Hovering over Psalm 68 this morning. A psalm of David. A song of victory. A song of a God who will arise to deliver His people.
The “Father of the fatherless” and the “Protector of widows” (v.5), the God David calls us to sing to (v.4), is a God who goes out before His people as they sojourn to the land of promise (v.7). He “rides through the deserts” with them (v.4), He marches “through the wilderness” with them (v.7). And as He does, the earth quakes and the heavens pour down their rains (v.8), even as, in His goodness, He provides for the needy (v.10).
Not only does He meet the needs of the languishing in their wilderness walk, but He also goes before His people to defeat their enemies. He gives the word and the kings of the armies flee (v.11-12). He scatters the enemy from the land He has promised for His people, and from the place He has determined to dwell as God in their midst. And so, God is praised.
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 here’s the truth that captures my thoughts this morning about this God who goes with His people in the desert, and walks with them in the wilderness, and fights for them against their foes, and delivers them according to His promise. Sinai is in the sanctuary.
The chariots of God are twice ten thousand, thousands upon thousands; the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.
(Psalm 68:17 ESV)
However you understand that divine math, whether the angelic chariots of God are 20,000 (10,000 + 10,000) or 100,000,000 (10,0000 x 10,000), this “myriads upon myriads” of heavenly hosts language is designed to convey a great number and the great power of Him who commands that great number. The power that descended on Sinai.
The power which, according to Exodus 19, came down on Sinai as a cloud with thunders and lightnings (v.16). The power manifest as a canopy of smoke “because the LORD had descended on it with fire” (v. 18a). The power that set limits for the people as to how close they could approach, the power that prevented them from even touching the edge of the mountain (v. 12). The power that caused the whole mountain to tremble greatly (v.18b). The power of Sinai which is now in the sanctuary.
Transcendent power consigned to a lowly tent. Awesome power concentrated over a man-made ark. Unmeasurable power connected to a reconciling mercy seat. Sinai is now in the sanctuary.
Even when the tent becomes Solomon’s extravagant temple, even then the thought of such power confined to such a space is jaw-dropping.
“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house that I have built!”
(1Kings 8:27 ESV)
Sinai is in the sanctuary. Even more amazing when you pause and remember God’s current sanctuary.
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
(1Corinthians 3:16 ESV)
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God?
(1Corinthians 6:19a ESV)
For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make My dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
(2Corinthians 6:16b ESV)
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
(Ephesians 2:19-22 ESV)
Sinai is in the sanctuary. That’s something worth chewing on. Something worth responding to.
Awesome is God from His sanctuary; the God of Israel — He is the one who gives power and strength to His people. Blessed be God!
(Psalm 68:35 ESV)
Blessed be God, indeed!
Because of grace. For His glory.