Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Psalm 68 - God's Power Praised!

LINK: Psalm 68

BACKGROUND

This psalm of David probably celebrated the triumphal ascent to Mount Zion. It is a song that may have been written when David captured the city of Jerusalem from the Jebusites in 2 Samuel 5:6-8 or when he brought the Ark of the Covenant to Zion in 2 Samuel 6. It starts out much like Moses' cry in Numbers 10:35 when the Israelites followed the ark of the covenant.

The psalmist reviews the Lord's movement of Israel from the wilderness wanderings to His occupation and conquest of the land. If you have been with us from the beginning, isn't it great to know this history because we read through it this year? If you are just joining us, when you have time, go back and start from the beginning and read forward. It is great to learn the "whole counsel" of the Word of God! It helps you put everything in context because context is KEY in Bible study! The psalm ends with a triumphal praise to God for His power and strength!

The Scarlet Thread of Redemption

Psalm 68:18 is paraphrased and applied by Paul to Jesus in Ephesians 4:8. 

REFLECTION by Pastor Steve

I love my pastor. I hope you do not mind me sharing his simple reflection on this psalm:


Good Morning Friends,
“Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds -- his name is the LORD -- and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.” (Psalm 68:4-6) 
God is a Father, even to the fatherless. Even to those whose fathers were not around. Even to those whose fathers abused them. He is the perfect Father: strong, compassionate, forgiving, always acting in the best interest of His children. 
God is a Husband to the widow. He will never leave them. He will never be taken away. He will protect and guard and guide and always love. 
God sets the lonely in families. A family is what He has designed His church to be. It is not always a perfect family. Actually, it never is, filled with humans, like you and me. But it is a family of people who care, who support, who are there when you need them. 
God sets the prisoners to song. He is the great Liberator. He can break every chain. He can disarm every captor. Sickness, death, alcohol, drugs, no captor is strong enough to overpower Him, or those who trust in Him. 
But the rebellious, they miss the blessings of God. It is those who trust Him who find Him a Father, a Husband, a Liberator.
His, by Grace,
Steve


APPLICATION (written in December 2008)

How often I lose sight of God's awesomeness in the everyday grind. I had an unexpected day of quiet reflection in the Word and prayer today while the kids and George were up to his mother's farm in Newberg. I was so blessed as I meditated on this psalm and the sun broke through the clouds and streamed glorious light into the living room and on my shoulder. I just had to get out and PRAISE GOD! So, I went out of my house singing a song I had written to Psalm 68:32-33 several years ago. (It has been so long since I have written a song for the Lord -- probably since the 80's! That needs to change! But I digress . . .) It was lovely.

I "wondered" from hill to hill (like Sinai to Zion) on my walk praising God. I often forget to sing to God in my personal devotional times. That is going to change!

Go out and sing to God today!

2014 Update: Wow! What a day for this Psalm again. God "thundered with mighty voice" in the middle of the night with an amazing summer thunderstorm that made me get up and marvel at His great display. I posted on Facebook this verse in connection with the thunderstorm:

Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways,
And how small a whisper we hear of Him!

But the thunder of His power who can understand? NKJV Job 26:14 

Then I went out for a run and this is what I saw as I walked out my front door!

The view from my praise porch

Then I wondered from "hill to hill" today and ran most of the five miles in praise to God!

Then I go to update this post for this year, and I have another day where my husband and kids are gone (all working), and I have done something very similar to 2008 when I wrote the post for this Psalm. God's timing is always wonderful!

PRAYER 

Pray through this Psalm!

Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth,
sing praise to the Lord
to Him who rides the ancient skies above,
who thunders with mighty voice.
Proclaim the power of God
whose majesty is over all Israel
whose power is in the skies.
You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary;
the God of Israel gives power and strength to His people.
Praise be to God!
(68:32-35, NASB95)
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