NO GOD LIKE OUR GOD
Father in heaven, who listens to my every word, even my every thought, who sees my every action and lack of action, I commit all that I am to bring you glory today.
Read PSALM 68
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. A song.
1 May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;
may his foes flee before him.
2 May you blow them away like smoke—
as wax melts before the fire,
may the wicked perish before God.
3 But may the righteous be glad
and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.
4 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds[b];
rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
6 God sets the lonely in families,[c]
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
7 When you, God, went out before your people,
when you marched through the wilderness,[d]
8 the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain,
before God, the One of Sinai,
before God, the God of Israel.
9 You gave abundant showers, O God;
you refreshed your weary inheritance.
10 Your people settled in it,
and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.
11 The Lord announces the word,
and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng:
12 “Kings and armies flee in haste;
the women at home divide the plunder.
13 Even while you sleep among the sheep pens,[e]
the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver,
its feathers with shining gold.”
14 When the Almighty[f] scattered the kings in the land,
it was like snow fallen on Mount Zalmon.
15 Mount Bashan, majestic mountain,
Mount Bashan, rugged mountain,
16 why gaze in envy, you rugged mountain,
at the mountain where God chooses to reign,
where the Lord himself will dwell forever?
17 The chariots of God are tens of thousands
and thousands of thousands;
the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.[g]
18 When you ascended on high,
you took many captives;
you received gifts from people,
even from[h] the rebellious—
that you,[i] Lord God, might dwell there.
19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.
20 Our God is a God who saves;
from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.
21 Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies,
the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins.
22 The Lord says, “I will bring them from Bashan;
I will bring them from the depths of the sea,
23 that your feet may wade in the blood of your foes,
while the tongues of your dogs have their share.”
24 Your procession, God, has come into view,
the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.
25 In front are the singers, after them the musicians;
with them are the young women playing the timbrels.
26 Praise God in the great congregation;
praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel.
27 There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them,
there the great throng of Judah’s princes,
and there the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali.
28 Summon your power, God[j];
show us your strength, our God, as you have done before.
29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem
kings will bring you gifts.
30 Rebuke the beast among the reeds,
the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations.
Humbled, may the beast bring bars of silver.
Scatter the nations who delight in war.
31 Envoys will come from Egypt;
Cush[k] will submit herself to God.
32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
sing praise to the Lord,
33 to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens,
who thunders with mighty voice.
34 Proclaim the power of God,
whose majesty is over Israel,
whose power is in the heavens.
35 You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Praise be to God!
- Psalm 68:1 In Hebrew texts 68:1-35 is numbered 68:2-36.
- Psalm 68:4 Or name, / prepare the way for him who rides through the deserts
- Psalm 68:6 Or the desolate in a homeland
- Psalm 68:7 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 19 and 32.
- Psalm 68:13 Or the campfires; or the saddlebags
- Psalm 68:14 Hebrew Shaddai
- Psalm 68:17 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text Lord is among them at Sinai in holiness
- Psalm 68:18 Or gifts for people, / even
- Psalm 68:18 Or they
- Psalm 68:28 Many Hebrew manuscripts, Septuagint and Syriac; most Hebrew manuscripts Your God has summoned power for you
- Psalm 68:31 That is, the upper Nile region
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him … Praise be to God!’1
Derek Kidner was probably on the right track when he suggested that Psalm 68 may have been composed for David’s procession with the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.2 The opening words echo Moses’ words when the ark moved.3 God traveled through the wilderness (v 7) and came from Sinai in a procession to his sanctuary (vs 17,24–27). He now dwells in his sanctuary (v 35) as kings bring their tribute to the Jerusalem temple (v 29).
While this general theme seems to fit, the details are complex and it is hard to see how the various stanzas fit together. One key to understanding is to notice the verbs describing God. Some tell what God has done (vs 7–10), some tell what God still does (vs 19,20), and some tell what God will do (vs 21,22). God is the God who acted in the past, who acts in the present, and who will continue to act into the future.
High points of this psalm for me are found in verse 5, where God is described as a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows, two groups who are often the most vulnerable members of society, and verse 10 where God provides for the poor out of his rich bounty. Verse 19 is also a high point: our God is a burden-bearing God. The gods of the surrounding nations were lifeless gods who had to be carried, but our God is the God who daily carries our burdens. Since our God is like this, it is no wonder that the final stanza calls on the kings of the earth to sing praises to God and proclaim his power. There is no god like our God.
Select your own high point in Psalm 68 and meditate on it during the day. Bring your burdens to our burden-bearing God and leave them there.
Sovereign Lord, there is no one like you. There is no one else who can fill my greatest need and yet attend to the smallest of my concerns. Nothing about me passes you by. Indeed, you are the great lover of my soul.
1 Ps 68:4,35 2 Derek Kidner, Psalms 1–72, IVP, 1972, p256; 2 Sam 6:12–15 3 Num 10:35
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