Psalm Chapter 68:15-23

Psalm Chapter 68:15-23

For context see: Psalm Chapter 68: 1-6

Deliverance from Mount Sinai to Zion-Noted!

15 The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan. “Hill of Bashan”: A mountain across the Jordan to the east. Today we call this hill the “Golan Heights.”  16 Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the Lord will dwell in it for ever. Verse 16 implies that there is another hill were of God is actually present and they were jealoous of that hill (Zion/Jerusalem). Why would they be jealous? The God of the Israelites lived there.  The other nations knew about the power of the God of Israel. Power meant a lot to them. They wanted a hill that housed the presence of a powerful God. Zion was the location of God’s temple.  God came to the mount of Zion from the original mountain where he met with his people and Moses – Sinai. Today we are the temple of God. Are  people envious of us? Do they see the power of God living in us? He met us at the foot of the cross that stood on Golgotha. It was a hill not a huge mountain. The stature of Christ waas powerful and high enough for that meeting. 17 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place.  The chariots of God refer to the Angelic hosts that fought for, and protected, the nation of Israel. That angelic host fights for and protects us today.  God fights our battles for us – but only if we allow him to.18 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. 

We serve a God who saves.

19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

David and the people were shouting, Blessed be the Lord, as they took the Ark up to the mountain. Accordingly, they also shouted this phrase of praise because it is thr cry of a people who loved their God.  For a Christian, the biggest benefit of knowing the God of Israel, is the gift of salvation that he afforded to gentile nations through his son Jesus Christ. 20 He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death.  What an amazing prophetic utterance. Only through one person did the title “King over Death” belong. In Romans 8:11  we re “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Finally, mankind can say it has deliverance from eternal death – but only through Christ Jesus. Colossians 2:12 tells that we are “Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with [him] through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.” God, our Lord. controls death and life.

21 But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses. Just look at the original promise that God made to Adam in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” “her seed;” theologians believe that this refers to the church. Many of us struggle daily with our thoughts, words, and actions. As we become more attuned with God’s will in our lives we are cognizant of that fact.  So, we ask him to forgive our weaknesses, our sins, and heal our diseases.  He alone knows whether or not we are sincere in that prayer or if we are just using words that “righteous” people use. It never fails to amaze me how much people condemn each other without knowing the heart of the other person.  We don’t have that type of authority over another person’s walk.

22 The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea: 23 That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same. David is reminding the people that in the same way that the dog licked u p the blood of the enemies of Israel after it crossed the Red Sea.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for being an every present help for your people when they are in trouble. Thank you for the the saving grace of Jesus Christ my Lord. Give me the willingness to never stop serving him becaue he didn’t think trice about giving his life for me.

 

Psalm 68:7-14: From the Wilderness to Celebration: You are my Jehovah Jireh!

Psalm 68:7-14: From the Wilderness to Celebration. (Unless otherwise stated all scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible-which is public domain!)

See Psalm chapter 68:11-6 for context.

Kind David reflects on the highest points of the history of the nation of Israel. One needs to remember where they have come from. Recognizing one’s past helps us to ensure that we do not make the same mistakes that we made before. More importantly, for the nation of Israel, it reminds them of the delivering hands of Almighty God – their original and eternal king. This section of this chapter of Psalm 68 tells the people of Israel about the unity that existed in the nation, the past. David also reminds them of the fact that the unity did not come from their abilities, but was a blessing from God.

From the wilderness to a celebration: The people and the land.

O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah: This is a celebration of the leadership of God. God did go before, and behind, them in the wilderness. His presence led them from the hoards of the Egyptian army (Exodus 13:21). David is amazed at the fact that although the people of Israel did not trust in the Lord to protect and provide for them, he still loved and cared for them. They did not worship him in spirit and in truth, but he still loved them unconditionally. As a parent we will love and care for our children even when they are disrespectful toward us.Jeremiah 17:9 ESV The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” God knows this about us.Even so John 3:16 ESV tells us that “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

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. Look at the power of God. It is so powerful that the mountain shook when his presence fell upon it ( read Exodus 19:18)Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary. Without rain there would be no crops, without crops the people would perish.  Have you ever had a period in your life when you felt that you were experiencing a spiritual drought? How about the plants in your garden? Water in our area is ridiculously expensive. We have not had any sustained rain in weeks. So, some areas of my garden are beginning to show the impact of the drought. This is why David was thankful for God’s provision. PRAYER: Lord, send your people in the Carolinas some much needed sweet gentle rain. When I look at my garden I am reminded that farmers are having the same challenges that I am having. Where there is drought send rain, and where there is flooding, just let it cease. Amen. 10 Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor. I am amazed at our lack of understanding when it comes to providing for the poor among us.  We will choose to leave them desolate and without their basic needs. We may even punish them is they are not of the same ethnicity as us.  Friends, that is wrong.  God’s word tells us to take care of, even the aliens in our midst.

Celebration: We serve a victorious king

11 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it. Historically when the men came home from a battle the women sang the songs of victory (see Exod. 15:20– 21; Judg. 5; 11:34; 1 Sam. 18:6– 7). 12 Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.  When I read this a light came on for me. Why? You see, the nations that Israel defeated and “left in the dust,on the way to the “promised land” had heard about how the God of Israel fought their battles for them and they were petrified. But, look at what it said about the spoils of the battle! The women, who did not actually fight  in the battle, shared in the spoil they got in battle. God considered them as equals with the men!

13 Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold. Case has an excellent explanation for this verse.

“Have lien among the pots”: Like scullions, that commonly lie down in the kitchen among the pots or hearthstones, whereby they are very much discolored and deformed. Which is fitly opposed to the following beauty. Though you have been filled with affliction and contempt.

“Yet shall ye be”: Or, ye have been. Which may seem more suitable to the context, both foregoing and following, wherein he doth not speak prophetically of things to come, but historically of things past. So the sense of the verse is, though you have formerly been exposed to great servitude, and reproach, and misery, to wit, in Egypt. Yet since that time God hath changed your condition greatly for the better.

“As the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold”: Beautiful and glorious, like the feathers of a dove, which according to the variety of its postures, and of the light shining upon it, look like silver or gold.

The thing to do with this I suppose, is to look at the symbols. The dove speaks of the Holy Spirit. The silver speaks of redemption and the gold speaks of God. [Is this a theologically sound interpretation? I don’t know if the symbols represent the church. One could support the argument, or one could simply state that Israel was the prototype of what God wanted to do for and with humanity.]  It appears that the women (symbolic of the church), has been in a lowered condition among the pots. This to me, is symbolic of the church filled with the spirit of God being redeemed by God. Enough said (Case 2019, Psalm 68:13)

14 When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon [Zalmon: A mountain covered in snow.When the Eternal scattered the kings who fought against Israel, he did so with his “righteous” might. “White” depicts righteousness. It is frightening to realize that the unity that once prevailed in the land of Israel is almost non-existent today.  The nation of Israel is surrounded by their enemies from the past. The entire middle east, which was at peace during the time when this was written, is now a melting pot for ongoing war, destruction, ate, and disunity.  

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the peace that comes only from knowing you. Thank you for unity and the bond of freedom that unites all true believers of Jesus Christ and the followers of “The Way.”

 

 

Reference

Cayce, Ken. 2019. “Books of the Bible.”  http://www.bible-studys.org/About%20Me.html. Accessed September 26, 2019.

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