GENERAL SUBJECT: Crystallization-Study of Number (1)
<< WEEK 12 >>
Christ as the Center of God's Move on the Earth from His Incarnation through His Ascension to His Second Coming
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Scripture Reading: Num. 10:33-36; Psa. 68
Ⅰ God's guidance to His people in a general way was by the cloud and the two silver trumpets (Num. 9:15—10:10), whereas His leading of His people in a particular way was through the Ark (vv. 33-36), a type of the crucified and resurrected Christ in His ascension:
A Hence, the unique Leader of God's people is not any man (cf. vv. 29-32) but is the crucified and resurrected Christ (Matt. 23:10).
B He is the Leader, and He leads us to the proper place of rest on the long and rugged journey of the Christian life (Heb. 4:8-9 and footnotes).
C The leading of the Ark of the Covenant indicates that the leading of Christ is faithful, according to a covenant:
1 God made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants to bring them into the good land (Gen. 17:1-8; cf. Exo. 23:20).
2 Eventually, God's covenant was placed in the Ark; thus, the Ark was called the Ark of the Covenant.
3 Hence, the Christ who leads us into a resting place is the Christ of the covenant, the Christ of God's faithfulness (cf. 2 Cor. 1:19-20).
Ⅱ Numbers 10:35 and 36 say, "When the Ark set out, Moses said, Rise up, O Jehovah, and let Your enemies be scattered; / And let those who hate You flee before You. And when it came to rest, he said, Return, O Jehovah, to the ten thousand thousands of Israel":
A Numbers 10:35 is quoted in Psalm 68:1; in Ephesians 4:8-10 Paul applied the word in Psalm 68 to the ascension of Christ; hence, the rising up in this verse refers to Christ's rising up to the heavens in His ascension.
B Since the rising up in Numbers 10:35 refers to Christ's rising up to the heavens in His ascension, the word return spoken by Moses in verse 36 must refer to the second coming of Christ.
C Moses' word in verses 35 and 36 portrays a full view of God's economy from Christ's incarnation to be the Ark, the embodiment of the Triune God, through His ascension to His second coming.
Ⅲ Psalm 68 as an exposition of Numbers 10:35 and 36 reveals Christ as the center of God's move on the earth:
A God's move began after the rearing up of the tabernacle with the Ark, signifying Christ incarnated to be the dwelling place of God on the earth with Himself as the center for God's move in His economy (Psa. 68:1; John 1:14a; Num. 9:15a).
B God's move in the tabernacle with the Ark from Mount Sinai (Psa. 68:8b, 17b) through the wilderness (vv. 4b, 7b) to Mount Zion (v. 16) is a type of His move in Christ from the incarnation to the ascension (John 1:17; Eph. 4:8-10).
C God is still moving on this earth in and through the church, and He is moving with Christ as the center of the church (John 5:17; Acts 28:31; 1 Tim. 3:15-16; Psa. 68:4, 7).
D God's move in man is to deify man, making man the same as He is in life and in nature but not in the Godhead (1 Cor. 15:45b; Rom. 8:10, 6, 11).
Ⅳ Psalm 68 reveals God's victory in Christ as the center, typified by the Ark:
A "Let God arise; let His enemies be scattered; / And let those who hate Him flee before Him"—wherever the Ark, a type of Christ, went, the victory was won (v. 1; Num. 10:35).
B "The kings of the armies flee. / They flee!"—these kings, who were defeated and scattered, typify Satan and the rulers, the rebellious angels (Psa. 68:12a, 14; Eph. 6:12).
C "The Lord gives the command; / The women who bear the glad tidings are a great host"—these women of Israel signify the weak ones who publish the gospel (Psa. 68:11).
D "She who abides at home / Divides the spoil"—the spoil signifies all the gains of the accomplishment, consummation, attainment, and obtainment of Christ as the reapings of the victory of His death, resurrection, and ascension (v. 12b).
