Read: Psalm 68:1 – 3; 2 Chronicles 6:41; Psalms 3:7; 7:6, 9:19, 10:12, 17:13, 44:23, 132:8;
2 Thessalonians 1:3 – 10;
This psalm is identified as a Psalm of David. The occasion of the psalm is thought by some to have been the bringing of the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom into Jerusalem. The first three verses are a prayer against God’s enemies and for His people. “God’s rising time is the enemies’ scattering time, His hater’s flying time. It is the duty of God’s people to pray Him up when he seems to be down, and to exalt Him in their praises when He arises to their rescue and redemption.” (Thomas Case, in a sermon preached in 1644.)
Think About It: What are examples of God-haters today? Are God’s enemies also the enemies of God’s people? Does He really need to be awakened against His enemies who hate Him and His people? What is the function served by calling upon God to rise up?
Prayer: For God to rise up against those who hate Him; thanks to God for His victory over the wickedness of men.
Read: Psalm 68:4 – 14
In Psalm 68:4 – 14 David praises God for His goodness (4 – 6) and His works (7 – 14.) God’s goodness is such that although He dwells in exalted holiness, He does not forget the oppressed, poor, or powerless. David recalled God’s works with reference to His deliverance of Israel in the wilderness. Verse 13 pictures the humble situation of God’s people (among the pots or sheepfolds), which is nevertheless beautified by God’s dwelling with them; verse 14 is a picture of God scattering powerful enemies as the wind drives the snow from a mountainside.
Think About It: List the characteristics of God in vv. 4 – 6; list the works of God in vv. 7 – 14. How have I experienced God’s character? How I have been blessed by God’s works?
Prayer: Thanksgiving for God’s remembering me where I am weak, poor, and oppressed; pray that my heart might consistent with God’s heart.
Read: Psalm 68:15 – 17; Deuteronomy 32:14; Isaiah 33:9; 1 John 4:15 – 16
In this section David praises God for His presence among His people. David’s specific reference was to God in Israel; we apply this to ourselves as referring to God’s presence in the church. Bashan is a symbol of abundance; the Lord’s presence on His mountain is a presence of blessing and power.
Think About It: Why do outsiders look with envy on the mountain where God abides? Where does God make His dwelling today?
Prayer: Praise God that He dwells in His church and in my heart.
Read: Psalm 68:18 – 20; Ephesians 4:8 – 13; Colossians 2:15
David celebrated the historical occasion of the ascension of the ark of the Covenant, but prophetically he foresaw the ascension of Christ into heaven. Ancient kings, in celebration of triumph, received booty from the conquered and gave it lavishly to their soldiers and subjects.
Think About It: What is the captivity that Christ has taken captive? What are the gifts He has given to men? From what has Christ set me free? What gifts has He given to me? What burdens of mine does He bear? Has he ever delivered me from death?
Prayer: Thank God for the freedom and gifts He gives and the burdens He bears.
Read: Psalm 68:21 – 28; 1 Corinthians 15:20 – 28; 2 Corinthians 12:7 -10
In Psalm 68:21 – 28 David exalted God for His victories over His enemies, and His favors to His people. We in the church are now His people, so these favors apply to us.
Think About It: What enemies is Christ defeating today? What is the last enemy He will abolish? According to 2 Corinthians 12, how do we experience God’s power in our lives?
Prayer: Thank God for His favors, and for the experience of His power in my weakness.
Read: Psalm 68:29 – 31; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 2:11 – 22
In Psalm 68:29 – 31 David spoke prophetically of the inclusion of the Gentiles among the people of God. In David’s day Gentiles were divided from Jews by the Law, God’s special revelation of Himself to the Jews, and by the pagan practices of the Gentiles. A great wall separated Jews from Gentiles.
Think About It: According to Ephesians 2, how did God bring about the inclusion of the Gentiles into His kingdom?
Prayer: Thank God for the privilege of being a citizen of His kingdom, a member of His family.
Read: Psalm 68:32 – 35; Psalm 29:3,4; Deuteronomy 33:26; 2 Chronicles 20:12
The final section of Psalm 68, vv. 32 – 35, is an acknowledgment of God’s awesome power and grace. “Long ere this heaven and earth were made, the loftier abodes of the Deity stood fast; before men or angels were created, the splendours of the Great King were as great as now, and his triumphs as glorious. Our knowledge reaches but to a small fragment of the life of God, whose ‘goings forth were of old, even from everlasting”(Spurgeon).
Think About It: No power is stronger than the ancient, majestic power of God; and God is willing to share that power with His people. How have I experienced the awesome power of God?
Prayer: For strength from God.