Psalm 66 (NRSV)
Praise for God’s Goodness to Israel
1Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
2sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise.
“Praise requires concentration on the thing, person, or deity being praised. Thanks tend to be focused on what the speaker has received, and thus may become rather narrow and perfunctory. In the expression of thanksgiving the self may become the primary subject, but this is much less likely to happen in praise.”
3Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.
4All the earth worships you; they sing praises to you, sing praises to your name.”
Philippians 2:10-11 (NLT)
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.
5Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.
6He turned the sea into dry land; they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him,
“God’s work is never antiquated. It is all a revelation of eternal activities. What He has been, He is. What He did, He does. Therefore faith may feed on all the records of old time, and expect the repetition of all that they contain.”
7who rules by his might forever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations— let the rebellious not exalt themselves.
8Bless our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard,
9who has kept us among the living, and has not let our feet slip.
10For you, O God, have tested us; you have tried us as silver is tried.
“Try us, O God; but enable us to stand the trial!”
Malachi 3:3 (NLT)
He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross.
A woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. As she watched the siversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities.
The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot. Then she thought about the verse, “He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver…”. She asked the silversmith if it were true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined.
The man answered yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. For if the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, “How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”
He smiled at her and answered, “Oh, that’s the easy part — when I see my image reflected in it.”
11You brought us into the net; you laid burdens on our backs;
12you let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.
13I will come into your house with burnt offerings; I will pay you my vows,
14those that my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
15I will offer to you burnt offerings of fatlings, with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams; I will make an offering of bulls and goats.
The Psalmist would fulfill his vows to God with generous, expensive sacrifices, offering multiple animals.
16Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for me.
“We may picture the scene of public worship, perhaps at Passover or at a victory celebration, in which the corporate praise gives way to the voice of this single worshipper, who stands with his gifts before the altar, and speaks of the God whose care is not only world- and nation-wide, but personal: I will tell what he has done for me.”
HERE is “What the Lord has done in me” by Hillsong.
17I cried aloud to him, and he was extolled with my tongue.
18If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.
19But truly God has listened; he has given heed to the words of my prayer.
20Blessed be God, because he has not rejected my prayer or removed his steadfast love from me.
Spurgeon cited Thomas Fuller who composed a syllogism from the two verses above (Psalm 66:19-20). It works something like this:
· If I regard iniquity in my heart, God will not hear my prayer
· God has heard my prayer
We would expect the next line to be, Therefore, there is no iniquity in my heart. Yet the Psalmist completed the syllogism in an unexpected way, praising the mercy of God. “I looked that he should have clapped the crown on his own, and he puts it on God’s head. I will learn this excellent logic.” (Fuller)
–quoted in David Guzik
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.