“Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered: let them also that hate him flee before him. As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God” (Psa 68:1,2).
These verses are a vivid description by the psalmist of how the holiness and sovereignty of God affect His enemies. When mixed with faith in the believer’s heart, these words become a promise to which we must cling.
This psalm is both a prayer and a prediction.
It seems very likely that King David used this psalm when he led the triumphant procession to Jerusalem as the ark was finally brought back “home” after it had spent an extended time with the Philistines.
God had taken great care, during the time of the Israelites’ journey to Canaan, to give instructions about the ark. Directions on its construction, how it was handled, what was kept in it, and so forth, were clearly explained. The ark was the center of worship. God had told them that He dwelt between the cherubim, upon the mercy seat. The people understood that this was where God met with His people.
This prayer was realized by Israel in times past because of wholly following the Lord. God had promised them that He would “drive out” the enemy. He told them that He would “fight for them.” His promise didn’t fail as long as His people were following His directions. Time and again God fought for His people. Each time He helped them triumph over the enemy, their worship and allegiance were focused on Him. Each time they lost a battle, it wasn’t because God’s power had failed but because they had separated themselves from Him. God defeated the enemy when the hearts of His people were turned toward Him and they obediently followed His plan.
In a world enveloped in utter darkness, does God still arise for His people? Today the warfare that God’s people fight is spiritual rather than physical. But God’s power is no less effective today than it was several thousand years ago. The enemy of our soul flees when faced with our omnipotent God. James 4:7 gives the solution: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Submission to the will of our heavenly Father is paramount if we desire the deliverance that He brings. Then and only then will the enemy flee. Without the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be waging a war on our own strength. If we simply fight the battle on our own personal resolve, we are hopelessly weak and no match for the devil. Psalm 103:13 says it well: “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.” just as the physical father will do all he can to help his child in trouble, so the Lord in His compassion arises to help the man with whom He desires a close relationship.
We all have been delivered physically and spiritually at times in our life. The enemy has fled when we submitted to the One whose “ways are higher than our ways.” We can look back on some of our experiences now and see how God moved and worked on our behalf. When we reflect on the past and consider the ways God has delivered us, we can confidently face the future. Too often when the test or trial comes, we analyze things through human eyes, which are temporal, and try to find a solution to tell God how He should deliver us. What we really need is patient endurance. God’s eyesight is eternal, and He takes care of us many times in ways that we never thought possible.
So what is the future for God’s people? Will evil continue to abound and good suffer loss? The prediction of this psalm is that God will arise in a way He has not since the world began. “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2Th 1:7,8). The word revealed in verse 7 means “to appear or to disclose.” The Lord Jesus will come back to earth to deal with the enemies of God. This verse shows us two groups of people that will face His vengeance: the people who are not acquainted or do not have a connection with God, and those who believe that they have a relationship with Him yet do not allow the principles of Jesus Christ to guide their lives.
Today God, the covenant maker, is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” His mercy rules presently, giving mankind the opportunity to enter into a relationship with Him. Someday, and it may be very soon, His holiness and justice will reign, and then the prediction of this psalm (verses 1 and 2) will come to pass. Romans 13:11, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”
~ Tyrone, PA