(Today's post by James Rooks)
Today's reading in Psalm 68:1-18 hammers home God's strength and justice as shown from the beginning in verse 1 “let God arise, let his enemies be scattered.” Poetically and graphically David describes the nature of the way God will drive out his enemies. Scattering like smoke, and melting before Him like wax melting before the fire. David is describing a time of fear for those who hate God, but a time of rejoicing for the righteous.
If you read passages 1-18 from a literal mindset, it seems that David is describing events regarding God that have not quite happened yet. See 68:7-9: “when You went forth before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness..the earth quaked…heavens dropped rain in the presence of God…You confirmed Your inheritance.” Then you see a description of the kings of armies fleeing. The word mountain is often used in the Bible to be symbolic of the word Nation. So we see in verses 15 and 16 that the mountain of God is looked upon by many other “mountains” with envy. God's army is described as vast and He is among them. I know its a lot to piece together, but this seems to mirror quite a bit from the book of Revelation and the prophets from the Old Testament who foretold of the second coming. Throughout the book of Psalms there are several chapters that fall into the category of Messianic, speaking of Christ's first coming. There are also others that would be considered Prophetic, speaking of His second coming. While reading today's reading, I am inclined to say that that Psalm 68 is of the prophetic.
Here are a few other interesting cross references, just lining up with Psalm 68:8.
Micah 1:4 “The mountains will melt under Him And the valleys will be split, Like wax before the fire, Like water poured down a steep place.”
Isaiah 64:1 “Oh, that You would rend the heavens and come down, That the mountains might quake at Your presence–“
Nahum 1:5 “Mountains quake because of Him And the hills dissolve; Indeed the earth is upheaved by His presence, The world and all the inhabitants in it.”
2Peter 3:10 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up”.
Zechariah 14:4 “In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.”
When we think about the return of Christ and His eternal reign, as believers, it is a time that we look forward to with great anticipation. A time where the children of God will enjoy the benefits of being one of His without the weight of sin, sickness, injustice, hunger, or any of the sort ever again. Even if passages like the one found in Psalm 68 only serve as clues to future events that currently seem unclear, what is clear is the consistency of God's character. God is described in this Psalm as strong, almighty, just, and holy. Several different names of God are used throughout the Psalm as well. All pointing to God's perfect character.
Though the world we see around us is a hard place filled with hate, injustice, selfishness, pride, sickness, stress and more…we can stand on God's promises that He will return one day and set things right. The Psalmist says in Psalms 139, “such knowledge is too wonderful for me, it is high and I cannot attain it;” though we can't understand all that is contained in prophetic references about end times, we can rejoice in the hope we have in God who already knows the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning.