After reading so many psalms of despair, depression, and near-death experiences, Psalm 66 is like a breath of fresh air, isn’t it! You can feel David’s joyful heart that the turmoil has ended and God has sustained him through all of it. Verse 3 is an interesting statement, that God’s enemies will give feigned obedience to Him. It’s easy for us to read this and think of “them” and not “us,” but how often do we give feigned obedience to God? How often to do “do what we are supposed to do” because someone else says it, even if we don’t agree? We can understand that as children, often we are made to do things we don’t want to or aren’t allowed to do things we want to but we have no choice. We have to listen. Is that your attitude today in loving God? Do you go to church, participate in bible study, serve on the worship team, help out in the nursery because you feel you have to or because you getto? In Philippians 2 we read:
9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Elsewhere we read that God doesn’t needus to worship and praise Him. If He wanted to He could make the rocks sing praises to His name! Too often we look at our relationship with God as a burden and a sacrifice. This, my friends, isn’t a relationship it’s a dictatorship and it isn’t dictated by God Himself, it is dictated by manmade religion! This is the exact hypocrisy that Jesus argued with the Pharisees about!
As we continue to read through Psalm 66 David talks about why he is praising and worshipping God. Verses 10-12 point out an interesting observation. He recognizes that trials and tribulations weren’t just “the enemy” coming against him, rather circumstances that God allowed and orchestrated in order to grow and mature him! This is why we read in James 1:
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
Through his difficulties, David continued to trust in the Lord. He points out in verse 18 that because he did not hold onto anger, hatred, and all the other emotions we could say he was justified in feeling while he ran for his life from his friends who were pursuing him, God would not have listened to his prayers. How often do we feel that God doesn’t hear us or doesn’t care? Maybe it’s because you are “regarding wickedness in your heart”!
It is important to always posture ourselves in a place of worship and praise. It doesn’t matter what we are feeling or experiencing in the moment, week, month, year, or decade. God is always good. God always loves you. God will never abandon you. He feels your pain and He is helping you through it.