Psalm 68:4
Sing to God! Sing praises to His name. Exalt the One who rides on the clouds--His name is the LORD--and rejoice before Him.
Sermons
Joyfulness a Christian DutyR. W. Dale, D. D.Psalm 68:4
The Service of SongG. W. McCree.Psalm 68:4
A Good PrayerHomiletic MagazinePsalm 68:1-6
God's Interposition InvokedHomilistPsalm 68:1-6
The Entry of God into His Sanctuary on ZionC. Short Psalm 68:1-6
The Ark and ChristW. Forsyth Psalm 68:1-35


It is said that "the testimony of [or, 'concerning'] Jesus is the spirit of prophecy" (Revelation 19:10). This is specially true of this psalm, it might be called a song of the ark. As Moses spake of the setting forward and resting of the ark (Numbers 10:35, 36), so the psalmist sings of the glorious march of Messiah at the head of his Church - onward from victory to victory - to the final rest. We may bring out much of its spiritual significance by marking some points of resemblance between the ark and Christ.

I. THE LAW OF GOD WAS PLACED WITHIN THE ARK. The Law was the "testimony" to God's character and will, and the foundation of his "covenant" with Israel. That this might be kept in perpetual remembrance, the Law was put in the ark as the most sacred place (Deuteronomy 10:1-5). Therefore the ark was called "the ark of the testimony" and "the ark of the covenant" (Exodus 16:34; Deuteronomy 31:26; Hebrews 9:4). The ark was thus a figure of him that was to come, of whom it was written, "Thy Law is within my heart" (Psalm 40:8; cf. Isaiah 42:21; Matthew 5:17; John 4:34; John 17:4; Romans 10:4; Revelation 11:19).

II. THE ARK WAS SET IN THE FOREFRONT OF ISRAEL IN ALL THEIR GOINGS. It was always at the head. When it moved, Israel moved. When it rested, Israel rested. In the wilderness, at the passage of the Jordan, and on during the conquest of Canaan, the ark always went before, as showing that they were under the guidance of God, and that in all their doings they must have regard to the will of God. The Law within the ark was to be the Law of Israel (ver. 7; Numbers 10:33; Joshua 3:3). So it is with Christ, as saith Isaiah, "Behold, I have given him for a Leader and Commander to the people" Isaiah 55:4). We see this beautifully illustrated in our Lord's earthly life. He was the good Shepherd, of whom it is said, "He calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out;" "He goeth before them, and they follow him" (John 10:3, 4). The word of the Lord to his disciples is always, "Follow me." What was said of the twelve is true of all others. "They were in the way going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus went before them" (Mark 10:32).

III. THE ARK WAS THE MEETING PLACE BETWEEN GOD AND HIS PEOPLE. (Cf. Exodus 25:22, "There I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony.") What was here in shadow we have now in substance. Christ is the meeting place between God and man (2 Corinthians 5:19). "Through him we have access unto God the Father" (Ephesians 2:18). He is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23; 1 John 1:3; Hebrews 4:16).

IV. THE ARK WAS ASSOCIATED WITH THE GREAT EVENTS IN THE HISTORY OF ISRAEL. Some of these are recorded in this psalm. So Christ has been with his people from the beginning. Their life, their conquests, their achievements, have all been through him. And he promises to be with them to the end (Matthew 28:20).

V. THE ARK WAS ENTHRONED WITH THE HIGHEST HONOURS IN THE HOUSE OF GOD. There had been many trials and conflicts, but at last there was victory. The ark was carried in triumph to Jerusalem, and set in glory on Mount Zion. Afterwards it was removed, and placed in the most holy place in the temple on Mount Moriah (vers. 18-31). All this may be said to have been typical of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow, when he was received into heaven, and seated in glory on the right hand of God (Psalm 24; Ephesians 4:11; Hebrews 2:9, 10; Hebrews 10:12, 13). But there are certain differences. The ark was carried by human hands, but Christ conquered and ascended in his own strength (Hebrews 9:11). The ark was set in an earthly tabernacle, but Christ "is set on the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens" (Hebrews 8:1, 9, 24). The ark was but a temporary thing, a symbol that served its purpose and has long since passed away. Christ is "the same yesterday, today, and forever." The Gospels set forth his glory; we see his royal progress in the Acts of the Apostles; and the Revelation of St. John bears witness to his continued triumphs, till the end come, when he shall be hailed by Jew and Gentile as "the King of kings and Lord of lords." - W.F.







Sing unto God.
The spirit of holy song is not confined to any denomination. It is given as a precious boon to kings and shepherds, rich and poor, bond and free, men and women, Catholic and Protestant, Moravian, Quaker and Baptist. We are growing in the charity of Christ. There was a time when our hymnology was intensely sectarian. We put our creeds into song, and we would sing only our own poets. We actually argued on disputed doctrines in our sacred songs. Controversy made discord in the songs of Zion. But we see happier days. So then if we have the gift of song consecrate it to the service of God. And let all sing, and sing heartily, in the public assembly. Every heart for God, every life for God, every song for God! This is the sublime sight we long to see, and for which the watching angels wait.

(G. W. McCree.)

It is necessary for some people to remember that cheerfulness, good spirits, lightheartedness, merriment, are not unchristian or unsaintly. We do not please God more by eating bitter aloes than by eating honey. A cloudy, foggy, rainy day is not more heavenly than a day of sunshine. A funeral march is not so much like the music of angels as the songs of birds on a May morning. There is no more religion in the gaunt, naked forest in winter than in the laughing blossoms of the spring and the rich, ripe fruits of autumn. It was not the pleasant things in the world that came from the devil and the dreary things from God; it was "sin brought death into the world and all its woe"; as the sin vanishes the woe will vanish too. God Himself is the ever blessed God. He dwells in the light of joy as well as of purity, and instead of becoming more like Him as we become more miserable, and as all the brightness and glory of life are extinguished, we become more like God as our blessedness becomes more complete.

(R. W. Dale, D. D.)

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