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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Psalms 68

 

 

Verses 1-35

This was a Psalm sung, at the removing of the ark, when it was taken up to its resting-place on Mount Zion. All the tribes were gathered together, and, in full pomp, they marched along, bearing the sacred chest. As they tramped forward, the trumpets sounded, and this Psalm rose up to God.

Psalms 68:1. Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him.

That is the way to move,—God first, and his people following closely after him. That is the true order of revival,—the Lord in the lead, then all his children, quick of step, to follow where he leads. The psalmist seems to take it for granted that there would be no fighting if God should arise, for all his enemies would be put to flight by his presence.

Psalms 68:2-3. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God. But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

The courtiers of God ought to be clad in the silks of joy, and to be bright with the jewelry of rejoicing.

Psalms 68:4-5. Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.

In the wilderness, the Israelites were like a company of fatherless people: but God was their Protector, and in all their trials and dangers he was their Defender.

Psalms 68:6. God setteth the solitary in families he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

They had been in a sad condition in Egypt, scattered and driven hither and thither. God promised to bring them all together, in great families, and richly to bless them.

Psalms 68:7-8. O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah: the earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

If the translators had given us the original words, we should have valued this Psalm much more, for it contains nearly every name of God. This verse would run, “Even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of Elohim, the ‘Elohim of Israel.

Psalms 68:9-10. Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary. Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.

It rained manna, and it rained quails. There are no difficulties about the commissariat of an army when God is the Commander-in-chief. All shall be provided for those who put their trust in him.

Psalms 68:11. The Lord—

Or, Adonai—

Psalms 68:11. Gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

When God speaks, he always has publishers of his message. Our Lord found a woman at the well, and sent her back to the men of the city as his messenger, and he will find many others before his work is all done.

Psalms 68:12-13. Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil. Though ye have lien among the pots,—

Grimy among the brick kilns, covered with clay, and black with smoke,—despised, rejected, earthbound,—“ Though ye have lien among the pots,”—

Psalms 68:13. Yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.

There are good times ahead for God’s people. Rich and rare blessings are laid up in store for them that fear him. Therefore, let us rejoice in him even now.

Psalms 68:14. When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.

Driven from the bare, bleak mountain-side in gusts like feathers, the snow flies before the wind; and so, when God scatters the mighty, they cannot resist him: “It was as snow in Salmon.”

Psalms 68:15. The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan.

This hill of Zion is not high at all, it is a mere knoll compared with the lofty peaks; yet it was highly favored. So, to carnal eyes, Christ’s kingdom on earth was little in comparison with the kingdoms of this world; yet, in the sight of God, it is greater than all of them.

Psalms 68:16. Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell in it forever.

There are grander places than Zion, but if God chooses to dwell there, his presence gives her a glory and a greatness that no other spot can have. The forces at the disposal of Zion’s King are boundless; note how the psalmist enumerates some of them.

Psalms 68:17-18. The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

As the ark went up the hill of Zion, so has Christ ascended to the eternal glory. He is the true Ark of the covenant, and he is also the true Mercy-seat; wherefore, let our hearts rejoice in our ascended Saviour, who has “led captivity captive “ “Thou hast received gifts for men”; yea, for the rebellious also.” “In due time, Christ died for the ungodly.” “He made intercession for the transgressors.” Let rebellious sinners catch, at this great truth; and, touched by the love and grace of God, let them cease to rebel any longer.

Psalms 68:19-20. Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah. He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.

All glory be to his thrice-blessed name for all that this verse includes!

Psalms 68:21-22. But God shall wound the head: of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses. The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea:

Wherever his people may have gone, God will bring them all together again, “from Bashan,” or “from the depths of the sea.”

Psalms 68:23-35. That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of the dogs in the same. They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after, among them were the damsels playing with timbrels. Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel. There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah, the their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali. Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us. Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee. Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people that delight in war. Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah: to him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice. Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds. O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.

The Psalm ends with an ascription of praise unto God. So let our reading end, and our worship, and our lives: “Blessed be God.”

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 68:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/psalms-68.html. 2011.

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, December 8th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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