Sermon Notes: Psalm 66:13-20--" Promises, Public Testimony, and Prayer"
Prayer: The Power Behind the Pulpit
Fulfill Your Vows
Charles Spurgeon illustration: “What do you credit for the great power of your sermons?”
- Stress teamwork in the pulpit ministry.
- Covet prayer support and constructive feedback.
Read the entire psalm.
Review Highlights from the Context:
Dramatic presentation--vv. 5-7—“Come and see”-- Part of a worship service on an Israelite feast day
The hymn of praise (vv. 1-12) informs the individual leader about his own obligation and responsibility to give thanks because of God’s salvation (vv. 13-20).
Note the progression: universal (vv. 1-4); Israelite community (vv. 5-12); individual worshiper (vv. 13-20).
OK. Let’s look at today’s text.
I. The psalmist promises to fulfill his vows to God (vv. 13-16).
These verses reproduce the words which were spoken at an actual offering of a sacrifice.
A. He announces his plan to worship the LORD.
1. He stresses the voluntary nature of this worship. Uses “I will” five times (Begun here, these declarations extend through verse 16)
2. He will personally present his offerings (not send someone else).
B. He delineates a certain order of worship he will follow.
1. He will first bring animals into the temple (v. 13a).
2. He then declares the sacrifices as payment of his vows (vv. 13b-14).
3. Next, he offers these animals on the altar (v. 15).
4. Finally, he verbally magnifies the LORD because of his “salvation” (v. 16)—I’ll discuss this second part of his worship soon.
Observation and Application: This man is not just “going through the motions” of religiosity, as (sadly) many professing Christians do; he is serious about his relationship with God.
How about us? Are we faithful to give thanks because He has saved us? Do we “bless God” when He blesses our work?
C. He is fulfilling a “foxhole” promise (13b-14). How many of you have heard the proverb: “There are no atheists in foxholes”? Similar to David in Psalm 22 (distress [v. 11]; vows [v. 25]
1. He shows a holy attitude toward torah (cf. Num. 30:2; Ex. 20:7)
2. Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no,’ ‘no.’ (Matt. 5:37)
Exhortation: Be a man or woman of your word. Do not look for loopholes or excuses not to pay what you owe.
D. He is making a “sacrificial” offering (v. 15).
1. He presents very costly animals (Read David’s example in 2 Sam. 24:18-25)—“marrowy, fat lambs”— Numbers 7 speaks of fat portions of the offerings given by princes that were burning on the altar.
2. He is personally involved (Lev. 1:1-6)
3. He shows the purpose of sacrifice: it publicly declared that he was right with God.
TS: (After he performs this ritual,
Give Your Testimony and Pray
II. The psalmist offers his public testimony and prayer (vv. 16-20).
A. He invites the people to “Come and hear” his testimony (v. 16). (Cf. “Come and see” the works of God—verses 5-7)
1. He addresses God-fearers—encouragement
2. He intends to recount God’s grace in his life (“what He has done for my soul”) Second part of his worship
a. Have you ever prepared a testimony? B.C. days; salvation; A.D. days
b. Have you ever used it in your witness?
c. Have you ever offered a public testimony, giving thanks to God for His goodness toward you?
B. He relates to them his prayer and praise (vv. 17-18)
1. He speaks of abundant praise (lit. “under my tongue”) [v. 17]—
a. Store or deposit of praise held in reserve to be employed later on
b. Earlier (v. 14), he mentioned uttering words with his lips and speaking vows with his mouth.
2. He shows awareness of his need for purity in order for God to “hear” him (v. 18).
a. “Iniquity” placed first for emphasis.
b. “Regard” means “to aim at, to have designs for” Do you have any pet sins?
c. Adonay, not the covenant name, is used.
C. He expresses his joy that God has heard him (vv. 19-20).
1. He asserts the reality of answered prayer
Do you know the reality of answered prayer?
Is it a regular occurrence in your life?
As the “normal” Christian’s privilege, answers to prayer ought to be part of our everyday life.
2. He praises God for His chesed (unfailing love, mercy).
© 2014 glynch1