Psalm 66 (NIV)
1 Shout for 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 the praises of your name.”
5 Come and see what God has done,
his awesome deeds for mankind!
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.
16 Come and hear, 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 has heard my prayer.
20 Praise be to God,
who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld his love from me!
Sing this psalm with the Seedbed Psalter today! Visit the resource here.
Our family has a journal of remembrance that we have named “Windows of Heaven.” It is a journal where we record times when God answered prayer or brought us through a challenging time. Every so often we pause and read back through this journal, and we are always amazed and refreshed as we reflect upon God’s faithfulness through all the seasons of life. Psalm 66 is like this. The psalmist recalls the time when “he turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot—come, let us rejoice in him” (v. 6). Later, the psalm calls us to summon all our friends and neighbors so we can tell them what he has done (v. 16). The psalm captures these memories with wonderful, exuberant phrases, such as “come and see” (v. 5), “come and listen” (v. 16), and “let me tell” (v. 16).
However, we should notice that the psalmist is not merely recalling all of the wonderful miracles of God’s past deliverances. He is also recalling painful chapters of trial and difficulty. He remembers when his feet were slipping, or his faith was being tested during a difficult period (vv. 9–10). He recalls being imprisoned and enslaved (v. 11). He describes a period of going through “fire and water” (v. 12). Yet, he also sees that even through all of this, God was faithful and “brought us to a place of abundance” (v. 12).
Testifying to the faithfulness of God is important. God’s mighty acts are not merely wonderful things he did in the distant past, whether opening the Red Sea or sending Jesus Christ into the world. Of course, God still performs mighty acts today. Yet, it is also important that we learn to discern God’s providence and sustaining power in the midst of our most difficult trials. The psalm gives us the assurance that someday we will look back on our current situation and see that, even there, God’s hand was guiding us and leading us.
Take a moment to reflect on God’s guidance in your own life. Celebrate how your own life stands in continuity with all that God has done. The same God who heard the prayers of the people of God who cried out to him long ago continues to hear our prayers today. We can say with the psalmist, “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” (v. 20).