Praise God for His Awesome Works (Psalm 66)

This psalm does not identify its author.  It is divided into five stanzas, with slightly different subject matter in each.  The first stanza is a call to praise God, making a joyful shout, singing out, speaking to God, testifying of His goodness personally.  The second stanza calls the reader to come and see the works of God and then alludes to the crossing of the Red Sea and the River Jordan, and how God rules over the nations.  The third stanza calls for praise because God has established His people, testing them and refining them, drawing them to Him as if in a net, and even afflicting them in their disobedience through fire and water in order to enrich them.  The fourth stanza is a response to the greatness of God in a promise to come into the house of God with burnt offerings, payment of vows in order to glorify God for His deliverance past.  The fifth and final stanza calls all who fear God to come and hear all that God has done for the writer as he extols God’s greatness.  A caveat states that if one regards iniquity in his or her heart that the Lord will not hear.  Thankfully, God hears the writers prayer, and he blesses God for His attentiveness and His mercy.

These blessings or praises from the writer of the psalm show us an example of a grateful heart, an enraptured spirit that realizes the source of his or her strength and help.  The lesson here is that the heart that remembers the origin of its blessings is able to return to that source again and again.  The soul that forgets its fountain of provision is destined to search long and hard for help.  Remember the tree that holds the sweet honey, for there may be bitter days to come.  Remember the house that offered shelter, for the rain may fall again.  Remember the field with the ripe vegetables, for your stomach may be empty one day.  Remember the God of our source and strength!

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