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Psalm 68

Psalm 68

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Published by glennpease
BY J. STRACEY. MA.

"God arise, and let His enemies be scattered ; let them also that hate
Him flee before Him.'' — PsALM Ixviii. I.
BY J. STRACEY. MA.

"God arise, and let His enemies be scattered ; let them also that hate
Him flee before Him.'' — PsALM Ixviii. I.

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Published by: glennpease on May 12, 2013
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PSALM 68BY J. STRACEY. MA."God arise, and let His enemies be scattered ; let them also that hateHim flee before Him.'' — PsALM Ixviii. I.THIS is another instance of many where, as theHebrew admits, the future tense would, if sub-stituted for the imperative, tiirn these words into aprophecy — a prophecy of this great day, the greatest dayof all the year — for the Event which we now celebrate,as we do in a lesser way, on every Sunday. Thus theverse w'ould run, " God sihall arise, and His enemiesshall he scattered ; they also which hate Him shallflee before Him."If we turn to the tenth chapter of the Book of umbers (verses 35, 36) there we find the very w^ordsof ray text. " And it came to pass, when the Ark setforward, that Moses said, Rise up, Lord, and let ThineIII. K 130 PSALM LXVIII.enemies be scattered : and let tliera that hate Theeflee before Tliee." And when it rested, he said," Return, Lord, unto the many thousands of Israeh"This sixty-eighth Psahn is directly called a " Psalmof David's," and it seems to have a special connectionwith the twenty-fourth Psalm, and to have been usedat the removal of the Ark from one place to another ;and thus the words used by Moses, to- which I havereferred, are here taken as a sort of text on which tofound all the otlier verses that follow.Both with the Jews and with us this Psalm isespecially used at Pentecost. We may call it a " pro-gressive" Psalm, for it begins with the Resurrectionof our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and goes onto His Ascension, where at verse 18 it says, "Thouart gone up on Higb, Thou hast led captivity captive,and received Gifts for men, yea- even for Thine
 
enemies, tluit the Lord Grod niiglit dwell among them,"wliich we know is specially applied to the greatgift of the Gospel, the coming down of the HolyGhost from Heaven, which followed so soon after ourLord's Ascension into Heaven. For thus S. Paul inthe fourth chapter of bis l^'pistle to the Ephesiaus(verses 7, 8) says, "But unto every one of us is givenGrace according to the measure of the gift of Christ."Wherefore, He saith, (in lliis sixty-eiglith Psalm)When He ascended up on High, He led captivitycaptive, and gave gifts unto men."THE LAST EEMY. I 31So let us take this Psalm as one which I will calla "progressive" Psalm, used at \\\q removal of theArk, but in a Christian sense beginning with theResurrection, but leading on to the Ascension of ourLord Jesus dhrist to God's right hand in Heaven,and to the coming down at Pentecost of the HolyGhost the Comforter — the eternal Life of the Church.When the Psalm was written it was a prophecywhich has since been truly firlfilled : " God shall arise ;His enemies shall be scattered ; they also which hateHim shall flee before Him."ow, is not that, brethren, the great event whichthe whole Christian Church of the West, with all itsbranches, celebrates to-daj^, and every Sunday as itcomes round week bv week ? " God has arisen," theEternal Son Who took our nature with His own, andmade it one with His Divine Person, this day roseagain. True, no human eye saw the return of life,saw this mighty change from death unto life, and thegrave clothes dropping off, and the exit of the risenSaviour from the solid tomb, blocked by the greatand unmoved stone at its mouth ; but it was no sooneraccomplished, than it was known first to one, and thento another : first to Mary Magdalene and then toS. Peter, then to the two disciples walking to Emmaus,and afterwards to ten of the Apostles assembledtogether at night, when the doors were shut. A week later S. Thomas, who before was absent, was convinced
 
132 PS.ILM LXVllI.against his will, and invited to identify with his ownhands the wounds in the Lord's hands and in His side,received on the cross.Thus did God arise on this great Festival, and so wechange the Sabbath into the Lord's Day, and set apartthe first day of every week instead of the seventh as amemorial of His Resurrection from the dead. Andwhen my text g-oes on "His enemies shall be scattered,and they also that hate Him shall flee before Him,"what are we to understand by " His enemies ? "First, there were they who had cried out so shortlybefore, " Crucifj^ Him, Crucify Him ; " there werePilate, and Herod, and the High Priests ; there werethe Roman soldiers who had fulfilled their task of execution with military precision and unnecessarycruelty ; there were they who had railed upon Him inHis agonies on the Cross, like the armed multitude,who fell before Him in Gethsemane, all these drop outof sight, and are pow^erless before the risen Lord inHis victory over death and the grave. A few weekson and multitudes of these turn unto the Lord, andare baptized into His Resurrection, believing on theLord Jesus Christ, and putting away their sins. Thehistorj'^ begins at once to be, "Disciples were addedunto the Lord, multitudes both of men and women ; "" The same day there wore added unto them aboutthree thousand souls ; " " Howbeit many of them whichheard the word believed, and the number of the menCHRIST THE FIRST-FRUITS. 133was about five thousand ; " " So mightily grew theword of the Lord and prevailed." Tims were ourLord's outward enemies scattered like chaiF beforethe wind, or as wax melted before the fire.Again. Death, was another enemy scattered by theSaviour's Resurrection on this day. S. Paul says, "Thelast enemy that shall be destroyed is death." Deathhad reigned supreme till this moment. Even they

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