Notes on Psalm 68:1-10. 24/05/2020.

Psalm 68:1-10

1 God shall arise, and his enemies shall be scattered:

those that hate him shall flee before his face.

2 As smoke is dispersed, so shall they be dispersed:

as wax melts before a fire,

so shall the wicked perish at the presence of God.

3 But the righteous shall be glad and exult before God:

they shall rejoice with gladness.

4 O sing to God, sing praises to his name:

glorify him that rode through the deserts,

him whose name is the Lord, and exult before him.

5 He is the father of the fatherless,

he upholds the cause of the widow:

God in his holy dwelling place.

6 He gives the desolate a home to dwell in,

and brings the prisoners out into prosperity:

but rebels must dwell in a barren land.

7 O God, when you went out before your people:

when you marched through the wilderness,

8 The earth shook, the heavens poured down water:

before the God of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel.

9 You showered down a generous rain, O God:

you prepared the land of your possession

when it was weary.

10 And there your people settled:

in the place that your goodness, O God,

had made ready for the poor.

 

Notes on Psalm 68:1-10

This psalm can be read to encourage an unfortunate tendency among religious people, arrogance.  It is the idea that ONLY we are blessed and it does not matter what happens to others who do not share our perspective or commitments, especially to God.  Some may be saying – yet that is what the psalm, and other parts of the Scriptures, appear so clearly to say.  YET look across the history of Christianity and other religious perspectives in our world.  The exclusive stance which some people take as if theirs was the only valid point of view is not usually limited to between religions (or towards those who profess that they hold no religion) but more often is enacted upon those who are within the same religious group but who interpret the message of God differently.  This is a challenge of self-awareness thrown out to us at the beginning of this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  Can we begin to understand that God’s generosity extends beyond OUR perspective?  May our hearts and minds be open.

Paul Mitchell.

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