“But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!” (Psalm 68:3)
Possibly this might not be the time for gladness.
Fear has sunk its fangs deep; malaise has crept in alongside. The unknown and ridiculous seem like permanent fixtures in our everyday. Where to find some of that gladness God instructs us to have?
One overlooked psalm gives us an idea. Scattered through almost every verse of Psalm 68 are reasons why gladness is a good choice presently. David penned reminders that though God allowed his people to wander in the desert, he himself actually “went out before” them and “marched through the wilderness” by their side.
Right there, smack dab in the middle of their adverse circumstances, God showed up big. The one who calls himself the “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows” (Psalm 68:5) was fully present with them exactly where they were situated. He was not hidden from them or distant from their troubles.
Our God still goes ahead of us, still moves alongside of us, still stands by our side regardless of outward evidence to the contrary.
This psalm of David is a rallying cry for God’s ever-present reality in our far-from-perfect world: “Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad; you restored your inheritance as it languished; your flock found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy…Blessed be the LORD, who daily bears us up;” (Psalm 68:9-10, 19). Not once in a while, or every now and then, but rather a routine and regular showing up and pouring out, carrying burdens and bearing loads. That’s the God who promises us his presence.
From the hand of the shepherd-boy king are the blueprints for trust precisely when we haven’t a clue what to do. “Summon your power, O God, the power, O God, by which you have worked for us…Awesome is God from his sanctuary; the God of Israel – he is the one who gives power and strength to his people” (Psalm 68:28, 35).
We are to remember what God has done for his people, how we have seen him work in the past, and look with expectation for what he will still do. He is without limit. On the contrary, nothing stands in his way.
“Our God is a God of salvation, and to God, the Lord, belong deliverance from death” (Psalm 68:20). Just a few reasons to make us glad today.
Elizabeth Ann Mitchell
Photo Credit: Lauren York on Unsplash