Joyful Praise!

Psalm 66

Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.

Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.

All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.

A lot of times I’m right there with them. Fans of a football team have their team getting ready to go into the end zone with time running out. The quarterback takes the ball from center, backs up into the pocket, and sees an open receiver in the corner of the end zone. He rifles the ball into him and the catch is made. Touchdown. The crowd goes into a frenzy. They’re filled with joy that their team has just won the game with a last-second touchdown. You cheer emphatically at the top of your lungs. That is Joy of an earthly nature.

So, why is it that we are so quiet in our praise of Jesus Christ. He defeated the enemy once and for all at the cross. He defeated death by rising from the dead. He took the stripes on His back for our healing. He shed His blood for our sins to be forgiven. We should certainly be more joyful about that then about any football game, which only lasts a season. David says we should make a joyful noise unto God. I don’t know of anyone who was filled with joy being quiet. Let’s make sure that our praises are filled with joy.

We need to sing for the honor of His name and make His praise glorious. Now I’m not one to think that you have to have a perfect voice or perfect pitch to give praise to God. I was taught how to worship by a pastor who could not carry a tune if his life depended on it. I was the worship leader in the church and most often, when I turned the service over to him, we were still singing the last chorus. He did not care that he could not carry a tune. He just loved to worship the Lord and sometimes he would keep singing for 15 or 20 more minutes just worshiping God. I learned then that it doesn’t matter whether you can carry a tune or not.  All God wants is your praise – glorious praise. If you’re embarrassed by your voice so you don’t sing out then your pride is getting in the way of your worship. That needs to be taken care of.

All the earth will worship Him and will sing unto His name. How much more should we as Christians who love the Lord sing His praise and lead the way.  When they hear our praise they know that we love Him.  As we sing of his terrible works the enemies will submit to Him. He is our resting-place – our refuge and our strong and mighty tower. Let’s give Him all the praise he deserves.

Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.

He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.

He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.

Have you ever stopped to think about the things that God has done throughout the history of God in the Bible? Sometimes I think we forget how powerful He is. We treat Him like a jack-in-the-box God that will pop up whenever we need Him. But this God of ours parted the Red Sea, stopped the sun from going down, brought water out of a rock, parted the Jordan River, and knocked down the walls of Jericho. I could go on and on and on. He also came to this earth in the form of His son and gave His life,  being crucified, so that we could be free from our sins. David says come and see the works of God. When we really look at it we can’t help but praise Him

God rules by his power forever. There will never be an end to His dominion. We may see the atheist movement arising in our country and more and more people may be turning away from the church but this was all foretold. The Bible says there will be a great falling away before the great and terrible day of the Lord (2 Thess 2:3). I believe that’s what’s happening.  Only those who overcome will enter into His rest (see Revelation chapters 2 and 3).  I plan to be an overcomer. How about you?

O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:

Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.

10 For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

11 Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

12 Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

David lists a number of other reasons we should be praising the Lord and blessing God. He holds our soul in life. What a wonderful way to say that. He holds my soul and pumps life into it on a daily basis. When my soul is in His hands I don’t have to worry about tomorrow. I know He will take care of it. He will prove me through the trials and tests that come my way. He will try us like silver is tried. But He brings us into His net and in His net there is life everlasting. We can be assured that God will keep us once we have committed ourselves to Him

There are times in each of our lives that men have, as David put it, rode over our heads. They have caused us problems that we didn’t know what to do about. Seems like we were going through the fire and through the water.  Things were getting hot and we were in over our heads. It’s happened to all of us at one time or another.  But God will bring us into a wealthy place, a place where we can survive the struggles that we go through on a daily basis.

13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,

14 Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.

15 I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.

David talks about offering a sacrifice. We do not have to bring burnt offerings and sacrifices to God anymore in the form that Israel had to. But we still should bring him the sacrifice of praise (Heb 13:15). Whether you feel like it or not, God is worthy of our praise. Sometimes it is a sacrifice to give Him the praise He deserves. We should make sure we give it. For me, if I don’t start out the morning with praise then my whole day is down.

16 Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.

17 I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.

18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

David says he will declare what God has done for his soul. Are we busy declaring what God has done for our souls. We should share our testimony at every opportunity we can get.. We have seen over and over again David talking abou treceiving deliverance from God. David praises Him continually for His works and for the wonderful things that He has done. Should I be any different than David?. I actually think we should praise Him even more because He gave us Jesus, something David never had. I can’t understand Christians that don’t have praise on their lips for all that God has done for them. We need to share our testimony more – I know I need to!

Verse 18 is quoted often “If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me”. I asked a friend of mine about this verse the other day and he said he believes it’s if we dwell on  that iniquity that God will not hear us. Not if it just pops up every once in awhile. We can use this word to condemn ourselves if we’re not careful. We must always remember that God is a God of Mercy.   We see in verse 19 that David says God heard him and he attended to his prayer. We know that David had iniquity in his life but not necessarily in his heart. Be sure to keep your heart clear before God.

David finishes up by blessing the Lord because God has not turned away his prayer or his mercy. God will never turn away his mercy from us. It is an eternal promise given through Jesus Christ His son for all time. And if you don’t think his mercy is something special then you need to study mercy. The mercy He has for us is extraordinary. The Holiest of Holies is our God and He decided to have a relationship with us through His son Jesus Christ. We are decrepit centers. That relationship He wants with us as one of mercy. We need His mercy in order to survive and in order to make it to heaven. HI for one am very thankful for the mercy that he extends to me. I hope you are too


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