Psalm 66 – Worship

The first time I held my precious, new born grandson in my arms. Oh, what love I instantly felt in my heart for this little new born baby. I couldn’t help but shout out a loud “Praise Jesus” and thank your Lord, when I first heard the news that Lucas had arrived. I looked at this tiny baby that I was holding and felt such awe. He is so perfectly made.
There are so many horrible things going on in this world. Any thoughts of them slipped out of my mind during those moments when I looked at Lucas. I felt such joy and wonder, beyond words really. He brought such a sincere, happy and eventful, time of praise to God. It is easy to praise God in the exciting times. Sometimes the troubles of life and the sadness and evil we see around us steals the thankfulness from within.
It is so interesting to me that only that same week, I had read this psalm of praise and it spoke to my heart. God’s Word has so much to teach us. I love to worship in song. I am on a worship team at a local church. Of course as I read Psalm 66, this is how the words spoke to me: To me the Psalm really teaches us of true worship and praise of Almighty God. Often our praises can become routine songs we sing once in a while. The psalmist tells so much more about praise. Hopefully, you enjoy this psalm as much as I do. I hope it gives some room for thought about how and why we praise our Mighty and deserving God.

Psalm 66
English Standard Version (ESV) http://biblegateway.com
“How Awesome Are Your Deeds
To the choirmaster. A Song. A Psalm.
66 Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
2 sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
4 All the earth worships you
and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name.” Selah
5 Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
6 He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,
7 who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah
8 Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
9 who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
10 For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
11 You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
12 you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
13 I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
I will perform my vows to you,
14 that which my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals,
with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
17 I cried to him with my mouth,
and high praise was on[a] my tongue.[b]
18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!”

Theme – Praise and Worship

Introduction
Recognizing the deeds of God and how awesome they are. This psalm is a call to worship God who is worthy of all praise. The introduction to the Choir Master, is called a song and a psalm.

Psalm 66: 1-7
In these verses the psalmist calls upon all people to praise God, all lands, all the earth, all the inhabitants of the world that are capable of praising God, Ps. 66:1.

1. These verses speak of the glory of God and telling us that God is worthy to be praised by all, for he is good to all and furnishes every nation with matter for praise. This shows that all are to praise God, not just a few within the congregation or some people, but all people everywhere. “The duty of man, that all are obliged to praise God; it is part of the law of creation, and therefore is required of every creature. God has always been praised and always will be praised. If man does not praise God then even the rocks and stones will cry out and praise God.”

Luke 19:40 English Standard Version (ESV)
40 “He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

2. Through Jesus Christ we are under a Covenant of love and Grace and Mercy, so how much more should we praise our God and Saviour? Praise to God is of great importance to God. “Let us therefore see God’s works and observe the instances of his wisdom, power, and faithfulness in them (Ps. 66:5), and then speak of them, and speak of them to him”. We speak of God’s works through our worship. We sing of his great works and in doing so glorify God. We sing praise to Him and in doing so show Him our thankfulness and exaltation to God. It shows that we acknowledge that God is greater than all. He alone is praised.
3. In a heartfelt gesture to God, the psalmist encourages a good work of praising God. The psalmist abounds in praising God and wishes that God might have his tribute paid him by all the nations of the earth and not by the land of Israel only. He excites all lands.

Points to be noted:

a. To make a joyful noise to God. Holy joy is that devout affection which should animate all our praises; and, though it is not making a noise in religion that God will accept. For example the praise of hypocrites  who are said to cause their voice to be heard on high. I think this refers to those who praise with their lips and not with their hearts. The stage can be full of musicians and not necessarily worshippers. In other words, God won’t listen to lip service. (Isa. 58:4), yet, in praising God, [1.] “We must be hearty and zealous, and must do what we do with all our might, with all that is within us, with all our hearts, souls, mind and strength.”

b. We must be open and public, as those that are not ashamed of our God. And both these are implied in making a noise, a joyful noise.

c. To sing with pleasure, and to sing forth, for the edification of others, the honour of God’s name, that is, in recognition of all that God has made known, Ps. 66:2. That which is the honour of God’s name ought to be the matter of our praise.

d. To make his praise glorious as far as we can. In praising God we must do it so as to glorify God, and that must be reason of all our praises. It is the highest honour we the creature can offer to God our Creator.

Psalm 66 7- 15

These verses show us how that during the time this Psalm was written that the Israelites recognized the testing that God put them through.

“6 He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,
7 who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let not the rebellious exalt themselves.”

They witnessed God’s mighty hand at work when he split the water in two as they crossed through the dry land. Oh how mighty is God. His eyes keep watch on the nations. God knows who is rebellious. God’s testing often reveals the truth of a man or woman’s heart or their motives. We see God’s miracles every day as did the Israelites. How quickly forgotten.  Today, do we take time to praise God. His miracles are all around us. Look at the birth of a baby, oh how wondrous and beautiful and intricate every detail from conception to birth. If we read the journey of the Israelites, we know that there were times when they stopped praising God and at times even began to praise false God’s. People have not changed in that respect. Believers often praise God in the good times, but in the bad times turn from God to other things.

The psalmist tells us to praise Him, don’t stop praising Him even during times of testing. In fact praise God more for those who truly trust in the Lord know that in that testing God is doing something far greater than we can even understand.

“For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.”

When silver is melted down all the impurities come out as is with gold. The things that are impure come to the top. For us when we are tested like silver, our true and impure thoughts and the wickedness within our hearts and the sin nature can be revealed to others and to God through the testing process.

