The victory (Ps 108:5-108:6)

“Be exalted

Above the heavens!

O God!

Let your glory                                                   

Be over all the earth!

Give victory

With your right hand!

Answer me!

Thus those whom you love

May be rescued.”

This refrain is one of the few sections in this psalm that is unique. This section is a call to achieve victory. God was to be exalted above the heavens. His glory should be all over the earth. David wanted victory from the right hand of God. He wanted an answer. He wanted to be rescued because God loved him.

Sing about Yahweh’s victory (Ps 98:1-98:3)

A psalm

“O sing to Yahweh a new song!

For he has done marvelous things!

His right hand

Has gotten him victory.

His holy arm

Has gotten him victory.

Yahweh has made known his victory.

He has revealed his vindication

In the sight of the nations.

He has remembered his steadfast love.

He has remembered his faithfulness

To the house of Israel.

All the ends of the earth have seen

The victory of our God.”

Psalm 98 has a non-descript title, a psalm, so that it is like Psalm 96. We are called to sing a new song to Yahweh because he has done marvelous things. His right hand and holy arm have provided victories for the Israelites. He has shown his victories, vindication of Israel before all nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen God’s victories.

Yahweh has created everything (Ps 89:11-89:14)

“You have founded

The world.

You have founded

All that is in it.

You have created

The north

You have created

The south.

Tabor

Joyously praises your name.

Hermon

Joyously praises your name.

You have a mighty arm.

Your hand is strong.

Your right hand is high.

Righteousness is

The foundation of your throne.

Justice is

The foundation of your throne.

Steadfast love goes before you.

Faithfulness goes before you.”

Yahweh has founded the world and everything in it. He has created the north and the south ends of the earth. The two northern mountains of Tabor and Hermon joyously praise the name of Yahweh. Even the mountains praise Yahweh.   He has a mighty strong arm. His right hand controls everything. Yahweh’s throne is built on the foundation of righteousness and justice. His steadfast love and faithfulness are the key concepts of this kingdom.

There is no one like Yahweh (Ps 77:10-77:15)

“I say.

‘It is my grief

That the right hand of the Most High has changed.’

I will call to mind the deeds of Yahweh.

I will remember your wonders of old.

I will meditate on all your work.

I will muse on your mighty deeds.

O God!

Your way is holy!

What god is as great as our God?

You are the God who works wonders.

You have displayed your might among the peoples.

With your strong arm

You redeemed your people,

The descendents of Jacob and Joseph.”

Selah

Asaph, the psalmist, admitted that he was full of grief. He felt that God had changed his right hand over him. Thus he recalled the great works of God that he had performed for him in the good old days. He meditated on his great deeds. There was no other god like his God, who worked wonders. He had redeemed his people with a strong arm. His people were the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Notice the mention of Joseph, which is rare. This section ends with the meditative musical interlude pause of Selah.

David praises God (Ps 63:5-63:8)

“My soul is satisfied

As with a rich feast.

My mouth praises you

With joyful lips.

I think of you

On my bed.

I meditate on you

In the watches of the night.

You have been my help.

In the shadow of your wings

I sing for joy.

My soul clings to you.

Your right hand upholds me.”

David’s soul was satisfied like as if it were at a great feast. His mouth praised God with his joyful lips. At night when he was in bed, he meditated on God. During the 3 night watches, God had been a help to him. Once again, there is allusion to the refuge in the shadow of the wings of God, when in fact God did not have wings. The cherubim in the Holy of Holies had wings. David sang for joy. His soul clung to God because God helped him with his right hand. Once again, God did not have hands. These metaphorical phrases of a thirsty soul and a winged God with a right hand are ways of explaining his trust in God.

The plea for victory (Ps 60:5-60:5)

“Give victory

With your right hand!

Answer us!

Thus those whom you love

May be rescued.”

This was a simple prayer to God. They wanted to gain a victory with God’s right hand. They wanted an answer to their prayer. God loved them so he should rescue them. There always was the presumption of God’s love and trust in that love, even if it was a little demanding.

Love of God (Ps 48:9-48:10)

“O God!

We ponder your steadfast love

In the midst of your temple.

O God!

Your name

Is like your praise.

It reaches to the ends of the earth.

Your right hand is filled with victory.”

They pondered the love of God in the great Temple. In the middle of the Temple, they glorified his name. They praised him so much that this praise reached until the ends of the earth. God’s right hand was filled with victory.

God’s help in the past (Ps 44:1-44:3)

To the choirmaster leader, a Maskil of the Korahites

“We have heard with our ears!

O God!

Our ancestors have told us.

What deeds you performed in their days,

In the days of old,

You with your own hand

Drove out the nations.

But then you planted them.

You afflicted the peoples,

But you set them free.

Not by their own sword

Did they win the land.

Their own arm did not give them victory.

But your right hand,

Your arm led them.

The light of your countenance shone

Because you delighted in them.”

Just like Psalm 42, Psalm 44, is one of the 11 Korahite Maskil psalms, that reference the sons of Korah, who were first mentioned in 1 Chronicles, chapter 9. These present psalmists had heard with their ears the stories of their ancestors about the good old days. God had been good to their ancestors. With his own hand he drove out the various nations and planted his favorite afflicted people. They did not accomplish this with their own swords. They did not capture the land with their own hands. God gave them victory with his right hand, his arm and the light of his face because he delighted in them.

Pride in the name of Yahweh (Ps 20:6-20:8)

“Now I know

That Yahweh will help his anointed one.

He will answer him

From his holy heaven.

He will provide mighty victories by his right hand.

Some take pride in chariots.

Some take pride in horses.

Our pride is in the name of Yahweh

Our God.

They will collapse and fall.

However we shall rise.

We shall stand upright.”

They had complete confidence in Yahweh that he would help his anointed one the king. Yahweh would answer him from heaven. He would provide victories with his right hand. While others take pride in their chariots and horses, they took pride in the name of Yahweh, their God. The others would collapse and fall, but they would rise and stand upright. Victory was theirs if Yahweh would be with them.

Yahweh is always before me (Ps 16:7-16:8)

“I bless Yahweh!

He gives me counsel.

In the night also

My heart instructs me.

I keep Yahweh always before me.

Because he is at my right hand,

I shall not be moved.”

The psalmist blesses Yahweh who gives him counsel. Even at night, Yahweh instructs his heart. He keeps Yahweh always before him at his right hand. Thus the psalmist will not be moved to go astray because Yahweh is always with him.