Read Psalm 68 this morning.
Ask me during the rest of the year what’s in Psalm 68 and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t tell you. But then I read it, and it comes back . . . my God is a Rider. He rides in the heavens, which I’d expect, and He rides in the desert, which never ceases to amaze me.
It set off the awe-o-meter again this morning just as it did, apparently, 9 years ago. 2009 . . . seems like a different lifetime ago. Whatever the trials and struggles back then, they pale in comparison to some of the “milestones” since then. But while the times may change, and the circumstance may be different, our God never changes and His Word is ever true.
Here are some thoughts from back in 2009 (remixed a bit) on the God who rides.
My God rides. Yup, you read that right . . . rides . . . not reigns (though He does that too). That’s the thought that captivates my imagination and lifts my heart heavenward in awe, wonder, and worship . . . My God rides!
This morning, while reading Psalm 68, twice David reveals it to me (well, actually I’m thinking it was a Holy Spirit thing through David’s writings) . . .
Sing to God, sing praises to His name;
lift up a song to Him who rides through the deserts;
His name is the LORD;
exult before Him! (Psalm 68:4 ESV)
O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;
sing praises to the Lord, Selah
to Him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens;
behold, He sends out His voice, His mighty voice. (Psalm 68:32-33 ESV)
He rides. The imagery is that of being mounted on horseback. Of being seated upon a majestic steed, the likes of which can’t compare to the Majesty enthroned upon it. To look upon the Rider is to recognize one who is King . . . to understand at the soul level that He is the Victor . . . to be driven facedown by His presence.
He rides. Whether it is through the deserts or on the heaven of heavens. Whether it is guiding through the wilderness as a cloud by day and pillar by night or, upon the clouds, ascended on high, leading captives in His train (Ps. 68:18).
And, as I think upon it, I have known this Rider in both the barren places and in the clouds. Times when parched with thirst, struggling amidst the heat and dust, He has shown Himself present . . . and faithful . . . calling me to trust His leading . . . to rest upon His sufficiency . . . to hope in His promise. And times when He has enveloped my heart with the desire to be nothing more than His captive, His slave, following in His victor’s processional. To be taken by Him and lifted up and seated together with Him in the heavenlies–by His grace . . . and for His glory. My Jesus rides!
And what am I to do when considering Him who Rides?
“Sing,” David says, “and sing some more!” Sing praises to Him. Exalt Him. Extol Him. By His high and holy name, YAH, rejoice before Him. Sing, and then keep on singing!
When I consider the Rider, how can I help but sing? How can I not, though it be a feeble attempt, determine to convey to Him my amazement . . . my appreciation . . . my adoration?
“Sing to God,” David says. “Sing to God,” the Holy Spirit cries to my spirit. “Yes!” I respond, “Yes and Amen!”
Sometimes I just need to take my eyes off the path, whether it be a path in the desert or a path engraved in the clouds, and cast my eyes upon Him who rides.
Awesome is God from His sanctuary . . . (Psalm 68:35a ESV)
Sometimes I need to shift the focus from the load, and what I lack, to the One who goes before me and to what I possess in Him.
Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation. Selah
Our God is a God of salvation,
and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.
(Psalm 68:19-20 ESV)
And as I behold the Rider, I can ride too. I can ride through the deserts. I know I will ride upon the clouds.
Led by my Shepherd. My eyes fixed on Him who rides on a white horse. The One called “Faithful and True” and one day to be recognized by all as “the King of kings and Lord of lords” (Rev. 19:11, 16).
Ride my King! Be exalted! Accept the offering of my song!
Thank You, Lord, for sustaining grace. You are worthy, my God, to receive all glory!