Scripture: Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip. Psalm 66:8-9 ESV
Observation: This psalm of David is part of a series of seven songs of praise written to the choirmaster to lead God’s people in communal worship (Psalms 64-70). David begins with a familiar call to worship: “Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!” He then directs the congregation to praise the Lord for his wondrous deeds:
- He displays his power and causes his enemies to come cringing to him (verse 4)
- He provides us secure escape routes from our enemies and safe passage to our promised lands (verse 6)
- He preserves our souls among the living (verse 9)
- He keeps a watchful eye on us, leading us through trials and tribulations, all the while preparing us for a resting place of abundance (verses 10-12)
Having praised the Lord, David then reminds us of how we can bless the Father through how we conduct our lives:
- By singing praises to his name for all his marvelous works and for how he rescues us from our enemies (verses 1-4)
- By fulfilling our vows offered to him (verse 13)
- By joyfully returning the best of our tithes and offerings to him (verses 15)
- And by inviting others to come and see how he has cared for our souls (verse 16) through answering our prayers (verse 19) and continually demonstrating his love for us (verse 20)
Finally, as a bookend to the opening call to worship, David concludes his song of praise with a personal blessing of thanksgiving to God for his steadfast love toward David and his attentiveness to David’s prayers.
Takeaway: David could only bless the Father for his marvelous works based on what he had learned from Israel’s history and from what he had observed in his own life. But we who live in this age of the New Covenant have even more reason to bless our God. For he so loves our world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Thus, with gratitude and affection, we bless our loving Father and our beautiful Savior with our mouths and actions, giving the very best version of ourselves back to them.
Prayer: Father God, we praise you for your wondrous deeds, culminating in the offering of your Son to reconcile us to you. Would you please help us to bless you not only with our mouths but with loving obedience to your Word—offering the best version of ourselves back to you? Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling