Jesus, Our Champion

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Reading the Word

Psalm 94:16–23 (ESV)

16 Who rises up for me against the wicked? Who stands up for me against evildoers? 17 If the Lord had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence. 18 When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. 19 When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. 20 Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute? 21 They band together against the life of the righteous and condemn the innocent to death. 22 But the Lord has become my stronghold, and my God the rock of my refuge. 23 He will bring back on them their iniquity and wipe them out for their wickedness; the Lord our God will wipe them out.

Understanding and Applying the Word

These verses begin with two questions: “Who rises up for me against the wicked?” and “Who stands up for me against evildoers?” The answer is “the Lord”. God is the One who proves to be the help the writer needs. It is God who is a stronghold and a refuge. And it is God who will destroy the wicked because of their sin.

Believers have a Savior we can count on. Jesus Christ not only paid the price for our sins, but he also promises to never leave us nor forsake us. He bought us at a high price (the price of his own life) and he will never let us go. It is Jesus who will stand as our Champion in the end as he defeats Satan and destroys evil once and for all. Let us, as his people, find assurance in our Savior and know that the days of the wicked are numbered.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

Praise the Conquering King

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Reading the Word

Psalm 68:32–35 (ESV)

32 O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, Selah33 to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice. 34 Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies. 35 Awesome is God from his sanctuary; the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!

Understanding and Applying the Word

What wonderful words of praise end this psalm! Sing praises to God!

Throughout Psalm 68 God is praised as the past, present, and future Savior of Israel. So, when we come to the end, it is little surprise that we are urged to join in worship. In the psalm, God is imaged as a warrior who goes out and defeats the enemy on behalf of His people. In the New Testament, Jesus Christ is pictured as the one who defeats Satan at the cross for believers (Colossians 2:13-15).

Our Lord and Savior has gone before us as our conquering hero. Let us lift up our praises and tell of His goodness!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

The Procession of God

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Reading the Word

Psalm 68:24–31 (ESV)

24 Your procession is seen, O God, the procession of my God, my King, into the sanctuary— 25 the singers in front, the musicians last, between them virgins playing tambourines: 26 “Bless God in the great congregation, the Lord, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!” 27 There is Benjamin, the least of them, in the lead, the princes of Judah in their throng, the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali. 28 Summon your power, O God, the power, O God, by which you have worked for us. 29 Because of your temple at Jerusalem kings shall bear gifts to you. 30 Rebuke the beasts that dwell among 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 Nobles shall come from Egypt; Cush shall hasten to stretch out her hands to God.

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses we find the imagery of a king returning from victory on the battlefield. As he returns, he is joined in procession by singers, musicians, and young women playing tambourines. The crowds declare his praises and celebrate his victory over the enemies. In the celebration of this king, even other nations join in and pay homage.

In these verses we read of a victorious king, but this is not any king. This in the King of kings! As He conquers over His enemies the nations come and bring their gifts before Him recognizing His authority and reign. Scripture tells us that there is a day coming when every knee will bow and declare that Jesus is Lord. We see that the people of God are made up of people from every nation, tribe, and tongue as the crowd sings out to praise God for His goodness and His victory over sin and evil (Revelation 7:9-10). Let us praise Him even now as we wait for our King to come in glory and power.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

The Lord Who Daily Bears Us Up

Psalm68_19

Reading the Word

Psalm 68:19–23 (ESV)

19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah20 Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belong deliverances from death. 21 But God will strike the heads of his enemies, the hairy crown of him who walks in his guilty ways. 22 The Lord said, “I will bring them back from Bashan, I will bring them back from the depths of the sea, 23 that you may strike your feet in their blood, that the tongues of your dogs may have their portion from the foe.”

Understanding and Applying the Word

In these verses we read of praise to God for His deliverance. He has delivered His people from the enemy through military victories.

We may be tempted to pass over verses like these and see no way to find application to our lives, but I believe there is something here for us. These verses should encourage all who are God’s people in the world. We know that He is with us and that He is the one who brings us through our circumstances, whatever they may be. Scripture tells us in multiple places that if we live in this world as God’s people that we can expect persecution. Yet, we know that God daily sustains His people and one day He will completely eliminate all of His enemies. These words give us the strength and encouragement that we need to live each day for Him. We know the final outcome and we know the victory has already been won!

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!

He Led a Host of Captives

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Reading the Word

Psalm 68:7–18 (ESV)

7 O God, when you went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, Selah8 the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel. 9 Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad; you restored your inheritance as it languished; 10 your flock found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy. 11 The Lord gives the word; the women who announce the news are a great host: 12 “The kings of the armies—they flee, they flee!” The women at home divide the spoil— 13 though you men lie among the sheepfolds— the wings of a dove covered with silver, its pinions with shimmering gold. 14 When the Almighty scatters kings there, let snow fall on Zalmon. 15 O mountain of God, mountain of Bashan; O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan! 16 Why do you look with hatred, O many-peaked mountain, at the mount that God desired for his abode, yes, where the Lord will dwell forever? 17 The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary. 18 You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.

Understanding and Applying the Word

As we read these verses, we read a retelling of the exodus when God brought the Israelites out of servitude in Egypt and into the Promised Land where the people became a nation. The passage proclaims that it was God, and God alone, who was responsible for the great victory. The Lord is the victorious King who led a host of captives in His train.

In Scripture, the exodus is often used as a picture to the greater deliverance that God would bring to mankind by delivering them from captivity to sin. God accomplished this deliverance through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ followed by the resurrection. The Letter to the Ephesians quotes Psalm 68 when it states the following:

“When he [Jesus] ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (Ephesians 4:8)

The imagery here is clear. Jesus is seen as the conquering King who leads His people out of bondage to sin. This is the message of all of Scripture. We are sinners and God, by His grace, has made it possible for our sin to be dealt with so that we might have eternal life. We cannot do it on our own, but our King does all of the conquering for us. It is ours to simply trust in Him.

**Shaped by the Word is a daily Bible reading devotional. Please use the links at the bottom to subscribe to this page. You can also share this post with your friends through social media using the buttons below. Thanks for reading!