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For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. A song.


[Preliminary Comments: To say this is ‘just a song' is a gross understatement. It is a most strong proclamation of the Lord's greatness, majesty and power, with petition for Him to come again and be seen in this power.

- It starts with David's desire for the Lord to come and deal with His enemies [v.1-3]

- and a call to his people to sing and praise the Lord for who He is [v.4,5].

- Then comes remembrance of their origins in Egypt and the deliverance that followed [v.6-8] despite the rebellion in the wilderness, refusing to take the land [v.6].

- In contrast to the desert experience, He blessed the land with rain to make it bountiful, the ultimate outworking of the deliverance [v.9,10].

- Now they are a nation that receives God's decrees of triumph so that the women, as of old – e.g. Miriam Ex 15:20,21, could sing of the triumph as they were able to share out the spoils when the men returned home [v.11,12].

- Even though they [subsequently?] rest, the Lord decrees glory & triumph over their enemies [v.13-15]

- so those of the north look enviously on Jerusalem [v.16]

- because God's angelic armies fight for His people [v.17-23]

- and there is celebration in His presence at the Tabernacle [v.24-27].

- Thus he concludes with a petition for God to come again with that same saving power [v.28,29] to deal with their enemies [v.30,31].

- The result will be praise and worship of the God of triumph [v.32-35] on behalf of His people Israel.]



v.1-5 Desire & Praise


v.1-3 Heart desires of David


v.1   May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;
     may his foes flee before him.
v.2   May you blow them away like smoke—
     as wax melts before the fire,
     may the wicked perish before God.
v.3  But may the righteous be glad
     and rejoice before God;
     may they be happy and joyful.


v.4-5 Causes of singing & rejoicing: God's blessing of families


v.4   Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
     extol him who rides on the clouds;
     rejoice before him—his name is the Lord .
v.5  A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
     is God in his holy dwelling.


v.6-10 Memories of the past deliverance


v.6-8 He remembers the Lord's work of the exodus


v.6  God sets the lonely in families,
     he leads out the prisoners
[slaves in Egypt] with singing;
     but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
[40 years of wandering]

v.7  When you, God, went out before your people,
     when you marched through the wilderness,
v.8  the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain,
     before God, the One of Sinai,
     before God, the God of Israel.

v.9,10 He remembers that the Lord gave them this land and blessed it


v.9  You gave abundant showers, O God;
     you refreshed your weary inheritance.
v.10  Your people settled in it,
     and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.



v.11-15 God's decree of Victory for His people


v.11,12 God's word comes, the women proclaim it and experience it


v.11  The Lord announces the word,
     and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng:
v.12  “Kings and armies flee in haste;
     the women at home divide the plunder.

v.13-15 Despite human inactivity God decrees blessing & victory for His people


v.13  Even while you sleep among the sheep pens,
     the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver,
     its feathers with shining gold.”
v.14  When the Almighty scattered the kings in the land,
     it was like snow fallen on Mount Zalmon.

v.15  Mount Bashan, majestic mountain,
     Mount Bashan, rugged mountain,



v.16-18 Israel, the Chosen Land


v.16 Mountains of the north may gaze with envy on Sinai in the south

v.16  why gaze in envy, you rugged mountain,
     at the mountain where God chooses to reign,
     where the Lord himself will dwell forever?

v.17,18 God's heavenly armies triumph wherever He sends them


v.17  The chariots of God are tens of thousands
     and thousands of thousands;
     the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.
v.18  When you ascended on high,
     you took many captives;
     you received gifts from people,
even from the rebellious—
     that you, Lord God, might dwell there.


v.19-23 Confidence in the God who saves


v.19,20 But for us His people He saves us and carries our burdens (at the Cross)


v.19  Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
     who daily bears our burdens.
v.20  Our God is a God who saves;
     from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death.

v.21-23 He will utterly crush the enemies of Israel, high & low alike


v.21  Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies,
     the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins.
v.22  The Lord says, “I will bring them from Bashan;
     I will bring them from the depths of the sea,
v.23  that your feet may wade in the blood of your foes,
     while the tongues of your dogs have their share.”



v.24-27 The Celebrations that will follow


v.24,25 There will be a celebration in His house over His triumphs


v.24  Your procession, God, has come into view,
     the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.
v.25  In front are the singers, after them the musicians;
     with them are the young women playing the timbrels.

v.26,27 All the people will be gathered to celebrate


v.26  Praise God in the great congregation;
     praise the Lord in the assembly of Israel.
v.27  There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them,
     there the great throng of Judah's princes,
     and there the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali.



v.28-31 A Call for God to come against their enemies


v.28,29 Reveal your power again Lord, to bring your enemies humbled to your house


v.28   Summon your power, God;
     show us your strength, our God, as you have done before.
v.29  Because of your temple at Jerusalem
     kings will bring you gifts.

v.30,31 Even those who would appear mighty & strong will come in submission


v.30   Rebuke the beast among the reeds,
     the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations.
Humbled, may the beast bring bars of silver.
     Scatter the nations who delight in war.
v.31  Envoys will come from Egypt;
     Cush will submit herself to God.


v.32-35 Praise for the Awesome God


v.32,33 So all nations praise Him who comes with such power


v.32  Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
     sing praise to the Lord,
v.33  to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens,
     who thunders with mighty voice.

v.34,35 Proclaim this power seen in Israel and Praise Him for it


v.34  Proclaim the power of God,
     whose majesty is over Israel,
     whose power is in the heavens.
v.35  You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
     the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.

Praise be to God!



[Additional Comments: Without doubt this is a song of a warrior king, as David was, that looks on Israel and their surrounding enemies and calls on the Lord to come and do the same sort of things He has done for them before. It is a song of confident triumph, based in David's knowledge of the Lord and of Israel.]



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