Psalm 66:1-20 (NLT2)1 Shout joyful praises to God, all the earth!2 Sing about the glory of his name! Tell the world how glorious he is.3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! Your enemies cringe before your mighty power.4 Everything on earth will worship you; they will sing your praises, shouting your name in glorious songs.” Interlude
5 Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles he performs for people!6 He made a dry path through the Red Sea, and his people went across on foot. There we rejoiced in him.7 For by his great power he rules forever. He watches every movement of the nations; let no rebel rise in defiance. Interlude
8 Let the whole world bless our God and loudly sing his praises.9 Our lives are in his hands, and he keeps our feet from stumbling.10 You have tested us, O God; you have purified us like silver.11 You captured us in your net and laid the burden of slavery on our backs.12 Then you put a leader over us. We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.13 Now I come to your Temple with burnt offerings to fulfill the vows I made to you--14 yes, the sacred vows that I made when I was in deep trouble.15 That is why I am sacrificing burnt offerings to you— the best of my rams as a pleasing aroma, and a sacrifice of bulls and male goats. Interlude
16 Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me.17 For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke.18 If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.19 But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayer.20 Praise God, who did not ignore my prayer or withdraw his unfailing love from me.
The psalm opens with a call to the whole earth to shout, sing, and praise the name of God. All of God’s creation must praise God for his awesome works. Creation declares the need to shout praise to God because of God’s triumph over the enemies. Every person will eventually bow his and her knee to God, either willingly or unwillingly.
Romans 14:11 NLT For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord , ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God. ’”
Philippians 2:9-11 NLT Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
We should not wait to praise but start now and make it continual by remembering all He has done.
Just as He parted the Red Sea (verse 8), people should not think that God is not in charge or that God is not aware of the actions of humanity on the earth. God still rules and continues to watch over the nations.
Community of Praise
The writer explains why we should praise God. The psalmist refers to the fact that our lives have been preserved in the face of great trials, and refined us during them. He has preserved our lives through all that we have to endure.
Despite all that we must endure and suffer, we are always brought out into the abundance and blessings of God. God keeps us in life and goes with us through the fire into abundance and blessing.
Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
As we walk through fire and water, our faith is being refined and God is with us.
Isaiah 43:2 NLT When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. God can bring us through to abundance. Therefore we praise God for his goodness.
God does hear His people. He will not turn away our prayers and He will not turn away His steadfast love from us. These are great promises to His people. God does not remove his love from us. These are important reminders during our trials. God is still listening to us and God continues to extend his steadfast love toward us.