Summary: A single voice rises above the choir's celebration of the works of God, and testifies to what He has done "for me"!
A TESTIMONY OF ANSWERED PRAYER
“O bless our God, ye peoples” (Psalm 66:8) is an appeal being made by the congregation of God’s people to all the peoples of all the lands of all the earth (Psalm 66:1; cf. Psalm 100:1). This is evangelism which puts God first. It is not about us, it is not about you, it is about Him.
“Let the sound of His praise be heard” (Psalm 66:8) gives permission to the church to harness all this world’s media for the furtherance of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Tell the world to tell others: this stuff is good! This word is for you, and you, and you: pass it on!
We stand with the Apostle Paul on Mars Hill in Athens, recognizing with him the universal truth which he quotes from the Greek poets: ‘in Him we live, and move, and have our being’ (Acts 17:28). The Psalmist says much the same thing: “He holds our soul in life” (Psalm 66:9). But for the Christian there is more: “He does not allow our feet to slip.”
How is it that the congregation of God’s people can be so sure of this? Well, they have been tried like silver, and come through the furnace with their faith intact (Psalm 66:10; cf. Deuteronomy 4:20). For our encouragement, we should listen to Job 23:10 - ‘He knows the way that I take, and when He has tried me I shall come forth as gold.’
Israel went through the “fire” of affliction, and through the “water” of the Red Sea. The LORD has delivered us, not only from the tyranny of sin and of death (“men riding over our heads”), but also into “a spacious place”: the fullness of new life in Christ Jesus (Psalm 66:11-12; cf. Psalm 66:6).
The testimony of the people of God is supplemented with the testimony of one believer: like a good old-fashioned evangelistic meeting, which not only has good preaching, but also individual testimonies to follow. The voice of the one rises above the song of the congregation: “I will go to your house… I will pay my vows, which I made when I was in trouble” (Psalm 66:13-14). The burnt offerings (Psalm 66:15) indicate the whole-heartedness of this believer’s commitment to the LORD.
The choir had sung, ‘Come and see the works of God’ (Psalm 66:5) - but this individual personalises it: “Come and hear… what God has done for me!” (Psalm 66:16). The Psalmist had been in trouble (Psalm 66:14), he cried to God (Psalm 66:17), and God “attended to the voice of my prayer” (Psalm 66:19). Key to this success in prayer, indicates the Psalmist, was the state of his heart toward God: he cherished not iniquity in his heart (Psalm 66:18).
The Psalm ends as it began: by blessing God. For, “He has not turned away my prayer, nor removed His mercy/ loving kindness from me” (Psalm 66:20). Many Christians can relate to this testimony in their own experience - why not share it with others?