E "Though you lie among the sheepfolds"—lying among the sheepfolds signifies resting in God's provision and care for His elect (v. 13a).
F "There are dove wings covered with silver, / And its pinions, with greenish-yellow gold"—this verse reveals four items among the spoil (v. 13b):
1 The dove wings signify the moving power of the Spirit.
2 Silver signifies Christ in His redemption for our justification, which is indicated by the color white, the color of approval.
3 Pinions (the feathers at the end of a bird's wings giving it the strength to fly and soar) signify the flying and soaring power of the Spirit (cf. Isa. 40:31).
4 The greenish-yellow, glittering gold with which the pinions are covered signifies God's nature glittering in the divine life and glory (2 Pet. 1:4; cf. John 4:24; 1 John 4:8; 1:5).
5 The contents of the above four items, as Christ's spoil in His victory for the enjoyment of God's elect, are actually the Triune God with all the items of His complete, full, and all-inclusive salvation (cf. Rom. 5:10, 17, 21).
6 God's elect enjoy all the above items as their portion in Christ and announce them to others as the glad tidings (Psa. 68:11).
Ⅴ Psalm 68 reveals Christ's ascension:
A "You have ascended on high"—this refers to the highest peak in the universe (v. 18; Eph. 4:8a; cf. Isa. 14:13).
B "You have led captive those taken captive" (Psa. 68:18):
1 Those taken captive refers to the redeemed saints, who were taken captive by Satan and imprisoned before being saved by Christ's death and resurrection.
2 Christ defeated Satan and captured his captives (including us); then like a general leading his captives, Christ in His ascension to the heavens led us to the Father (cf. 2 Cor. 2:12-14).
3 The Amplified New Testament renders He led captive those taken captive in Ephesians 4:8 as "He led a train of vanquished foes"; in Christ's ascension there was a procession of these vanquished foes, led as captives from a war, for the celebration of Christ's victory.
Ⅵ Psalm 68 reveals Christ's receiving the gifts:
A "You have received gifts among men, / Even the rebellious ones also"—we have been captured by Christ, presented by Christ to the Father, and then given to Christ by the Father as gifts (v. 18).
B The gifts received by Christ have become the gifted believers, whom He gave to His Body for its building up (Eph. 4:7-12).
Ⅶ Psalm 68 reveals the building up of the dwelling place of God:
A "That Jehovah God may dwell among them"—the gifts as the gifted persons, the believers in Christ, are built together to be the dwelling place for God; this dwelling place signifies the church, the Body of Christ (v. 18; Eph. 4:11-12).
B "A Father to the orphans and a Judge for the widows / Is God in His holy habitation. / God causes the solitary to dwell in a household; / He brings the prisoners forth into prosperity"—God's dwelling place is also the habitation of the believers (the needy, the solitary, and the bound ones) (Psa. 68:5-6a; Eph. 2:22).
C The "mountain on which God desires to dwell" (Psa. 68:16) is Mount Zion, the highest peak in the universe (cf. Rev. 14:1).
Ⅷ Psalm 68 reveals the enjoyment of God in His house:
A The enjoyment of God in His house comes after the building up of His dwelling place, the church (v. 18).
B "Blessed be the Lord, who day by day loads us with good; / God is our salvation. Selah"—the good here is the Triune God—the dove wings covered with silver and its pinions covered with greenish-yellow, glittering gold (vv. 19, 13; Rom. 8:28; Matt. 19:17; Phil. 1:19-21a).
C "God is to us / A God of deliverance, / And with Jehovah the Lord / Are the goings forth even from death"—when we enjoy God as our saving life, we escape death (Psa. 68:20; Rom. 5:10; 2 Cor. 1:8-9; 4:16).
D In God's house we also enjoy His victory over the enemies (Psa. 68:21-23; Matt. 16:18; Rom. 16:20).
Ⅸ Psalm 68 reveals the praising of God according to His New Testament economy:
