Overall, it would seem to be a song of victory. Enemies are scattered. Prisoners are led out to prosperity. The inheritance which once languished is restored. The spoil is divided. And the one who led in victory is ascended on high, “leading a host of captives” in his train and “receiving gifts among men.”
But it is the One who brings victory to the victor who is to be praised. The God who “rides through the deserts.” The God who goes out before His people. The Lord who is among His people with His chariots which are “twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands.” The One who rides in the heavens, whose power is in the skies, and yet is awesome from His sanctuary on earth. “The One who gives power and strength to His people.”
He is the One surrounded by a music-making, song-singing procession. A great congregation, those who are of Israel’s fountain. Those who join in the chorus led by the songwriter singing, “Blessed be God!”
But what grabs me this morning is one verse in this grand song that reminds me that victory only comes out of battles. Enemies encountered. Less than ideal circumstances experienced. Hardships endured. And rarely is the fight won in the first round. Deliverance often coming after extended periods of drought. The promised prize not realized before prolonged pressure.
And I’m reminded that the God who is the God of ultimate victory is also the God who helps us get through the daily battle.
Blessed be the Lord,
who daily bears us up;
God is our salvation. Selah
(Psalm 68:19 ESV)
We’re perhaps more likely to bless the Lord–literally, to bow the knee in adoration–when we perceive the war is won. More likely to praise His name when we think we’ve passed through the storm. Find it more natural to exult Him for His promises when we feel like we’re holding the prize in our hands.
But the songwriter says bless the Lord who daily bears us up. Who day after day carries us along (MSG). Who daily bears our burdens (NIV).
That’s where the fight is fought, day after day. Where the struggle is real, waking in the morning with the same concerns that kept you from falling asleep the night before. Where the suffering seems relentless, the pain of today all too familiar as it feels a lot like the pain of yesterday. Where the weight seems beyond carrying again, the burden before you no less heavy than the one behind you. That’s the battle, day by day.
But in that battle the God who is God of our salvation is in our midst, and that too, day by day. The God who one day will lead us in victorious procession into His glorious throne room, is today present to carry us along, to help shoulder our burdens, to bear us up. The power that raised Christ from the dead, the same power present to sustain us in our dread. His mercies new every morning. His promises just as sure every day. The same yesterday, today, and forever.
And that, my friend, is reason enough to bless the Lord!
All praise be to our Daily Burden Bearer!
By His grace. For His glory.