The Psalms Book 2: 68-69

Psalm 68‑69  •  9 min. read  •  grade level: 7
The first of these psalms fittingly, as regards those we have seen, and splendidly sets forth the glory in which the rejected Christ makes good the purposes of God with His people and Zion as the earthly center, but from above; and hence appropriately cited by the apostle in Eph. 4. There is also an allusion full of interest to Num. 10:3535And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. (Numbers 10:35), but with a notable difference. Moses before Israel in the wilderness said, Rise up, Jehovah, and let Thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hate Thee flee before Thee. Here it is Elohim. Each is precisely right, and Elohim as little in keeping for Moses as Jehovah for the psalm, which has Elohim throughout as the expression of faith for a day of confusion when covenant was not enjoyed, anticipating God's intervention in Christ from on high after He had suffered to the uttermost. Indeed the psalm abounds in divine titles, as Jah, Adonai, El, Shaddai; but the staple unequivocally is Elohim, and Jehovah is only used for His dwelling on Zion when power and grace meet for His people blessed evermore under Messiah and the new covenant. Sheer spiritual ignorance invented the will-o-the wisp of Elohistic and Jehovistic documents: evidently inapplicable here, really everywhere, in no case giving a key to the mind of God as the truth does.
Psalm 68
“To the chief musician, of David, a psalm, a song. Let God arise, and his enemies be scattered, and those that hate him flee from before him. As smoke is driven, thou wilt drive away; as wax melteth before fire, the wicked shall perish from before God. And the righteous shall be glad, they shall exult before God and rejoice with gladness. Sing unto God, sing praises to His name; cast up a way for him that rideth in the deserts: his name [is] Jah, and exult before him. A father of orphans and a judge of widows [God is] in the habitation of his holiness. God maketh the solitary to dwell in houses; prisoners he maketh to come forth in prosperity: surely rebels dwell in a parched land. O God, in thy going out before thy people, in thy marching in the desert (Selah), the earth trembled, yea the heavens dropped from before God, the God of Israel. A rain of free gifts thou, O God, didst pour; thine inheritance, even when wearied, thou didst establish. Thy flock hath dwelt in it: thou wilt provide in thy goodness for the wretched, O God. Adonai giveth the word: a great host [are] the (women) publishing. Kings of hosts flee, flee, and the housewife divideth the spoil. Though ye lie among the cattle-pens (or ash-grates), [ye shall be like] wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold. When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it snoweth in Zalmon. A mount of God [is] mount Bashan; a mount of peaks [is] mount Bashan. Why, mounts of peaks, look ye with envy on the mount God desired for his dwelling; yea, Jehovah will dwell [there] forever. God's chariots [are] two myriads, thousands multiplied: Adonai is in them, [as in] Sinai in the sanctuary. Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts in man, yea, rebels also, to dwell [there], Jah Elohim. Blessed [be] Adonai day by day loading us, the God (El) of our salvation. Our God (El) is a God (El) of salvation; and to Jehovah Adonai [belong] the issues from death.
Surely God will smite the head of his enemies, the hairy scalp going on in his guilt. Adonai said from Bashan, I will bring back, I will bring back from the sea, that thou mayest dip thy foot in blood, the tongue of thy dogs its portion from enemies. They saw thy goings, O God, the goings of my God, my King, in the holy place. Before went singers, behind players, in the midst of maidens playing on timbrels. In assemblies bless ye God Adonai, [ye] from the fountain of Israel. There [is] little Benjamin their ruler, princes of Judah their council, princes of Zebulon, princes of Naphtali. Thy God hath commanded thy strength. Strengthen, O God, what thou hast wrought for us. Because of thy temple at Jerusalem kings shall bring tribute to thee. Rebuke the beasts of the reeds, the crowd of bulls (strong), with the calves of the peoples, [each] crouching with pieces of silver. Scatter the peoples delighting in war. Princes shall come from Egypt, Cush shall haste to stretch out her hands to God. Kingdoms of the earth, sing ye unto God, praise Adonai (Selah), him that rideth on the heavens of old. Lo, he uttereth his voice, a mighty voice. Ascribe ye strength to God: his excellence [is] over Israel and his strength [is] in the skies. Terrible [art thou], O God, out of thy holy place; the God (El) of Israel, he giveth strength and might to the people. Blessed [be] God” (vers. 1-36).
