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Praise for Answered Prayer. Psalm 66: PDF

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1 Commentary by Clyde M. Miller Questions by John C. Sewell Praise for Answered Prayer Psalm 66: Text: Psalm 66:1-20, Praise for
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1 Commentary by Clyde M. Miller Questions by John C. Sewell Praise for Answered Prayer Psalm 66:1-20 2 Text: Psalm 66:1-20, Praise for Answered Prayer Commentary by Clyde M. Miller 1. Shout with 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 praise to your name. Selah 5. Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf! 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. Selah 8. Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; 9. he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. 10. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. 11. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. 12. You let men 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. I will sacrifice fat animals to you and an offering of rams; I will offer bulls and goats. Selah 16. Come and listen, 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 heard my voice in prayer. 20. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (NIV) Introduction: I. The word for a song in the superscription is shir, which often suggests a song of celebration. A. The word for a psalm is mizmor, which is the equivalent of the Greek word psal mos, from which the English word psalm is transliterated. 1. The plural form of this word is used for the English title of the book of Psalms. II. Like Psalm 65, this is also a psalm of thanksgiving. A. In verses 1-12, the psalmist speaks for the nation in the first person plural. 1. Psalm 66:1-12, Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! Say to God, How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name. Selah Come and 4 see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf! He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot come, let us rejoice in him. He rules forever by his power, his eyes watch the nations let not the rebellious rise up against him. Selah Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs.. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. (NIV) B. In verses 13-20, he speaks as the leader of the assembly, possibly a king, in the first person singular. 1. Psalm 66:13-20, I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you- vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. I will sacrifice fat animals to you and an offering of rams; I will offer bulls and goats. Selah Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (NIV) III. The psalm begins with an invitation for the nations, all the earth, are to shout and sing and make his praise glorious (1-2). 1. Psalm 66:1, 2, Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! (NIV) 5 D. The psalm ends with a declaration of praise to God, who has not withheld his (loyal) love, chesedh. Verse 20 is the defining thought for the entire psalm. 1. Psalm 66:20, Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (NIV) II. The psalm begins with an invitation to the nations to praise God (1-12). A. Psalm 66:1-12, Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! Say to God, How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name. Selah Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf! He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot come, let us rejoice in him. He rules forever by his power, his eyes watch the nations let not the rebellious rise up against him. Selah Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. (NIV) B. Verses 1-9 are addressed to the nations, and verses are addressed to God. IV. The Psalm then changes with the psalmist praising God (13-20). 6 A. Psalm 66:13-20, I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you- vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. I will sacrifice fat animals to you and an offering of rams; I will offer bulls and goats. Selah Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (NIV) B. In verses 13-15, he addresses God, and in verses 16-20, he addresses the congregation. Psalm 66:1-9, national gratitude for deliverance 66:1-2. Commentary: National Gratitude for Deliverance Psalm 66:1, 2, Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! (NIV) I. The exhortation to shout to God (1) is not here an isolated incident in the psalms. A. Shouting is coupled with joy in at least fourteen verses (20:5 33:3; 35:27; 47:1; 60:8; 65:13; 66:1; 71:23; 81:1; 95:1; 98:4,6; 100:1; 108:9). 1. Psalm 20:5, We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. (NIV) Psalm 33:3, Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. (NIV) 3. Psalm 35:27, May those who delight in my vindication shout for joy and gladness; may they always say, The LORD be exalted, who delights in the wellbeing of his servant. (NIV) 4. Psalm 47:1, Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy. (NIV) 5. Psalm 60:8, Moab is my washbasin, upon Edom I toss my sandal; over Philistia I shout in triumph. (NIV) 6. Psalm 65:13, The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing. (NIV) 7. Psalm 66:1, Shout with joy to God, all the earth! (NIV) 8. Psalm 71:23, My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you I, whom you have redeemed. (NIV) 9. Psalm 81:1, Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! (NIV) 10. Psalm 95:1, Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. (NIV) 11. Psalm 98:4, 6, Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; with 8 trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn shout for joy before the LORD, the King. (NIV) 12. Psalm 100:1, Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. (NIV) 13. Psalm 108:9, Moab is my washbasin, upon Edom I toss my sandal; over Philistia I shout in triumph. (NIV) II. Sing the glory (2a) means to glorify God by singing. A. Psalm 66:2a, Sing the glory of his name; (NIV) III. Make his praise glorious (2b) means use language that will glorify God. A. Psalm 66:2b, make his praise glorious! (NIV) Psalm 66:3, Say to God, How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. (NIV) I. Say to God is a phrase that puts the exact words into the mouths of the singers. A. The quote continues through verse Psalm 66:3, 4, Say to God, How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name. Selah (NIV) B. God is often described as awesome in the psalms (45:4; 47:2; 65:5; 66:3,5; 68:35; 89:7; 99:3; 106:22; 145:6). Psalm 45:4, In your majesty ride forth victoriously in behalf of truth, humility and righteousness; let your right hand display awesome deeds. (NIV) 2. Psalm 47:2, How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth! (NIV) 3. Psalm 65:5, You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas, (NIV) 4. Psalm 66:3, 5, Say to God, How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf! (NIV) 5. Psalm 68:35, You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God! (NIV) 6. Psalm 89:7, In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him. (NIV) 7. Psalm 99:3, Let them praise your great and awesome name he is holy. (NIV) 8. Psalm 106:22, miracles in the land of Ham and awesome deeds by the Red Sea. (NIV) 9. Psalm 145:6, They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds. (NIV) 10 C. Several of these references connect God s awesomeness with his deeds or works. 