Psalm 66:8-201NIV New International Version Translations
8 Praise our God, all peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; 9 he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. 10 For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. 11 You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. 12 You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. 13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you—14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. 15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you and an offering of rams; I will offer bulls and goats. 16 Come and hear, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. 17 I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; 19 but God has surely listened and has heard my prayer. 20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!
The title of this psalm is “To the Chief Musician.” While it is a marvelous poem when read it is a beautiful song set to suitable music. We do not know for sure who its author is but there is no reason to doubt that David wrote it. It is in the Davidic style, and has nothing in it unsuited to his times.
Praise is the topic, and the lyrics for song are the Lord’s great works, His gracious benefits, His faithful deliverances, and all his dealings with His people, brought to a close by a personal testimony to special kindness received by David himself.
The holy church throughout all the world lifts up her voice, to praise the Name which is above every name and to make the praise of Jesus’ name glorious, both by our words and our deeds. We are called to remember that it is through the words and deeds of the church that others may be led to also glorify Jesus. The question then becomes what makes us do this? The answer is God’s grace which gives us a new birth, a new heart and that heart is redeemed by the death of Christ. This transformation is more wondrous than Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage.
God not only preserves our temporal life, but He maintains the spiritual life which God has given to all believers. Through our trials and tribulations, we are refined, as silver is in the fire. We are reassured that the troubles of the church will certainly end well. It is through these various conflicts and troubles that a slave to sin escapes temporarily, obtaining joy and peace through their faith. It is life’s trials that pave our road into the kingdom of God.
Items for Discussion
- How do you praise God?
- What events spur you to praise God?
- Are there any benefits we receive from public praise such as singing our praises out loud?
- What is the impact of public praise on others?
- Why are we like silver, refined by fire becoming purer and more valuable to God?
- What is God giving us back when we praise Him with all of our hearts?
25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.
In chapter 14, Christ is comforting His disciples. He is about to leave them. Over and over, Christ tells them all that is good, He is leaving them with and to make sure they remember this good, they will have the Holy Spirit as a helper. This chapter simply says, the greatest gift we received from Christ is the peace that comes from knowing we have been given a perfect example to follow and the help to remember what to do at the right time.
To gain the knowledge of salvation, we must pray for, and depend on the teaching of the Holy Spirit. It is these very words of Jesus that we will remember, and many difficulties we have survived that we know were of God’s hand but were not plainly known to those around us. We have been given the Hotly Spirit to help us remember Christ. Through faith and prayer we should commit the keeping of what we hear and know to our memories. Peace has been given to us as a good thing and Christ has left us all that is really and truly good, all the promised good; peace of mind from our justification before God. This is what Christ calls His peace, for He is himself our Peace. The peace of God widely differs from that of Pharisees or hypocrites, as is shown by its humbling and changing of lives.
Christ raises the expectations of his disciples to something beyond what they thought was their greatest happiness. His time was now short and He boldly to them. Christ is reminding His disciples that when we are sick and about to die, we may not be capable of talking to those around us about our faith in Christ. Each Christian is filled with good examples and advice but we should do our best to give it while we are health. Observe the prospect Christ approaching His own painful death, not only with men but with the powers of darkness. Satan has something to confuse us with, for we have all sinned. But how could Satan cause worry and strife for Christ? Satan found nothing sinful in Christ for him to use. The best evidence of our love to the Father is, our doing as he has commanded us. Let us rejoice in Christ’s victories over Satan the prince of this world. Let us copy the example of Christ’s love and obedience.
Items for Discussion
- Can you share any examples of how the Holy Spirit has helped you remember to do the right thing at the right time?
- Do you think that the Holy Spirit has any barriers or limits? Why or why not?
- Worry is a destructive force within the human body – Can you name some of the physical signs of too much worry?
- Is all worry bad?
- How can a Christian balance common sense cautions with confidence so that there is no destructive worry?
- Why is Christian fellowship so important to understanding Christ’s Peace?
- What are the best ways to demonstrate examples of Christ’s love and obedience?
A Special Devotional
Merriam-Webster: A WILL – It is a legal declaration of a person’s wishes regarding the disposal of his or her property or estate after death; especially: a written instrument legally executed by which a person makes disposition of his or her estate to take effect after death.
Greek word: diatheôke pronounced dee-ath-ay’-kay; properly a disposition, that is, (specifically) a contract (especially a devisory will):—covenant, testament.
16In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19When Moses had proclaimed every commandment of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.” 21In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
Another Viewpoint for this Lesson: It is through Christ’s death that we have been given access to His estate. And what are the duties of an executor? We go back to our lesson in John 14:25-31 to reread: “do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”
A Link to Christ’s Last Will and Testament
- 1NIV New International Version Translations