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God on the March (Through the Psalms) Psalm 68

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
March 19, 2022 8:00 am

God on the March (Through the Psalms) Psalm 68

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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March 19, 2022 8:00 am

Welcome to Through the Psalms, a weekend ministry of The Truth Pulpit. Over time, we will study all 150 psalms with Pastor Don Green from Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. We're glad you're with us. Let's open to the Psalms now as we join our teacher in The Truth Pulpit.--thetruthpulpit.comClick the icon below to listen.

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Welcome to through this weekend. Ministry of the truthful overtime will study all 150 Psalms with pastor Don Greene from Cruz Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio were glad you're with us but over the Psalms that as we join our teacher in the truthful if you're taking notes. I know some of you like to take notes if you want to title this message. We could call this message God on the March God on the March and the New Testament version of what we saying just now all the way the Savior leads me that is a comfort and a strength to us because our Savior knows how to win victories, our Savior knows how to overcome opposition.

Whether it be the personal enemies that we face as the enemies of the kingdom of God, whether it be the obstacles of life are our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ has a perfect track record of leading his people to victory through everything that occurs in their lives. He knows how to lead his people and he leads them with strength and he leads them with power and he leads them with certainty. In such a way that they always attain the victory in the end he always leads in a way that accomplishes his purposes and that brings him glory and brings the blessing of God to his people without exception and without fail, there has never been in there never will be. Anyone who truly followed Christ and found himself the lesser manner the lesser woman for it. There is no one who is ever followed Christ all the way into through life through death and into heaven who is not found that God had led him to successfully to victory in the end and Psalm 68, which I read earlier is a celebration of God's greatness. It's a celebration of his victories. It's a wonderful song, probably not so well known as some others, like Psalm 23 years.

Psalm 100.

We look to again and again but Psalm 68 is a wonderful text for us to spend our attention on here this evening. It centers on the inevitable march of God to give victory to his people.

It is a declaration of praise to God that praises him for his victories and having recited history and look to the future it ends in a universal call for all men everywhere to praise him for his greatness and for his ability to lead his people to victory.

Now that's a little bit of an overview that the fact of the matter is that Psalm 68 is a difficult song to interpret and it is a Psalm that has different competing views on different passages and some of the some of the verses within a commentators will candidly say any idea any suggestion about what this particular verse means is nothing more than a gas and so this is a difficult song. What were going to do this evening. We won't acknowledge different views in this one time message were just going to paint in broad strokes.

We will try to bog down in in different difficulties in all of that for the sake of getting the sweep of the of what is clearly the message of the song. The Psalm that God is on the march to accomplish victory. Now let me introduce this Psalm by saying this and reminding you of a piece of Old Testament furniture if you will. You may remember the ark of the covenant from reading in in Exodus and in the Old Testament, which was the the chest that God had Moses make which contained the they eat the tablets with the 10 Commandments on them and Israel carried that chest in different in different places over the centuries, and that ark of the covenant symbolize the presence of the Lord and when Israel moved about in the desert in the Old Testament, Moses would speak words of triumph as that ark would move forward. The ark, symbolizing the presence of God, and I want you to turn to the book of numbers just for a moment as we kind of lay the groundwork for Psalm 68 here this evening. Numbers chapter 10 Numbers chapter 10 and you can keep your finger.

There is returning and also simultaneously look for second Samuel chapter 6, second Samuel six and will cover a couple of things quickly and then will take off in our treatment of Psalm 68 you remember how when Israel was in the wilderness, God led them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night and this and when the pillar would get up and move.

That was the time for the nation to move and to follow wherever the pillar was leading them and part of that procession was the ark of the covenant being being moved about in the numbers chapter 10 verse 35 you see that. Actually, let's go back to just look up to verse 33 we could say. Thus they set out from the mount of the Lord three days journey with the ark of the covenant of the Lord journeying in front of them for three days to seek out a resting place for them. The cloud of the Lord was over them by day when they set out from the camp so the ark of the covenant is moving forward and you have this this visible representation of the presence of God in the pillar and you also had the symbolic presence of the Lord with the ark of the covenant. This chest that they moved about and as Israel was about to move out and follow God. Look at verse 35 with what with what was said.

It came about when the ark set out, that Moses said, rise up, the Lord, and let your enemies be scattered, and let those who hate you flee before you.

