1 For the director of music. A song. A psalm.
Shout with joy to God, all the earth! 2 Sing the glory of his name; make his praise glorious! 3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you. 4 All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name.” Selah
5 Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works on man’s behalf!6 He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot—come, let us rejoice in him. 7 He rules for ever by his power, his eyes watch the nations—let not the rebellious rise up against him. Selah
8 Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; 9 he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping. 10 For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver. 11 You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. 12 You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.
13 I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfil my vows to you— 14 vows my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble. 15 I will sacrifice fat animals to you and an offering of rams; I will offer bulls and goats. Selah
16 Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me. 17 I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. 18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; 19 but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. 20 Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!
How God can change you
(Verses 1-4) How each person who knows God worships Him will vary in detail from person to person. But below are some reasons for and ways to praise God.
- Joyful shouts from ‘all the earth’
- Sing to the ‘glory of His name.’
- Appreciate God’s ‘awesome’ deeds
- See the greatness of His power—it makes God’s enemies cringe
- Recognise God is King of the whole world, which will sing praise to Him.
(Verses 5-7) God is to be praised for the miraculous way He cared for His people, including crossing on dry land through both the Red Sea to escape from Egypt and the River Jordan to enter the Promised Land of Canaan. Also, in mind is His constant watchfulness over His people and His defence of them against rebels.
(Verses 8-12) God is also to be praised for preserving the lives of His people and for stopping their feet from slipping. Hard as it was, He tested and refined His people. But He let them taste prison, burdensome slavery and being under hard taskmasters. Despite hard testing, ‘through fire and water’, God brought His people to ‘a place of abundance.’ Every person who asks to be saved from sin’s penalty and power by trusting the Lord Jesus Christ, will at times have trials and feel overwhelmed. But the Bible says that God ‘who begun a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus’. (Philippians 1:6) If you have come to know Jesus it is because God showed you your sin, guilt and need of forgiveness and a new life in Christ. Jesus paid the penalty for all your sins when He was nailed to Calvary’s cross bearing your sin in your place. When you repented and trusted Jesus, He came into your life by the Holy Spirit. So He has ‘begun a good work’ in you which He will complete. You have eternal life already!
(Verses 13-15) Gratefully, the psalmist gives God Old Testament sacrifices, at this time (before Jesus came to save us). Today you give Him your heart, love and loyalty.
(Verses 16-20) If you are His, what change does all this make? You will feel you must tell others of your faith in Christ. You will cry to Him in prayer and praise: your sin barrier has been broken down! God will now hear your prayers. And you can enjoy that wonderful certainty of knowing God accepts you in Christ, now and forever!