Psalm 68: God’s Enemies Scattered

How likely is the scattering of God’s enemies? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 68:1–2 To the minister of music, a song of David.
Let God arise and his enemies be scattered. Let those who hate him turn and run. Drive them away like smoke. Let them vanish like wax melting in the fire.
King James
Psalm 68:1–2 <To the chief Musician, A Psalm or Song of David.> Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.

What is the difference between happiness and joy? What does it mean to have it “overflow.”

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Psalm 68:3 But let the righteous rejoice. Yes, let them overflow with joy.
King James
Psalm 68:3 But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them exceedingly rejoice.

Of what value are the deserts and the wildernesses?

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Psalm 68:4 Sing unto God. Sing praises that declare his greatness. By his great name, extol him who rides through the desert, and rejoice in his presence.
King James
Psalm 68:4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.

What makes God’s name great and worthy of praise?

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Psalm 68:4–6 Sing unto God. Sing praises that declare his greatness. By his great name, extol him who rides through the desert, and rejoice in his presence.
In his sacred refuge, God is a guardian of widows and a father of orphans. He makes families for those who are lonely and frees those in bondage, but the rebellious will live in a scorched, fruitless land.
King James
Psalm 68:4–6 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

How does walking with God through the wilderness compare to a walk in the park?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 68:7 You went before your people, God, when you guided them through the wilderness. Pause to think about that.
King James
Psalm 68:7 O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness; Selah:

Why does the earth quake in God’s presence? What does that mean?

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Psalm 68:8 The earth quaked before God and the clouds lowered. Mount Sinai trembled in the presence of Israel’s God.
King James
Psalm 68:8 The earth shook, the heavens also dropped at the presence of God: even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

What is it like to leave the dry, desert sand for a place where there is water and lush vegetation?

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Psalm 68:9–10 You sent an abundance of rain to satisfy a dry and thirsty land. Your people settled in the place you prepared to reveal your goodness to those in need.
King James
Psalm 68:9–10 Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary. Thy congregation hath dwelt therein: thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor.

What reasons do Christians have for spreading the good news? Why might they be reluctant to do that?

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Psalm 68:11 When the Lord speaks, great people publish his message.
King James
Psalm 68:11 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.

What would cause a king and his armies to flee?

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Psalm 68:12 After the king and his armies have fled, the people are left to enjoy what has been abandoned.
King James
Psalm 68:12 Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.

How is victory obtainable without a fight?

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Psalm 68:13–14 Although you were in the camp, avoiding warfare, you will enjoy the riches of victory like a silver dove with feathers of gold. God Almighty has scattered kings like snow on Mount Zalmon.
King James
Psalm 68:13–14 Though ye have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold. When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon.

In what ways do the highest mountains compare to God’s dwelling place?

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Psalm 68:15–16 The mountain of God is like the many peaks that rise above the Golan Heights. You high mountains, why do you envy the mount where God wants to live, where the Lord will dwell forever?
King James
Psalm 68:15–16 The hill of God is as the hill of Bashan; an high hill as the hill of Bashan. Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the Lord will dwell in it for ever.

What is the significance of saying God rides among thousands of chariots?

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Psalm 68:17–18 The number of God’s chariots are twenty thousand—thousands upon thousands. The Lord rides among them as in the holy place on Mount Sinai.
You rose to the highest heights, Lord God, and took a host of captives. You received great tribute and defeated the rebellion so you can live among us.
King James
Psalm 68:17–18 The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place. Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.

If God carries our burdens, why do some Christians feel so burdened?

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Psalm 68:19 Praise the Lord God our Savior, who carries our burdens day after day. Pause to meditate on that.
King James
Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

What are the most important things that God delivers us from?

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Psalm 68:20–23 God is our deliverer, who saves us from death. He will crush the heads of his enemies, striking the hairy scalp of those who persist in their wrongdoing. 22 The Lord says, “I will bring them down from the Golan Heights and up from the depths of the sea so you will make tracks through your fallen enemies and your dogs will lick up their blood.”
King James
Psalm 68:20–23 He that is our God is the God of salvation; and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death. But God shall wound the head of his enemies, and the hairy scalp of such an one as goeth on still in his trespasses. The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan, I will bring my people again from the depths of the sea: That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same.

