SONG OF PRAISE
Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of your Word. Prepare my mind and heart as I come to meditate on its truths today.
Read PSALM 66
For the director of music. A song. A psalm.
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.”[a]
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 forever 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 fulfill 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!
- Psalm 66:4 The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 7 and 15.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing power and majesty, praise to the King.’* Use this song, or another that praises God joyfully, to acknowledge his greatness and come into his presence in worship.
This psalm burns brightly with joy in the Lord and aims to inspire the glorious praise of his name. It invites people to discover for themselves who God is and what God has done (vs 5,16). It gives details of his powerful acts for his people (vs 6,9,19,20). It acknowledges the testing and generosity of the Lord (vs 10-12) and promises offerings to the one who listens and answers (vs 13-15,19,20). It brings a wonderful sense of the writer and his confidence in proclaiming God. It is full of worship to the Lord for all he has done.
Paul knew the psalms. You can imagine that this one might be exactly the sort of psalm to which he would direct Timothy, to help rekindle the fire of his faith. All of us have times when passion for God and his kingdom may burn lower than at others. As you reflect on this psalm, let it remind you of the Lord and ‘his awesome deeds for mankind’ (v 5)—and for you.
Spend some time writing your own psalm of thanks to God. Whether your faith could be described as embers or a blazing fire right now, let it remind you of who the Lord is and why you’re his follower.
Forgive me, Loving Lord, when the challenges and trials of this world distract me from the wonder of who you are and what you have done. Help me to keep my focus on you clear and steadfast— not just for today, but for eternity.
*‘Shout to the Lord,’ Darlene Zschech, 1993
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