Our first reading is the dramatic account by Moses of the of the overriding care and guidance of God as the people of Israel left Egypt and crossed some portion of the Red Sea – and how – when Egyptian forces tried to follow them – they were drowned. The news of this awesome drama spread far and wide and, as we will read in our first portion readings in coming months preceded them as they entered the promised land. Rahab, who hid the spies at Jericho, said, “we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea before you…” [Josh. 2 v.10]
Our reading of David’s Psalm 68 which was written at a time when they needed reminding of the LORD’s past deliverances, includes some verses which inspire us; lessons which they should have learnt and had in mind as a result of past deliverances, especially their escape from Egypt. In verses 7 & 8 they would have sung, “O God, when you went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness … the earth quaked … … before God the one of Sinai … the God of Israel.”
David, in this Psalm is inspired to see this as a foretaste of a much greater deliverance! The Psalm starts, “God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered; and those who hate him shall flee before him … the wicked shall perish before God!” This is about the enemies of God – not just the enemies of Israel! How many “hate” him today – they do not want to believe he exists; God is about to “arise” – and how many “will perish” before him!?.
From v. 19 God gives David (and us) an inspiring personal message, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Verse 20 repeats this for emphasis! “Our God is a God of salvation, and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.”
The next verse declares, “But God will strike the heads of his enemies … him who walks in his guilty ways.” This is not just the enemies of his people – our world is full of God’s “enemies,” today they deny he exists. Remember what Isaiah was caused to prophecy, “the LORD is coming out from his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity” [26 v,21 – see also 66 v.16]
But we can say with David, “”Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up” As God deals with “his enemies” in today’s godless evil world, may we all, because we have developed real faith, each say, “The LORD … daily bears us up.”