A "They have seen Your goings, O God, / The goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary"—they refers to the enemies, goings refers to God's activities, and the sanctuary signifies the church (v. 24).
B "Singers go before; players after; / In the midst of virgins sounding the tambourines"—virgins signifies the believers (v. 25; 2 Cor. 11:2; Phil. 4:4).
C "Bless God in the congregations, / Even Jehovah, O you who are of the fountain of Israel. / There are little Benjamin, who rules them, / And the princes of Judah in their company, / The princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali. / Your God has commanded your strength; / Strengthen, O God, that which You have done for us" (Psa. 68:26-28).
D In the praise rendered to God by His elect, there is portrayed a scenery in typology concerning God's New Testament economy in the accomplishment of God's redemption for His salvation by Christ and in the spreading of the glad tidings of Christ's accomplishment with the beautiful words of the gospel:
1 Psalm 68:27 speaks of "little Benjamin":
a As the son of sorrows, Ben-oni, Benjamin typifies Christ, who, as the man of sorrows in His incarnation and human life on earth, accomplished God's eternal redemption for His full salvation (Gen. 35:18a; Isa. 53:3).
b As the son of the right hand, Benjamin typifies Christ, who, as the Son of the right hand of God in His resurrection, victory, and ascension, ministers in the heavens to carry out the application of God's redemption for His salvation (Gen. 35:18b; Heb. 1:3; 5:5-10; 7:25; 8:2).
2 Psalm 68:27 speaks of "the princes of Judah":
a Judah typifies Christ as the victory for God's people (the lion with the power and the scepter) and the peace (Shiloh) to God's people (Rev. 5:5a; Gen. 49:8-12).
b Judah reveals the victory of Christ (vv. 8-9), the kingdom of Christ (v. 10), and the enjoyment and rest in Christ (vv. 11-12).
c Judah, as the kingly tribe, was accompanied always by Benjamin, as a warrior tribe, for God's kingdom on the earth (Psa. 68:27; Rom. 5:17).
3 Psalm 68:27 speaks of "the princes of Zebulun":
a Dwelling at the shore of the sea (Galilee) and being a shore for ships (Gen. 49:13), Zebulun typifies Christ as the "shore" of the evangelists for the transportation and spreading in the preaching of God's gospel.
b On the day of Pentecost, at least one hundred twenty gospel "ships," all of whom were Galileans, set out to spread the gospel (Acts 1:8, 11; 2:2-4).
4 Psalm 68:27 speaks of "the princes of Naphtali":
a Naphtali typifies Christ as the One who is released from death in resurrection, signified by the "hind let loose" (Gen. 49:21; Psa. 22, title; 18:33; S.S. 2:8-9), and gives beautiful words for the preaching of His gospel (Matt. 28:18-20).
b People of both Zebulun and Naphtali were men of Galilee (4:12-17; Acts 1:11), from whom the gospel of Christ has been spread, preached, and propagated.
c In typology Zebulun and Naphtali form a group for the spreading and the propagating of the glad tidings of Christ's redemption for God's salvation.
Ⅹ Psalm 68 reveals the spreading from the temple into the city of God:
A "Strengthen, O God, that which You have done for us. / Because of Your temple at Jerusalem"—following God's strengthening of what He has done for His elect, the influence of the enjoyment of God in His house spreads to the entire city of Jerusalem (vv. 28b-29a; cf. Eph. 3:16-17a; John 16:13; Rev. 4:5; 5:6).
B The house of God signifies the local church, and the city of Jerusalem signifies the kingdom, the strengthening and safeguard of the church.
Ⅺ Psalm 68 reveals the gaining of the earth for God:
A The influence of the enjoyment of God will gain the whole earth for God (vv. 29b-31; Matt. 19:28; Isa. 2:2-3; Zech. 14:16-17; Rev. 21:24).
B The kingdoms of the earth are charged to praise God (Psa. 68:32-34).
C The psalmist concludes by praising and blessing God (v. 35).
 