When it came to rest. He said return the Lord to the myriad thousands of Israel, and so what we see here with the Sargon. This is relevant for Psalm 68.

The ark is a symbol of the presence of God and when Israel was moving out, Moses would call upon God to go with them as symbolized by the movement of the ark and to bring victory to them to protect them and to scatter their enemies before them as they moved about and so this call for God to rise up and defeat his enemies and to protect his people became closely wrapped around their understanding of the presence of the ark of the covenant.

There.

Now with that said, over the centuries the ark and in times was was with them. Sometimes it was carried off to enemies and second Samuel chapter 6, you may recall that there was a time where the King David brought the ark back to Jerusalem and because the ark symbolized the presence of God in Jerusalem was the place where the temple was going to be built. Eventually this was a time of great rejoicing because it showed that God was with them that God had led them to the place for the temple would be built and so this there was this great celebration of the presence of God is represented in the presence of the ark second Samuel chapter 6 verse 12 says now it was told King David. Second Samuel chapter 6 verse 12 I was told King David, saying, the Lord has blessed the house of Obed Edom and all that belongs to him on account of the ark of God.

David Winton brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed Edom into the city of David with gladness and so it was that when the bearers of the ark of the Lord had gone six paces. He sacrificed an ox and a fatling and David was dancing before the Lord with all his might. And David was wearing a linen e-filed so David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the trumpet the ark here said what the presence of the ark was saying is that God was with them, that God God was now in their midst again and many commentators believe that Psalm 68 was written on the occasion when David brought the ark into Jerusalem and Psalm 68 therefore becomes a statement by which David calls upon God to bless his people and to scatter their enemies and so this is the general tenor of Psalm 68, as we as we begin to dive into it now before we get into a verse by verse. Rapid treatment of it. I want to show you something in and to give you a sense of the sweep of the of the song, I'll show you this in just a moment, but I want to give you an overview give you an overview first Psalm 68 is depicting a powerful movement of God. It is picturing God moving, and there is a movement of God throughout Psalm 68 until he ascends on high. It's a manifestation of the unconquerable way that God moves forward in his purposes, and I want to show you this with just a few verses here. Notice in Psalm 68 verse one that it says it says let God arise, and so the ideas God is now going to get up and move in Psalm 68 verse seven it recalls how he has moved in the past. Psalm 68 verse seven look at it with me and says oh God.

When you went forth before your people when you marched through the wilderness so you start to get this the sense this picture of God moving of God acting. He arises, he had gone forth in the past for his people and his past movement had culminated in an ascension to the place on high on verse 18 it says you have ascended on high, you have led captive your captives you have received gifts among men, even among the rebellious. Also, that the Lord God may dwell there.

You may remember that Jerusalem is a city that sits on a hill and so is God will move toward Jerusalem he he went he went up to Jerusalem, as symbolized in the presence of the ark and so he had arisen. He had moved through the enemies and now he had been brought to Jerusalem for and where he was dwelling on high in verse 24.

Again, this idea of the movement of God being seen. They have seen verse 24 they have seen your processional God. The procession of my God, my King into the sanctuary and now ascended on high, he reigns. Look at verse 33 says to him who rides upon the highest heavens which are from ancient times, behold, he speaks forth with his mighty voice and so stepping back, I just wanted you to see that little bit of sweep here because you could lose it in the sense of in the length of the song. There is this movement of God.

He is arisen. He's move forward through his enemies. He's ascended on high, and now he reigns there's been this procession of God throughout the Psalm that the Psalm is recording and remembering the whole point being this whole point being this very point is that God marches to victory God marches powerfully through opposition marches powerfully through his enemies, and he achieves his purposes in a way that guarantees that he reigns on high.

In the end, and because God is like that because God is who he is and he is manifested this in history as he dealt with his people Israel. You come to this great point you step back from that. You see the broad picture of it all that from the time of Moses through the time of David God was certainly accomplishing his purposes. Over the course of those 400 years and and longer.

He had led his people, and now he is now.

He is arrived in Jerusalem, and the thought being, look at this.

Look at the sovereign manifestation of God's power over the centuries recognize who God is and give him praise. See the great big picture of that seed and one collected whole and honor him with your praise and with your worship.

