SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
65:1 For the music director, a psalm of David, a song.
Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion.
Vows made to you are fulfilled.
2 You hear prayers;
all people approach you.
3 Our record of sins overwhelms me,
but you forgive our acts of rebellion.
4 How blessed is the one whom you choose
and allow to live in your palace courts.
May we be satisfied with the good things of your house—
your holy palace.
5 You answer our prayers by performing awesome acts of deliverance,
O God, our savior.
All the ends of the earth trust in you,
as well as those living across the wide seas.
6 You created the mountains by your power
and demonstrated your strength.
7 You calmed the raging seas
and their roaring waves,
as well as the commotion made by the nations.
8 Even those living in the remotest areas are awestruck by your acts;
you cause those living in the east and west to praise you.
9 You visit the earth and give it rain;
you make it rich and fertile.
God’s streams are full of water;
you provide grain for the people of the earth,
for you have prepared the earth in this way.
10 You saturate its furrows,
and soak its plowed ground.
With rain showers you soften its soil,
and make its crops grow.
11 You crown the year with your good blessings,
and you leave abundance in your wake.
12 The pastures in the wilderness glisten with moisture,
and the hills are clothed with joy.
13 The meadows are clothed with sheep,
and the valleys are covered with grain.
They shout joyfully, yes, they sing.
66:1 For the music director, a song, a psalm.
Shout out praise to God, all the earth!
2 Sing praises about the majesty of his reputation.
Give him the honor he deserves!
3 Say to God:
“How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great power your enemies cower in fear before you.
4 All the earth worships you
and sings praises to you.
They sing praises to your name.” (Selah)
5 Come and witness God’s exploits!
His acts on behalf of people are awesome.
6 He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
Let us rejoice in him there.
7 He rules by his power forever;
he watches the nations.
Stubborn rebels should not exalt themselves. (Selah)
8 Praise our God, you nations.
Loudly proclaim his praise.
9 He preserves our lives
and does not allow our feet to slip.
10 For you, O God, tested us;
you purified us like refined silver.
11 You led us into a trap;
you caused us to suffer.
12 You allowed men to ride over our heads;
we passed through fire and water,
but you brought us out into a wide open place.
13 I will enter your temple with burnt sacrifices;
I will fulfill the vows I made to you,
14 which my lips uttered
and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer up to you fattened animals as burnt sacrifices,
along with the smell of sacrificial rams.
I will offer cattle and goats. (Selah)
16 Come! Listen, all you who are loyal to God.
I will declare what he has done for me.
17 I cried out to him for help
and praised him with my tongue.
18 If I had harbored sin in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 However, God heard;
he listened to my prayer.
20 God deserves praise,
for he did not reject my prayer
or abandon his love for me.
67:1 For the music director, to be accompanied by stringed instruments; a psalm, a song.
May God show us his favor and bless us.
May he smile on us. (Selah)
2 Then those living on earth will know what you are like;
all nations will know how you deliver your people.
3 Let the nations thank you, O God.
Let all the nations thank you.
4 Let foreigners rejoice and celebrate.
For you execute justice among the nations
and govern the people living on earth. (Selah)
5 Let the nations thank you, O God.
Let all the nations thank you.
6 The earth yields its crops.
May God, our God, bless us.
7 May God bless us.
Then all the ends of the earth will give him the honor he deserves.
68:1 For the music director, by David, a psalm, a song.
God springs into action.
His enemies scatter;
his adversaries run from him.
2 As smoke is driven away by the wind, so you drive them away.
As wax melts before fire,
so the wicked are destroyed before God.
3 But the godly are happy;
they rejoice before God
and are overcome with joy.
4 Sing to God! Sing praises to his name.
Exalt the one who rides on the clouds.
For the Lord is his name.
Rejoice before him.
5 He is a father to the fatherless
and an advocate for widows.
God rules from his holy dwelling place.
6 God settles in their own homes those who have been deserted;
he frees prisoners and grants them prosperity.
But sinful rebels live in the desert.
7 O God, when you lead your people into battle,
when you march through the wastelands, (Selah)
8 the earth shakes.
Yes, the heavens pour down rain
before God, the God of Sinai,
before God, the God of Israel.
9 O God, you cause abundant showers to fall on your chosen people.
When they are tired, you sustain them,
10 for you live among them.
You sustain the oppressed with your good blessings, O God.
11 The Lord speaks;
many, many women spread the good news.
12 Kings leading armies run away—they run away!
The lovely lady of the house divides up the loot.
13 When you lie down among the sheepfolds,
the wings of the dove are covered with silver
and with glittering gold.
14 When the Sovereign One scatters kings,
let it snow on Zalmon.
15 The mountain of Bashan is a towering mountain;
the mountain of Bashan is a mountain with many peaks.
16 Why do you look with envy, O mountains with many peaks,
at the mountain where God has decided to live?
Indeed the Lord will live there permanently.
17 God has countless chariots;
they number in the thousands.
The Lord comes from Sinai in holy splendor.
18 You ascend on high;
you have taken many captives.
You receive tribute from men,
including even sinful rebels.
Indeed, the Lord God lives there.
19 The Lord deserves praise.
Day after day he carries our burden,
the God who delivers us. (Selah)
20 Our God is a God who delivers;
the Lord, the Sovereign Lord, can rescue from death.
21 Indeed, God strikes the heads of his enemies,
the hairy foreheads of those who persist in rebellion.
22 The Lord says,
“I will retrieve them from Bashan.
I will bring them back from the depths of the sea,
23 so that your feet may stomp in their blood,
and your dogs may eat their portion of the enemies’ corpses.”
24 They see your processions, O God—
the processions of my God, my king, who marches along in holy splendor.
25 Singers walk in front;
musicians follow playing their stringed instruments,
in the midst of young women playing tambourines.
26 In your large assemblies praise God,
the Lord, in the assemblies of Israel.
27 There is little Benjamin, their ruler,
and the princes of Judah in their robes,
along with the princes of Zebulun and the princes of Naphtali.
28 God has decreed that you will be powerful.
O God, you who have acted on our behalf, demonstrate your power.
29 Because of your temple in Jerusalem,
kings bring tribute to you.
30 Sound your battle cry against the wild beast of the reeds,
and the nations that assemble like a herd of calves led by bulls.
They humble themselves and offer gold and silver as tribute.
God scatters the nations that like to do battle.
31 They come with red cloth from Egypt.
Ethiopia voluntarily offers tribute to God.
32 O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God.
Sing praises to the Lord, (Selah)
33 to the one who rides through the sky from ancient times.
Look! He thunders loudly.
34 Acknowledge God’s power,
his sovereignty over Israel,
and the power he reveals in the skies.
35 You are awe inspiring, O God, as you emerge from your holy temple.
It is the God of Israel who gives the people power and strength.
God deserves praise!