Psalm 66 today, a psalm of praise and the importance of praise to God. Perhaps a personal illustration would help you understand this. One day, I was walking by a room in our house. I heard one of my kids say to another, “You know, we have a great Dad.” The other said, “We really do.” Believe me, I camped outside the door for as long as I could, secretly wanting them to to go and on with their praise of me as a Dad. Naturally, they didn’t. They went back to their game. But for a few moments, my heart rejoiced in what I heard. My children were bragging about me. They were boasting about me! They were “singing my praises,” so to speak.
If I felt that way as a human father, don’t you think the Heavenly Father feels the same way. He doesn’t need our praise, any more than I “needed” the praise of my kids that day. Had I not received it, my day would have moved forward. Similarly, God continues to rule his world whether we praise him or not. But I sense he loves it when we praise him.
Psalm 66 is one of David’s songs of praise to God:
-vss 1-4 all are invited to praise him. “Shout joyful praises to God!” David says.
-vss 5-7 look at the past. As God was faithful in parting the Red Sea and letting the people cross on dry land, as God similarly let the children of Israel cross the Jordan on dry land and enter the promised land, he is faithful today. Praise God for his faithfulness in the past. That means he will be faithful today and tomorrow. Praise God!
-vss 8-12 God has been with us through al our trials. All the tests, fires and floods, God was not only with us but brought us to a place of “great abundance”. Praise God!
-vss13-15 in response to God’s greatness, another act of praise is to go to the Temple, offer sacrifices and make vows of faithfulness to this great God.
-vss 16-19 David wants everyone to praise this great God. He gives a key to answered prayer, another reason to praise him. “If I had not confessed the sin in my heart my Lord would not have listened to me.” Let God examine your heart. Let him expose hidden sin. Then confess it. When you do this, “But God did listen! He paid attention to my prayers!” Again, there’s nothing like answered prayer that makes us want to praise God!
-vs 20 David began the psalm in praise. He ends it in praise. He exalts God who does not ignore our prayers and never withdraws his unfailing love.
Human fathers love to hear their kids brag on them. I think the Heavenly Father does too. Spend some time praising God today. It warms God’s heart!