These two psalms are longer than many and they reflect very different moods. Psalm 68 extols the greatness of God as He “rides upon the earth.” There is reflection of His appearance to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai. The earth quaked and the heavens dropped rain at the presence of God.
“The chariots of God are myriads – thousands upon thousands.” (68:17) Such majesty! Such grandeur and glory! God is being extolled as the God of all the earth!
Ephesians 4 quotes this psalm. In speaking of the ministry gifts which God will bring to the earth, it is written:“You have ascended on high, You have led captivity captive, You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious, That the Lord might dwell there.”(68:18)
David is prophesying again, as he often does.
Then the mood changes in Psalm 69, as David has an urgent plea for help in trouble. Actually, as we read this, it is clear that this too is prophetic. This time, many references to the crucifixion of Jesus come up, as they have in other psalms.“Zeal for Your house has consumed me, and the reproaches of those who have reproached You have fallen on me.” (69:9) (John 2:17) “They also gave Me gall for My food, and for My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink.” (69:21) (Matthew 27:34)
Then the psalm even mentions Judas when it says,“Let their dwelling place be desolate; let no one live in their tents.” (69:25) (Acts 1:20)
So the sorrowfulness is really referring to the coming work of Jesus – as He pays the price for us. That’s why the psalm ends in such an upbeat tone. Israel – and the earth itself, will praise God. His descendants shall inherit the advantage bought by God, and those who “love His name,” shall dwell in it.
As you read these psalms, think in terms of prophecy. You may discover other lines in which the future is being projected on the screen.
Romans 8: 1-17
Flesh versus spirit. That’s one of our major challenges as we live our lives for Christ.
When God created man, He created us in three parts: spirit, soul, and body. The spirit died when man first sinned, but came back to life through Jesus Christ – thus the born again experience. The soul is the part of man which consists of the mind, the will, and the emotions – the seat of personality. The spirit is the part of man which is aligned with God and hears from Him.
So this is the problem. Your soul and mine, before we were born again, was mostly self-centered. Me, me, me! If it feels good, do it!
So along comes the Spirit. After we are born again, our spirits come alive and are Christ-centered. This part of us wants to live for God and for His glory. Our spirits want to do what is right and be led by God.
It’s like there are two different sources of strength within us. If we let our souls go unchecked, our flesh rules. If we live by the spirit, we are in line with God’s desires for us. He is ordering our steps, bringing us direction and favor. (Plus grace to live our best lives).
If we keep these concepts in mind as we read Romans 8, it’s easier to understand.“To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (V. 6-7) “We did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but we have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.'” (V. 15)
To be led by the Spirit is the healthiest thing we can do – not only for ourselves, but also for all those around us. “Abba, Father” literally means “Daddy, God.” When we are in agreement His Spirit, we are in agreement with all that is good – for us and to us.