Here, where things are out of course, God is counted on, and this by the intervention in heavenly power of Him whose rejection was the fullest evidence of the state of the Jews as well as of man. But He Who had obeyed to the cross and thus glorified God to the uttermost was exalted in the place of indisputable power and glory, and would thence make good the choice of Zion as His earthly dwelling and center, the deliverance and blessing of Israel, once and alas! still “rebellious,” the overthrow of every enemy, even of such as led all captive, to the joy and well-being of all the earth. It is “the regeneration” in prospect.
Psalm 69
“To the chief musician, on Shoshannim (lilies)1, of David. Save me, God, for the waters have come unto [my] soul. I sink in a deep place of mire where is no standing. I am come into depth of waters, and the flood hath overflowed me. I am wearied in my calling, parched is my throat, failed are mine eyes, while waiting for my God (Eloah). More than the hairs of my head [are] those hating me without cause, strong my destroyer, mine enemies of falsehood: what I took not away, then I restored. O God, thou knowest as to my foolishness, and my trespasses from thee are not hid. Let not those be ashamed in me that wait on thee, Adonai Jehovah of hosts, let not those be disgraced in me that seek thee, God of Israel. For on account of thee I have borne reproach; disgrace hath covered my face. A stranger I am become to my brethren, and an alien to my mother's sons; for the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up, and the reproaches of those reproaching thee fell on me. And I wept, in the fasting [was] my soul; and it was for reproaches unto me. When I made my clothing sackcloth, I too was to them for a proverb. Those that sit at the gate talk of me, and [I am] songs of drinkers of strong drink. But as for me, my prayer [is] to thee, O Jehovah; (give) an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of thy mercy answer me, in the truth of thy salvation. Deliver me from the mire, and let me not sink; let me be delivered from those hating me, and from the depths of waters. Let not a flood overflow me, and let not the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut its mouth upon me. Answer me, O Jehovah, for good [is] thy mercy; according to the multitude of thy tender mercies turn unto me"; and hide not thy face from thy servant, for I am troubled; speedily answer me. Draw nigh to my soul, redeem it; because of mine enemies, ransom me. Thou hast known my reproach, and my shame, and my disgrace; before thee [are] all mine adversaries. Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am overwhelmed, and I looked for mourning, and there is none, and for comforters, and found none. They gave me also gall for my food, and in my thirst they made me drink vinegar. Let their table before them become a snare, and when at peace a trap; let their eyes be dark from seeing, and their loins continually cause to swerve. Pour upon them thine indignation, and let the heat of thine anger overtake them. Let their habitation be desolate, and in their tents be no dweller. For whom thou hast smitten they persecute, and to the grief of thy wounded ones they talk. Add iniquity unto their iniquity, and let them not come into thy righteousness; let them be blotted from the book of life, and with righteous ones let them not be written. But I [am] poor and sorrowful: let thy salvation, O God, set me on high. I will praise the name of God with a, song, and I will magnify him with thanksgiving. And it shall please Jehovah more than an ox, a bullock horned [and] hoofed. The meek have seen [and] are glad; ye that seek God, your heart shall live. For Jehovah heareth the needy, and despiseth not his prisoners. Let heaven and earth praise him, seas and everything moving in them. For God will save Zion and build the cities of Judah, and they shall dwell there and possess it. And the seed of his servants shall inherit it, and the lovers of his name shall dwell in it” (vers. 1-37).
Whatever be the intrinsic glory of Christ, all scripture shows that His sufferings are the ground of His exaltation. So it is here. This psalm tells of His sufferings, though in a way evidently distinct from Psa. 22, where divine abandonment crowns all, as here human evil is prominent and calls for judgment, instead of the grace which is the answer in the former. But He was afflicted in all their affliction, as says the prophet. David was the occasion, but the Spirit of Christ enters into all their wrong doing, not only to vindicate God but to give expression to the confession of the godly remnant, who will thus pour out their heart in the latter day, when His wrath shall fall on their oppressors and betrayers.