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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
Psalms 66

 

 


Verses 1-15

Psalms 66:1. Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:

Let not Israel alone do it. Take up the strain, ye nations. He is the God of all the nations of the earth. “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands.”

Psalms 66:2-4. 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.

I still must always cling to the belief that this whole world is to be converted to God, and to lie captive at the feet of Christ in glorious liberty. Do not fall into that lethargic, apathetic belief of some that this is never to be accomplished — that the battle is not to be fought out on the present lines, but that there is to be a defeat, and then Christ is to come. Nay, foot to foot with the old enemy will he stand, till he has worsted him, and until the nations of the earth shall worship and bow before him.

Psalms 66:5-6. 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.

Where God is most terrible to his enemies, he is most gracious to his friends. As Pharaoh and his hosts went down beneath the terrible hand of God, the children of Israel lifted up their loudest hallelujahs, and sang unto the Lord, who triumphed gloriously. And so shall it be to the end of the chapter. God will lay bare his terrible arm against his adversaries but his children shall meanwhile make music. “There did we rejoice in him.”

Psalms 66:7-9. He ruleth by his power forever: his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah. 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.

Loudest among the singers should God’s people be. If others can restrain their praise, yet let the love of Christ so constrain us that we must give it a tongue, and tell forth the majesty of our God. It is he alone who keeps us from perdition — which holdeth our soul in life. It is he alone who keeps us from falling foully, ay, and falling finally, “and suffereth not our feet to be moved.”

Psalms 66:10. For thou, O God, hast proved us:

All God’s people can say this. It is the heritage of the elect of God. “Thou has proved us.”

Psalms 66:10-11. Thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net.

Entangled, surrounded, captive, held fast. Many of God’s people are in this condition.

Psalms 66:11. Thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

It was no affliction of hand or foot, but it laid upon our loins — a heavy, crushing burden.

Psalms 66:12. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water:

It was the full ordeal. One was not enough. Fire destroys some, but water is the test for others, but God’s people must be tried both ways. “We went through fire and through water; but” — . Blessed “but.”

Psalms 66:12. But thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

Out of the fire and out of the water they came, because God brought them, and when he brought them, it was not to a stinted, barren heritage, but into a wealthy place. Oh! beloved, when we think of where the covenant of grace has placed every believer, it is a wealthy place, indeed.

Psalms 66:13-15. I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth have spoken, when I was in trouble I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.

The best, I think. “The best of the best will I bring thee, O my God. I will bring thee my heart; I will bring thee my tongue; I will bring thee my entire being.


Verses 1-20

Psalms 66:1-2. Make a joyful noise unto God all ye lands: sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.

In a company of advanced saints, silence may be sometimes profitable. The first verse of the previous Psalm should read, according to the Hebrew, “Praise is silent for thee, O God, in Zion.” Full-grown saints may have their times of waiting in silence before the Lord, but when the heathen are to be brought in, and when new hearts are to be taught new songs, then there must be a noise, and not merely a noise, but a noise that is full of joy: “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands.” This should be the chief point about it, that it should be a joyful noise. Many of the newly invented tunes, which have put the good old tunes out of favor, appear to have been made to rattle through the hymn as quickly as possible, as though the composer had written, “Let us praise God at express speed and get it done; and the quicker, the better.” But I prefer those tunes in which we can sometimes repeat the words, and roll them under the tongue until our heart gets thoroughly saturated with the spirit of them. “Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands;” but let that joyful noise be orderly, not like the shouts of those who cry around the ear of Juggernaut. Let it be joyful singing unto the Lord: “Sing forth the honour of his name.” God is worthy of the highest honour, so let our praise of him be given in such a way that it shall really honour him. “Make his praise glorious.” It is only giving back to God what rightly belongs to him when we give him glory, and it is our highest earthly glory to be giving glory to God; we are never so near to the condition of the glorified saints above as when we are, with heart, and soul, and voice, glorifying God.

Psalms 66:3. Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works!

Our praises should be directed to God: “Say unto God.” Our hymns should be a form of speaking unto the Most High, and an ascription unto him of his own glory. The first attribute of God that influences men is the attribute of power, which fills them with terror of his awful majesty and might. Afterwards, they perceive more of his love, and goodness, and wisdom, and other attributes; but, at first,-ay, and perhaps at last,-there is a time in which there is much solemn stately music in this utterance, “How terrible art thou in thy works!”

