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Psalms 66:1-20 :
Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: Sing forth the honor of his name: make his praise glorious ( Psalms 66:1-2 ).
Sing forth the honor of the name of the Lord; make His praise glorious. Oh, that men would praise the Lord, the scripture says, for His glorious works.
Say unto God, How awesome art thou in thy works! Through the greatness of thy power shall your enemies submit themselves unto you. All the earth shall worship you, and shall sing unto you; they shall sing to thy name ( Psalms 66:3-4 ).
And here again, "Every knee shall bow, every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord to the glory of God the Father." "All of the earth shall worship and shall sing unto Thee, and shall sing to Thy name." God has highly exalted Him; given Him a name that is above every name. That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess.
Come and see the works of God: he is awesome is his doing toward the children of men. He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: and there did we rejoice in him ( Psalms 66:5-6 ).
So, take a look at what God has done, dried up the Red Sea so that His people were able to come though on dry land.
He rules by His power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: which holds our soul in life, and allows not our feet to be moved. For you, O God, have proved us: you have tried us, as silver is tried. You brought us into the net; and you laid affliction upon our loins. You've caused men to ride over our heads; we went through the fire and through the water: but you brought us out into a wealthy place ( Psalms 66:7-12 ).
And so, God took us through the fire, God took us through the water, but they were all necessary as God was seeking really to purge us, to purify our lives, that He might bring us into that place of abundance in Christ. Jesus said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches. Every branch in Me that bringeth forth fruit, He purgeth" ( John 15:1-2 ). The word purge is cleanses. He washes it.
Now if you go over to Israel today and through the area between Bethlehem and Hebron, the valley of Eshcol, the area where Joshua and Caleb picked a cluster of grapes that was so big that they tied it onto a stick that they carried between them. There in the valley of Eshcol grow some of the most delicious grapes in all the world. And it is interesting that these grapevines grow on the ground. You'll see these big stocks and they put rocks under them to prop them up maybe eight inches or so, but they grow on the ground. They don't set up the terraces or anything for them, or the wires and all, but they let them grow on the ground. But they are fabulous grapes. But in growing on the ground, as the grapes are developing, during the summertime they will come along and they will take these bunches of grapes that are lying there on the ground, and they will lift them up, and they will wash them in order that they may develop even fuller and better. That they might get more fruit. If they just stay on the ground, those that are lying on the ground will sort of rot, but they'll lift them up, they will prop them up, they'll wash them.
And Jesus said, "And every branch of Me that bringeth forth fruit," He washes it that it might bring forth more fruit. "Now you are clean through the word that I have spoken unto you" ( John 15:3 ). There is a process of God in your life of washing, cleansing. There is also the process of God in our lives of that purifying through fire, as silver or gold is refined. That refining process of God, the end result, the producing of a more quality kind of a fruit for His glory. Because, basically, that is what God is looking for from your life, that you bring forth fruit for His glory.
God wants to work in you. God desires to do a work in your life, but never is God satisfied with just working in you. The work of God is in me first, that's necessary. The husbandman must be the first partaker of the fruit, but God is working in me in order that having worked in me, He may now work through me to touch the needy world around me. So God works in you what He can do for you, in order that He might do through you in helping others who are in need. So the work of God in me is first of all subjective, that which He is desiring to do in my life. But always with God there is the objective in view, that which He can do through my life in touching others. And so, we are to bless God and make the voice of His praise heard. He will not allow your feet to be moved. He has proved us and tried us as silver in order that He might bring forth that fruit from our lives, that purity from within. That He might bring you in to the wealthy place. Oh, how rich I am in Christ. Oh, the riches of God's glorious grace in Christ Jesus.
I will go to your house with burnt offerings ( Psalms 66:13 ):
And the burnt offerings were the offerings of consecration. So, "I will go to Your house with offerings of the consecration, God, where I consecrate my life to You."
I will pay thee my vows, which my lips have uttered, and my voice had spoken, when I was in trouble ( Psalms 66:13-14 ).
That's when vows are usually made to God, when a person is in trouble. I have found that there is nothing like trying to surf in a stormy surf, you know, when it is really running high, to cause you to make vows to the Lord. I have been up on top of some of those waves looking down, saying, "Lord, if You get me out of this, I promise I'll go home." Vows, when I was in trouble. "Lord, just get me out of this mess. And I'll serve you. Lord, just help me to get out of here, and I'll go to church. I'll do anything, Lord. Help me." Well, the Lord listens to those vows that you make when you are in trouble and after He's done His part, He expects you to do your part. "I will pay the vows which my lips uttered when I was in trouble."
I will offer unto thee the burnt sacrifices of the fatlings, with the incense of rams: I will offer bullocks with goats. Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with my mouth, he was extolled with my tongue. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer ( Psalms 66:15-19 ).
Now he says, "Come and let me tell you what God has done for me. He has heard. He has attended to the voice of my prayer." But he said, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me."
A lot of times we wonder why our prayers are not answered. And one of the reasons for which prayers are sometimes not answered is because of the iniquity in our lives. In Isaiah 59:1-21 God declared, "Behold the hand of the Lord is not short, that He cannot save. Neither is His ear heavy that He cannot hear. But your sins have separated you from God." In other words, the problem in prayer is not always on the upper end, which we are prone to usually think when our prayers aren't being answered. "What's the matter with God? Why isn't God answering my prayers? Is God deaf? Is He having problems hearing me? What's going wrong?" And we usually think that the problem lies on the upper end. Quite often the problem lies on the lower end. Our prayers are coming forth from a deceitful heart, from a wicked life. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord doesn't hear me when I pray." That is, if I am regarding and plotting and planning evil and iniquity. "Your sins have separated," Isaiah said, "between you and your God."
Does God hear the prayer of a sinner? The president of the Southern Baptist church I guess got in trouble recently by a statement that he made concerning whose prayers God hears. In the New Testament there was a man who was born blind, and Jesus came to him and said, "Would you like to see?" And he said, "Sure would." So Jesus spit on the ground, made some mud, put it in his eyes and said, "Go down to the pool of Siloam and wash that out." And the man went down to the pool of Siloam, and when he washed out his eyes, he could see. Now it happened on the Sabbath day, so it got the Jews upset. And they said to the man, "How is it that you can see?" And he told them the story. "This man came and He put this mud in my eye and He told me to go and wash. And He said when I washed I could see." And they said, "Who was it?" And he said, "I don't know." They said, "Well, we know He has got to be a sinful man, because He told you to violate the Sabbath." He said, "Whether He was a sinner or not I do not know, but all I know is where I was blind, now I can see." But he said, "If He were a sinful man, how was it that God hears His prayers, because we know that God does not hear the prayer of the sinners."
Now that particular statement cannot be taken for doctrinal truth. Cause this is the statement of a blind man in a conversation with the Pharisees. It's just quoting the statement of this man. The truth of the matter is that God does hear the prayer of sinners, or else you would all still be sinners. God hears you when you said, "Oh God, be merciful to me a sinner." He hears that prayer. How much more, I don't know. David said, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord does not hear me when I pray." God said through Isaiah, "It isn't that My ear is heavy that I cannot hear, but your sins have separated, they have severed connections, between you and God." So David is rejoicing in the fact that the Lord heard his prayer.
Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me ( Psalms 66:20 ). "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Psalms 66". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent