- Note to the music leader: This is a song, and a psalm of David.1
Run, here comes God
- 1 God’s coming.
Soon, his enemies will scatter.
They’ll run for their lives.
- 2 They’ll fade to nothing, like smoke in the wind.
They’ll melt away, like wax in a fire.
It’s what happens to the wicked
When God comes.
- 3 But good people will celebrate.
When God comes,
Joy comes with him.
Happy people will have a party with it.
Rider of the Clouds
- 4 Sing songs to God.
Thank him for who he is.
He’s Rider of the Clouds.2
Show him the respect he deserves.
His name is LORD.3
Show him what happy people look like.
- 5 A parent to orphans
And a judge for widows,
God’s at work in his holy home.
- 6 He welcomes the lonely
And gives convicts success.
But those abandoned to the desert
Are those who abandoned their God.
- 7 When you led your people to freedom, God,
You marched them through the desert.
Power of God’s presence
- 8 The ground trembled and the sky rained,
In the presence of God at Sinai,
In the presence of the God of Israel.
- 9 When your land was dry and dying,
You revived it with rain at your command.
- 10 Your people settled there, God.
They were poor, but you were kind.
And you gave them what they needed.
- 11 At your direction a ladies’ chorus
Sang a song of news.
- 12 “Kings of armies turn and run.
And then they run some more.
Ladies pick apart the deserted camp,
Taking spoils of war.
- 13 Shepherds who stayed steady at their work
And kept the campfires burning
Get their share: figurines of doves,
Wings dipped in gold and silver.
- 14 When the Almighty5 came,
Kings scattered like snowflakes in a blizzard,
Like a snowstorm on Mount Zalmon.6
- 15 Why so jealous, majestic Mount Bashan?7
You’re a mountain with many peaks.
- 16 Yet for all your peaks, you envy
The mountain where God lives forever.
God’s chariot corps
- 17 God’s chariots are countless times countless
And thousands times thousands.
He was there with them,
Holy, on Mount Sinai.
- 18 God, you climbed the mountain,
You took the captives,
And you accepted gifts they gave.
Even gifts from enemy rebels.8
- 19 The Lord9 deserves praise.
He helps us every day.
And when we need a rescue,
God’s the one who saves us.
- 20 God is the one who saves us.
He knows how to keep us alive.
- 21 God destroys his enemies.
He crushes the hairy heads
Of people who won’t stop sinning.
- 22 The Lord said,
“I’ll bring the enemy back from Bashan.
I’ll dredge their bodies from the sea.
- 23 You’ll wade in their blood, as victors.
Then your dogs will chew them up.”
- 24 God, the world sees your victory march.
A procession of my God and king,
It leads all the into the worship center.
- 25 Singers came first.
Between, young ladies played tambourines.
- 26 The crowd praised God and said:
“Lord, you’re Israel’s fountain.”10
- 27 There’s little Benjamin,11
the tribe marching in front.
Leaders of Judah’s tribe follow along,
With leaders from Zebulun and Naphtali.
Kings come with gifts
- 28 Show the world your strength, God.
You’ve done it before,
And you’ve done it for us.
- 29 Kings will bring you gifts
To your Temple in Jerusalem.
- 30 Punish nations of the marsh12
And nations stampeding like bulls.
Do it until they bring you silver tribute.
Scatter nations in love with war,
And send them running to find some peace.
- 31 Egypt will send gifts to admit defeat.
Cush,13 will do the same.
- 32 Nations of the world,
Let’s sing a song to God.
Thank the Lord for who he is,
And say it with a song.
- 33 He rides the sky from ancient times
And speaks with force of thunder.
- 34 Say it out loud:
God is strong and the Majesty of Israel.
In strength he rides the sky.
- 35 There you are in your Temple, God.
Israel’s God and source of strength.
May you smile at the blessing of this praise.
