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Summary: In this Psalm David gives us a great testimony not only of what God has done for his soul but how his deliverance was made possible.

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“WHAT HAS GOD DONE FOR YOUR SOUL?”

Psalm 66:16-20

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare what He has done for my soul.

17 I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue.

18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.

19 But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer,

There are those today who are asking, “What has God ever done for me?” For one reason or another they don’t see any evidence that God is actively involved in their lives. On the other hand, there are those, like David, who are constantly giving testimony to what God is doing for them. What’s the difference between the two groups?

The answer to this question might be complex or it might be just as simple as David’s testimony of God’s deliverance in Psalm 66. David was a man after God’s own heart and yet he still needed for God to be actively involved in his life. In this great Psalm we find four keys to David’s deliverance.

David discovered that God was good for those times when he couldn’t help himself.

1. DAVID’S PREPARATION FOR DELIVERANCE (v. 18):

18 If I regard (“to see”) iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.

The word “to regard” in verse 18 has to do with David’s inspection of his own heart. As he sought God’s deliverance David understood the importance of knowing that nothing would prevent him from praying effectively and so he took inventory of his heart. David literally looked into his heart to see if there was anything there that he had a greater regard for than God.

Sin won’t prevent us from praying but it will keep us from praying effectively. If we regard sin more highly than God we likely won’t experience the deliverance we both need and long for. Sin is disobedience and according to David God will not bless the disobedient.

ROGER STAUBACH

Roger Staubach who led the Dallas Cowboys to the World Championship in ’71 admitted that not being about to call his own plays was a source of trial for him. Coach Landry sent in every play. He told Roger when to pass, when to run and only in emergency situations could he change the play (and he had better be right!). Even though Roger considered coach Landry to have a "genius mind" when it came to football strategy, pride said that he should be able to run his own team.

Roger later said, "I faced up to the issue of obedience. Once I learned to obey there was harmony, fulfillment, and victory."

2. DAVID’S PRAYER FOR DELIVERANCE (vv. 17, 19):

17 I cried to Him with my mouth, And He was extolled with my tongue.

19 But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer.

In verses 17 and 19 we are told that David offered his prayer to God and his prayer was heard. According to verse 17 this was some serious praying. “To cry out” is the same word that someone would use for “crying out in alarm.” This indicates that David’s prayer was a fairly desperate one. We shouldn’t wait until we’re desperate to pray but when we are we have no better resource than prayer.

In verse 19 the word “attended” literally means to “prick up one’s ears.” Just like our ears are tuned to hear the voices of our own children, when we cry out to Him and our hearts are right God gives our voices special attention. This knowledge was especially comforting to David when he needed God’s deliverance.

3. DAVID’S PROCLAMATION OF DELIVERANCE (vv. 16):

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God, And I will declare (“I will tell you what the score is”) what He has done for my soul.

Here is the end result of having a pure heart and clean hands and then crying out to God. God had done great things for David and he wanted everyone to know about it. This Psalm was written after the fact – after the fact of David’s deliverance and not anticipating it. David’s use of the word “declare” in verse 16 is his attempt to tell everyone what the score was. From David’s perspective the score was God – 1, the depressing circumstances of his life – 0.

Proclaiming God’s deliverance will do at least two things:

1- It will be a source of praise for God

2- It will encourage others to cry out to the Lord in their despair and need of deliverance.

H.A. IRONSIDE

In his book FOLK PSALMS OF FAITH, Ray Stedman tells of an experience H.A. Ironside had in a crowded restaurant. Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited his to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, "Do you have a headache?" Ironside replied, "No, I don’t." The other man asked, "Well, is there something wrong with your food?" Ironside replied, "No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat."

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