Morning Nourishment
  Num. 10:33-34 So they set out from the mountain of Jehovah three days' journey, with the Ark of the Covenant of Jehovah setting out before them three days' journey, to seek out a resting place for them. And the cloud of Jehovah was over them by day when they set out from the camp.

  God's guidance to His people in a general way was by the cloud and the trumpets (Num. 9:15—10:10), whereas His leading of His people in a particular way was through the Ark (10:33-36), a type of the crucified and resurrected Christ in His resurrection. Hence, the unique Leader of God's people is not any man (cf. vv. 29-32) but is the crucified and resurrected Christ (Matt. 23:10). He is the Leader, and He leads us to the proper place of rest on the long and rugged journey of the Christian life (Heb. 4:8-9 and footnotes). (Num. 10:33, footnote 1)

  There is a difference between guidance and leading. The term guidance is used with respect to the cloud and the blowing of the trumpets, but concerning the Ark we have used the term leading. Guidance is general; leading is particular. The cloud and the trumpet guided the children of Israel in a general way. However, the Ark did not render a general guidance but a particular leading to the people. Thus, the Ark became the leader, taking the lead to find a resting place. (Life-study of Numbers, p. 125)
Today's Reading
  The Ark led the children of Israel in a particular way, much like a small boat leads a large ship through a narrow strait and a swift current into the harbor.

  Not only was the Ark a living ark, but the rock that followed the Israelites was also living (Exo. 17:6; 1 Cor. 10:4). In the wilderness Christ followed the children of Israel as a rock to supply them with living water. As the Ark, He was their Leader, taking the lead to find a resting place for them and to lead them through the hard part of their journey.

  The children of Israel were led not by man (Moses' father-in-law) but by the Ark (Christ) of God's covenant. This indicates that the leadership of Christ is faithful. This leadership is not according to emotion or affection but according to a covenant. God made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants to bring them into the good land (Gen. 12). Eventually, God's covenant was placed in the Ark, and thus the Ark was called the Ark of the Covenant (Num. 10:33). Hence, Christ is the Christ of the covenant, the Christ of God's faithfulness. Christ must lead us into a resting place because He is the Christ of God's covenant.

  Numbers 10:35 is quoted in Psalm 68:1. Then in Ephesians 4:8-10 Paul applied this word to the ascension of Christ. Ephesians 4:8 uses the word height. In the quotation of Psalm 68:18, height refers to Mount Zion (Psa. 68:15-16), symbolizing the third heaven, where God dwells (1 Kings 8:30). Psalm 68:1 implies that it was in the Ark that God ascended to Mount Zion after the Ark had won the victory. A quotation from Numbers 10:35, verse 1 of Psalm 68 indicates that the background of this psalm is God's move in the tabernacle with the Ark as its center. Wherever the Ark, a type of Christ, went, the victory was won. Eventually this Ark ascended triumphantly to the top of Mount Zion. This portrays how Christ won the victory and ascended triumphantly to the heavens. Hence, the rising up in Numbers 10:35 refers to the rising up to the heavens in Christ's ascension.

  This being the case, the word return spoken by Moses in verse 36 must refer to the second coming of Christ. If the arising in verse 35 refers to Christ's ascension, then the return in verse 36 must refer to His second coming. Christ left us by His ascension, and He will return to us by His second coming. (Life-study of Numbers, pp. 125-127)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1960, vol. 1, "Synopsis of Numbers," ch. 16; Life-study of Numbers, msgs. 16-17
 


Morning Nourishment
  Psa. 68:1 Let God arise; let His enemies be scattered; and let those who hate Him flee before Him.

  Num. 10:35 And when the Ark set out, Moses said, Rise up, O Jehovah, and let Your enemies be scattered; and let those who hate You flee before You.

  Psalm 68:1 is a quotation of Moses' prayer in Numbers 10:35, uttered when the Ark of the Covenant set out from Mount Sinai.

  After Moses brought the children of Israel to Mount Sinai, they stayed there for quite a long time....The main thing that happened at that time was not the decreeing of the law but God's charging Moses to build the tabernacle with the Ark, the incense altar, the lampstand, the table of the bread of the Presence, the laver, the altar, and all the utensils. (Life-study of the Psalms, pp. 316-317)
Today's Reading
  God wanted the children of Israel to build Him a tabernacle so that He could dwell among them and they could contact Him and even dwell with Him. However, because they were sinful, they needed an altar to take care of their sins. In addition, they needed the table of the bread of the Presence for spiritual food, the lampstand for spiritual light, and the incense altar for them to pray to the Lord.