Psalms 66:3-4. 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.

From the marginal reading of the 3rd verse, it appears that God’s enemies will only “yield feigned obedience” to him; but whether the submission is feigned or real, it shall not be possible for any man or any power finally to resist his omnipotence, and the day shall come when all the earth shall worship him, and sing unto him.

Psalms 66:4. Selah.

Here is a little pause for the lifting up of the heart and of the spirit and well there may be, for what a joyful thing it is to think of all the earth worshipping God, and singing unto him! I know of no topic that is more calculated to excite the admiring gratitude of God’s servants than the prospect of the universal supremacy of one God and of his Christ.

Psalms 66:5-6. 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:-

You must often have noticed that the sweet singers of Israel are never singing very long unto God without mentioning that wonderful deliverance that he wrought at the Red Sea. What God did when he brought his people out of Egypt will be the subject of joyous and grateful song unto God forever, for even in heaven “they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” The Red Sea as the grand type of redemption, and the Lamb as the great Worker of redemption are joined together in that triumphant song of “them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name.”

Here, the psalmist sings of what God did for his people at the Red Sea:

“He turned the sea into dry land:” —

Psalms 66:6. They went through the flood on foot; there did we rejoice in him.

Perhaps some of you say, “But we were not there.” No, we were not personally there; but do you not remember what the prophet Hosea says about God meeting with Jacob at Bethel? It is written, “There he spake with us.” We were not personally there, yet believers have been everywhere in the Bible where other representative believers have been before them. “No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.” What God spoke to any one of his people he has spoken to all of whom that one was typical. Paul tells us that the Lord hath said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” yet it was to Joshua that he said that; but, as he said it to Joshua, he virtually said it to me, for I am a believer even as he was. All the promises belong to us who are in Christ Jesus, for the heavenly inheritance is left to all the spiritual seed; and if we are in the Lord’s family, we shall share alike with all the rest of the children. ‘There did we rejoice in him.” Then, if we rejoiced in the Lord there, let us rejoice in him here. Brethren and sisters in Christ, let us rest assured that, when our turn to go through the sea shall come, we shall find that the Lord has “turned the sea into dry land” for us, whether it be a sea of troubles or the sea of death. “They went through the flood on foot;” and so shall we. The God who made a way for them through the sea, virtually made a way for us also, for the army of God is one, and when the first ranks of the innumerable host passed through the flood, the army itself began to pass through, and that army can never be divided. So we are passing through the flood at this moment, and rejoicing in the God who cleaveth the sea in twain to make a highway for his people.

Psalms 66:7. He ruleth by his power forever;

What he did in the past, he is still doing in the present, and he will do in the future.

Psalms 66:7. His eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves.

The rebellious may for a while exalt themselves; but they will, sooner or later, be pulled down. These eagles may fly as high as they will, but God’s arrow can always reach them. The Lord pulled down the haughty Pharaoh from his throne, but he lifted up the people whom the proud monarch had trodden down and oppressed. The Lord overthrew the hosts of Egypt; but as for his people, he led them forth like sheep, and guided them through the wilderness, even as he is doing at this very moment.

Psalms 66:7. Selah.

That is, pause again, and lift up the heart and the sacred strain too; and when all the strings of your heart and of your harp are screwed up, then go on with your music again.

Psalms 66:8-9. 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.

I do bless God for this verse, and as many of you as have found it true should also praise and bless him. Observe the two things that are mentioned here,-living and standing: “Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.” There are some who have a certain standing in the church, and who keep up their reputation among their fellow-members, yet they are not spiritually alive. It is a dreadful thing to be standing, and yet not living; like those in Sardis who were only living in name. Then there are those who are living, but not standing,-at least, not standing fast. They are often caught tripping, and falling, and wounding themselves. They go with broken bones on their way towards heaven by reason of their many falls. But what a blessing it is to be kept both living and standing, and what reason there is to bless God for this great mercy,-not congratulating ourselves on our steadfastness, and being exalted and proud, but magnifying the Lord for his grace in granting to us this double blessing,-living and standing!

Psalms 66:10. For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.

