The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng. Psalm 68:11
In 2020, celebrations marked the one hundredth anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. Old photographs show marchers with banners emblazoned with the words of Psalm 68:11: “The Lord giveth the word. The women that publish the tidings are a great host” (asv).
In Psalm 68, David describes God as the One who leads the oppressed from their captivity (v. 6), refreshing and renewing His weary people from His bountiful riches (vv. 9–10). In this psalm’s thirty-five verses, David references God forty-two times, revealing how He’s constantly been with them, at work to rescue them from injustice and suffering. And a mighty throng of women proclaim this truth (v. 11).
Whether the women who marched for voting rights fully understood all that Psalm 68 was declaring, their banners proclaimed a timeless truth. God, the “father to the fatherless” and “a defender of widows” (v. 5), goes out before His people leading them to places of blessing, refreshment, and joy.
Be encouraged today, remembering that God’s presence has always been with His people, and in a special way with the vulnerable and suffering. As in the past through His Spirit, God is still powerfully present with us today.
How have you experienced God’s care during a difficult struggle? What encouragement does that bring you?
Father, thank You for Your constant presence in my life, guiding me and fighting for me when I face suffering and injustice.
Psalm 68 is one of David’s psalms that doesn’t provide a historical context. As a result, scholars speculate as to what prompted him to pen its words. Some say it’s a song commemorating his conquering of Jerusalem (2 Samuel 5)—the Jebusite city he would make his and Israel’s capital. Others see the language more symbolically, referring to when David brought the ark of the covenant—representing the presence of God, Israel’s true and great king—into Jerusalem (ch. 6). Clearly, the song’s lyrics speak of God’s repeated rescues of His people in the past and celebrates those deliverances (Psalm 68:20). Still other scholars see in these references a call to spiritual renewal and a return to walking with the God of their rescue. In the very least, the king is calling on the people to celebrate Israel’s God as their true king.