Psalms 66:1

 

 

The Bible says in Psalms 66:1-3, “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:[2] Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.[3] Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.” If we make “a joyful noise unto God” we cannot be unhappy in any way. Christians should be the happiest people on the earth. No one can list all the things for which we can praise God. We can start with Jesus dying on the cross for us when we did not deserve it. We can praise Him for forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and all the promises of the Bible. We can praise Him for all the times that He blessed us and helped us in our lives: the list would go on forever. There are several reasons given in these three verses that the Holy Spirit tells us through King David to praise God. The first reason is in verse two: “the honour of his name.” God’s name represents who He is. God wants us to love Him, o respect Him, and to honor Him. The meaning of God’s name tells us who God is and what He is all about. God put into the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain.” In the Old Testament the primary name given for God was “Jehovah,” which means “the eternally existent One.” If you want to live forever, become united with God through Christ and His life will pour into you. You will live because He lives. In the New Testament the primary name given for God is “Jesus,” which means “Savior.” Jesus is the Savior. Jesus saves from sin, and from death, and from hell. Now we emphasize and we love the name Jesus. The angel said to Mary, “Thou shalt call His name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.” It says in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

 

Verse three reminds us that we can also praise God because of His “works.” The creation of this vast universe including every galaxy, every star, and every planet are His works. The creation of life on this earth is one of His works. Everything that happens and the final result of what happens are His works. It says in Acts 17:28, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” Sending Jesus to die on the cross and having a plan of salvation are His works. If you look around you and you know what you are seeing, you can praise God for His works.

 

We can praise God because we know what the end of the current spiritual warfare will be. As it says at the end of Psalms 66:3, “…through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.” Many people in the world are in rebellion against God and against Jesus. But the day will come when they will “submit.” If they submit to Christ in this life, they will be saved and will go to heaven. If they wait until their judgment to submit, they will not be allowed into heaven because God will say to them, “I never knew you. Depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 66:4, “All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.” This has been God’s will all along: that every single person would know Jesus as Savior and be thankful to Him in true worship. God does not want the wicked to die in their sins. Verse four looks to the future. After the Great Tribulation and the Second Coming, and after the Battle of Armageddon Jesus will rule the earth for a thousand years as King in Jerusalem. That is when all the earth shall know Him and worship Him. As it says in Isaiah 11:9, “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 66:5, “Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.” This verse starts with the words, “Come and see.” That is an invitation to “come” to the truth about Jesus and His existence. God’s invitation is made to everyone on the earth. God is active and involved in all the affairs of all people. God allows what He allows and God restrains what He restrains. All things are headed to one final destiny before the throne of God where everything will be explained and manifested how greatly God was at work in all the affairs of all men and all women on this earth. Open your eyes and you will “see.”

 

The Bible says in Psalms 66:6-7, “He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.[7] He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.” Man may not see, but God sees. Man may not know that God is acting, but God is. David gives one example to show that God is acting: the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea on dry land. People are on the move. Nations conflict with nations. Who is in charge of all of this: God. God wants man to trust in Him and believe in Jesus. Who has the power? Do the rulers of the nations have the power? No. God has the power. God rules “by his power for ever.” Man is given opportunities and responsibilities under God, but man will be held responsible for what he did with those responsibilities and opportunities. God’s “eyes behold the nations.” Jesus is at the top of the food chain and at the top of the hierarchy. And so those who do not recognize this, “the rebellious,” will give an answer at a little event called the judgment. God sees and God knows, God does not forget.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 66:8-12, “O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:[9] Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.[10] For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.[11] Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.[12] Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.” Verse eight is a reminder to praise God. Many times the same thing is said in the book of Psalms and elsewhere in the Bible. We need to be reminded to praise the Lord because it is so easy to let the activities and responsibilities of life crowd in on us. One of the values of reading the Bible is that we are reminded of what is really important. Verse nine tells us two reasons to praise God. The first is given as the fact that God holds “our soul in life.” In other words He keeps us alive. Life is a great gift and a great opportunity from Him. God will take our life whenever He wants to send us to our eternal destiny. If you know Jesus as Savior, that destiny will be eternal life. But for now your life on this earth is in His hands. Because life is so fragile and can end at any moment on any day, it is amazing all of the things that God does to sustain our lives.