In response, that is the idea of Psalm 68 it is describing a March of God that ends in a call to praise him were going to break this song down into four different sections here as we walk through it rather quickly here this evening. First of all, were going to see a distinguishing call. A distinguishing call the opening verses of Psalm 68 distinguish God's enemies from his people. It distinguishes God's enemies from his people look at the first two verses here where in the new American Standard. It reads as a prayer in the ESV. For those of you using the ESV reads more like a prophecy that God will do this. The difference between let God arise, and God will arise is simply a function of the of a certain ambiguity in the Hebrew verbs that allow for different understandings and the translations reflect those differences in the Hebrew verb tense. But in Psalm 68 verse one will follow the Naz be from this point on, it says let God arise, let his enemies be scattered, and let those who hate him flee before him calls on God's enemies to to get out of the way to flee because they cannot possibly resist the march of God as he goes forward and inverse to it says that smoke is driven away so drive them away as wax melts before the fire, so let the wicked perish before God taking this is the prayer that Naz B has translated it as David is asking God to display his power in a way that causes his enemies to melts before him, and he saying he saying in light of the unconquerable sovereign power of God. His enemies are nothing more than smoke in the wind. They can no more resist God than a puff of smoke and stand before the blast of a hurricane is just and it's gone is enemies are no stronger before God than wax before the flame of the candle the that the melting before the flame is inevitable. What David is saying he is using these vivid word pictures to describe how impotent and how unable the enemies of God are to stand before him. They cannot resist him any more than a candle can resist the fire as he calls upon believed to flee. There's no there's no place for you to go. There's no point in you trying to resist this inevitable march of God against you. By contrast, by distinction, God uses his strength to help his people and therefore they should praise him with joy and this is where you and I come in as us in a manner of speaking. In this song. Those of us that know Christ.

Those of us that have been redeemed and truly belong to the kingdom of God. This is how we respond to the greatness of God as he marches and accomplishes his will look at verse three. By way of contrast, instead of being like the enemies verse three but let the righteous be glad let them exult before God. Yes, let them rejoice with gladness. You hear echoes of the way that David was dancing with joy and with all of his might. When the ark was brought into Jerusalem. He was overwhelmed with gladness and with joy in a way that the demanded physical and musical expression. To know that God was present with them guaranteed their well-being going forward. So how else could they respond except with gladness except with joy. God was with them, and therefore it had to go well for them as God manifested his goodness to them. Verse four sing to God, sing praises to his name, lift up a song for him who rides through the deserts, whose name is the Lord and exalt before him and so you see this this magnificent portrayal of God and edit as God moves forward on march to victory. Think about it this way is people follow like the train of his robe describing glory and honor and praise to him as he moves we follow in his wake. We honor and bless his name as he leads us in the way ahead now. In verse four you see that the reference to to God riding through the deserts, the Canaanites thought that there God bail was the one who wrote on the clouds and provided rain for them, but here in Psalm 68. David say no, God is the only true God. God is the only one true God, and therefore his people should resound in praise with him then here here's you know you get to know God through the songs and I'm I'm very glad to be back into the Psalms of of love preaching as far as we have. I hope the Lord gives me the strength to finish all 150 in the next few years.

That's certainly my intention. You come to know God in an intimate way through the Psalms and and and beloved, I want you to to think with the psalmist.

Think with David and what were about to see here as we look at verses five and six with with with all of this great majesty of God, you might you might if if that was all you knew you might shrink back just a little bit because you were dwarfed by the majesty of it all. You might you might step back in and shrink away because of because of the sheer power of his ability to accomplish his will and to scatter his enemies, and there would be a sense, perhaps of of of fear that accompanied that the fear that left him somewhat remote, but what you find in Psalm 68 verse five is that the greatness of God doesn't leave him remote from his people. He is a friend to the weak and to the vulnerable. Look at verse five verse five. I need to let the text speak a father of the fatherless, and a judge for the widows is God in his holy habitation, God makes a home for the lonely. He leads out the prisoners into prosperity. Only the rebellious 12 in a parched land. Do you see beloved, do you see how sweet this is to see God described in this way despite his his unconquerable Majesty were his enemies cannot touch him. He condescends to help the weak among his people, that those who are fatherless, finding God one who is a father to them that those who are who are widows and in that society. Widows were extremely vulnerable that that God is a friend of widows. The God knows the isolation and the loneliness that they feel any cons, and as it were. He he wraps his arms around them and and holds them in his embrace. How great is God I I love every time this comes up. I love to see this. This this this somewhat both both poles of the majesty of God majestic in his power over his enemies. And yet majestic in another way with his people and how he loves and cares and shows compassion and condescends to the weakest of those who belong to him. He is great and yet he is a friend of the week and to the vulnerable Deuteronomy 10 verse 18.

