July 18, 2020
Daybreak: Psalms 65:1 through 66:20
“Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.” (Psalm 66:16)
When I was young, my family went to a church where I learned about Jesus and became familiar with simple Bible stories. However, in high school I stopped attending church, not seeing any particular value in religion. For quite a number of years I had nothing to do with God.
In my thirties, I was invited to an Apostolic Faith Church service. Thankfully, I didn’t brush the invitation aside, because during that service I heard people stand up and share what God had done in their lives. I had never heard a testimony before, and the fact that people could have a real connection with God impressed me. I remember thinking, There is an aspect of religion I had no idea existed! The testimonies caused me to want to find out more.
Although I didn’t immediately comprehend salvation, in time God saved me. Then I truly understood what those who testified were talking about. Looking back at my childhood church attendance, it became clear that while I had obtained some knowledge about God in my early years, I had never experienced a real connection with God. A change in one’s heart is critical, and salvation makes that change.
The personal accounts I heard given in that first service, as well as in the many services I have attended since, exemplify the message of today’s focus verse. Testimonies are declarations of what God has done for us personally. There is great potential in these declarations! Our words can draw others toward God and encourage fellow believers.
As Christians, we are instructed to witness to others. As we do our best to faithfully communicate what God has done in our hearts and lives, God will bless us for our obedience. And who knows, our words may be the tool that God uses to draw another soul to Himself!
Psalm 65 is a composition of David expressing worship and adoration. The superscription indicates that it was both a psalm (in Hebrew, a mizmor) and a song (shir); while the words are similar in meaning, the word mizmor likely indicates a musical accompaniment. Addressed to the chief Musician, this psalm was probably sung during harvest time.
The theme of Psalm 65 is gratitude to God. In the first section (verses 1-4), David highlighted the public worship of God in Sion (a variant spelling of Zion) and in His “holy temple.” David pointed ahead to the provision of atonement in his statement that “thou shalt purge them [our transgressions] away” (verse 3). In the next section, David spoke of God’s awesome deeds in nature and in all the nations (verses 5-8). In the last portion of the psalm (verses 9-13), David told of God’s provision for a bountiful harvest.
Psalm 66 issues a call for all to worship God for His deliverance at the time of the exodus from Egypt, and for His more recent provisions. Like Psalm 65, it is addressed to the chief Musician and is designated as both a psalm and a song, but in this case no author is named.
This psalm of thanksgiving has two clear sections; the division is indicated at verse 13 by a change of pronoun from the plural to the singular. This suggests that the first section was a national liturgy (relating to public or corporate worship), while the second section reflected the author’s personal devotion to God.
The statement in verse 4, “All the earth shall worship thee,” is a prophetical allusion to God’s final triumph over His enemies and the uniting of all people in worship of Him. The word “nations” in verse 7 is a translation of the Hebrew word goyim, and refers to the Gentiles.
In the second section of the psalm (verses 13-20), the specific offerings named in verse 15 were all acceptable peace offerings — a type of sacrifice that denoted thanksgiving and love for God (see Leviticus 3:1-17). The author’s public testimony of “what he hath done for my soul” (verse 16) is summarized in his closing praise for answered prayer.
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I. Book I (1:1 — 41:13)
II. Book II (42:1 — 72:20)
III. Book III (73:1 — 89:52)
IV. Book IV (90:1 — 106:48)
V. Book V (107:1 — 150:6)
A Closer Look
- What descriptive phrase did David use regarding God in the opening verses of Psalm 65? Why do you think this aspect of God was significant to David?
- The word “blessed” could also be translated “happy.” Given that definition, what does Psalm 65:4 indicate about the way to obtain happiness?
- Psalm 66:18 conveys a great spiritual truth that is repeated at various places in Scripture. What are some steps we can take to apply this warning to our personal lives?
God deserves our appreciation for what He has done and continues to do in our lives. Sharing our testimonies is one way we can give praise and honor to Him.