feel like I'm not doing anything if it's not an all out effort. If I'm not pushing, then I'm sitting still. And, we know that can't be true. I feel the same way about giving up or quitting. I remember rides where any sane newby was dropping out and catching a ride on the sag wagon. And, they were. But, I couldn't. I feel like if I rode in on two wheels, I'm riding out on two wheels, or an ambulance. That's crazy, I know, but it's out of my control most days. I
just hate to feel like I didn't give it my best shot, you know. But, sometimes our best shot is in seeking help. God's help.
Psalms 68:1-4 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.
But let the righteous be glad; let them rejoice before God: yea, let them
exceedingly rejoice. Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him
that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
Destroyer, Protector, Giant, Warrior, Savior, Worshiped One; Psalm 68 is a medley fit for a King. The magnitude of God is extolled in this Psalm. These same words were the words of Moses as the ark of the covenant was lifted each time the camp began to move in Numbers 10:35-36
I like that! Can you picture the men lifting the ark with those words? "Rise up" and destroy your enemies God. It sounds like a wake up call for a Savior. Imagine saying that as the pallbearers lift the coffin at a funeral. "Let this Saint arise!" They don't say that do they? But, you get the point that it sounds like God has been silent, almost asleep. Kind of like when Jesus called, "Lazarus, come forth," calling his 4-day stinky-dead friend out of the grave. Of course, Lazarus was dead, but God is always awake, my friend. Even when a stone is blocking your view.
I can picture the swirling smoke, like leaves being tossed in a heavy wind. God is this huge giant and when He stands up, all those who opposed Him just fall on every side... a big, big God! Then, suddenly, He is riding "on" the heavens. Incredible pictures there. First He is surrounded. Then He rides like the wind. But, that's nothing because this Destroyer will now protect the helpless.
Psalms 68:5-6 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.
This kind of gives God that Robin Hood appeal to see Him destroying foes one minute, and then sheltering the fatherless, the widows, the solitary, and the prisoners in chains. But, God is multi-faceted, right? And, the defenseless need a Protector to destroy their enemies. It often seems like there is a disparity between the people who get help and the people who need help in our society. That is one thing I noticed about the doctor who accidentally messed up my first surgery. She spent a lot of time afterward doing "damage protection," for herself.
The morning of my son's graduation, I was in a lot of pain, still trying to shop for a dress, and had cried a few times in different stores just out of sheer exhaustion from the effort of changing clothes, due to nerve damage limiting the mobility of my legs. I have been avoiding even grocery shopping because of this, but almost nothing in my closet fits anymore. I ran into her accidentally as I was coming out of another store empty handed. She was shorts and sunglasses clad, smiling with her young son on her arm, and asked how I was doing in a sweet sunny voice. I was surprised speechless. I could barely find the words to answer her. I just looked at her and quietly mumbled something about "5 surgeries later...not so well ...since you messed up."
After I got in my car I sat there until I could stop crying again to drive away. So, I called a friend to comfort me. While I cried and talked, she came out of the store without her son, and stood there in front of the store watching me cry on the phone. It appeared that she was suddenly concerned for "her" safety and the safety of "her child." I couldn't believe it. She was acting like I might be about to hurt her, and hid her son. How crazy can you get? That is the point, she is more concerned about her own safety and success than about her patient's life, health, and happiness. Instead of being concerned that I had broken into tears, she was concerned about her perceived safety level.
In the hospital, instead of being concerned about the damage to my body, she was concerned about whether or not she would be held legally liable. God on the other hand, is there to rush to our rescue when things go wrong. God can be a giant in moments like those. He stands up in our defense and shelters us from the storm of ungodly men. Yes, a loving god can be fierce. He turns around the table to protect the helpless, instead of protecting those who have all they need.
The song suddenly changes tracks and we see the trembling, quaking Mt. Sinai in the wilderness with Moses again in verses 7-10. Then the track changes again for a battle scene, or rather a behind the scenes division of the spoils of war.
Psalms 68:11-14 The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those
that published it. Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at
home divided the spoil. 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.
This is the passage that first caught my eye in this Psalm. The picture reminds me of a King's heralds sounding out the call. When the message had to go far, many heralds were used to relay battle messages. This sounds like we have an army of preachers carrying the gospel message to the whole world today. Then comes the passage about Zion. In 15 & 16 the psalmist compares Zion to a mountain, but God lives in Zion. And, here comes our Warrior King now, charging on His chariots at the head of His troops with the spoils of war behind Him...
Psalms 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.
What are these gifts He gives to men? This was prophetic of Jesus' death. He fought Satan during the three days He was dead. He took the keys of death and hell, and He took captivity captive. He received gifts for us here on earth. Acts chapter two tells us about how the disciples first received the "gift" of the Holy Ghost which Jesus promised to send in Acts chapter one. But, now look back to the Psalm, verse 6. See the part about the rebellious living in a dry land? Here is salvation, as a result of Jesus dying. Here in verse 18, we see that God even wants to live among the rebellious. Jesus died for all of us, even those who don't want the gift.
Then, we see the order of the processional march in verses 24-27, and that is followed with worship fit for a king in verses 28-31, where they call upon God to scatter the enemy before them. The Psalm ends with an open call to praise God, and we hear the mighty voice of Him who rides in the clouds. We are reminded that He gives strength and power to His people. The first line in verse 34 holds the key to the whole Psalm, for me. It beckons us to write about the strength of God. The whole Psalm is about His strength, is it not? And, God is indeed powerful and strong!
Do you need a strong God to come to your rescue? Are you surrounded by the enemy? Then call out to the Mighty God who can save you. He is listening for your call. He helps all those who call on His name.