  The move of God in Christ is portrayed in Psalm 68:1-18....The first part of verse 1 says, "Let God arise," and God did rise up to move...through the tabernacle....This indicates that God moves in Christ and through Christ. Without Christ, God cannot move on the earth. In Christ the Triune God made a long "tour," a tour that lasted thirty-three and a half years and that ended with Christ's ascension to the third heaven.

  Psalm 68 is about God's move within the tabernacle (typifying Christ) as His dwelling place with the Ark (typifying Christ) as the center. The tabernacle with the Ark traveled among the children of Israel for forty years until it arrived at Zion.

  This move of God began after the rearing up of the tabernacle of the Ark, signifying Christ incarnated to be the dwelling place of God on the earth with Himself as the center for God's move in His economy (John 1:14a; Num. 9:15a). This means that God could move on earth only after He had established a way—the tabernacle with the Ark—in which He could be with His people and in which they could contact Him and be with Him. In the Old Testament we have the type, but in the New Testament we have Christ as the reality of the tabernacle of the Ark.

  God's move...was from Sinai, signifying from the law (Psa. 68:8b, 17b), through the wilderness, signifying the earth (vv. 4b, 7b), to Mount Zion, God's dwelling place (v. 16), signifying God's dwelling place in the heavens (Eph. 4:8a)....Today we should triumph and exult in the move of God on earth, in His move from incarnation to ascension. (Life-study of the Psalms, pp. 317, 319-321)

  God was moving on the earth in and through His dwelling place with Christ as the center. We must be clear concerning these three points: (1) God is moving on the earth, (2) God's move is in and with the tabernacle, and (3) God's move is with Christ as the center in the tabernacle. Psalm 68 was written with this background. It is an exact portrayal of the situation with God's move on the earth today. God is moving on this earth, He is moving in and through His church, and He is moving with Christ as the center of the church. (CWWL, 1969, vol. 3, "Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms," p. 88)

  Athanasius, one of the early church fathers, said concerning Christ, "He was made man that we might be made God," and "The Word was made flesh...that we, partaking of His Spirit, might be deified." This is the principle of God's move on earth. God's move is in man and through man. God's move is to deify man, making man God in life and in nature but not, of course, in the Godhead. (Life-study of Job, p. 129)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1969, vol. 3, "Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms," ch. 10; Life-study of Job, msg. 24
 


Morning Nourishment
  Psa. 68:11-13 The Lord gives the command; the women who bear the glad tidings are a great host. The kings of the armies flee. They flee! And she who abides at home divides the spoil. Though you lie among the sheepfolds, there are dove wings covered with silver, and its pinions, with greenish-yellow gold.

  In Psalm 68:1 we have the prayer of Moses, the representative of God's elect, for Jehovah to arise and for His enemies to be scattered (v. 14). The enemies here typify Satan and his forces in the heavenlies (Eph. 6:12). This prayer was actually the aspiration of all God's elect people.

  These kings [in Psalm 68:12a], who were defeated and scattered, typify Satan and the rulers (Eph. 6:12).

  [In Psalm 68:11b] these women of Israel signify the weak ones. As believers today, we are the weak ones, those who cannot do anything except bear, preach, the glad tidings.

  The "she" [in verse 12b] is collective and refers to the women in verse 11. To abide at home signifies not to be at work. The spoil signifies all the gains of the accomplishment, consummation, attainment, and obtainment of Christ as the reapings of the victory of His death, resurrection, and ascension. This spoil includes dove wings covered with silver and pinions covered with greenish-yellow gold.

  They will divide the spoil even though they lie among the sheepfolds (v. 13a). The "you" in verse 13a refers to the collective "she" in verse 12 and "the women" in verse 11. Lying among the sheepfolds signifies resting in God's provision and care for His elect. (Life-study of the Psalms, pp. 321-322)
Today's Reading
  Psalm 68:13b shows us that there are four items among the spoil....The dove wings signify the moving power of the Spirit....The dove wings are covered with white silver. Silver signifies Christ in His redemption for our justification, which is indicated by the color white, the color of approval.

  The pinions are feathers at the end of a bird's wings. The pinions give a bird the strength to fly and to soar. Hence, in verse 13b "its pinions" signify the soaring power of the Spirit.

