Posted on Apr 8, 2017
PSALM 68 (Part 2) – God Shall Scatter His Enemies (ESV) or
          God Who Saves: Part 2 (title and notes from James Montgomery Boice)
Let’s begin with the majestic thought that we have an awesome God, greater than our thoughts can even comprehend (read vs. 19-35).  We can’t help but praise our glorious God after reading such a blessed piece of Holy Scripture.
My Ryrie Study Bible says the following about Psalm 68:
This victorious hymn, probably composed for David’s procession with the Ark from the house of Obed-edom to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 6:12), calls for the wicked to flee before God (vs. 1-6),  celebrates God’s victorious march from Egypt to Jerusalem (vs. 7-18), and His power exercised in the choice of Jerusalem (vs. 19-31), and calls on the nations to praise Him (vs. 32-35). This last part is my favorite (vs.34-35), “Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies.  Awesome is God from His sanctuary; the God of Israel—He is the one who gives power and strength to His people.  Blessed be God!”  Truly, our God is awesome!  This word is used so often today for things, people, places, etc., but I think this word should only be reserved for the Lord Himself, who again in the only One who is truly awesome.
Another reason, I enjoy this blessed psalm is because of all the names used for the LORD, (JAH, an abbreviation for Yahweh; other Hebrew names for God are Elohim (v. 1), El Shaddai (v. 14); Yahweh (v. 16), Yah Elohim (v. 18), Adonai (v. 19), and Yahweh Adonai (v. 20).  ELOHIM means the All-Powerful One and Creator; EL SHADDAI means The All Sufficient One, The God of the Mountains and God Almighty; ADONAI means The Lord, My Great Lord;  and YHWH or JEHOVAH means, “I Am”, The One Who is the Self-Existent One (from Rose Publishing – NAMES OF GOD).  Wow!  Now that’s Awesome!
Now let’s take a look at John MacArthur’s Bible Commentary on Psalm 68:

This exuberant psalm includes prayer, praise, and thanksgiving, along with an historical reminder. It expresses a pride in Jehovah God for His care over His people and His majesty in the universe.  The writing of this psalm may have come out of David’s jubilant restoration of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (cf. 2 Sam. 6:12-15). MacArthur gives the following outline:

  1. A Fanfare of Commendation (vs. 1-6)
  2. A Reflection of Faithfulness (vs. 7-18)
  3. An Acclamation of Majesty (vs. 19-31)
  4. An Invitation to Praise (vs. 32-35)
Again my favorite part is the ending, MacArthur says, “This section of praise (vs. 28-35) looks forward to the Messiah’s reign when the world will universally worship God in the temple in Jerusalem (for a cross reference see Isaiah 2:2-4; 18:7; 45:14; 60:3-7).
Lastly, we will take a quick look at James Montgomery Boice’s Psalms, Vol. 2 (pages 560-566) to gain further insight into this glorious psalm of praise.
Salvation Now and to Come
A major shift in Psalm 68 occurs at verse 19, marked by the word daily.  Up to this point the psalm has looked back to what God has done for Israel in the past, in history.  At this point it begins to praise God for being the same in the present as he has been in the past, and that basic shift causes the writer to look ahead in time to what God will yet do.
Shouldn’t we do the same?  Look back at God’s faithfulness and praise Him for that, and thus trust Him in the present and especially in the future to His continued faithfulness.
Boice, concludes this psalm with the following outline:
Salvation to Come: Future Victories (vs. 21-23)
Salvation to Come: Procession of the Tribes (vs. 24-27)
Salvation to Come: The Messianic Age (vs. 28-31)
Epilogue: “Praise Be to God!” (vs. 32-35)
No other nation has ever had an experience of God and his glory like Israel has.  But now, in the epilogue, the praise of God that was once Israel’s alone has become universal (“Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth”), reflecting the movement of the psalm from Sinai to Jerusalem, and on to the messianic age.  Nevertheless, God is still “the God of Israel.” And Jehovah remains the one, only and true God.  He alone is to be worshiped.
And with that said, I will conclude with just a simple, AMEN!
What should be our response to all this? Obedience, of course; Jesus is our king too, and kings require obedience.  But how about praise? Psalm 68 is a praise psalm among other things, and this is even how it ends.  So let us praise him even if others do not do so yet.  Let us remember that even though we may suffer discouragements now and sometimes be defeated, we can still press on in steady faith, knowing that Jesus is on the throne and that everyone will eventually bow before him (Philippians 2).  And let us be encouraged by remembering… (Boice, p. 567).
Remembering what exactly?  That our God is awesome!
Personal notes by Lisa Patton

(Bible notes from Ryrie, MacArthur and Boice)