That is, with fierce furnaces, and with carefully graduated heat, for silver needs delicate refining. Christ still sits as the Refiner of silver, patiently watching until the process is complete.

Psalms 66:11. Thou broughtest us into the net;-

Did not our enemies entangle us? Oh, yes; but God often uses our enemies to carry out his divine purposes; he over-rules all things; so, when you are caught in the net, do not sit down, and say that such-and-such a person did it, or that the devil did it. No; but look to the Great First Cause. If you strike a dog with a stick, he tries to bite the stick because he does not know any better. But you are not a dog, so do not you look at the second cause of your troubles, but learn to sing, as the psalmist does here, “Thou broughtest us into the net;” —

Psalms 66:11. Thou laidst affliction upon our loins.

Not merely upon our backs, where we might be better able to bear it, but right on our loins, so that we were pressed and squeezed almost out of our very life.

Psalms 66:12. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads;

And when they mount their high horse, they vow and exalt themselves over God’s afflicted servants.

Psalms 66:12. We went through fire and through water:

They were subjected to double that, for what fire does not burn water will drown, yet God’s people “went through fire and through water.” There is no fire that can burn them. Nebuchadnezzar tried it, and failed. And there is no water that can drown them. Even though their bodies may be burned or drowned, their real selves shall still survive, and stand upon the sea of glass mingled with fire, triumphant over both fire and water.

Psalms 66:12. But thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.

That is to say, the Lord brought the Israelites out from all manner of oppression under Pharaoh, and brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey. Nothing that Pharaoh could do could destroy the chosen nation, he tried to kill all the male children that were born, yet the Israelites still increased and multiplied, and they came at last to Canaan. It will be just so with God’s people in all times and all climes, they shall not die, but live, and shall ultimately come into that most wealthy of all places, even the heavenly and better Canaan. We cannot fully tell what joy awaits us there. We cannot measure the height of our joy by the depth of our sorrows, for, after all, our sorrows are shallow, but the glory of God, which the saints are to share, is a depth unfathomable, a height that no man can measure. O Lord, bring us into that wealthy place right speedily if it be thy holy will!

Psalms 66:13. I will go into thy house with burnt offerings:

Here is one worshipper breaking away from the rest,-a child of God who is not satisfied by merely joining in the general praise of the whole assembly, so he brings his own personal thanksgiving and thankoffering to God. Dear brother, dear sister, try to do this. Break away from all the rest of us, and say to the Lord, “I will go into thy house with burnt offerings.”

Psalms 66:13-15. I will pay thee my vows, which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings,

“I will give thee the best that I have.”

Psalms 66:15. With the incense of rams;

Not only one of the best, but the best of two kinds of offerings.

Psalms 66:15. I will offer bullocks with goats.

“I will present to thee great services and smaller sacrifices. I will obey thee in the great ordinances and in the lesser ordinances also. I will bring both bullocks and goats. I will make an all-round offering. I will try to do all that I can for thee, my God, since thou hast done so much for me.”

Psalms 66:15. Selah.

Here the psalmist pauses again while the smoke of the sacrifice ascends; let us also pause, and meditate upon the better sacrifice which Christ offered for the sins of all who put their trust in him.

Psalms 66:16-17. Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. I cried unto him with only mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.

“I mixed crying and singing together. I cried when I was in trouble, and I extolled the Lord as soon as he delivered me from it. Nay, by faith expecting to be delivered, I began to extol him even while I was yet crying unto him.”

Psalms 66:18-19. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: but verily God hath heard me;

It is a blessed thing to be able to say that; and if you can truthfully say it, I pray you to say it: “Verily God hath heard me.” Some people tell us that there is no such thing as an answer to prayer; they say that it is a piece of superstition on our part. Well, I believe that I am as honest a man as anyone who denies the power of prayer, and I can truthfully say, “God hath heard me.” There are scores of us-there are hundreds of us-there are thousands of us who can stand in the witness-box, and each one of us can say, “Verily God hath heard me.” If our testimony is not accepted by unbelieving men, we cannot help that. We know what we do know, and we know that God has heard and answered our prayers again and again.

Psalms 66:19-20. He hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.

This exposition consisted of readings from Psalms 66.; and Romans 8:1-9.

 


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 66:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/psalms-66.html. 2011.

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Monday, November 30th, 2020
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