Daily Archives: September 24, 2010

He Fought, We Get the Spoils

Psalm [68:1] God shall arise, his enemies shall be scattered; and those who hate him shall flee before him!

[2] As smoke is driven away, so you shall drive them away; as wax melts before fire, so the wicked shall perish before God!

[3] But the righteous shall be glad; they shall exult before God; they shall be jubilant with joy!

[4] Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD; exult before him!

[5] Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.

[6] God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

[7] O God, when you went out before your people, when you marched through the wilderness, Selah

[8] the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain, before God, the One of Sinai, before God, the God of Israel.

[9] Rain in abundance, O God, you shed abroad; you restored your inheritance as it languished;

[10] your flock found a dwelling in it; in your goodness, O God, you provided for the needy.

[11] The Lord gives the word; the women who announce the news are a great host:

[12] “The kings of the armies—they flee, they flee!” The women at home divide the spoil—

[13] though you men lie among the sheepfolds— the wings of a dove covered with silver, its pinions with shimmering gold.

[14] When the Almighty scatters kings there, let snow fall on Zalmon.

Psalm 68:12 – “The women at home divide the spoil…” – This Psalm is about God granting victory to His people. The enemies of the people of God shall be scattered and God shall be praised and worshipped. The men of Israel will go out to battle and they shall defeat their foes and they shall come home triumphant. And the women at home shall divide the spoil. A few thoughts:

1) The women did not go to war with the men. They would not have wanted to and they knew that they were particularly fitted for different, yet equally important, work. It is a crying weakness that in the 21st century equality has come to mean sameness. It doesn’t. Men and women are equal but they are not the same. They are created and are not meant to do all the same things. God made women because men cannot do all that needs to be done. The cry for sameness denies this and the saddest thing about it is that the cry for equality rarely, if ever, means that a woman wants to be at home or wants to raise the kids or wants to keep the home. These are considered demeaning. What really matters is to able to do what men have been traditionally been called exclusively to do. The women of this Psalm are at home while their men are at war. Nothing unequal about that.

2) They divided up the spoil. Well, how did they come into possession of it? The men brought it home. There it is. Men who use the profits of their craft to benefit the home. Picture the man going through the streets and homes and shops of defeated cities and eyeing the various articles and possessions of the foe. What is he thinking? “What can I take that my wife and children will profit from?” He is not fighting for his own glory. He has been fighting to defend his home and ensure that those who would hurt his loved ones will not be able to do so. He is fighting so that his family can prosper. Men are to lead and work and rest so that the home for which he is responsible is benefitted. He does not pick up things for himself. He picks up that which he fully trusts his wife at home to use for the good of the family. It’s a good division of labour indicated in this Psalm. The cries for equality and justice from women is often justified because men do not demonstrate real love in their homes.

3) But here is an even bigger point. This is about Jesus Christ. The church is the bride of Christ. Jesus is the husband and He has gone off to war and won a great victory for us. We are greatly loved and provided for and He has returned in victory and lavished on us the spoils of His battle. The enemy was death and sin and hell. And we have eternal life, holiness and heaven as a result. What a Saviour.