by Pastor David Groendyk
One of the traditions among professional sports leagues around America is that, when a team wins a national championship, they have a victory parade in their city where tens and hundreds of thousands of fans come out to celebrate. That’s what I imagine Psalm 68 is like for God and his people. This is a kingly processional where God and his people are parading and celebrating God’s victory over his enemies. In this processional, enemies are scattered (v. 1), the righteous exult with jubilant joy (v. 3), a host of women go ahead announcing the news (vv. 11–12), musicians and singers are in abundance (v. 25), nations see it and turn to God (vv. 31–32), and God is praised. While there are certainly some confusing verses in this chapter (like vv. 13–14), there are also some very sweet verses on which every Christian should meditate.
First, meditate on verses 4–6. Pay attention to whom David singles out in this psalm as those whom God loves to help: the fatherless, the widow, the solitary, and the prisoner. Our God is a helper of the helpless. Some of us have lost these loved ones to death; some of us have loved ones who have failed us in big ways and never lived up to their roles; some of us simply have never had these loved ones in our lives. But God is the only One who is meant to fulfill all your needs. What a sweet promise to us that God seeks out the most helpless people to be their protection and to give them a home. And whether or not we meet these criteria physically, we must all see ourselves in these categories spiritually. If you do not see yourself as utterly helpless apart from God, then he will be of no use to you. Salvation only comes to those who truly are needy.
Second, meditate on verse 17. There are just some passages in Scripture that blow me away with how absurdly overwhelming God’s power is. Psalm 68:17 is one of them. God’s army is ten thousands upon ten thousands of chariots. Another passage this makes me think of is 2 Kings 6:17. When Elisha and his servant are surrounded by an enemy’s army, God opens their eyes and reveals the mountain filled with horses and chariots of fire guarding and protecting them. Another passage is Matthew 26:53. In the garden of Gethsemane, after Peter foolishly pulls his sword to fend off the mob, Jesus reminds Peter that his Father in heaven has 72,000 angels at his disposal willing to fight in an instant for Jesus. It is an understatement to say that God’s army is extremely powerful. Nothing can defeat or conquer God. And this God is on your side, if you have been bought by the precious blood of Christ.
Third, meditate on verse 19. Here is a verse that we ought to memorize today and repeat to ourselves every single morning: “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation.” God picks us up and carries us every single morning. With all the trouble and distress and difficulty you might face today, you don’t face it alone, because God is with you and carrying you. You truly have nothing to fear. Here is a real test to see how many read this devotional: quiz me on reciting Psalm 68:19 when you see me! But don’t be surprised if I return the favor and quiz you back! Memorizing and storing up God’s Word in our hearts is a practice every Christian should engage in. If you’ve never memorized anything before, or if you’ve simply fallen out of the practice, start with Psalm 68:19 and recite it every day.