7 When you, God, went out before your people,
when you marched through the wilderness,
8 the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain,
before God, the One of Sinai,
before God, the God of Israel.
9 You gave abundant showers, O God;
you refreshed your weary inheritance.
10 Your people settled in it,
and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.
11 The Lord announces the word,
and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng:
12 “Kings and armies flee in haste;
the women at home divide the plunder.
13 Even while you sleep among the sheep pens,
the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver,
its feathers with shining gold.”
14 When the Almighty scattered the kings in the land,
it was like snow fallen on Mount Zalmon.
15 Mount Bashan, majestic mountain,
Mount Bashan, rugged mountain,
16 why gaze in envy, you rugged mountain,
at the mountain where God chooses to reign,
where the Lord himself will dwell forever?
17 The chariots of God are tens of thousands
and thousands of thousands;
the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.
18 When you ascended on high,
you took many captives;
you received gifts from people,
even from the rebellious—
that you, Lord God, might dwell there.
What is striking in this section is how God provides victory for His people. This is a poetic description of the Exodus, and how God defeated His enemies and cared for His people. God is depicted as mighty and unstoppable, but also abundantly generous to His people as He redeems them.
But the other thing that is striking is verse 11. This mighty work of God is to be proclaimed. In this verse, the psalmist is focusing on the women as proclaimers of the word. They are a mighty throng. Not only do they divide the plunder (receive the benefits of God’s victory); they proclaim that victory to the world. By focusing on women here, the psalmist is clearly depicting proclaiming as the work of all. He is not just speaking about the priests or the soldiers. This is the work of all the people.
All who bear Christ’s name have received the plunder of His victory. All who bear Christ’s name are called to proclaim that victory as well. So my prayer today is for the mission of the church. I’m praying for the proclamation of Christ’s victory throughout the world, but also in our congregation and in my life. I pray that the joy and peace which are mine through Christ’s victory would lead me to proclaim it with my words and deeds.
(Note: I will be on vacation for the next several days. The Abide Devotion will resume on Monday, August 3)
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