Inside and Outside
(7) God has spoken in his holiness (from his sanctuary): “I will exult. I will divide Shechem and measure out the valley of Succoth. (8) Gilead (is) mine. Manasseh (is) mine. Ephraim (is) my helmet. Judah (is) my scepter. (9) Moab is my washbasin. Over Edom I toss my sandal. Over Philistia I shout in triumph.” (10) Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? (11) Have you not rejected us, God? Will you not go out, God, with our armies? (12) Give us help against the enemy, for useless (is) the deliverance of mankind. (13) With God we will do valiantly, for he will trample down our enemies.
With two minor exceptions, Psalm 108:6-13 is a verbatim repetition of Psalm 60:5-12. However, the opening verses of the two psalms are quite different. Psalm 60:1-5 contains David’s lament over God’s allowing Israel to be humiliated by her enemies. In contrast, Psalm 108:1-6 is a triumphant song of praise to Yahweh for the steadfast love shown to his covenant people. In the case of Psalm 60, this second segment turns the psalm from a lament into an expression of triumph. In the case of Psalm 108, this second segment expands on the triumphant praise found in the first five verses.
Two words are repeated in both psalms. “God (Elohim)” is found once in verses 7 & 13 and twice in verse 11. “Enemy/enemies” occurs in verses 12 & 13. In essence, David in this psalm is expressing his confidence that God will deliver him from all his foes.
I. God declares his sovereignty over Israel and her neighbors. (7-9)
II. God’s servant expresses confidence that he will triumph over his enemies. (10-13)
When we trust in our sovereign God who rules over the nations, we triumph over all our foes.
David mentions several geographical locations both inside and outside the borders of the land God gave to Israel (vss. 7-10). For those within the borders of the land (vss. 7 & 8), God expresses his ownership with a sense of loving relationship. For those outside the land, he declares his sovereign rule (vss. 9 & 10).
This reflects the difference between those who have a saving relationship with Christ and those who do not. Those who have personally trusted in the Son as their savior from sin become part of God’s eternal family, sons and daughters who know him as their loving heavenly Father. Those who have not put their faith in Messiah can only relate to God as a powerful sovereign who will one day preside over their judgment. A children’s song many learned in Sunday School sets forth this truth in very clear terms: “One door and only one, and yet its sides are two. / Inside and outside, on which side are you? // One door and only one, and yet its sides are two. / I’m on the inside. On which side are you?”