1. In the present context, God s great power strikes awe in the hearts of those who experience it. 2. God s enemies will cringe before Him (Ps. 18:44; 66:3; 81:15). a. Psalm 18:44, As soon as they hear me, they obey me; foreigners cringe before me. (NIV) b. Psalm 66:3, Say to God, How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. (NIV) c. Psalm 81:15, Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. (NIV) Psalm 66:4, All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name. Selah (NIV) I. The scene now changes from the nations cringing before God to their bowing down in worship and singing praise to Him. A. Lines 2 and 3 in this climactic triplet are almost identical for emphasis. 1. The extension, your name designates the person of God. Psalm 66:5, Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf! (NIV) 11 I. Verse 5 invites an inspection of what God has done, which phrase is literally, the deeds of God. A. The invitation returns to the concept of God s awesome works (cf. awesome deeds, v. 3). 1. Psalm 66:3, Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf! (NIV) B. Deeds (v. 3) and works (v.5) translate two familiar words, mauaceh and p ual, which are synonyms. 1. Psalm 66:3, 5, Say to God, How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf! (NIV) 2. The second line is incomplete; come and see is to be understood although not written. 3. The works under consideration are for man s benefit. a. They are meant to instill awe and wonder in him. Psalm 66:6, He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot come, let us rejoice in him. (NIV) I. The first two lines of this climactic triplet recall the passing through the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds) at the exodus from Egyptian bondage. II. The third line is the climax; it sets forth the proper response of rejoicing that should be forthcoming on the part of believers. 12 III. What God has done in the past He will do in the present and future. Psalm 66:7, He rules forever by his power, his eyes watch the nations let not the rebellious rise up against him. Selah (NIV) I. Verse 7 reveals that God s creative power can become destructive against His impenitent enemies. A. Rebellion against God is ultimately futile. B. The creator is also the supreme ruler. Psalm 66:8-9, Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. (NIV) I. The nations, that is, peoples, should praise God without shame or reservation; they should let their praise be heard. A. The reason is that He has preserved the lives of Israel and kept them from slipping, that is, He has kept them from faltering under duress (9a,b). 1. Psalm 66:9, he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. (NIV) B. The thought is that God is the universal God; what He has done for Israel he can do for the nations if they believe. 13 Direct National Address to God Psalm 66:10-12, For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. (NIV) Psalm 66:10, For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. (NIV) I. Verse 10 is a synonymous couplet. A. Tested us and refined us are synonymous expressions. B. Like silver designates a familiar process of separating the precious metal from the dross. Psalm 66:11,You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. (NIV) I. Verse 11 is an allusion to the Egyptian bondage of Israel when they were treated harshly like a chain gang by their hard taskmasters (Ex. 1-5). A. Exodus 1:1-22, These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt. Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died, but the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied greatly and became exceedingly numerous, so that the land was filled with them. Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. Look, he said to his people, the Israelites have become much too numerous 14 for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country. So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly. They made their lives bitter with hard labor in brick and mortar and with all kinds of work in the fields; in all their hard labor the Egyptians used them ruthlessly. The king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, whose names were Shiphrah and Puah, When you help the Hebrew women in childbirth and observe them on the delivery stool, if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, let her live. The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live. Then the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, Why have you done this? Why have you let the boys live? The midwives answered Pharaoh, Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive. So God was kind to the midwives and the people increased and became even more numerous. And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own. Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live. (NIV) B. Exodus 2:1-25, Now a man of the house of Levi married a Levite woman, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him for three months. But when she could hide him no longer, she got a papyrus basket for him and coated it with tar and pitch. Then she placed the child in it and put it among the reeds along the bank of the Nile. His sister stood at a dis- 15 tance to see what would happen to him. Then Pharaoh's daughter went down to the Nile to bathe, and her attendants were walking along the river bank. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her slave girl to get it. She opened it and saw the baby. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. This is one of the Hebrew babies, she said. Then his sister asked Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you? Yes, go, she answered. And the girl went and got the baby's mother. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Take this baby and nurse him for me, and I will pay you. So the woman took the baby and nursed him. When the child grew older, she took him to Pharaoh's daughter and he became her son. She named him Moses, saying, I drew him out of the water. One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to where his own people were and watched them at their hard labor. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Glancing this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. The next day he went out and saw two Hebrews fighting. He asked the one in the wrong, Why are you hitting your fellow Hebrew? The man said, Who made you ruler and judge over us? Are you thinking of killing me as you killed the Egyptian? Then Moses was afraid and thought, What I did must have become known. When Pharaoh heard of this, he tried to kill Moses, but Moses fled from Pharaoh and went to live in Midian, where he sat down by a well. Now a priest of Midian had seven daughters, and they came to draw water and fill the troughs to water their father's flock. Some shepherds came along and drove them away, but Moses got up and came to their rescue and watered their flock. When the girls returned to Reuel their father, he asked them, Why have you returned so early today? They answered, An Egyptian rescued us from the shepherds. He even drew water for us and watered the flock. 16 And where is he? he asked his daughters. Why did you leave him? Invite him to have something to eat. Moses agreed to stay with the man, who gave his daughter Zipporah to Moses in marriage. Zipporah gave birth to a son, and Moses named him Gershom, saying, I have become an alien in a foreign land. During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. God heard their groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them. (NIV) C. Exodus 3:1-22, Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, I will go over and see this strange sight why the bush does not burn up. When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, Moses! Moses! And Moses said, Here I am. Do not come any closer, God said. Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. Then he said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the
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