Psalm 108

May 21, 2024

1 God, my heart is fixed; I will sing and give praise, even with my glory.

2 Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.

3 I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: and I will sing praises unto thee among the nations.

4 For thy mercy is great above the heavens: and thy truth reacheth unto the clouds.

5 Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: and thy glory above all the earth;

6 That thy beloved may be delivered: save with thy right hand, and answer me.

7 God hath spoken in his holiness; I will rejoice, I will divide Shechem, and mete out the valley of Succoth.

8 Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the strength of mine head; Judah is my lawgiver;

9 Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph.

10 Who will bring me into the strong city? who will lead me into Edom?

11 Wilt not thou, O God, who hast cast us off? and wilt not thou, O God, go forth with our hosts?

12 Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.

13 Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies.

The Point:

God may have cast off His people, but we believe that He is coming back to us and He will overcome our enemies.

How do we feel in the recitation of this Psalm?

Large portions of this Psalm appear to be a direct copy of Psalm 60, but the underlying sentiment is far different from that Psalm. These words exude a thoroughgoing confidence in God and a complete assurance that He will overcome His enemies. Yet, there is still a tinge of sadness in our voices as we ruefully review the broken-down condition of the covenant people of God. In the very depths of our soul, we are sure that God will both salvage His people and overcome our enemies. The important thing for us is that God will come through for His agenda. The world may taunt God and mock His people in their broken-down and weakened condition, but we rejoice in the conviction that God will save His people and utterly destroy His and our enemies.

What does this Psalm say?

Verses 1-5.

“My heart is fixed!” Here is a God-centered man. In spite of the tragedy of the present circumstances, David’s attention is 100% focused upon God and His worship. The human mind is easily distracted with a hundred disappointments, irregularities, irritations, or challenges at any given point in time. But the reality of God, for the psalmist, is all-consuming!

Worship worthy of our God is worship that calls all of our faculties to the task. Assuming that the psalmist speaks of worship in music (verse 2), it is appropriate that the musician apply his “genius,” his talents, his creativity, his intelligence, his hands, and his voice at the highest level possible. If worldly men excel in music for their own glory, why shouldn’t the man of God assemble every bit of his own excellence, so as to give God at least a small part of the glory due Him? The highest forms of music need to be found within the company of the saints in the church of Christ. If men in the church are more interested in their own glory than God’s glory, then the world will excel; worldly men are more self-conscious of glorifying themselves and are better at it than professing believers.

The Psalmist leaps at the opportunity to sing God’s praises among the nations. He counts it a true privilege to praise God where the knowledge of God is most suppressed or mocked. Some may be embarrassed to lift up their hands in a public thoroughfare and loudly proclaim God’s glory. But God’s presence and God’s glory are 1000 times more affecting and impressive for the Psalmist than the masses who live in silent rebellion before their Creator. So David is invigorated and His soul is enlivened. Without God, there would be nothing. No reality. No truth. No salvation for us. David could just as well ignore everything and everybody else around him as he gives God the glory in the presence of the nations.

Verses 6-9.

The prayer now shifts from praise to petition. Unlike Psalm 60, David is more concerned here with God’s glory than the salvation of God’s people. Of course, these two concerns are connected as is apparent from the transition between verses 5 and 6.

But first, he prays that Yahweh God would deliver His “beloved.” God’s agenda involves both the salvation of His people and the destruction of His enemies. This is what He is doing in history. Indeed, God has wrapped His heart around a certain people, now referred to as “the church”. “Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life” (Is. 43:4). If God must destroy the Egyptians or the Moabites in order to bring about the salvation of His people, so be it. For these are very special people. The same thing can be said for the church of Jesus Christ. She may be imperfect, and she may be in great need of cleansing by the washing of water by the Word, but Jesus loves the church, and He died for her (Eph. 5:25-29). Christ is the Savior, or deliverer, of His body, the church. This fulfills what David prayed for here in verse 6.

Now, Jesus Christ subdues His enemies throughout history. He is, right now, Head over all things to the church (Eph. 1:21), and He will rule until all of His enemies are brought under His footstool. Therefore, any nation that will not submit to the rule of Christ will not survive. This was the legacy of the Roman Empire, the Spanish Empire, the French Empire, and the English Empire. When these nations failed to serve the interests of the church of Christ, King Jesus dispensed with them. The same thing will happen to the Chinese communist regime and the American humanist empire, which have publicly endorsed godless education systems and persecuted those Christians who insist on worshiping the true and living God in public institutions.

Verses 10-13.

It is almost in passing that the Psalmist refers to God’s people as “cast off” in verse 11. This is much more a praise Psalm and a faith Psalm than it is a Deliverance Psalm. There is no question in David’s mind that God will deliver His people and tread down His enemies. How else would history play itself out? Will God fail to deliver on His promises? Will He fail to save His people, and will His enemies gain the upper hand? Impossible!

How do we apply this Psalm to our lives?

Sometimes things don’t look very promising for the people of God. The enemies of God are manifold, and they dominate most of our institutions. Yet, we still need the faith of David, who knew that God would deliver His people and trounce the enemy. At the time that David lived, Edom was only about 80 km long by 80 km wide, or about the size of the state of Delaware (approximately 0.1% of the size of the United States). To the tiny nation of Israel, however, these Edomites provided a serious military threat. Israel was almost always surrounded by enemies that would just as soon annihilate the people of God. If anything, our situation is even more precarious than that of Israel in 1000 BC. Of course, we are surrounded by enemies. The people of God are broken down. But we must have faith that victory is right around the corner. We must believe strongly that God will lead His people into battle, and through Him we will do valiantly!

How does this Psalm teach us to worship God?

There is a strong dichotomy here between the world and the church. The church is made up of God’s special people, and the world is everything that opposes Christ and His church. What we want to see in history is the protection and preservation of the church, and the overwhelming of all that has set itself against God and His standards of righteousness. Sadly, the “Edomites” have made many inroads into the church. They own the church property, they control much of the seminaries, and they have infected the ideology of the church with their own humanist doctrine. Still, we must believe that Jesus Christ will overcome all of this.

In February of 2012, over 80 evangelical churches were evicted from all the public buildings in New York City on the dictate of the mayor. It was a time of persecution for the churches in that state. Of course, all of the apostate churches with their homosexual clergy still had full use of their grandiose temples built when the Christian faith had some integrity to it (in the 1600s and 1700s). But with the church so marginalized today, how will they worship in the warehouses and basements scattered throughout the city? In such untoward circumstances, the true church will worship according to the tenor of this Psalm, truly believing that God will tread down their enemies, and through Him they will wax valiant in the fight!


1. What is the condition of God’s people as this Psalm is recited?

2. What is the heart attitude of the Psalmist?

3. What sort of standard of music ought to be brought into the worship of God?

4. Who is God’s “beloved?” What New Testament passage comes to mind in connection with this reference?

5. Give several examples of faith Psalms.

Family Discussion Questions:

1. What is the tenor of our worship, at times when things are going badly in our local church (or within the Christian population in our country)?

2. Do we really believe that Jesus Christ is Lord of all things to the church? What would discourage us from believing in this reality?