Weds 7 April - Psalm 66
1 Shout for joy to God, all the earth!
2 Sing the glory of his name;
make his praise glorious.
3 Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
that your enemies cringe before you.
4 All the earth bows down to you;
they sing praise to you,
they sing the praises of your name.’
5 Come and see what God has done,
his awesome deeds for mankind!
6 He turned the sea into dry land,
they passed through the waters on foot –
come, let us rejoice in him.
7 He rules for ever by his power,
his eyes watch the nations –
let not the rebellious rise up against him.
8 Praise our God, all peoples,
let the sound of his praise be heard;
9 he has preserved our lives
and kept our feet from slipping.
10 For you, God, tested us;
you refined us like silver.
11 You brought us into prison
and laid burdens on our backs.
12 You let people ride over our heads;
we went through fire and water,
but you brought us to a place of abundance.
13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings
and fulfil my vows to you –
14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke
when I was in trouble.
15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you
and an offering of rams;
I will offer bulls and goats.
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him with my mouth;
his praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened;
19 but God has surely listened
and has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!
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Meditation on Psalm 66
This is a ‘wow’ Psalm. It focuses on God.
It touches on the past and the present and we can look forward to the continuation of praise throughout all eternity.
Verses 1-4 A call for the whole earth to praise God
The opening sentence sets the tone as the Psalmist encourages ‘all the earth’ to sing for joy.
We see this in other Psalms too.
e.g. Psalm 67:3-5
He is the subject of our songs.
He is the focus of our songs.
He is the recipient of our songs.
Unfortunately, the word has been devalued in our use of language – e.g. ‘that new car of yours is awesome’, which is a way of saying ‘that’s very impressive’.
When we think about ‘God’s awesome deeds’ we respond in reverence and fear, in wonder and worship.
His deeds are awesome.
His power is great.
His enemies are afraid – e.g Read Joshua 5:1
Come back to Psalm 46:10, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted above the earth.”
Verses 5-7 A call to remember what God has done
Here the Psalmist goes back to the rescue of the Israelites out of Egypt. He begins with an invitation: ‘Come and see what God has done…’.
He reminds the people that God is the sovereign God who is able to do whatever He pleases, including rolling back the waters so that 600,000+ can get across the Red Sea and a similar number get across the River Jordan to go into the Promised Land.
This God, as we have just celebrated at Easter, is able, through the Cross of Jesus and His resurrection, to bring us out from the slavery of sin and bring us to the Promised Land.
How can He do that?
- because His power is great
- His eyes watch the nations
Verses 8-12 A call to praise Him for His deliverance and preservation
The Psalmist reminds us that God is the focus of our praise because …
- He preserves our lives. Peter invites us in his first letter, ‘casting all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.’ Didn’t we sing of this on Easter Sunday morning – ‘No more we doubt Thee, glorious Prince of life; life is naught without Thee: aid us in our strife; make us more than conquerors, through Thy deathless love: bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above.’
- He tests us. The Christian life is not a smooth transition n from this life into the next. ‘It’s a long and winding road’ was a song sung by the Beatles back in the ‘70s and probably had no link to the Christian life but it can be applied when we think of all the ‘trials and temptations’ that the people of God around the world face every day.
- He brings us to ‘the place of abundance’. The land that ‘flows with milk and honey’. That land that David refers to in Psalm 23:5. The promised land. Heaven.
Verses 13-15 A personal call to offer a sacrifice of praise
We don’t come into God’s presence with burnt offerings or animals to be offered as sacrifices. We don’t need to because ‘Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed.’ (1 Corinthians 5:7)We bring our offerings of praise and worship.
Verses 16-20 A personal call to witness to others
In verse 5 it was ‘Come and see…’ Now it’s ‘Come and hear … let me tell you what He has done for me.’
Praise be to God who has not stopped loving me.
Thursday 8 April - Psalm 67
Friday 9 April - Psalm 68
Saturday 10 April - Psalm 69
Sunday 11 April - Psalm 70
Monday 12 April - Psalm 71
Tuesday 13 April - Psalm 72