I’m sure every one of us can get up and testify to a time within our life, where we have been tested as silver. You know, because it was during that testing you may have begun to question your faith in God. The doubt, the fear, the rebellion began to boil to the top. Some of us know very well the ugliness within our own hearts, the wickedness within that needs to be scooped from us during that process. The dross (impurities) come to the surface and that impurity needs to be removed. It is a continual process. Some of us might be going through that refiner’s fire right now. If you read the Old Testament, we see time and again the testing of God at work. We see the pattern of failure looming so large. We also see the repentant heart of the Psalmist like David who knew that the impurities could be cleansed by repentance and He praised God for the testing. It made Him a better person; a more trusted observer of the God He loved so much. David was a man who struggled with sin (adultery, murder and so on . . . but he was a man of repentance. We see example after example of God’s forgiveness toward David and the Israelites when they repentant and turned back to God. That is what made David a man after God’s own heart; a man who loved God and understood the love God had for him.

Psalm 66:13 – 15
“13 I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
I will perform my vows to you,
14 that which my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals,
with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats.”

The Psalmist at that time wanted to make amends. He wanted to right the wrongs; he wanted to give to God what he could give.

Psalm 66:16-19
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
17 I cried to him with my mouth,
and high praise was on[a] my tongue.[b]
18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.

The power in this last stanza is powerful. The psalmist reveals the main elements needed to enter into the highest of praise (fear God, cry out to God and remove sin).

Psalm 111:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
His praise endures forever!”

Proverbs 1:7 English Standard Version (ESV)
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 9:10 English Standard Version (ESV)
10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

a. Recognizing what God has done for each of us, in giving His Son Jesus Christ, in paying that burnt offering for us. No longer to we have to sacrifice burnt offerings as they did in the day of the psalmist. Jesus became that offering and that sacrifice. He was the perfect Lamb of God, without sin. His blood to atone for our sin.
b. A cry of praise to the Lord for what He has done. What did God do for you through His Son Jesus Christ? God the Father gave a gift of Grace and Mercy. What does that mean? Grace – God giving us what we don’t deserve which is atonement for our sins, eternal life and forgiveness. And Mercy – God not giving us what we do deserve, eternal death and destruction.
c. Romans 6:23 English Standard Version (ESV)
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

We should all think about that scripture verse and ask ourselves if we have truly received that gift God offers? As in any gift given, a person has to take hold and accept that gift from the giver.

How much do we want to praise Jesus for this? The psalmist said he cried out and the highest praise was on his lips. How about when we worship? We all need to examine ourselves to honestly know ourselves and where we are in this place of worship to God?

Next take this as literal. Praise him with a song, with your lips to God and to other people. Don’t be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for by sharing it, you are also praising God and what He has done.

In this day and age, it is becoming increasingly difficult to share the gospel of Jesus Christ because world views are changing drastically from what God’s Word teaches. We often want to be peace keepers rather than gospel givers. We choose to compromise the Word of God and in doing so,  we are doing the farthest thing from praising God. In fact when I think about it, is it any different than Peter denying Christ three times when they were about to crucify Jesus? How sad that often, fear in its many forms, can immobilize us and in this battle against evil and sin, our love for self can be stronger than our love and praise to God. How difficult it can be to deny ourselves and take up that cross for Jesus. The testing’s are here and they will increase as the days grow even more dark. However, we have one who is greater than our fear and more powerful than the battle we may be in. He will supply us with the weapons needed to win whatever that battle might be. The key to winning any battle is that we have take the Saviour Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit with us.

d. The psalmist recognized the importance of integrity. Folks, we can’t hang on to the sins we love. If we do then we begin to cherish the sin, more than God. He will not hear our praises.

“8 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.”

4. 19 But truly God has listened, he has attended to the voice of my prayer.”  The psalmist new the need for repentance and also the love of God and the power of God and that God heard his praise and his prayer. Oh what blessed assurance we can have if we take the Psalmist’s example and do likewise – pray, repent and obey the voice of God.

Conclusion of my thoughts on Psalm 66

Let us therefore see God’s works and observe the instances of his wisdom, power, and faithfulness in them (Ps. 66:5), and then speak of them, and speak of them to him.
Praise God in all things, at all times, in all places. Let the praise of the one who deserves all honour glory and praise hear a humble and contrite heart and a heart of worship.

Now is the time to come and worship the King. Do you have a relationship with the Father God through His Son Jesus Christ?
If not come now and ask him to forgive your sins and receive the greatest gift of all – the one who grants God’s grace and Mercy. Pray (talk) to God on a daily basis. Receive and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved and given the gift of eternal life.

Praise be to God and our Lord Jesus Christ who is worthy of the highest praise. For even the angels rejoice, twirl and spin when one sinner comes to repentance and saving grace.

Click on Link below and Worship the Lord – Song – Here I am to Worship.

All Scripture from Biblegateway.com ESV version – more information see source commentary notes.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=youtube+worship+songs&&view=detail&mid=C3E7CA0FFE86DC527AC4C3E7CA0FFE86DC527AC4&rvsmid=8E81BCA99FD06E6AC5968E81BCA99FD06E6AC596&fsscr=0&FORM=VDFSRV

About Rebecca Robinson

I'm a country girl who loves being outdoors where everything seems new every morning. It is my passion to write about life and experiences while at the same time, dipping into my imagination. Recently, I published three fiction books called "The Narrow Road Series". Previously in 2005, through Xulon Press, I published a non-fiction inspirational/biography/study book title - "When Time Stands Still" written under pen name Rebecca Hickson. Poetry is also included in many of my stories. You can listen to some of my music on soundcloud. Currently, I am working on the fourth book in "The Narrow Road Series". Writing and learning how the internet works, seems to take up a great deal of my time.

Posted on July 11, 2016, in SERMON TOPICS" and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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