Psalm 66 🔊 1Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands: 2Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious. 3Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee. 4All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah. 5Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men. 6He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him. 7He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah. 8O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard: 9Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved. 10For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. 11Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. 12Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place. 13I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, 14Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble. 15I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah. 16Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul. 17I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue. 18If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: 19But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. 20Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me. Today's Scripture Meaning Praise for God's sovereign power in the creation. (1-7) For his favour to his church. (8-12) And the psalmist's praise for his experience of God's goodness. (13-20) Verses 1-7: The holy church throughout all the world lifts up her voice, to laud that Name which is above every name, to make the praise of Jesus glorious, both by word and deed; that others may be led to glorify him also. But nothing can bring men to do this aright, unless his effectual grace create their hearts anew unto holiness; and in the redemption by the death of Christ, and the glorious deliverances it effects, are more wondrous works than Israel's deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Verses 8-12: The Lord not only preserves our temporal life, but maintains the spiritual life which he has given to believers. By afflictions we are proved, as silver in the fire. The troubles of the church will certainly end well. Through various conflicts and troubles, the slave of Satan escapes from his yoke, and obtains joy and peace in believing: through much tribulation the believer must enter into the kingdom of God. Verses 13-20: We should declare unto those that fear God, what he has done for our souls, and how he has heard and answered our prayers, inviting them to join us in prayer and praise; this will turn to our mutual comfort, and to the glory of God. We cannot share these spiritual privileges, if we retain the love of sin in our hearts, though we refrain from the gross practice, Sin, regarded in the heart, will spoil the comfort and success of prayer; for the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination of the Lord. But if the feeling of sin in the heart causes desires to be rid of it; if it be the presence of one urging a demand we know we must not, cannot comply with, this is an argument of sincerity. And when we pray in simplicity and godly sincerity, our prayers will be answered. This will excite gratitude to Him who hath not turned away our prayer nor his mercy from us. It was not prayer that fetched the deliverance, but his mercy that sent it. That is the foundation of our hopes, the fountain of our comforts; and ought to be the matter of our praises.
Today's Scripture Application Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the Book of Psalm with Chapter 66. In our text today we see a theme of God answering our prayers should bring about praise or worship to our heart. What catches my eye is verse 18 that states the Lord will not hear our prayers if we hold immorality in our hearts. In making application we see the need to keep our hearts clean before the Lord though our confession and repentance to have our prayers heard. Today in a world of sin the standard of a clean heart has been moved so much that a believer that is not in the Word will hold iniquity in their hearts and thus, will not have their prayers heard. The key to answered prayer is a life feeding on the Bible, spent on our knees, confessing and repenting of our sin before the Lord. How about you? Are your prayers being heard? Let us learn from our Psalm and text today to remember that a unclean heart before the Lord will keep Him from Hearing our Prayers.
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Sincerely, Dr. Dave Burnette Director, The United States Bible Society, Inc.