The subtitle wasn’t part of the original psalm. And the possible byline “of David,” isn’t necessarily a byline. The vague phrase could mean the song was written by David, about David, or was inspired by David. Almost half of the psalms are attributed to David in this way, 73 of 150. Ancient Jewish history tells of David playing a lyre and writing songs. For one, he wrote a song of mourning at the battlefield death of King Saul and his sons: “How have the mighty fallen!” (2 Samuel 1:19-27 New American Standard Bible). An ancient Jewish scroll from about the time of Jesus, discovered among the famous Dead Sea Scrolls, reports that David wrote 3,600 songs.
“Clouds” could also mean “desert.” In that case, the image is reminiscent of a prophecy in Isaiah 57:14, urging people to prepare the road for the Lord, and make a highway through the desert.
This “LORD” in all capital letters is different than other “Lord” spellings in Psalms and throughout the Bible. “LORD” appears around 7,000 times in the Christian Bible, which makes it the most common way of referring to God. The lower-case “Lord” is a translation of the Hebrew word Adonai. It refers to God as our master, our life coach, or the boss. He’s in charge of us, and we try to obey him. “LORD” is the spelling most Bibles use when the writer refers to the name of God. Moses asked God what his name was, and God said Moses should tell the Israelite ancestors of the Jews that his name is “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). In the original Hebrew language, the name is spelled with only consonants—no vowels. It’s an ancient shorthand, to save hides used to make scrolls. The name is YHWH. Without knowing which vowels, most scholars have settled on YAHWEH, pronounced YAH-way.
The word in the original language of Hebrew is selah. Bible scholars haven’t figured out what it means yet, so all we can do is guess. It could mean “pause for effect,” “instrumental interlude,” or “choir singing ‘Amen.’” We’re offering a guess instead of selah. Though selah might be the better way to go because it’s always correct, it’s also always incomprehensible. “Instruments” has a good chance of being wrong, but at least we convey the idea that the Hebrew word behind it probably has something to do with enhancing the song.
The Hebrew word for this descriptive title of God is Shaddai.
Location unknown. There was a Mount Zalmon near Shechem, modern Nablus (Judges 9:48). The city is near the center of the Holy Land, shared by the Israeli and Palestinian people.
Bashan was a region east of the Sea of Galilee, along the borders of Israel, Syria, and Jordan. It’s unknown which mountain the writer was talking about.
It’s unclear which story the writer is talking about. It could be Deborah’s defeat of an invading chariot corps at the Battle of Mount Tabor (Judges 4).
This “Lord” is not in all capital letters like most other “LORD” spellings in Psalms and throughout the Bible. “LORD” appears around 7,000 times in the Christian Bible, which makes it the most common way of referring to God. The lower-case “Lord” is a translation of the Hebrew word Adonai. It refers to God as our master, our life coach, or the boss. He’s in charge of us, and we try to obey him. “LORD” is the spelling most Bibles use when the writer refers to the name of God. Moses asked God what his name was, and God said Moses should tell the Israelite ancestors of the Jews that his name is “I AM” (Exodus 3:14). In the original Hebrew language, the name is spelled with only consonants—no vowels. It’s an ancient shorthand, to save hides used to make scrolls. The name is YHWH. Without knowing which vowels, most scholars have settled on YAHWEH, pronounced YAH-way.
In the parched lands of the Middle East, any source of freshwater was a source of life.
Benjamin was the youngest of Jacob’s 12 sons, whose extended families grew to become the 12 tribes of Israel. Some scholars say the writer may have been describing the procession King David led when he brought to Jerusalem the Ark of the Covenant, the gold-covered chest with the Ten Commandments—Israel’s most sacred object (2 Samuel 6:1-19; 1 Chronicles 13—16:43).
Possibly the riverside nation of Egypt. Nearly all Egyptians lived alongside the Nile River.
Cush, also known as Nubia, was a region along the Nile River south of Egypt, in what is now Sudan. The Nubian Desert lay just beyond the few miles of fertile land alongside the river. Most people lived on the narrow stretch of land beside the river, then as now.