PSALM 66.

Thanksgiving for the Miracles of Godís Deliverance.

To the chief musician, for use in liturgical worship, a song or psalm, the name of the inspired poet not being mentioned. V. 1. Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands, the call being so general as to include all the inhabitants of the world. V. 2. Sing forth the honor of His name, exalting Him for the revelation of His essence and attributes; make His praise glorious, recognizing His majesty, giving honor to His renown, in order to spread His praise. V. 3. Say unto God, How terrible, to be regarded with awe and fear, art Thou in Thy works! Cp. Rev. 15, 3. 4. Through the greatness of Thy power shall Thine enemies submit themselves unto Thee, they fawn before Him with an unwilling, constrained, feigned homage, but are obliged, nevertheless, to submit. V. 4. All the earth shall worship Thee, the idea of the universal spread of the kingdom of God being in full Accordance with the dispensation of God in all ages of the world, and shall sing unto Thee, accepting Him in adoring worship; they shall sing to Thy name, extolling the glory of Godís essence and attributes. Selah. V. 5. Come and see the works of God, the invitation being extended to all men to convince themselves from facts illustrated in Israelís history; He is terrible, demanding awe and reverence, in His doing toward the children of men. V. 6. He turned the sea into dry land, the reference being to the miraculous drying up of the Red Sea, Ex. 14, 21; they went through the flood on foot, walking through the dry bed of the Jordan, whose waters were held back by Godís power, Josh. 3, 17. There did we rejoice in Him, the whole congregation praising God with joy for these manifestations of His almighty favor. A conclusion is now drawn concerning the government of God at all times. V. 7. He ruleth by His power forever, His government being of everlasting duration; His eyes behold the nations, keeping watch over the affairs of all people in the world. Let not the rebellious exalt themselves, raising their heads in pride, with the notion that there is no one to see their wickedness or to punish it as it deserves. Selah. Once more the invitation of the believers rings out: v. 8. O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of His praise to be heard, the need of an open confession of faith must never be forgotten; v. 9. which holdeth our soul in life, placing it out of the reach of danger, in the sphere of life, to enjoy its fullness in communion with God, and suffereth not our feet to be moved, to totter and stumble in a dangerous fall. V. 10. For Thou, O God, hast proved us, as an assayer tests ore for precious metals; Thou hast tried us as silver is tried, casting them, as it were, into a smelting furnace or pot, to remove all the dross adhering to them by sufferings directed by Him. V. 11. Thou broughtest us into the net, into an enclosed tower; into great straits; Thou laidst affliction upon our loins, the muscles of this part of the body coming into consideration in the carrying of heavy burdens. V. 12. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads, in a subjugation with disgraceful treatment; we went through fire and through water, into perils of death in their most extreme forms, so that calamity seemed about to consume and overwhelm them; but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place, to the richest abundance of a blessed prosperity, thereby more than compensating them for the dangers to which they were submitted. An individual believer now takes up the strain of the psalm. V. 13 will go into Thy house with burnt offerings, to make a sacrifice for the expiation of sins; I will pay Thee my vows, such gifts serving to bring about a closer fellowship between the believers and the covenant God, v. 14. which my lips have uttered, with a quick opening, due to the great extremity in which he found himself, and my mouth hath spoken when I was in trouble, the believer, under the stress of his difficulties, making a vow to the Lord to perform certain things if he were but delivered from the present emergency. V. 15. I will offer unto Thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, lambs and bullocks, the chief animals of Old Testament sacrifice, with the incense of rams, as a free-will offering accompanying the burnt sacrifice; I will offer bullocks with goats, here again both classes of offerings being named side by side. Selah. V. 16. Come and hear, all ye that fear God, the believers of all times and in all places being addressed, and I will. declare what He hath done for my soul, what the speaker had experienced in the form of spiritual blessings. V. 17. I cried unto Him with my mouth, with loud and urgent supplication, and He was extolled with my tongue, a hymn of praise being under his tongue in readiness for the deliverance of whose coming he felt sure. V. 18. If I regard iniquity in my heart, if he had knowingly been guilty of a transgression, the Lord will not hear me; for conscious and deliberate sinning cuts off the sinner from the communion with God; it is impossible for one burdened with such a feeling of guilt to pray in a manner acceptable to the Lord; v. 19. but, verily, God hath heard me, thus showing that the line of communication had not been broken by deliberate and willful transgressions; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer, in mercifully granting his request. V. 20. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, by rejecting it, by letting it pass by unheeded, nor His mercy from me, for the fulfilling of his petitions was due altogether and alone to the unmerited fatherly favor of the Lord. Christians must always be conscious of the fact that it is nothing but grace and mercy on the part of God which upholds them throughout their life. This serves to make their prayer confident.