Our All-powerful Sovereign
(28) Your God has ordained your strength. Strengthen, O God, what you have done for us. (29) Because of your temple at Jerusalem, kings will bring gifts to you. (30) Rebuke the beasts of the reeds, the herd of bulls with the calves of the peoples. Trample underfoot those who lust after tribute. Scatter the peoples who delight in war. (31) Envoys shall come from Egypt. Cush will quickly stretch out her hands to God. (32) O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God! Make music in praise of the Lord, (Selah) (33) to him who rides the heavens, the ancient heavens! Behold, he thunders his voice, a mighty voice. (34) Ascribe power to God whose majesty (is) over Israel, whose power (is) in the skies! (35) Awesome (is) God from his sanctuary, the God of Israel! He gives strength and might to his people. Blessed be God!
Again word repetitions help us determine the message of this concluding segment of the psalm. The name for “God” is found eight times along with one use of “Lord” (Adonai), highlighting the greatness of Israel’s God. “Strength” is used three times (vss. 28 & 35) along with the synonym, “might” (vs. 35). Additionally, “power” occurs twice (vs. 34). “Heavens” is repeated (vs. 33) and is followed by its synonym, “skies” (vs. 34), to emphasize God’s power over all the earth. God’s might is made evident to our senses when he thunders with his “voice” (used twice in vs. 33).
I. God is the source of Israel’s strength. (28)
II. All nations will submit to him and join in worship. (29-33)
III. God reigns as supreme sovereign. (34 & 35)
Because of his awesome power, God’s chosen people are strengthened, the nations subdued, and he reigns as sovereign over all.
Psalm 68 concludes with a display of God’s overwhelming power. Theologians call this attribute God’s “omnipotence,” that is, his irresistible ability to do whatever he desires, in the way that he desires, whenever he desires. We should certainly praise him for his omnipotence, but do we really grasp its significance for our everyday lives?
The late James Montgomery Boice in his excellent book, The Sovereign God, helps us do this. An excerpt from that volume is worth reading repeatedly: “The Bible is filled from beginning to end with statements of what God is able to do and will do for...his people. Here are seven NT examples:
- Hebrews 7:25 He is able to save completely...
- 2 Timothy 1:12 He is able to guard...
- 2 Corinthians 9:8 He is able to make all grace abound...
- Hebrews 2:18 He is able to help those being tempted...
- Ephesians 3:20 He is able to do immeasurably more...
- Philippians 3:20 (He is able to) transform our lowly bodies...
- Jude 1:24 (He) is able to keep you from falling...”
What an awesome, powerful God we serve! In the same way that the psalmist concludes his psalm, let us continually offer him our praise with words like, “Awesome is God...blessed be God” (vs. 35)!