Psalm 68: For the week of May 24—May 30
If the Psalms were edited down through the years, experts agree that too many hands went to work on Psalm 68! A thematic thread is hard to find. Plus, there are more than half a dozen changes in meter, making it almost impossible for a choir to sing with confidence. Still, we might just find some sense in this—maybe, just maybe—if we think of a child who wants to give thanks for so much, for everything, but without slowing down so that it call comes out in a jumble. Living before the face of God is an occasion of joy (v 3-4). That’s something worth thanking God for. God has not remained hidden but revealed himself (v 4), and as one who cares for the dispossessed, widows, and orphans (v 5), who sends rain to refresh us (v 8) and who cares for the poor (v 10). And, in all things, the sense of this rambling Psalm is: God is God. The cosmos is not here by chance, even in disorder there remains order, even in all the changes of the world and there is a God who can be trusted, who is thoroughly Good.
Here is the Psalm:
Psalm 68:1-10, 33-36
1 Let God arise, and let his enemies be scattered; *
let those who hate him flee before him.
2 Let them vanish like smoke when the wind drives it away; *
as the wax melts at the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
3 But let the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; *
let them also be merry and joyful.
4 Sing to God, sing praises to his Name;
exalt him who rides upon the heavens; *
YAHWEH is his Name, rejoice before him!
5 Father of orphans, defender of widows, *
God in his holy habitation!
6 God gives the solitary a home and brings forth prisoners into freedom; *
but the rebels shall live in dry places.
7 O God, when you went forth before your people, *
when you marched through the wilderness,
8 The earth shook, and the skies poured down rain,
at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, *
at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
9 You sent a gracious rain, O God, upon your inheritance; *
you refreshed the land when it was weary.
10 Your people found their home in it; *
in your goodness, O God, you have made provision for the poor.
33 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; *
sing praises to the Lord.
34 He rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; *
he sends forth his voice, his mighty voice.
35 Ascribe power to God; *
his majesty is over Israel;
his strength is in the skies.
36 How wonderful is God in his holy places! *
the God of Israel giving strength and power to his people!
Blessed be God!