The Psalm appointed for this seventh Sunday of Easter is Psalm 68:1-10. Psalm 68 is an excellent Psalm for the Easter season. It begins with a description of the Resurrection as a great victory! The enemies are conquered (sin, death and Satan—on the run!) and the righteous ones rejoice—they are provided for in this great victory. Resurrection is victory. God shall arise! Christ has risen!
However, this is not the sum of the LORD’s provision for the people. Beginning at verse 5 the language of the LORD God is as Father of the fatherless and protector of the widows, and then the One who frees the prisoners and settles the lonely/solitary. This is the language the prophets of old use to describe the Messianic Age. The lame shall walk, the blind shall, the widows and orphans shall be cared for, the prisoners released, etc. The Messiah shall come for those who are outcasts and neglected by society. Why is this so important?
First, it describes who we are as sinners: Separated from God, helpless to care for ourselves, hopeless in our efforts to access the LORD God. Thus, Messiah comes to us where we are at and He brings relief, healing, forgiveness and salvation. Second, these identifying marks of the Messiah become the marks of the Church. The Church takes care of the outcasts as they live and walk in the faith. The Church follows the admonition to “love your neighbor” because it is their identity in Christ Jesus.
Messiah comes to us where we are at and He brings relief, healing, forgiveness and salvation.
So, the Psalm reading ends with the language of provision: The LORD provides. He takes care of the needy in both body and soul and the Church is the instrument of His hand. Verses 7 and following use the Exodus as proof, a reminder of how the LORD has provided in the past to bring assurance to the people that He will be faithful and provide in the future; even to the point of sending His Son to die and rise for the people.
(Note: The verse numbering in the Hebrew is slightly different from English translations – starting with verse one. For ease of use, we have followed the most common numberings you will find in your English Bible.)
68:1 לַמְנַצֵּחַ; (lam-natz-Tze-ach) root: נצח (naw-tsakh) Piel, participle: “music director; choir master”
שִׁיר (Shir) “song”
יָקוּם “(ya-Kum) “to rise up; to arise”
יָפוּצוּ (ya-Fu-tzu) root: פוץ (poots) Qal: “to scatter; to disperse; to be dispersed”
מְשַׂנְאָיו. (me-san-Av) root: שׂנא (saw-nay) “to hate” “The ones who hate”
68:2 כְּהִנְדֹּף. (ke-hin-Dof) root: נדף (naw-daf) Niphal: “to be scattered; to be driven; to be driven about”
עָשָׁן (a-Shan) “smoke”
תִּנְדֹּף (tin-Dof) root: נדף (naw-daf) Qal: “to destroy; to drive about”
כְּהִמֵּס. (ke-him-Mes) root: ssm (maw-sas) Niphal: “to melt”
68:3 יַעַלְצוּ: (Ya-al-tzu) root: עלץ (aw-lats) Qal: “to rejoice; to exult”
וְיָשִׂישׂוּ> (ve-ya-Si-su) root: שׂשׂ שׂושׂ (soos; sahs) Qal: “to rejoice; to exult; to display joy; to be jubilant”
בְשִׂמְחָה. (ve-sim-Chah) “joy”
68:4 שִׁירוּ (Shi-ru) root: שׁיר (sheer) Qal: “to sing; to sing in joy; to praise in song”
זַמְּרוּ: (zam-me-Ru) root: זמר (zaw-mar) Piel: “to praise; to praise in/with song”
סֹלּוּ (Sol-lu) root: סלל (saw-lal) Qal: to prepare the way; to lift up (voice in song)”
לָרֹכֵב (la-ro-Chev) root: רכב (raw-kab) Qal: “to ride; to be riding; to drive”
בָּעֲרָבוֹת (Ba-a-ra-Vot) from: עֲרָבה (ar-aw-baw) “cloud; desert; steppe”
וְעִלְזוּ> (ve-il-Zu) root: עלז (aw-laz) Qal: “to exult; to triumph”
68:5 יְתוֹמִים (Ye-to-mim) “fatherless; orphan”
וְדַיַּן (ve-dai-Yan) “judge; defender”
אַלְמָנוֹת; (al-ma-Not) “widow”
בִּמְעוֹן (bim-on) “dwelling”
68:6 יְחִידִים> (ye-chi-Dim) “lonely; deserted; solitary”
אֲסִירִים (A-si-rim) “prisoner”
בַּכּוֹשָׁרוֹת; (bak-ko-sha-Rot) “prosperity; happiness”
סוֹרְרִים (so-ra-Rim) root: סרר (saw-rar) Qal, participle: “to be stubborn; rebellious”
צְחִיחָה. (tze-chi-Chah) “scorched land; barren land; bare land; burned land”
68:7 בְּצֵאתְךָ. (be-tza-de-Cha) root: צאד (tsaw-ad) Qal: “to march; to step; to stride solemnly”
בִישִׁימוֹן (vi-shi-Mon) “desert; wasteland; wilderness”
68:8 רָעָשָׁה (ra-A-shah) root: רעשׁ (raw-ash) Qal: to quake; to shake”
נָטְפוּ (na-te-Fu) root: נטף (naw-taf) Qal: “to drip; to drop; to pour down”
68:9 גֶּשֶׁם< (Ge-shem) “rain; shower”
נְדָבוֹת> (Ne-da-Vot) “free; abundance; generosity”
תָּנִיף (ta-Nif) root: נוף (noof) Hiphil: “to cause rain to fall; to cause snow to fall”
וְנִלְאָה> (ve-nil-Ah) root: לאה (law-aw) Niphal: “to struggle; to be weary”
68:10 חַיָּתְךָ (chai-ya-te-Cha) “dwelling place; congregation”
בְּטוֹבָתְךָ (be-toa-te-Cha) “goodness; kindness”
לֶעָנִי, (le-a-Ni) “poor; needy; wretched; afflicted”
Sermon Outline Suggestion
Theme: The LORD Provides
- The LORD Provides the Easter Victory
- Enemies are vanquished
- The righteous rejoice
- The LORD Provides for the Lost
- Soul: Sinners separated are reunited
- Body: The needy and outcast gathered in
- The LORD Provides…
- Through His Son
- Through His Church
Concordia Theology-Various helps from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO to assist you in preaching Psalm 68:1-10.
Text Week-A treasury of resources from various traditions to help you preach Psalm 68:1-10.