Chapter 68

This is a most excellent psalm, but in many places the genuine sense is not easy to come at; for in this, as in some other scriptures, there are things dark and hard to be understood. It does not appear when, or upon what occasion, David penned this psalm; but probably it was when, God having given him rest from all his enemies round about, he brought the ark (which was both the token of God’s presence and a type of Christ’s mediation) from the house of Obed-edom to the tent he had pitched for it in Zion; for the first words are the prayer which Moses used at the removing of the ark, Num. 10:35. From this he is led, by the Spirit of prophecy, to speak glorious things concerning the Messiah, his ascension into heaven, and the setting up of his kingdom in the world. I. He begins with prayer, both against God’s enemies (Ps. 68:1, 2) and for his people, Ps. 68:3. II. He proceeds to praise, which takes up the rest of the psalm, calling upon all to praise God (Ps. 68:4, 26, 32) and suggesting many things as matter for praise. 1. The greatness and goodness of God, Ps. 68:4-6. 2. The wonderful works God had wrought for his people formerly, bringing them through the wilderness (Ps. 68:7, 8), settling them in Canaan (Ps. 68:9, 10), giving them victory over their enemies (Ps. 68:11, 12), and delivering them out of the hands of their oppressors, Ps. 68:13, 14. 3. The special presence of God in his church, Ps. 68:15-17. 4. The ascension of Christ (Ps. 68:18) and the salvation of his people by him, Ps. 68:19, 20. 5. The victories which Christ would obtain over his enemies, and the favours he would bestow upon his church, Ps. 68:21-28. 6. The enlargement of the church by the accession of the Gentiles to it, Ps. 68:29-31. And so he concludes the psalm with an awful acknowledgment of the glory and grace of God, Ps. 68:32-35. With all these great things we should endeavour to be duly affected in singing this psalm.