Psalm Sixty Eight is the Last Piece of Armor
by Greg Pike
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There are a lot of things that can act as armor. We are helpless in the cold without hats and coats. Families and friends remind us of what we could be at our best. Small towns and neighborhoods find common purpose in shared goals. They all help keep us from harm.
Psalm 67 was about the protection that fair government can give. We deserve responsible public servants, and though the form may be perfect, the application by humans never is. We know that God's justice is perfect, in design and implementation, but knowledge is more than information and emotion. Here is a history lesson that is also a promise. With it, our defense will be complete and though our training will continue, we have already begun to serve.
68. The Lord of Strength
Let God rise up, let his enemies be scattered and let them that hate flee before Him.
As smoke is driven away He drives them, as wax melts before the fire,
Let the wicked perish at the presence of God.
But let the righteous be glad, let them rejoice before God, let them greatly rejoice.
Sing unto God, sing praise to his name, shout his name loud,
Call out ‘Yea’ to the heavens where He rides on the wind.
A Father to orphans and help to the widows is God in his holy home.
He brings the homeless to families and frees those in chains,
But the rebellious He leaves in the deserts they make. So it is.
O God, in old times when You led your people,
When they followed through the wilderness,
The earth shook and the skies lowered at the presence of God,
Even the holy mountain trembled at the Lord with his people.
You sent a rain in the desert to confirm your inheritance to the weary.
Your congregation lived with You, O God, and You provided for the poorest of them.
The Lord gave his word and great was the company that heard and broadcast it.
Kings and armies fled before You and your people divided the spoil.
Though they toiled like servants they shall be as a silver dove with feathers of gold.
When the Almighty scattered his enemies the land became pure as the driven snow.
God’s holy hill is taller than towers, all the lands are spread before it.
The hills leap for joy at God’s coming, He shall make his holy temple there.
His army of chariots shall come and thousands of angels shall be at their head.
The Lord has gone up on high and has made a slave of slavery,
He has received gifts for men, both good and not, that He may dwell among them.
Blest be the Lord, who daily gives us gifts beyond our merit;
He is our salvation. So be it.
He is the God of our salvation and to Him belongs the giving of life and death.
God shall wound the heads of his enemies, injuring those who continue to fight.
“I will bring them down from the mountains and up from the sea,
That your foot my be dipped in the blood of your enemies,
And the tongue of your dogs in the same,” said the Lord.
They have seen You coming and going in your sanctuary, O Lord our King,
The singers went first, the musicians went next with damsels playing timbrels.
Bless you, O God, in the congregations, the fountain of our people.
All your people are gathered with their rulers and princes,
The strength You commanded has come, now strengthen that which You made for us.
Because of the temple in your holy hill, kings will bring presents to You.
Rebuke the strength of their armies and the offerings of the rich;
Until every man has made his own offering, scatter the people who delight in war.
Princes shall come from the east and west to stretch out their hands to God.
Sing unto the Lord, kingdoms of the earth, sing praises to the Lord. So it shall be.
To Him that rides above all, who sends out his voice, his mighty voice,
Acknowledge his strength, his dominion over the earth and all above it.
O God, You are terrible out of your holy places,
The God of our fathers gives strength to his people. Blest be God.
The Lord of history is the Lord of today and tomorrow. He is an everpresent help to the poor and needy, a father to orphans and help to the widows. In old times he led his people out of the wilderness, scattering their enemies and making them strong. He made his people holy, making a slave of slavery and bringing salvation from death. Strength to overcome many enemies was given to his people. They learned to give Him their offerings and their praise and His strength was made known to all people.
All the kingdoms of the earth must come to know the strength of the Lord and all will acknowledge his mighty voice. We have been given life and He has sustained us through a lifetime of peril and adventure. We have come to this time, learning worship and praise and He hears us in his temple. All those who honor Him shall live in his kingdom forever. We wear the gift He has given and with its protection we will be able to stand in his hearing; now also in the presence of enemies who would destroy us, and later in His sight when all that is unaware of his grace shall wither.
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