You don't need to turn their Deuteronomy 10 verse 18 says this says he executes justice for the orphan and the widow and shows his love for the alien by giving him food and clothing that's who God is not just great in power, the great and compassion great in kindness. James 127 says pure and undefiled religion in the side of our God and Father is this, to visit orphans and widows in their distress wise at pure and undefiled service to God because that's who God is.

That's what God does. That's how he looks upon the most vulnerable says I will care for them. I will have my hand upon them. Those of you that are here and walking through life alone walking through life in the sense of isolation from human comfort in human relationships, having lost them through one means or another. Look at verse look at these two verses here in impure deeply into the character of God and say I see who this God is and I see that he has a particular articulated concern for people like me and that he knows you by name and he knows your situation and all of its details, and he extends a hand of love and compassion toward you and that in the wonderful and the wonderful to know who God is and it had as as all men eventually fall away from us, either through people move on or people betray us or people just simply move on and in their life comes to an end in your left standing alone, humanly speaking, you look up and you see who your God is and you find you find great warmth and comfort in the realization I'm I'm not alone.

After all, I thought I was alone. I looked around and I felt like I was alone, but not with this God because this God is a father to the fatherless. He is a he is a judge for the widows. He is one who protects and cares for the weakest of his people and that's why beloved. That's why his people should praise him. That's why you and I should should have in our hearts that we want to honor him with our lips that we want to serve him with our lives that we we always continually have this this this foundation of joy in our lives because that's who our God is.

He is great in power to accomplish his will, and we praise him for that. And yet there is this tender aspect of compassion to his character that we equally praise him for as well.

You know we've all known people with might and power, either personally or through through seeing them in the news and how people with power tend to tend to become arrogant and aloof and unapproachable matter. God far greater than any human king, and yet he's approachable by the lowliest of of us all.

And so we praise him. So David is given under a distinguishing call here enemies of God, flee, go away. You cannot defeat him. People of God, rise up and rejoice and honor him with your lips. That's the call that opens Psalm 68 let's move on to the second part of the Psalm were which we could describe as God's past victories God's past victories and it's a common theme in the Psalms as you read through them over time as you read and and see that the psalmist is is continually calling his readers to remember the acts of God in the past and he does this, not simply because he wants to teach history there is that aspect of it because he calls his readers the Psalms.

Call us today to remember the past acts of God as a means of strengthening our own faith now and to instilling confidence in us in our hearts. For what lies ahead in the future if you step back and you look over the course of some let's say 4000 years of the acts of God's were standing here today.

2000 years back to the cross. 2000 years more than that to the time of Abraham, and usually you look back and you see how Scripture records that through all of these through all of the ups and downs in the turnstiles of life and is people that God has an undefeated record that God has never lost wants then you say then that that strengthens your confidence in your trust as you look to the future he say my God is really great. What is done in the past always manifested this in time and space in historical events strengthens you there and then as you look to your own uncertain future say II don't know what the future holds. It could be difficult. Things are hard now, but I know something better than no in the future. I know the God who holds the future. I know who my God is I know what is done in the past and that strengthens his people to live with faith and to live in the midst of praise. That's what the psalmist is doing here in verse seven as he starts to recall God's saving acts in the past history of Israel.

Look at verse seven with me he says oh God. When you went forth before your people when you marched through the wilderness say law he is he's he's he's recalling the time and as God led his people out of Egypt and led them through the wilderness, how he led them with power and is reminding his readers of that as he addresses God in his prayer what what was what happened than what what was what what what circumstances attended this march of God. Verse eight, the earthquake, the heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel. You shed abroad, a plentiful reign of God were looking at verse nine. You shed abroad, a plentiful reign of God. You confirmed your inheritance when it was parched.

Now those three verses compress a lot of historical allusions into a single compact space. What he saying is what is reminding the people of Israel of is this remember how God led you through the wilderness after he delivered the nation from slavery in Egypt.

He went before them in a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night earthquakes and rain showed both his power and his provision for them and though they were in a desert without any visible means of support. God had provided for them. God had led them with power. He supplied their need. With power, he led them into a foreign land and after 40 years, God eventually led them into the land that he had promised way back to Abraham. Look at verse 10. Your creature settled in it.

