Psalm 66

God is awesome; He cares for humans, He will hear prayer when without cherished sin
This psalm takes several viewpoints:
You, implied in the command and invitation.
We beginning at v8.
I, beginning at v13.
 1 ¶ <<To the chief Musician, A Song or Psalm.>> Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:
 2  Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.
.3  Say unto God, How terrible art thou in thy works! through the greatness of thy power shall thine enemies submit themselves unto thee.
 4  All the earth shall worship thee, and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name. Selah.
  1 - Joyful noise See on ps09801.
  2 - Honor See ps06207, ps07219.
  3 - Terrible For those who persecute.
  3 - Submit But not in love. See ps01844.
 5  Come and see the works of God: he is terrible in his doing toward the children of men.
 6  He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him.
.7  He ruleth by his power for ever; his eyes behold the nations: let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah.
  6 - Sea See ex1421, ex1501.
  6 - Flood Crossing the Jordan.
  7 - Eyes behold the nations Compare ps01104.
 8 ¶ O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard:
 9  Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.
 10  For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried.
 11  Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins.
 12  Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.
  12 - Over our heads Perhaps a custom celebrating victory.
 13 ¶ I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows,
 14  Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.
 15  I will offer unto thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings, with the incense of rams; I will offer bullocks with goats. Selah.
 16  Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
 17  I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.
.18  If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
 19  But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
 20  Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
  18 - If ... iniquity This is a key concept. We may come to God with our sins but also with a firm desire to be free of them, not wanting to hold on to certain ones. Prayer without repentance may be answered by the evil spirit.

Notes on using this psalm for choral reading
Click below for the arrangement page which you may wish to print out
* The letters represent different speakers. Rearrange the assignments to fit your own needs. If you want to involve more or fewer speakers, you can easily do this.
* If your room is small enough to not need microphones, the location of the voices and responses provide a rich experience for the audience. Also you could have the capital letter speakers in front with others around and behind the audience.
* Locate the speakers by groups. For example, when B speaks, c, d, and e could be beside or across from him and respond.
* Capital-letter speakers are leaders. If all participants are on the platform, The Capital-letter ones could step forward to speak. Those responding could step forward in a group. It's important to keep the flow of thought so you would encourage speaker groups who have pieces of a larger thought to avoid pauses between.
* Encourage participants to speak as expressing their own feelings but not with an artificial, theatrical air. Natural and appropriate hand motions and facial expressions add color. This is sacred text. Encourage appropriate dress.
* The "all repeat" lines would be for the audience and all the speakers or could be just for the speakers. The leader who initiates those sections should hold out his hands or otherwise indicate that it's time for all to repeat the phrase. You might want to go through the psalm twice. The second time, encourage the audience to think of the meanings of the text. Also your second time will be smoother and the audience will feel more in tune.
* Of course, practice with the speaker group ahead of time and pray that God's name would be glorified.
Bible text is from The Nw King James Version © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Publishers. All rights reserved.

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