How important is it to gather for worship? Of what value are liturgies and holy days?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 68:24–27 My God and King, people have seen the processions going to your house for worship. The singers in front are followed by the musicians and maidens playing tambourines. Gather to express your gratitude to God. Praise the Lord in the assembly of his people. The small tribe of Benjamin leads the procession, followed by the leaders of Judah, Zebulun, and Naphtali.
Colossians 2:17–18 which were no more than symbols of the reality we have in Jesus Christ. Don’t let people deprive you of God’s reward by accepting a religious substitute for knowing him. Pious self-denial, idolizing charismatic messengers, and putting faith in fantasies, while making people feel good,
Hebrews 10:24–25 Look for ways to motivate people to do acts of kindness, always showing love. Don’t be like some who fail to regularly meet together. Encourage one another more and more as the day of the Lord’s return approaches.
King James
Psalm 68:24–27 They have seen thy goings, O God; even the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary. The singers went before, the players on instruments followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels. Bless ye God in the congregations, even the Lord, from the fountain of Israel. There is little Benjamin with their ruler, the princes of Judah and their council, the princes of Zebulun, and the princes of Naphtali.
Colossians 2:17–18 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind,
Hebrews 10:24–25 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Without God, what can we do on our own? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 68:28 You are our source of strength, O God. Reveal your might as you have done before.
John 5:30 I can do nothing by my own initiative. I listen and judge rightly because I seek to please the Father, who sent me, not myself.
John 15:5 I am the vine, and you are the branches. You will bear much fruit if you remain in me and I live in you, but without me you can do nothing.
King James
Psalm 68:28 Thy God hath commanded thy strength: strengthen, O God, that which thou hast wrought for us.
John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Why would kings have respect for the Temple in Jerusalem?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 68:29 In respect for your Temple in Jerusalem, kings will bring gifts to you.
King James
Psalm 68:29 Because of thy temple at Jerusalem shall kings bring presents unto thee.

How can enemies be motivated to give to those they oppose?

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Exodus 12:35–36 The Israelited followed Moses’ instructions. They asked the Egyptians for clothing, gold, silver, and jewels. The Lord gave the people favor so the Egyptians surrendered what was requested, stripping them of their wealth.
Psalm 68:30 Rebuke the animal among the reeds and the people whose leaders are like wild bulls. Make them humbly submit with gifts of silver. Scatter the people who delight in war.
King James
Exodus 12:35–36 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: And the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.
Psalm 68:30 Rebuke the company of spearmen, the multitude of the bulls, with the calves of the people, till every one submit himself with pieces of silver: scatter thou the people that delight in war.

What will bring the kingdoms of Earth to praise the Lord?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 68:31–32 Ambassadors will come from Egypt, and Sudan will come reaching out to God. Let all the kingdoms on Earth sing praises to the Lord our God. Pause to think about that.
King James
Psalm 68:31–32 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God. Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:

What are we to understand from describing God as one who “rides the skies above the clouds”?

Author’s Thoughts
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Psalm 68:33–34 Sing praises to him who has ridden the skies above the clouds throughout the ages, who thunders with a mighty voice. Recognize God’s might, his majesty over Israel, and his power from above.
King James
Psalm 68:33–34 To him that rideth upon the heavens of heavens, which were of old; lo, he doth send out his voice, and that a mighty voice. Ascribe ye strength unto God: his excellency is over Israel, and his strength is in the clouds.

For what purpose does God give his people strength and power?

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Psalm 68:35 God, you are awesome in your Temple.
The God of Israel gives strength and power to his people. Praise God.
King James
Psalm 68:35 O God, thou art terrible out of thy holy places: the God of Israel is he that giveth strength and power unto his people. Blessed be God.