Psalm 68 is a Christological Psalm. That means it points to Jesus and it is fulfilled through Christ’s First and Second Advents. These types of psalms don’t make sense if they are restricted strictly to the Old Testament.
As I have explained previously, Hebrew literature often puts the key point in the middle—in the case of this psalm, that’s verses 18-20. The opening verse sets the stage, or the scene of battle, and then right in the middle of this psalm of David is the description of God’s victory won through Jesus.
There are three Selahs in this psalm, and I want you to notice what’s happening at each one:
- When You marched through the wasteland (v. 7)
- Who daily bears our burdens (v. 18)
- Sing praise to the Lord (v. 32)
Do you remember the three definitions of Selah? A pause to consider; a breath before the crescendo; a time to weigh what’s valuable. In this case, I believe we should lean more to the second definition. Why? Because all three of these Selahs shows us what God has done, what He is still doing, and what He will ultimately do in the eternity of Heaven. I believe we are living in the breath/Selah after Christ’s First Advent and leading up to the crescendo of His Second Advent.
Jesus is BOTH the Immanuel that came to earth at His First Advent AND the returning King at His Second Advent. We are living in an era of BOTH “now” AND “not yet.”
The apostle Paul looks back to this psalm (especially those middle verses of 18-20) even as he looks forward to the Second Advent. He captures the essence of “now” and “not yet” in all these passages:
- Christ ascended on high—Ephesians 4:7-10
- Jesus led captivity captive—2 Corinthians 2:14-15
- God is bearing burdens and pouring out benefits on us, with even more benefits in Heaven—2 Corinthians 5:4-5
- From the Sovereign Lord comes our escape from death—1 Corinthians 15:54-57
So how shall we now live in this time of “now” and “not yet”? In a word: AWARE…
- …of His ultimate victory (Psalm 68:1)
- …of the desperation of the enemy. Death, sin, and the devil have been defeated! We now deal with a broken army, a scattered foe in the final death throes, a wounded, dying warrior desperately lashing out. The prince of this earth is quickly failing, while God is liberally pouring out rewards that were purchased by Christ our King!
- …of the brevity of this life (v. 2)
- …of the joy of living in God’s presence (v. 3)
- …of the power of worship (v. 4)
- …of our confidence in being heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (vv. 5-6)
Now is not the time for fainting, but fighting the good fight. Our Immanuel has won the battle, He will continue to strengthen us every day that we walk this Earth, and He will keep us by His side as He reigns for all eternity as King of kings and Lord of lords!
If you’ve missed any of the previous posts in this series, you can check out the full list by clicking here.