  The greenish-yellow, glittering gold with which the pinions are covered signifies God's nature glittering in the divine life and glory.

  The contents of the above four items, as Christ's spoil in His victory for the enjoyment of God's elect, are actually the Triune God with all the items of His complete, full, and all-inclusive salvation. "Dove" signifies the Spirit with His moving and soaring power; "silver" signifies Christ in His all-inclusive redemption for His believers' justification as the entrance into His full salvation; and "greenish-yellow gold" signifies God in His nature glittering in His life and glory. Both Christ and God are brought in by the Spirit's power: Christ by the Spirit's moving power and God by the Spirit's soaring power....Verse 11 indicates that God's elect enjoy all the above items as their portion in Christ and announce them to others as the glad tidings. On the one hand, we are the great host of women bearing, preaching, the glad tidings. On the other hand, we are restfully enjoying our portion in Christ, enjoying the Triune God—the Spirit as the dove, Christ the Son as the silver, and God the Father as the gold. The Spirit as the dove moves with Christ as the silver and with God as the gold. While we are preaching the glad tidings, we are enjoying the Triune God as the spoil gained for us by Christ.

  The dove, the silver, and the gold refer to the Triune God. The dove symbolizes the Spirit of God; in typology silver signifies Christ as the Redeemer who accomplished redemption for God's salvation; and gold signifies God in His nature. Here the gold is greenish-yellow, with green signifying the divine life and yellow, the divine glory. Hence, greenish-yellow gold signifies God in His nature glittering in His life and glory. Here we have the Triune God—the Spirit, Christ, and God—with all His accomplishments for us to enjoy. (Life-study of the Psalms, pp. 322-323, 315-316)

  Further Reading: Life-study of the Psalms, msg. 27
 


Morning Nourishment
  Psa. 68:18 You have ascended on high; You have led captive those taken captive; You have received gifts among men, even the rebellious ones also...

  Eph. 4:8 ..."Having ascended to the height, He led captive those taken captive and gave gifts to men."

  11-12 And He Himself gave some...for the perfecting of the saints unto the work of the ministry, unto the building up of the Body of Christ.

  Psalm 68 speaks concerning Christ's ascension (v. 18a; Eph. 4:8a)....Psalm 68:18a says, "You have ascended on high." This refers to the highest peak in the universe (cf. Isa. 14:13b).

  "Those taken captive" [Psa. 68:18b] refers to the believers of Christ. Before we were saved, we were sinners and enemies of God, and we had been taken captive by Satan and imprisoned. We were "those taken captive." But Christ defeated Satan and captured his captives, including us. Then, like a general leading his captives, Christ in His ascension to the heavens led us to the Father.

  Now we need to see that these ones, the redeemed of Christ, are included in the train of vanquished foes. The Amplified New Testament renders "He led captive those taken captive" (Eph. 4:8) as "He led a train of vanquished foes." In Christ's ascension there was a procession of these vanquished foes, led as captives from a war, for a celebration of Christ's victory....He did not appear before the Father empty-handed but had a great many vanquished foes following Him. (Life-study of the Psalms, pp. 324, 323-324)
Today's Reading
  Psalm 68:18 also reveals the matter of Christ receiving the gifts....When Christ ascended to the Father, He presented to the Father all the ones He had captured and brought with Him. The Father then returned all these captured ones to Christ, making each one of them a gift to Christ.

  We all were held captive by Satan in his prison, but we have been captured by Christ, presented by Christ to the Father, and then given to Christ by the Father as gifts. Although as gifts we may differ in size and quality, we all are gifts given by the Father to the ascended Christ.

  The gifts received by Christ have become the gifted believers, like the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the shepherds and teachers (Eph. 4:11). We should not believe the lie that we are not a gift or that we have not been gifted. Every saved person is a gifted believer.

  The last part of Psalm 68:18 says, "That Jehovah God may dwell among them." This indicates that Christ uses all the gifts to build up the dwelling place for God. The dwelling place here signifies the church as God's habitation (Eph. 2:22). As Ephesians 4 reveals, all the gifts do the same work of the ministry to build up the Body of Christ as God's dwelling place on earth today.

