corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Commentaries

Sermon Bible Commentary
Psalms 66



Verse 4

Psalms 66:4

I. It is man's duty to worship God; therefore man can attain a true knowledge of God. The first idea of God is awakened by the words and acts of our fellow-men; but when the idea is once ours, we can verify and ennoble it for ourselves. Within the last few years, however, it has been maintained that man cannot have any real knowledge of what God is. It has been affirmed that we have no reason for believing that God's justice and God's love are the same attributes in kind as human justice and human love; that therefore, not knowing what these perfections really are as they exist in God, we are in no condition to pronounce whether any alleged acts of God are in harmony with them or not. This appalling theory would quench all my hope, paralyse my faith, and render it impossible for me to love God. It would desolate my religious life, and bring upon my soul a darkness that could be felt. If this were true, worship would be impossible. We can, we do, know God as He is, not perfectly, but with a real and trustworthy knowledge. "All the earth shall worship Him," and all the earth therefore shall know Him. It is one of the most animating motives to the discipline of the soul in righteousness and to resolute struggle against sin that as our holiness increases our knowledge of God becomes wider and deeper; in this world as well as in the next "the pure in heart shall see God."

II. God finds satisfaction and delight in human worship. Apart from this conviction, our praises and our adoration must lose their life and reality. If I speak, it is because I believe He listens. If I rejoice in looking up into His face, it is because I see Him looking back upon me with ineffable love and delight. In the act of worship we draw near to God, and God draws near to us. How it is, we know not, but through secret avenues He enters our spirits, and we become mysteriously one with Him. To discharge this duty of worship aright, our religious thought should not incessantly revolve about our personal conflicts with sin and our own immortal safety. We think too much of ourselves, too little of God. We ask Him too constantly for help; we too seldom thank Him with throbbing gratitude for the blessings which are ours already, and for the infinite grace which prompted Him to give us Christ and to promise us heaven. More deep and devout thought on what God is would change all this, and bring our life in this world into nearer harmony with what we hope it will be in the next.

R. W. Dale, Discourses on Special Occasions, p. 3.

References: Psalms 66:9.—J. Wells, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. vii., p. 61. Psalms 66:14.—J. N. Norton, Every Sunday, p. 166.

Verse 16

Psalms 66:16

Gratitude towards God and generosity towards man—these are two of the marked features in the character of David. In the text he gathers, as it were, a little select congregation around him of those who, like himself, had had experience of God's goodness. He asks them to join with him in praising and blessing God; and he instructs them, and strengthens them, and encourages them by recounting to them what God had done for himself.

I. We declare with thankfulness what God hath done for our souls in the act of redeeming us. God sent His Son to bless us in turning every one of us from his iniquities. Salvation is a free gift. It is the gift of free and full pardon for all the bad life that is past, and the pledge and the power of a better life to come.

II. The gift of the Holy Scriptures is the second thing that God hath done for our souls. The best way of showing our gratitude for so great a blessing is to use it well.

III. It is not merely as separate persons, one by one, that God has furnished us with blessings made ready to our souls. We are members of a great society. The Holy Catholic Church is a part of the system of our religion. We have sacraments, and common prayer, and public instruction, and mutual help.

IV. We have the supreme blessing of the grace of the Holy Spirit and the blessing of providential care.

V. We advance one step further, and enter the inner circle of all. At this point especially the words of the Psalm are addressed to those who fear God, and it is only they who can thoroughly enter into their meaning. "O come hither and hearken, all ye that fear God, and I will tell you what He hath done for my soul." This desire to help others is a certain mark of true conversion. Gratitude to God will find its natural development in generosity to man.

J. S. Howson, Penny Pulpit, No. 345.

References: Psalms 66:16.—C. J. Vaughan, Harrow Sermons, 1st series, p. 388; C. C. Bartholomew, Sermons chiefly Practical, p; 303; W. R. Nicoll, Calls to Christ, p. 9; Congregationalist, vol. vi., p. 539; G. S. Barrett, Old Testament Outlines, p. 119. Psalms 66:16-20.—Homiletic Quarterly, vol. i., p. 119. Psalms 66:20.—Spurgeon, Morning by Morning, p. 145. Psalms 67:1, Psalms 67:2.—J. Edmunds, Sermons in a Village Church, p. 144; H. Phillips, Christian World Pulpit, vol. i., p. 237.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 66:4". "Sermon Bible Commentary".

Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, November 29th, 2020
the First Week of Advent
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology