Reading: Psalm 68: 1-10 & 32-35
Verse 35: The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Psalm 68 speaks of God’s love and care for His people. It begins with protection as God scatters the enemies. In response, the righteous are glad and rejoice. God has provided protection. In the next verses, God helps the widow, the lonely, the prisoners – those on the fringes of society. Not only does God lead and protect the nation, He also protects the least and the lost. Surely you and I fit somewhere along this spectrum. Let us also praise our God who protects and watches over us.
The psalmist then recalls the people’s wilderness experience. They were freed from slavery in Egypt but wandered for forty years. God gives them “abundant showers” as they eat their fill of manna and quail. God led them on and they settled into the Promised Land – the land of bounty. God again leads and guides and protects the people. And again the psalmist notes that God also gave from that same bounty to provide for the poor. In how many ways does God continue to provide for and bless us? Let us praise the Lord our God!
The Psalm closes by offering singing and praise to God’s power and majesty. God’s power is revealed to the psalmist in the skies – thunder representing God’s voice. In the thunder is power and majesty. The Psalm ends by acknowledging that God also gives power and strength to His people. Verse 35 reads, “The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people”. They experienced this in the pillars of cloud and fire in the wilderness. They experienced this in the partings of the waters and in the crumbling of the walls. The Israelites had some very tangible experiences with God’s power and majesty.
As we fast-forward a few thousand years, we too have a very real and tangible presence of God in our lives. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit know that God continues to be near His people. Through the Spirit we continue to receive God’s protection, guidance, direction, power, and strength. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit provides God’s constant presence in our lives. It is a wonderful gift. Through this presence we experience what the psalmist writes about. For this deep and powerful connection to the Lord our God, may we lift our thanksgiving and praise!