Summary: This psalm also reminds us that is about all of us, not just one of us as it says “we” go through life together. I want to invite anyone that is with us, that is in your space with you to participate in praise and help me by finishing this sentence. Ready? Here we go.
Today’s Scripture is Psalm 66:1-4 and throughout this psalm is the word praise. What does praise mean to you? We are called to give God praise every day and in all times. I want us to praise God together, will you join me to give praise to God?
So when we give praise, we are excited. We high five people, we do the awkward thumbs up, we do the jazz hands. There are so many ways to give praise.
This psalm also reminds us that is about all of us, not just one of us as it says “we” go through life together. I want to invite anyone that is with us, that is in your space with you to participate in praise and help me by finishing this sentence. Ready? Here we go.
Think of who God is. What is one word that describes your Lord and Savior?
So, I need you to finish this next sentence with your one word and shout praises to God.
Lord we praise you because you are _________. Today, O God, we give you praise. Thank you for hearing us, for being actively present in our lives, for loving us, for caring for us. Thank you for these words of the psalmist who reminds us to give you praise. Lord, we should praise you because you are ____________.
Isn’t that awesome, that we can praise God like that? Just thankful for who He is and that He is.
You might ask why we need to be reminded to praise God.
Well, throughout history we are able to see God providing for us, caring for us, guiding us and in the moment we may praise God but there have been time after time where we fail to praise Him. Where we quickly forget all that God is.
Psalm 66 verse 6 says, “He turned the sea into dry land; They went through the river on foot. There we will rejoice in Him.”
What that Scripture is referencing is a moment in history that we read in Exodus 14:26-31 and the crossing of the Red Sea. But dial back further to chapter 3 and we are able to read that the Lord spoke to Moses. Saying in verse 7, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians. God promises deliverance to the Israelites. God doesn’t brake His promises. When the Pharaoh refused to set the Israelites free, God delivers plague after plague. The Pharaoh finally has enough in Exodus 12:31 and says, “Up! Leave my people, you and the Israelites! GO worship the Lord as you have requested. Take your flocks and herds, as you have said, and go. And also bless me.”
But of course the story doesn’t end here.
In Exodus 14:5, “When the King of Egypt was told that the people had fled, the Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds and said, “What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!” So the Pharaoh and his army containing 600 of the best chariots of Egypt to pursue the Israelites.
The Israelites cry out to the Lord out of fear in verse 10 saying to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die?”
Moses answers the people “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.”
God doesn’t brake His promises. God delivers the Israelites to safety by driving the sea back with a strong east wind and turned the land into dry land. The water was divided and the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water to their right and to their left. As the Egyptians pursued the Israelites and followed them into the sea, the Lord jams the wheels of the chariots in order to slow their pursuit. As the Israelites have crossed, the Lord has Moses stretch out his arms again and the walls of the water close.
The Israelites respond to this provision of the Lord with fear and trust and begin to praise God as you can read in chapter 15. They sing, “I will sing to the Lord, for He is highly exalted. The Lord is my strength and my defense, he has become my salvation.” And they sing His praises further.
The emphasis in Psalm 66 referring to these acts in Exodus is on His greatness and might being exercised on behalf of His people. The Lord made a way for the Israelites to cross the Red Sea, turning it into dry land, so that they could be delivered from the pursuit of the Pharaoh, going through the waters on foot.