You provided in your goodness for the poor.

Oh God. And so what he's doing here is he simply reminding his readers the readers of Israel who were of the nation of Israel at the time that this was written.

He's reminding them of their history look at what God did for his people look at how he move them forward and provided for them in such abundance, don't you see that this is a manifestation of the power that he is now presently just bribing in Psalm 68 verse 11, he starts in other sections reminding them of how God drove out the nations that had been dwelling in the land and he covers the book of Joshua in a short summary fashion.

Verse 11. The Lord gives the command the women who proclaim the good tidings or a great host with verse 12 kings of armies flee, they flee, and she who remains at home will divide the spoil when you lied down among the sheepfold.

You are like the wings of a dove covered with silver and its opinions with glistening gold. Verse 14 when the Almighty scattered the kings there.

It was snowing in Zalman of this is one of those difficult passages that I alluded to before, but the basic the basic messages. This is reminding them of how when they moved in to conquer the land. God went before them and gave them victories kings fell before them armies fled before them. Why, because God was on the march because God was moving ahead for his people and the women simply celebrated victory as the kings left the spoils behind this reference in verse 14 to the fact that it was snowing in Zalman. It seems to be a metaphor that's referring to a dark mountain that is north of Jerusalem. What he saying here in a very poetic picturesque way is that his God was achieving his victories for his people as his enemies fell. It was like as the corpses fell on the ground before him. It was like snow coming down on this dark mountain that there was just this inevitable power that was bringing to pass the falling of people onto the ground. Just as snow fell on the ground as well. So the enemy corpses look like scattered snowflakes as God defeated his enemies very poetic. And then he goes on in verse 15.

The connection is again a bit difficult in verse 15, but just keeping in mind the big picture of what were talking about here he is reciting the victories of God for his people. Whatever the details whatever the details may be speaking to don't lose sight of the greater picture that he is describing here the victories of God for his people. In verse 15 he says a mountain of God is the mountain of Bashan, a mountain of many peaks is the mountain of Bashan, why do you look within video mountains with many peaks at the mountain which God has desired for his abode. Surely the Lord will dwell there forever. The chariots of God are myriads thousands upon thousands. The Lord is among them is as at Sinai, in holiness now take a little breath here. Catch up with a difficult text. Mount Bashan is now known as the goal on heights and is it sits east of the Sea of Galilee.

It sits among high and lofty mountains. What the poet what David is saying here is personifying these these great and lofty mountains looking at the smaller lower-level mountain Mount Zion, a smaller hill in Jerusalem where God had chosen to make his presence known and he he pictures these greater physical higher mountains being jealous of the honor that was given to Zion as the ark of God ascends to its rightful place here. The picture these mountains. These greater mountains. It's like the like.

The Rockies looking down on foothills in the foothills have a place of honor as God establishes his presence there. That seems that seems out of proportion when there are greater mountains in the distance of higher loftier status and so he pictures these mountains being jealous of the honor given to the place for God's abode has been established. God has chosen the lesser thing to be the place where he manifests his glory and in verse 18.

He summarizes this whole section when he says you have ascended on high, you've led captive your captives.

You've received gifts among men, even among the rebellious.

Also, that the Lord God may dwell there.

So the ark has has, and it is been established in Jerusalem. God's presence has been made known his enemies have fallen and been scattered before him and some of them have simply had to pay tribute to him in the fact that as God has achieved his victory God has marched through the Old Testament. Now, with that in mind turn over to Ephesians chapter 4 Ephesians chapter 4 because Paul uses this verse to describe the ascension of Christ in the New Testament in in verse eight of Ephesians chapter 4 is referring to Christ and Paul says therefore it says when he ascended on high, he led captive a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men. Now this expression he ascended, what does it mean except that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth.

He who descended is himself also he who ascended far above all the heavens, so that he might fill all things.

Now in Psalm 68 the ark had ascended to Zion. Paul says there's been a greater ascension that's Taken Pl., Christ has ascended into the heavens on behalf of his people and so beloved.

What I want you to see looking at this with the benefit of New Testament hindsight is that as the ark came in ascended and there was rejoicing there.

