Psalm 68

1650 psalter

Messiah’s leasing of Israel and the Church from Wilderness into final Rest

Armies throughout history have sung this psalm as they went into battle. The Huguenots found strength in it as they went forward, as did Cromwell’s troops. War is its theme, with God going before His people.

Described is the ascension of the Ark to Jerusalem at the head of its attendants. But it also describes the ascension of Christ at Mount Sinai, when He received gifts for men. Paul uses that to describe the ascension of Christ from Mount Olivet, when He gave gifts to men. War is not glorified here, but God’s special leadership, protection and deliverance are praised.

The Lord Jesus is typified by the Ark going up to the city of God, and thus was emblematic and prophetic of His victorious ascension to glory and honour after His resurrection. The whole psalm is redolent with the strength, sovereignty and victory of God.

Pastor Jeff O’ Neil

Recommended Tune: Crediton (v 1-16), Richmond (v 17-35), St Fulbert (v 17-35)

St Fulbert

Psalm 68

¹Let God arise, and scattered
Let all his en’mies be;
And let all those that do him hate
Before his presence flee.

²As smoke is driv’n, so drive thou them;
As fire melts wax away,
Before God’s face let wicked men
So perish and decay.

³But let the righteous be glad:
Let them before God’s sight
Be very joyful; yea, let them
Rejoice with all their might.

⁴To God sing, to his name sing praise;
Extol him with your voice,
That rides on heav’n, by his name JAH,
Before his face rejoice.

⁵Because the Lord a father is
Unto the fatherless;
God is the widow’s judge, within
His place of holiness.

⁶God doth the solitary set
In fam’lies: and from bands
The chain’d doth free; but rebels do
Inhabit parched lands.

⁷O God, what time thou didst go forth
Before thy people’s face;
And when through the great wilderness
Thy glorious marching was;

⁸Then at God’s presence shook the earth,
Then drops from heaven fell;
This Sinai shook before the Lord,
The God of Israel.

⁹O God, thou to thine heritage
Didst send a plenteous rain,
Whereby thou, when it weary was,
Didst it refresh again.

¹⁰Thy congregation then did make
Their habitation there:
Of thine own goodness for the poor,
O God, thou didst prepare.

¹¹The Lord himself did give the word,
The word abroad did spread;
Great was the company of them
The same who published.

¹²Kings of great armies foiled were,
And forc’d to flee away;
And women, who remain’d at home,
Did distribute the prey.

¹³Though ye have lien among the pots,
Like doves ye shall appear,
Whose wings with silver, and with gold
Whose feathers cover’d are.

¹⁴When there th’ Almighty scatter’d kings,
Like Salmon’s snow ’twas white.
¹⁵God’s hill is like to Bashan hill,
Like Bashan hill for height.

¹⁶Why do ye leap, ye mountains high?
This is the hill where God
Desires to dwell; yea, God in it
For aye will make abode.

¹⁷God’s chariots twenty thousand are,
Thousands of angels strong;
In ‘s holy place God is, as in
Mount Sinai, them among.

¹⁸Thou hast, O Lord, most glorious,
Ascended up on high;
And in triumph victorious led
Captive captivity:

Thou hast received gifts for men,
For such as did rebel;
Yea, ev’n for them, that God the LORD
In midst of them might dwell.

¹⁹Bless’d be the Lord, who is to us
Of our salvation God;
Who daily with his benefits
Us plenteously doth load.

²⁰He of salvation is the God,
Who is our God most strong;
And unto GOD the Lord from death
The issues do belong.

²¹But surely God shall wound the head
Of those that are his foes;
The hairy scalp of him that still
On in his trespass goes.

²²God said, My people I will bring
Again from Bashan hill;
Yea, from the sea’s devouring depths
Them bring again I will;

²³That in the blood of enemies
Thy foot imbrued may be,
And of thy dogs dipp’d in the same
The tongues thou mayest see.

²⁴Thy goings they have seen, O God;
The steps of majesty
Of my God, and my mighty King,
Within the sanctuary.

²⁵Before went singers, players next
On instruments took way;
And them among the damsels were
That did on timbrels play.

²⁶Within the congregations
Bless God with one accord:
From Isr’el’s fountain do ye bless
And praise the mighty Lord.

²⁷With their prince, little Benjamin,
Princes and council there
Of Judah were, there Zabulon’s
And Napht’li’s princes were.

²⁸Thy God commands thy strength; make strong
What thou wrought’st for us, Lord.
²⁹For thy house at Jerusalem
Kings shall thee gifts afford.

³⁰The spearmen’s host, the multitude
Of bulls, which fiercely look,
Those calves which people have forth sent,
O Lord our God, rebuke,

Till ev’ry one submit himself,
And silver pieces bring:
The people that delight in war
Disperse, O God and King.

³¹Those that be princes great shall then
Come out of Egypt lands;
And Ethiopia to God
Shall soon stretch out her hands.

³²O all ye kingdoms of the earth,
Sing praises to this King;
For he is Lord that ruleth all,
Unto him praises sing.

³³To him that rides on heav’ns of heav’ns,
Which he of old did found;
Lo, he sends out his voice, a voice
In might that doth abound.

³⁴Strength unto God do ye ascribe;
For his excellency
Is over Israel, his strength
Is in the clouds most high.

³⁵Thou’rt from thy temple dreadful, Lord;
Isr’el’s own God is he,
Who gives his people strength and pow’r:
O let God blessed be.