(A psalm and a song by David for the music leader.)
God Will Win the Battle
68 Do something, God! Scatter your hateful enemies. Make them turn and run. 2 Scatter them like smoke! When you come near, make them melt like wax in a fire. 3 But let your people be happy and celebrate because of you.
4 Our God, you are the one who rides on the clouds, and we praise you. Your name is the Lord, and we celebrate as we worship you.
5 Our God, from your sacred home you take care of orphans and protect widows. 6 You find families for those who are lonely. You set prisoners free and let them prosper,[a] but all who rebel will live in a scorching desert.
7 You set your people free, and you led them through the desert. 8 God of Israel, the earth trembled, and rain poured down. You alone are the God who rules from Mount Sinai. 9 When your land was thirsty, you sent showers to refresh it. 10 Your people settled there, and you were generous to everyone in need.
11 You gave the command, and a chorus of women told what had happened: 12 “Kings and their armies retreated and ran, and everything they left is now being divided. 13 And for those who stayed back to guard the sheep, there are metal doves with silver-coated wings and shiny gold feathers.”
14 God All-Powerful, you scattered the kings like snow falling on Mount Zalmon.[b]
15 Our Lord and our God, Bashan is a mighty mountain covered with peaks. 16 Why is it jealous of Zion, the mountain you chose as your home forever?
17 When you, Lord God, appeared to your people[c] at Sinai, you came with thousands of mighty chariots. 18 When you climbed the high mountain, you took prisoners with you and were given gifts. Your enemies didn’t want you to live there, but they gave you gifts.
19 We praise you, Lord God! You treat us with kindness day after day, and you rescue us. 20 You always protect us and save us from death.
21 Our Lord and our God, your terrible enemies are ready for war,[d] but you will crush their skulls. 22 You promised to bring them from Bashan and from the deepest sea. 23 Then we could stomp on their blood, and our dogs could chew on their bones.
24 We have seen crowds marching to your place of worship, our God and King. 25 The singers come first, and then the musicians, surrounded by young women playing tambourines. 26 They come shouting, “People of Israel, praise the Lord God!” 27 The small tribe of Benjamin leads the way, followed by the leaders from Judah. Then come the leaders from Zebulun and Naphtali.
28 Our God, show your strength! Show us once again. 29 Then kings will bring gifts to your temple in Jerusalem.[e]
30 Punish that animal that lives in the swamp![f] Punish that nation whose leaders and people are like wild bulls. Make them come crawling with gifts of silver. Scatter those nations that enjoy making war.[g] 31 Force the Egyptians to bring gifts of bronze; make the Ethiopians[h] hurry to offer presents.[i]
32 Now sing praises to God! Every kingdom on earth, sing to the Lord! 33 Praise the one who rides across the ancient skies; listen as he speaks with a mighty voice.
34 Tell about God’s power! He is honored in Israel, and he rules the skies. 35 The God of Israel is fearsome in his temple, and he makes us strong. Let’s praise our God!
68.6and let them prosper: Or “and give them a song.”
68.14Mount Zalmon: The location of this mountain is not known.
68.17to your people: Or “in all your holiness” or “in your holy place.”
68.21are ready for war: The Hebrew text has “have long hair,” which probably refers to the ancient custom of wearing long hair on special occasions, such as a “holy war.”
68.28,29Our God. . . Jerusalem: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verses 28,29.
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