Christ has ascended in a greater way to a greater place over a greater foe Christ has gone through the lower depths of death. You might say he is conquered death, he has conquered Satan and now he is risen to heaven where he reigns on high. He is ascended into the highest place imaginable, and here we are, as his people in the 21st century and that's who our God is. David remembers and ascension of God represented in an arc to a hill in Jerusalem. We have the benefit of seeing that that was a figure something greater something greater in which our Lord Jesus, the second person of the Godhead ascended over death. Conquering the enemy of death, conquering the enemy of Satan and now he reigns on high where he intercedes for his people. That's victory right that is conquest right. That's who our God is. That's who we belong to. As believers in Christ, and here's what you should, if you're going to follow the. The logic of the argument in the force of what Psalm 68 is saying is to recognize this is to step back and I'll talk to you is as believers in Christ all today is to realize what the privilege of our position is that we are following a Christ who has conquered to that great extent and if we belong to Christ to be his conquered sin for us. If he is redeemed us and we belong to him and he's ascended in heaven and his promise to bring us there with him one day, then what should our response be what what is the inevitable response of the believing heart to that, except for joy except for praise look at my God ascended on high.

What is conquered.

Look at his victory and I belong to him.

There is this joy in there is this confidence and trust and praise the rises and we realize that in our Lord Jesus Christ. We have a Victor we have one who has triumphed in a way that can never be taken away and we belong to him and he shares the spoils of his victory with us and not only that, while we walk this Pilgrim pathway during our 70 brief years on this barren side he cares for us, cares for us, like a father to the fatherless like a judge for the widows he comforts us. He's with us. He prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies is Rod and his staff they comfort us because he is the good Shepherd and we realize we realize that this great Victor has spread his wings of love over us in a way that guarantees our well-being and so we praise him from a position of joy, of gratitude, of comfort and of confidence as the spiritual birthright of those who he has one for himself and start to say well to be a Christian is like the greatest thing in the world and you'd be exactly right. There is nothing better than being a Christian. There is nothing more noble than the boot to belong to Christ.

There is no greater security than to belong to him, even if it is as a weak widow or friendless man in a in a godless world.

If you belong to Christ. You have all of the riches that you need and far, far more the Psalm following all the way through through the New Testament usage of it. The Psalm asked Texas and having led us to contemplate the victories of Israel. It leads us to Christ, and we see an even greater victory that our God accomplished than just leading a nation out of Egypt. We have a God, our God, our Christ has conquered death and sin on our behalf, and he shares victory with us is on the march to victory. And somehow, for reasons to transcend our ability to understand, he chose you and he chose me to include in the spoils the belong to him. So we just look up and we just we say, oh Christ. You are so great in your victory over death. Sin and Satan and you. You have been so good to me to bring me into your kingdom to redeem me out of my sin in my spiritual death, and I belong to you and on one day going to share the glories of heaven in your presence.

Oh, I praise you in light of what you've done. I mean this just burst forth urges.

There are just bubbling fountains to drink from throughout the Psalm and where Texas so God has won victories in the past which we saw in verses seven through 18 now beginning in verse 19 we come to our third section. Here's David describes God's future victories God's future victories.

David now declares what this means for God's people going forward. Look at verse 19. What does it mean that God is like this. This is so magnificent.

Verse 19 he says, Blessed be the Lord inscribes greatness to the name of God Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden. The God who is our salvation. Say law. He says this God who is one these victories in the past is the God who daily bears our burdens as we go through life. He is our salvation. The one who provides deliverance to us and look at verse 20.

He says God is to us a God of deliverances and to God the Lord belong escapes from death, beloved, here's here's how you should think in light of what was seen so far in this in the Psalm.

Here's the way that your mind should work the way that you should think about this God who marches to victory again and again and again and again and again and again, this is your God, you are following after him. He belongs to you and you belong to him.

And because God is a God who always marches to victory. And because you belong to him because you are his big through a ransom price paid by the Lord Jesus Christ.

That means that God intends to bring even more victories and deliverances in the midst of the challenges in the midst of the of the sharp difficulties that face you now or in the future there should always be this underlying confidence. I'm alright, I'm in the hand of God and he is a God who shares my burden daily and is a God of deliverances he has.

He has the ability to deliver me from this is shown by what he has already done. In Old Testament he delivered Israel in the New Testament Christ over death.

