May God arise, may his enemies be scattered;
may his foes flee before him.
May you blow them away like smoke—
as wax melts before the fire,
may the wicked perish before God.
But may the righteous be glad
and rejoice before God;
may they be happy and joyful.
Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds ;
rejoice before him—his name is the LORD.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.
God sets the lonely in families,
he leads out the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
When you, God, went out before your people,
when you marched through the wilderness,
the earth shook, the heavens poured down rain,
before God, the One of Sinai,
before God, the God of Israel.
You gave abundant showers, O God;
you refreshed your weary inheritance.
Your people settled in it,
and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.
The Lord announces the word,
and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng:
“Kings and armies flee in haste;
the women at home divide the plunder.
Even while you sleep among the sheep pens,
the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver,
its feathers with shining gold.”
When the Almighty scattered the kings in the land,
it was like snow fallen on Mount Zalmon.
Mount Bashan, majestic mountain,
Mount Bashan, rugged mountain,
why gaze in envy, you rugged mountain,
at the mountain where God chooses to reign,
where the LORD himself will dwell forever?
The chariots of God are tens of thousands
and thousands of thousands;
the Lord has come from Sinai into his sanctuary.
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.
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,
who daily bears our burdens.
Our God is a God who saves;
from the Sovereign LORD comes escape from death.
Surely God will crush the heads of his enemies,
the hairy crowns of those who go on in their sins.
The Lord says, “I will bring them from Bashan;
I will bring them from the depths of the sea,
that your feet may wade in the blood of your foes,
while the tongues of your dogs have their share.”
Your procession, God, has come into view,
the procession of my God and King into the sanctuary.
In front are the singers, after them the musicians;
with them are the young women playing the timbrels.
Praise God in the great congregation;
praise the LORD in the assembly of Israel.
There is the little tribe of Benjamin, leading them,
there the great throng of Judah’s princes,
and there the princes of Zebulun and of Naphtali.
Summon your power, God;
show us your strength, our God, as you have done before.
Because of your temple at Jerusalem
kings will bring you gifts.
Rebuke the beast among the reeds,
the herd of bulls among the calves of the nations.
Humbled, may the beast bring bars of silver.
Scatter the nations who delight in war.
Envoys will come from Egypt;
Cush will submit herself to God.
Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
sing praise to the Lord,
to him who rides across the highest heavens, the ancient heavens,
who thunders with mighty voice.
Proclaim the power of God,
whose majesty is over Israel,
whose power is in the heavens.
You, God, are awesome in your sanctuary;
the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Praise be to God!
David exalts God as a mighty warrior in this long psalm, celebrating his triumph over his enemies, his deliverance of his people, and his sovereignty over creation. He also notes God's provision and care for the vulnerable and the marginalized. He says, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling" (verse 5). This verse highlights God's special concern for those who need protection and support.
God's role as a father to the fatherless and a defender of widows is a recurring theme in Scripture. We see it echoed throughout the Old Testament, where God repeatedly expresses his care for the oppressed. We see this demonstrated in the person of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
Jesus demonstrated a deep compassion for those in need during his earthly ministry. He reached out to the outcasts and showed kindness and love to those who were despised by society, especially those considered sinners by the religious elite. "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick," he famously told them on one occasion (Luke 5:31).
The apostle James also spoke of the importance of caring for widows and orphans. He wrote: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27).
These days, when the mortality rate has dipped considerably, there might not be as many widows and orphans as there were two thousand years ago. However, many people still cannot provide for themselves, and we have an obligation toward them. In his parable of the sheep and the goats, Jesus encourages us to look after our less fortunate brethren or be judged accordingly.
It is something that should come naturally to all of us who have experienced the love of the Father. Let us cultivate his heart and be a father to the fatherless and the defender of the helpless.
God bless you.