  The gifts as the gifted persons, the believers in Christ, are builded together to be the dwelling place for God. This dwelling place signifies the church, the Body of Christ (Eph. 4:11-12).

  "A Father to the orphans and a Judge for the widows / Is God in His holy habitation. / God causes the solitary to dwell in a household" (Psa. 68:5-6a). Here we see that God's dwelling place is also the habitation of the believers, the needy, the solitary, and the bound ones. Today we all are the needy ones (the orphans and widows), the bound ones (the prisoners), and the solitary ones, and the church is our dwelling place. The church is a building that includes such people.

  "O mighty mountain,.../ O many-peaked mountain, O mountain of Bashan: / Why do you look with envy, O many-peaked mountains, / At the mountain on which God desires to dwell? / Indeed Jehovah will dwell there forever" (vv. 15-16). The "mountain on which God desires to dwell" is Mount Zion. The dwelling place of God is built on Mount Zion, signifying the highest peak in the universe, the heavens. The builded church is in the heavens. Whether we are in the heavens or on the earth depends on whether or not we have been built up. (Life-study of the Psalms, pp. 324-326)

  Further Reading: Life-study of the Psalms, msg. 27
 


Morning Nourishment
  Psa. 68:19-20 Blessed be the Lord, who day by day loads us with good; God is our salvation. Selah. God is to us a God of deliverance, and with Jehovah the Lord are the goings forth even from death.

  24-25 They have seen Your goings, O God, the goings of my God, my King, in the sanctuary: Singers go before; players after; in the midst of virgins sounding the tambourines.

  In the first section [of Psalm 68] five matters are covered: God's move on the earth, God's victory in Christ, Christ's ascension, Christ's receiving the gifts, and Christ's building up the house of God. This brings us to the first item in the second section—the enjoyment of God in His house (vv. 19-23).

  The enjoyment of God in His house comes after the building up of His dwelling place, the church (v. 18b).

  [In verse 19a] what is this "good" with which God is loading us every day? This good, as the "good" mentioned in Romans 8:28, does not refer to material things such as a nice home or a new car; rather, it refers to the Triune God—to the dove wings gilded with silver and the pinions gilded with gold. This means that daily God is loading us with Himself.

  [Psalm 68:19b-20] reveals that in God's house we enjoy God as our salvation and deliverance; with Him are the goings forth, the way to escape, even from death. Only God can give us a way to flee death and to escape it because only God is life. When we enjoy Him as our life, we escape death. Actually, the way to go forth from death is God Himself.

  Verses 21 through 23 reveal that in God's house we also enjoy His victory over the enemies. (Life-study of the Psalms, pp. 330-331)
Today's Reading
  In [Psalm 68] verses 24 through 28 we have the matter of praising God....In verse 24 "they" refers to the enemies, to the unbelievers; "goings" refers to God's activities; and the "sanctuary" signifies the church.

  In Psalm 68:25 the praise is by the females, by the virgins as singers going before and players after. In this verse "virgins" signifies the believers.

  "Bless God in the congregations, / Even Jehovah, O you who are of the fountain of Israel. / There are little Benjamin, who rules them, / And the princes of Judah in their company, / The princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali. / Your God has commanded your strength..." (vv. 26-28). Here we have the blessing of God by the men, signifying the strong ones.

  In the praise rendered to God by His elect, there is portrayed a scenery in typology concerning God's New Testament economy in the accomplishment of God's redemption for His salvation by Christ and in the spreading of the glad tidings of Christ's accomplishment with the goodly words of the gospel.

  Benjamin [v. 27] had two names, the first of which was Ben-oni. This name, given to him by his mother Rachel as she was dying in childbirth, means "son of my sorrow" (Gen. 35:18a). As the son of sorrows, Ben-oni, Benjamin typifies Christ who, as the man of sorrows in His incarnation and human life on earth, accomplished God's eternal redemption for His full salvation.

  Psalm 68:27 speaks also of the princes of Judah. Judah is the lion with the power and the scepter, and he is the peace (Shiloh) to God's people (Rev. 5:5a; Gen. 49:8-10).