Sin and Satan, and ascended on high, will beloved those greater things are the context in which are lesser difficulties and sorrows of life, those of the context for all of our difficulties and sorrows of life God marching to victory in carrying us along in the victory train and we let that sink in a bit and we say and and were staggered staggered at the privilege it's been given to us to belong to a God like that staggered that a sovereign majesty of of of his unique essence that he would set his hand upon us in order to be that kind of God's and think about it. Think about it this way, with perhaps one exception. There is very, very few of us in here that have a drop of Jewish blood in us God. God chose the Jews in and was pleased to make them his nation. We were Gentiles on the outside looking in, not on the receiving end of those Old Testament promises not on the receiving end of of the the line of Abraham that would give us a claim of in any way to that covenant that he made with with Abraham and yet he grafted a sin he reached to us and outside the promise made to the Old Testament patriarchs. He reached out and he brought us into the promise and was delighted to share all of the benefits of this with us. Although we had no claim on him whatsoever. We had forfeited our claim through sin by by race, by by physical descendents. See, we had no claim on the promises that he was good that he'd given to Abraham and yet here we are on the receiving end of this magnificent blessing. What can we say what can we think about God, except he is so good and so great and so gracious and here I am in the midst of it, and when that is all true, it gives us a sense of perspective. As we look forward to what the certainty of our difficulties are as we go through them in this life. Verse 21 of Psalm 68. Surely God will shatter the head of his enemies, the Harry crown of him who goes on in his guilty deeds. The Lord said, I will bring them back from Bashan I will bring them back from the depths of the sea that your foot may shatter them in blood. The tongue of your dogs may have its portion from your enemies and and here, here, God, God having shown his power to bring victory in the past says when your enemies come again in the future there will be more victories ahead. I will bring your enemies he says from the highest mountains from the depths of the sea from the highest parts of the lowest part of bring them all together from the heights to the depth and provide a total deliverance to and we know here's the thing.

Beloved David is cultivating a confident faith in those who are reading those who belong to this God is cultivating a confident faith in us. We know that God will do that. We know that God will deliver his people without fail without exception, without question, we know that because our confidence is based on what is done in the past what he said he will do in the future as New Testament believers we think this way if Christ died for us and brought us into his kingdom already is a completed fact and he'll certainly save us. In the end, having delivered us from from Satan delivered us from our send and saved us and blessed us in place. The indwelling Holy Spirit within us. Beloved understand that the way that your mind should think, is this that there is absolutely no possibility that I could fall out in the end, there is no way that now belonging to Christ that anything will happen to me except that I will be with him forever in glory. That is what this means God is on the march. Christ is on the march. Christ has saved us and he is marching us all the way to victory and glory in the end, and it can come out any other way and so enemies may arise. Trials may challenge us trials may discourage us, but there is this underlying certainty of ultimate final victory that animates the way that we think and respond to them.

No matter what they may be right, beloved Christian I speak to you in the midst of your sorrow and challenges right is in it that you should say yes that's right. In a way that changes the way that you perceive the difficulties of life. You do not view God through the perspective of your challenges and say what's God going to do here and why this and why that. Why do these awful things happen to me know you you you start from the perspective God is on the march.

God is bringing victory to his people. He's done it in the past.

Christ is ascended into heaven. That's the perspective through which we view everything that ever happens to us and we say there is only one thing that can calm God is on the march to victory and he's going to include me in it and that gives me confidence no matter what. It's the confidence that can breathe hope into a troubled heart laying on its death bed facing the uncertainty of what lies just beyond say no God save me God will bring me through this God will bring me through the throes of death and bring me to glory.

On the other side I can die in trust and I can die in confidence and all points in between will Israel celebrated God's victory with parade and jubilant saying. Look at verse 24 goes from the blood of the battlefield to the to the joy of the parade. Now verse 24 they have senior processional God.

The procession of my God, my king into the sanctuary.

The singers went on the musicians after them in the midst of the maidens beating tambourines blessed God in the congregations.

Even the Lord, you who are of the fountain of Israel.

There is Benjamin the youngest, ruling them.

The princes of Judah in their throng.

The princes of Zebulon.

The princes of NAFTA lie. The. The references here to for the 12 tribes of Israel. Benjamin and Judah were the small and the large tribes representing the southern portion of the kingdom of Zebulun and Naphtali representing the northern portion of the tribes their representative. Here's the thing, beloved, and I realize what kind of hurrying through this part of it. If you picture a map of Israel. Benjamin and Judah are on the southern part these other two tribes on the northern part and all David is doing here is he is using them as representative of all of Israel and saying to all of Israel, the small and the great, the North and the South, all but calling them all together to join together and praise and bless their God. That's the idea of what he saying all of Israel should join together because they have this common heritage, though, from 12 different tribes, they have this common heritage with their one true God and what he does for one he'll do for all and so go on in verse 28 in that celebration provides confident faith for the future your God has commanded your strength. Show yourself strong.

