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Psalm 66 – Come and See What God Has Done


The people of Israel are called to worship, recalling the mighty acts of God on their behalf (vv. 1-12); similarly, one individual comes before God to offer his or her thanksgiving for God's blessings (vv. 13-20).


The two parts of this psalm are precisely parallel, demonstrating how what God does for the community is echoed by what God does for one, and vice versa. The structure shows the relationship:
A    All the earth worships (vv. 1-4)
B    "Come and see what God has done," say the people, remembering the exodus (vv. 5-7)
C    "Bless our God," say the people (vv. 8-12)
A'    "I" come to worship (v. 13)
B'    "Come and hear…what he has done for me," says the one, recalling his own deliverance (vv. 16-19)
C'    "Blessed be God," says the one (v. 20)

The commonalities are striking. The psalms convey both the voice of the people and the voice of the individual; they provide for both communal worship and personal devotion--and they see these two things to be completely in line with one another. What God does for one is reminiscent of God's great acts for the people; what God does for the people is recapitulated in what God does for each believer.

Psalm 66

Praise for God’s Goodness to Israel

To the leader. A Song. A Psalm.
1 Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
2   sing the glory of his name;
   give to him glorious praise.
3 Say to God, ‘How awesome are your deeds!
   Because of your great power, your enemies cringe before you.
4 All the earth worships you;
   they sing praises to you,
   sing praises to your name.’

5 Come and see what God has done:
   he is awesome in his deeds among mortals.
6 He turned the sea into dry land;
   they passed through the river on foot.
There we rejoiced in him,
7   who rules by his might for ever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
   let the rebellious not exalt themselves.

8 Bless our God, O peoples,
   let the sound of his praise be heard,
9 who has kept us among the living,
   and has not let our feet slip.
10 For you, O God, have tested us;
   you have tried us as silver is tried.
11 You brought us into the net;
   you laid burdens on our backs;
12 you let people ride over our heads;
   we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.*

13 I will come into your house with burnt-offerings;
   I will pay you my vows,
14 those that my lips uttered
   and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer to you burnt-offerings of fatlings,
   with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats.

16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
   and I will tell what he has done for me.
17 I cried aloud to him,
   and he was extolled with my tongue.
18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
   the Lord would not have listened.
19 But truly God has listened;
   he has given heed to the words of my prayer.

20 Blessed be God,
   because he has not rejected my prayer
   or removed his steadfast love from me.

Psalm 66

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