You have rejected us, God, and burst upon us;
you have been angry —now restore us!
You have shaken the land and torn it open;
mend its fractures, for it is quaking.
You have shown your people desperate times;
you have given us wine that makes us stagger.
But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner
to be unfurled against the bow.
Save us and help us with your right hand,
that those you love may be delivered.
God has spoken from his sanctuary:
“In triumph I will parcel out Shechem
and measure off the Valley of Sukkoth.
Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine;
Ephraim is my helmet,
Judah is my scepter.
Moab is my washbasin,
on Edom I toss my sandal;
over Philistia I shout in triumph. ”
Who will bring me to the fortified city?
Who will lead me to Edom?
Is it not you, God, you who have now rejected us
and no longer go out with our armies?
Give us aid against the enemy,
for human help is worthless.
With God we will gain the victory,
and he will trample down our enemies.
David mentions several towns in today's psalm: Shechem, the Valley of Succoth, Gilead, Manasseh, Ephraim, Judah, Moab, Edom, and Philistia. These locations symbolize various regions and peoples Israel encountered during its journey and battles. Each place represents a different challenge or enemy that Israel faced, highlighting the trials and triumphs experienced throughout their history.
For example, Shechem was the outer boundary of the vast area of land that God gave Abraham (Genesis 12:6-7). It suggests the huge provision of blessings that God gives us.
The Valley of Succoth mentioned in the psalm signifies a place of refuge and provision, reminding the reader of God's faithfulness in times of need.
Gilead and Manasseh were regions known for their warrior tribes, highlighting the strength and courage required to face adversaries.
Ephraim and Judah were two prominent tribes in Israel, emphasizing the unity and collective strength of the nation.
The psalm also mentions the enemies Moab, Edom, and Philistia, who were neighboring nations often in conflict with Israel. These references reflect the ongoing struggles and conflicts Israel faced from surrounding nations throughout its history.
While the psalm primarily focuses on historical events and victories, it also points to a greater spiritual truth. It reminds us that God is the one who grants victory and delivers his people from their enemies. It acknowledges the need for divine intervention and affirms trust in God's power and faithfulness.
In the New Testament, we see a parallel in the spiritual battles believers face. Paul says, "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). Just as ancient Israel faced physical enemies, believers today face spiritual battles against the forces of darkness.
The towns mentioned in Psalm 60 remind us of the challenges we may encounter in our spiritual journey. They represent the different aspects of our struggles and the enemies we face—whether they are external pressures or internal temptations. However, like Israel, we can find hope and assurance in God's faithfulness and strength.
God bless you.