Oh God, who have acted on our behalf.

God, you've you've done this for us in the past. Now show yourself strong as we go in the future. This this informs the way that you pray God I pray, not from the spirit of panic.

I pray not from a spirit of discouragement.

God I look at the way that you've done things in the past and in the midst of this great challenge on facing show yourself strong. Show yourself able to deliver me even through this verse 29 because of your Temple of Jerusalem Kings will bring gifts to you rebuke the beast and the reads the herd of bulls with the calves of the people trampling underfoot the pieces of silver. God has scattered the peoples who delight in war. Envoys will come out of Egypt, Ethiopia will quickly stretch out her hands to God. Here's what he saying here is called all of Israel to praise now is expanding into other nations, saying, other nations are going to come and give tribute to give praise and give honor to the strong and mighty God.

When Christ returns and dwells in Jerusalem, and range from there. That's exactly what's going to happen.

Nations will come and honor him and there will be an ultimate fulfillment of what the psalmist anticipates here well all of that brings us to 1/4 and final point, I appreciate you staying with me through all of this we see in the past victories we seen the future victories. Now, in light of that, the fourth and final point, there is a call to praise the God who saves a call to praise the God who saves.

And there's this final call to praise that is universal in scope, beginning in verse 32 and it's a shame to to treat this so briefly because I would I would have you be staggered by the breath of what we are about to see what is about to be said here in verse 32 sing to God O kingdoms of the earth, sing praises to the Lord say law. This is a call to all men everywhere to every kingdom under the sun to praise this one true God always the God of Israel in a special, unique sense, but he's the God over the nations, and his surpassing glory. His surpassing power means that he is entitled to praise from everyone everywhere so that all men are called upon and it is their duty, it is their obligation to bend the knee, and to give praise to this God. Philippians 2 says that's ultimately what's going to happen every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the father.

You know what one thing among many that I'm really grateful for. As I stand here today, the God by grace is save me in a way that I can voluntarily give that praise the Christ deserves now rather than having to do it under compulsion against my will then as will be the case for so many all the kingdoms of the earth owe a universal praise. All men should acknowledge him and worship and praise verse 33. To him who rides upon the highest heavens which are from ancient times, behold, he speaks forth with his voice a mighty voice, verse 34 ascribed strength to God's majesty is over Israel and his strength is in the skies and concludes in verse 35. Oh God, you are awesome from your sanctuary, the God of Israel himself gives strength and power to the people in the conclusion that he's been building up to all along.

Blessed be God.

James Montgomery boys concludes his treatment of Psalm 68 with these words. Let us remember that even though we may suffer discouragements now and sometimes be defeated. We can still press on instead he faith, knowing that Jesus is on the throne, and that everyone will eventually bow before him and let us be encouraged by remembering that we will reign with him in that day. Beloved, do you know Christ in you the future holds no fear for you. Do you know Christ and the outcome for you is joy in confident deliverance.

Do you know Christ then a responsive praise is most appropriate to you this evening. It's bow together in prayer father as the psalmist says we ascribed strength to our God. We ascribed majesty to our Christ, the one who is conquered death whose conquered sin, whose conquered Satan and who has ascended to the right hand of God were he ever lives to make intercession for his saints. Oh Christ you have marched to victory and you have included us in the victory train. We are so very grateful. We are in awe of your Majesty to a conqueror to conquer supernatural photos that we could not lift a finger against and yet we are we are even doubly audit the majesty of your grace the you would show kindness to widows into the fatherless, the you showed kindness to us in our sin and our rebellion to redeem us from that, at the price of your own shed blood. You are very very very great and it is our privilege to acknowledge that before you humbly, gratefully, joyfully, and Lord. In light of your greatness. We affirm our confidence tonight you will lead us to that ultimate destination for which you redeemed us. We know that you will bring us to heaven. We know that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. You have delivered us in love and you will keep us by power until we see you face-to-face march on. Oh God give you glory as you in the name of Christ with a man well friend thank you for joining us on through the Psalms.

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