Bible: Sermon Outline (Psalm 66)
Who He Is and What He Has Done
This morning I’ll be speaking to you from verses 1-12, which students of the Old Testament classify as a hymn of praise to the God who created and chose Israel.
My purpose is simple and two-fold: (1) to encourage you to praise God for who he is and for what He has done, and (2) to exhort you to tell others about the great works of the LORD.
This afternoon we’ll complete this Psalm together by looking at verses 13-20, which are the Psalmist’s individual song of thanksgiving.
I. The call to worship (vv. 1-4)
a. The Psalmist has a world vision (v. 1)-earth/land
He meant all the peoples on earth (cf. v. 4).
God desired that Israel spread the faith, not remain silent and keep it to themselves.
For the most part Israel did not fare too well in this commission.
Are you a "world Christian"?
Are you personally concerned enough about the people-groups in the world to support missions that seek to meet their need for salvation?
Illustration re: joyful shout
Making a joyful shout in public worship does not mean an emotional, uncontrolled outburst. Our emotions should be free, but not unrestrained.
Some folks are very expressive in their worship. That’s good. But some also seem to be more controlled by their emotions than by their minds. That’s not good.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 14:15 that he will pray and sing not only with the spirit, but also with the understanding.
We must make sure that the Spirit of wisdom controls us, and not our merely human desires and feelings.
B. The psalmist wants everyone to praise God for who He is (v. 2)
“Name” refers to his revealed attributes. It’s not enough, however, just to know about God’s attributes.
Our contemplation of them must move us to praise Him.
What does it mean to “make His praise glorious?”
Our praise of God should be adequately expressed; it must be in some degree proportionate to His excellence.
What do we need to succeed here? Discipline.
Christians are not born with a developed ability for praise.
His Created Order
Drama in the Church
Does your church use drama?
C. The Psalmist tells everyone to acknowledge God’s power before Him (vv. 3-4)
1. In verse 3 Omnipotence causes fear-cringing enemies to make a show of obedience.
2. Omnipotence brings universal victory and praise (v. 4)
[Use a passage dealing with the Messianic kingdom
Zechariah 14:16- “and it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the king, the LORD of hosts.]
End of verse 4 is a selah: a rest or musical interlude. So let’s mimic the pattern here and sing hymn #77-- “the God of Abraham praise” (vv. 1-2)
Ii. Recalling God’s works on Israel’s behalf (vv. 5-7)
A. The Psalmist exhorts us to “come and see” (5-6b)
He is acting as a presenter or a professional song leader, inviting his listeners to attend a dramatic presentation of some of God’s more awesome works.
While the church today should not major on drama as a means to spread the gospel, neither should we neglect this scriptural method of teaching others about the most significant events in Israel’s history.
1. Vs. 6a alludes to what event?
2. Vs. 6b alludes to what event?
B. The Psalmist instructs his audience to imitate their ancestors (v. 6c)--Cf. The sad report of Judges 2:10
Will the next generation know how to rejoice because of our testimony?
C. The Psalmist acknowledges divine attributes (7)
1. Sovereign kingship-- “rule”--universal
2. Omnipotence-- “power” from word meaning “mighty warrior”
3. Eternality-- “forever”
4. Omnipresence-- God has no eyes, but He still sees/ spies/ lit. Keeps a watch on everything that is going on. He will not allow the rebellions to exalt themselves forever.
Praise and Thanksgiving
A liturgical service on an Israelite feast day
The hymn of praise (vv. 1-12) informs the individual leader about his own responsibility to give thanks.
I. The performance of the worshiper’s vows (vv. 13-15)
a. His intention to sacrifice (v. 13a)
1. He is personally involved (see Lev. 1: 1-4)
2. He voluntarily admits a sense of gratitude
He’s not just “going through the motions” of religiosity.
b. His fulfillment of “foxhole” promise (13b-14)
Proverb: “There are no atheists in foxholes.”
1. He manifests a holy attitude toward torah (cf. Num. 30:2).
2. Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no,’ ‘no.’ (Matt. 5:37)
Exhortation: Be a man or woman of your word.
c. His “sacrificial” offering (v. 15)
1. He gives up very costly animals (cf. David’s example in 2 Sam. 24:24)--marrow, fat lambs
2. He shows the purpose of sacrifice: it is a public declaration that he is right with God.
II. The Psalmist’s testimony and prayer (vv. 16-20)
a. His invitation to hear (v. 16)
1. He addresses God-fears—encouragement
2. He recounts God’s grace in his life.
b. His prayer related (vv. 17-18)
1. He speaks of abundant praise (lit. “under my tongue”) [v. 17]
2. He understood the need for purity (v. 18)
Quote: “The only thing that deactivates the energy of prayer is the corrosion of cherished iniquity.”
c. His joy expressed (vv. 19-20)
1. He realizes the reality of answered prayer (cf. John 14: 12-14)
2. He praises God for his chesed.
Do you know the reality of answered prayer? Is it a regular occurrence in your life? It is the normal Christian’s privilege, and ought to be a normal part of our everyday life.
Do you know the reality of answered prayer?
III. The call to praise God for deliverance (vv. 8-12)
A. The Psalmist reminds us of what God does for us.
1. He keeps us alive (v. 9a)
2. He keeps us stable (v. 9b)
B. The Psalmist also tells us to bless God.
“Bless” here literally means “adore on bended knee” (v. 8) Why? Five trials (James 1)
1. He has tested us (v. 10)--made a thorough searching of our hearts, closely scrutinized our ways (quote Ps. 139:23-24)
2. He has refined us--through pressure and heat (v. 10)--removal of dross/impurities
3. He has captured us (v. 11a)—put us in a situation from which we cannot escape by ourselves. Speaks of total loss of freedom.
4. He has afflicted us (v. 11b)—caused us pain. Lit. Upon our loins: the seat of keenest pain.
5. He has allowed suffering (v. 12a)—enemies exercise tyranny over them (oppression).
6. He has liberated us (v. 12b)—the goal of the purification process.
The lesson of chastening
God is in control of the refining process. He chastens, but he also comforts.
Summarize purpose: praise God for who he is and what he has done. And tell others about what he has done.
© 2013 glynch1