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Psalm  68:24-35 – God Over All

 

24Your procession has come into view, O God,

    the procession of my God and King

      into the sanctuary.

25In front are the singers, after them the musicians;

    with them are the maidens

      playing tambourines.

26Praise God in the great congregation;

    praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel.

27There 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.

 

28Summon Your power, O God;

    show us Your strength,

      O God, as You have done before.

29Because of Your temple at Jerusalem

    kings will bring You gifts.

30Rebuke the beast among the reeds,

    the herd of bulls among

      the calves of the nations.

Humbled, may it bring bars of silver.

    Scatter the nations who delight in war.

31Envoys will come from Egypt;

    Cush will submit herself to God.

 

32Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth,

    sing praise to the Lord,    Selah

33to Him who rides the ancient skies above,

    who thunders with mighty voice.

34Proclaim the power of God,

    whose majesty is over Israel,

    whose power is in the skies.

 

35You are awesome, O God, in Your sanctuary;

  the God of Israel gives power and strength

  to His people.

 

Praise be to God!

 

Here we conclude our study of this psalm, in which David commemorates the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem.  This section begins with a description of the majestic procession:  “Your procession has come into view, O God, the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.  In front are the singers, after them the musicians; with them are the maidens playing tambourines.  Praise God in the great congregation; praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel.  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” (vss. 24–27).  The procession is one of much pomp and celebration, as it should be.  Our worship of God should be ostentatious, with nothing held back.  There is no indication in the Bible that the worship of our great and loving God should be quiet and solemn.  Here in this procession, we see “singers” and “musicians”, with “maidens playing tambourines”.  We see everyone taking part, from the smallest tribe of “Benjamin” to the great tribe of “Judah”, from the most northern and most southern tribes of “Zebulun” and “Naphtali”.  It truly must have been a great procession to have seen, stirring the witnesses to praise. 

The procession, and the praises of God’s people, inspire David to ask that God reveal Himself to all the peoples of the earth:  “Summon Your power, O God; show us Your strength, O God, as You have done before.  Because of Your temple at Jerusalem kings will bring You gifts” (vss. 28–29).  David looks ahead in faith to the time when the temple will be built by his son in Jerusalem.  David prophesies: “Because of Your temple at Jerusalem kings will bring You gifts.”  This prophecy of David’s came true.  “The palace of God, which towered above Jerusalem, is prophesied as becoming a wonder to all lands, and when it grew from the tabernacle of David to the temple of Solomon, it was so.  So splendid was that edifice that the queen of far off Sheba came with her gifts; and many neighboring princes, overawed by the wealth and power therein displayed, came with tribute to Israel’s God” [Spurgeon].

While some nations would come pay tribute to God through the splendor of the temple, others would need a more forceful show of His power.  So David prays:  “Rebuke the beast among the reeds, the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations.  Humbled, may it bring bars of silver.  Scatter the nations who delight in war.  Envoys will come from Egypt; Cush will submit herself to God” (vss. 3031).  David prays that God would use His power to “humble” the aggressive nations, and “scatter the nations who delight in war”, for the purpose of turning them to God.  He prophesies that “envoys will come from Egypt; Cush will submit herself to God.”  Cush was modern-day Ethiopia, so it is perhaps significant that “one of the first converts to Christianity from among the heathen was a great man of Ethiopia (see Acts 8:26ff)” [Plumer]. 

And it will be a great day when these prophecies are totally fulfilled, when all the nations submit to our great and good God.  “Old foes shall be new friends.  Solomon shall find a spouse in Pharaoh’s house.  Christ shall gather a people from the realm of sin.  Great sinners shall yield themselves to the spectre of grace, and great men shall become good men, by coming to God” [Spurgeon].  It will be a great day when all the peoples of the earth shall heed David’s exhortations to praise God:  “Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth, sing praise to the Lord, to Him who rides the ancient skies above, who thunders with mighty voice.  Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies” (vss. 32–34).  “All flesh should and shall praise God.  Mighty kingdoms are no exception.  Pure Christianity shall yet wonderfully and widely prevail on the earth.  God has promised it and He will surely bring it to pass” [Plumer].  This “is not a simple telling of their duty, but a prophecy of their joyful joining in the worship of God, and that they shall have cause of joy within themselves to praise Him…  The time shall come when the kingdoms of the earth shall turn Christians in profession, in a greater measure than yet hath been seen” [Dickson].

David concludes the psalm, hardly able to restrain himself, with an expression of praise from his own heart:  “You are awesome, O God, in Your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to His people.  Praise be to God!” (vs. 35).