 

God is primarily interested in our spiritual lives. It says at the end of verse nine that God “suffereth not our feet to be moved.” Those who are spiritually minded and who walk in fellowship with God through faith in Christ can praise God for making it possible. God wants us to be strong Christians. If we do grow in Christ and become stronger, how does that happen? Verse ten tells us. It says, “For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.” Silver or any precious metal is put through the fire. The fire burns away the impurities, and the result is something that is even more pure. That is exactly a part of growing in Christ. God is in control of everything. Why do bad things happen to Christian people? Why does God allow that? After we are saved through faith in Christ, God is more interested in our spiritual growth than in anything else. It says in verse eleven and in the first part of verse twelve, “Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.[12] Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water…” If we stay in the Bible and if we keep praying and trusting the Lord, surviving the afflictions of life will only make us stronger in faith and will make us better Christians. And once we have gone through a great affliction through faith in the Lord, we will say to God what David said at the end of verse twelve: “but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 66:13-14, “I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,[14] Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.” Notice in verse three the words “offerings” and “pay.” David knew that he was responsible to do his part for the place where God’s people gathered that David called the “house” of God. In the Old Testament people gathered at the temple. In the New Testament people gather at the church buildings to do four things: pray, teach the Word of God, sing the songs of Zion, and fellowship one with another. But there are practical and financial needs in order to be able to do that. Who are going to provide the funds to have a “house” of God? Each Christian can give something, whether it is 10 cents or ten thousand dollars or more. It says in Second Corinthians 9:7, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

 

Giving to God and taking care of a church building and a church property has to do with keeping one’s commitments and keeping one’s word to God. Many people have started going to a church and then stopped. What about their original commitment. They thought that God wanted them to do that. They went for a while and then they stopped. Something happened. They became a little more unspiritual, or they got bust with other things, or someone said something that they did not like, or something else. Whatever it was, the result was that they did not continue with their original commitment. If you are going to accomplish something for God, then you must start and continue. Someone needs to do it. Someone needs to say: this is what I am going to do for God, and no matter what happens to me or anyone else, I am going to keep doing it whether I have a good week or a bad week, rain or shine. Are there any people left who are like David and who will say, “I will pay thee my vows,[14] Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken…

 

The Bible says in Psalms 66:15-17, “I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.[16] Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.[17] I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.” The animal sacrifices that David mentioned in verse fifteen symbolized the fact that we all need a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus is our sacrifice. Because of God’s great love and mercy, He sent His precious Son Jesus to be a sacrifice in our place; and now God accepts that sacrifice no matter how great our sins have been. That is why David says in verse sixteen, “I will declare what he hath done for my soul.” How is your soul? Are you saved through faith in Christ? Verse seventeen tells how to get saved. It is very simple. It only takes one simple and yet very sincere prayer to Christ. David said, “I cried unto him with my mouth…” It says in Romans 10:13, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus, and He will forgive you and save your soul.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 66:18, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” Of course, part of the motivation for being saved is the desire to stop doing evil and start following the Lord Jesus Christ. Take your eyes off your sin, and put your eyes on Jesus. Look to Jesus. Repent: have a change of mind about the direction that you want your life to take. Verse eighteen also has an application to those who are already saved. There are several Biblical reasons that prayers may not be answered. Verse eighteen is one of them. We do not just repent when we accept Christ as Savior, but Christians must always have an attitude of repentance. We must always see ourselves as turning from our sins and to the Lord Jesus. We must not be involved in some sinful activity, and then expect the Lord to answer our prayers. Get right with God. Confess and forsake you sinful deeds, and then the Lord will answer your prayers.

 

The Bible says in Psalms 66:19-20, “But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.[20] Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.” Three times in these two verses David says that he knows that God hears his prayer. Of course, God hears our prayers that are made in the name of Jesus. God hears everything. God is the greatest of all social beings. God loves to hear from every human who will talk to Him. David knew that God heard his prayer because of “his mercy.” We can always count on the mercy of God. God’s mercy has to do with the fact that He forgives our sins, and He does not give us the punishments that we deserve. That is one of the reasons that we pray in the name of Jesus. Jesus is the reason that the Father has mercy upon us. Jesus died for sin and satisfied God’s just demands for judgment. Now mercy is freely available and God listens intently to every word that we say to Him. Make sure that you have said to Him, “Lord Jesus come into my heart and life, and save me from my sins.”

 

 

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Copyright; 2019 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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