words ( 1Pe_1:11 ); nevertheless the Spirit of God, as we know from the use of these words in Eph_4:8 , had Christ in view. In His place of glory He received gifts for men. In Ephesians the gifts are spoken of in connection with the Church; here in connection with Israel, even though Israel had been rebellious. Thus by His gifts in grace, God secures a people in whose midst He can dwell. In Psa_22:2-3 , we read of Christ forsaken on the Cross, in order that Jehovah might dwell in the midst of a praising people. In this psalm He ascends on high to secure a praising people. Thus they say, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation.”

(vv. 20-23) The blessing of His people Israel will involve the destruction of His enemies. The Lord will again bring His people out of the world, here figured by Bashan; while His enemies are left in utter prostration, as carcasses on the field of battle.

(vv. 24-27) All enemies destroyed, the King is welcomed as He takes His place in the sanctuary in the midst of His rejoicing people, who, though long divided, are at last gathered together ( Isa_52:8 ).

(vv. 28-31) The King having His rightful place in the midst of His regathered people, they are now strengthened by the whole world being brought into subjection. The kings of the earth will come with their presents, and submit themselves to the King, and stretch out their hands in dependence upon God.

(vv. 32-35) Finally all the kingdoms of the earth are called to praise the Lord, who is over all created things, who is mighty in word and deed, and has displayed His power in His people Israel.

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 68". "Smith's Writings". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-68.html. 1832.
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