  Whereas Benjamin typifies Christ mainly in His humanity, Judah typifies Christ mainly in His divinity. In His divinity, Christ is not a man of sorrows but a lion with power and authority (signified by the scepter). In particular, Judah typifies Christ as the victory for God's people and the peace to God's people. In the application of redemption, Christ is our peace.

  Judah, as the kingly tribe, was accompanied always by Benjamin, as a warrior tribe (Gen. 49:27), for God's kingdom on the earth. (Life-study of the Psalms, pp. 331-333)

  Further Reading: Life-study of the Psalms, msg. 28
 


Morning Nourishment
  Psa. 68:27-29 ...The princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali. Your God has commanded your strength; strengthen, O God, that which You have done for us. Because of Your temple at Jerusalem, kings will bring a gift to You.

  Dwelling at the haven of the sea (Galilee) for a haven of ships (Gen. 49:13), Zebulun typifies Christ as the "haven" of the evangelists for the transportation and spreading in the preaching of God's gospel. The gospel has been accomplished, but there is the need of the spreading of the gospel by means of "ships." On the day of Pentecost, at least one hundred and twenty gospel "ships," all of whom were Galileans, set out to spread the gospel.

  Genesis 49:21 tells us that Naphtali is a hind let loose and that he gives goodly words.

  Naphtali typifies Christ as the One who is released from death in resurrection, signified by the "hind let loose" (Psa. 22, title; S.S. 2:8-9), and gives goodly words for the preaching of His gospel (Matt. 28:18-20). In resurrection Christ came to His disciples and charged them to disciple the nations.

  People of both Zebulun and Naphtali were men of Galilee (Matt. 4:12-17; Acts 1:11), from whom the gospel of Christ has been spread, preached, and propagated....In typology Zebulun and Naphtali form a group for the spreading and the propagating of the glad tidings of Christ's redemption for God's salvation. (Life-study of the Psalms, p. 334)
Today's Reading
  [Psalm 68:28b-29a] indicates that following God's strengthening of what He has done for His elect, the influence of the enjoyment of God in His house would spread to the entire city of Jerusalem because of the house of God, which was at Jerusalem.

  The house of God signifies the local church, and the city of Jerusalem signifies the kingdom, the strengthening and the safeguard of the church.

  Psalm 68 concludes with a word about the gaining of the earth for God (vv. 29b-35)....The influence of the enjoyment of God will gain the whole earth for God....According to verse 29b, kings of the nations will bring a gift to God.

  Verse 31 indicates that nobles will come out of Egypt to visit Jerusalem, the city of God, and that Cush (today's Ethiopia) will quickly stretch out its hand to God.

  The scenery portrayed [in verses 29b through 35] will consummate in the coming age of restoration (Matt. 19:28), in which all the earth will come to Jerusalem to worship God and to receive instruction and enlightenment (Isa. 2:2-3; Zech. 14:16-17).

  In this concluding verse [Psa. 68:35] the psalmist praises God and blesses Him. (Life-study of the Psalms, pp. 335-337)

  We need to pray that God will strengthen that which He has done for us out of the church...(Psa. 68:28-29)....God has put Satan to death already. We do not need God to repeat this act, but we do need Him to strengthen us. God has put our self, our old man, on the cross already—God has done this, and He need not reenact it. However, we need God to strengthen this experience within us. The Bible tells us that we have ascended with Christ to the heavens—God has done this already. Today what we need is the strengthening of this experience within us. This strengthening is in the temple.

  When we experience the strengthening of God in the local church, the church is transformed from a house to a city. The temple becomes Jerusalem. The house is surrounded, protected, and safeguarded by the walls of the city. Then, because we are so victorious, so overcoming, so transcendent, we have the sense that all the kings of the earth will bring a gift to the Lord [Rev. 21:24]....Psalm 68:31 and 32...indicate how the whole earth will be gained by the Lord. Through the city the Lord recovers the earth. (CWWL, 1969, vol. 3, "Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms," pp. 100-102)

  Further Reading: CWWL, 1969, vol. 3, "Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms," ch. 10
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