June 20 2023
Today, Tuesday June 20
“You, O God, Provided from Your Goodness…”
“You, O God, sent a plentiful rain, Whereby You confirmed Your inheritance, When it was weary. Your congregation dwelt in it; You, O God, provided from Your goodness for the poor. The Lord gave the word; Great was the company of those who proclaimed it: "Kings of armies flee, they flee, And she who remains at home divides the spoil. Though you lie down among the sheepfolds, You will be like the wings of a dove covered with silver, And her feathers with yellow gold." When the Almighty scattered kings in it, It was white as snow in Zalmon. A mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan; A mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan. Why do you fume with envy, you mountains of many peaks? This is the mountain which God desires to dwell in; Yes, the LORD will dwell in it forever. The chariots of God are twenty thousand, Even thousands of thousands; The Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the Holy Place. You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive; You have received gifts among men, Even from the rebellious, That the LORD God might dwell there.”
Psalm 68 is a Psalm of praise and celebration. When the God of creation comes down to us and dwells and abides in the midst of His people, we have great reason to worship and praise Him! This is a Psalm, which is also a song, that looks back in history at God’s protection and provision for His people as they victoriously marched through the wilderness defeating all their enemies on their way to the Promise Land. It also reflects on the present, as God is being worshiped on Mt. Zion by a secure, satisfied and enriched people. But it also is Messianic as it looks forward to the future glory of the Messiah, Jesus Christ sitting on the throne of David in Jerusalem in His millennium reign.
Let’s pick up where we left off yesterday in verse 9. God brought His people into their inheritance in the Promise Land and “His congregation dwelt in it” and “from His goodness He provided for the poor” (v. 10). Everywhere I look in Scripture, I see that God has a special eye and heart for the poor. Jesus ministered to the poor, the hungry, the hurting, the afflicted, and those who couldn’t help themselves. The truth is, He still loves and blesses those today who are “poor in spirit” with an inheritance in the kingdom of God (Matthew 5:3).
Israel entered the land and conquered it (vv. 9-14), because the Lord spoke the Word of victory (v. 11; see Psalm 33:11). He had promised Israel they would take the land, and they did (Ex. 23:20-33; Deut. 11:22-32). As at the Exodus (Ex. 15:20-21), it was the women who sang the praises of the Lord. (See also v. 25, Judg. 5 and 1 Sam. 18:6-7.) Whenever God speaks, awesome and powerful things take place. He still speaks today to us through His Word, His Holy Spirit, His pastors and teachers, and through the people around us and our circumstances. Are we listening?
The great company of God’s people proclaimed His Word that scattered the enemy kings so that they fled before the people of Israel in battle (v.11)! We should proclaim both His Word and the victory that He gives us today! While the men went to war with God, “the women stayed at home and divided the spoil” (v. 12). The New Living Translation interprets verses 12-14: "Enemy kings and their armies flee, while the women of Israel divide the plunder. Though they lived among the sheepfolds, now they are covered with silver and gold, as a dove is covered by its wings. The Almighty scattered the enemy kings like a blowing snowstorm on Mount Zalmon."
Israel is pictured as a bunch of poor shepherds with no secure place to sleep but the LORD shows up and takes them under His wings of protection and gives them peace (like a dove) and prosperity, so they are covered with the riches of silver and gold. What an awesome God we have!!!!
But God conquered Canaan, not only to give His people a home but also to secure a "home" for Himself. He chose Mount Zion, though it was much smaller and less imposing than Mount Hermon, which is over 9,000 feet high, perhaps the highest mountain in Palestine. David pictured the other mountains showing jealousy because they weren't selected. God made a temporary visit to His people when He came down on Mount Sinai (Ex. 23:16), but Zion was to be His permanent dwelling place (Psalm132:13-14; 1 Kings 8:12-13).
The "chariots of God" make up His heavenly army, for He is the Lord of Hosts (Psalm 46:7, 11; 2 Kings 2:11; 6:17; Dan. 7:10; Matt. 26:53). To "ascend on high" means to win the victory and return in triumph (Ps. 47:1-6). Some think this refers to a time when the ark was "in the field" with the army and then brought back to the sanctuary on Zion (2 Sam. 11:11; 12:26-31). Paul quoted verse 18 in Ephesians 4:8 when referring to the ascension of Christ (see also Acts 2:30-36; Col. 2:15). A king ascending the throne both receives and gives gifts, and even those who reject him will honor him outwardly.
God is always Good and out of His Goodness He always provides for us! May the Lord help us today to give Him the gift and sacrifice of praise!