Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35 (NRSV)
Verse 1Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered; let those who hate him flee before him.
Verse 2As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; as wax melts before the fire, let the wicked perish before God.
Verse 3But let the righteous be joyful; let them exult before God; let them be jubilant with joy.
Verse 4Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds-his name is the Lord- be exultant before him.
Verse 5Father of orphans and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.
Verse 6God gives the desolate a home to live in; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious live in a parched land.
Verse 7O God, when you went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, Selah
Verse 8the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain at the presence of God, the God of Sinai, at the presence of God, the God of Israel.
Verse 9Rain in abundance, O God, you showered abroad; you restored your heritage when it languished;
Verse 10your flock found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.
Verse 32Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth; sing praises to the Lord, Selah
Verse 33O rider in the heavens, the ancient heavens; listen, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
Verse 34Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel; and whose power is in the skies.
Verse 35Awesome is God in his sanctuary, the God of Israel; he gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!
This psalm of “Praise and Thanksgiving” is a reminder of all the places where we see God at work in the world. God is with the orphans and widows, the homeless and prisoners. God has restored the land and provided for the needy and more. Whatever calamities occur in our lives, God is there helping, guiding, and supporting us through it all. God’s enemies, whoever or whatever they may be, are no match for our God. Despite the chaos, we are restored and renewed. We are encouraged and emboldened to sing praises to God. We are instructed to listen for God’s voice. This awesome God provides abundantly and gives us strength to meet life’s challenges. In response to God’s graciousness, we are to recognize God as the source of all. Remembering all these things, how can we not sing for joy!
Gracious God, we give you thanks and praise for your presence among us. Through the Holy Spirit, we ask for strength and power to meet the challenges and celebrate the joys in our everyday life. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.