6. God’s Gracious Ear Psalm 66:16-20

Text: “Blessed (blessed with many blessings) be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me."

Psalm 66:20.

God morning, ever-heard Christian!  Because of Christ’s suffering, dying, and rising again from the dead – you and I who are Spiritually regenerated, ‘born again’, of the Spirit of God, are assured that our prayers shall always be both heard and answered by a Heavenly Father Who loved us enough to give us His only begotten Son, as an Eternally appeasing Sacrifice for our sins upon Calvary’s Cross.  What a gracious Lord God we have!  Glory to His Name!

“For God so loved the world (all His elect souls from all parts of the world), that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth (trusts, and continues to trust) in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world (all that the Father gave to His Son out of the world) through Him might be saved.”  (John 3: 16-17)

“All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out.  For I came down from Heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent Me.”  (John 6:37-38)

God, our Father in Heaven has, in His Word, openly encouraged us to come unto Him in prayerful worship – at all times through Christ Jesus alone – to petition Him for our needs, and for the needs of other souls He brings to our attention daily.  We who are Christ’s servants have this all-time open invitation to come to the Lord God in reverent prayer.

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty thing, which thou knowest not.”  (Jeremiah 33:3)

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for everyone (the saved) that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”  (Matthew 7:7-8)

This is the Word of the Lord God Himself on the subject of our prayers!  Take heed!

“God is not a man that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent (say, and not do): hath He said, and shall He not do it?  Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?”  (Numbers 23:19)

God’s throne of ever-given grace and blessings is forever open to those who trust in Christ.

Verse 16.  “Come and hear.  Before, they were bidden to come and see.  Hearing is faith’s seeing.  Mercy comes to us by way of ear-gate. “Hear, and your soul shall live.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 286)

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”  (Romans 10:17)

Verse 16.  “…All ye that fear God.  God-fearing does not mean that we cow before an angry Lord God in abject fear. No!  To be God-fearing, denotes an attitude of the most profound depths of a sinner’s heart (essence of being) humbled in awe and worshipful reverence before God’s Holy Presence, hidden in Christ Jesus.  We appear before God’s throne of grace robed in the righteousness of Christ Himself!  His precious, and sinless, Blood, shed for us on that cruel Roman Cross – has atoned for all of our sins, and therefore we have liberty to enter into the very Presence of God continually.  We are ever-heard Christians.  Glory to the Lamb Who has made the way into Heaven’s portals for us!

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  (Hebrews 4:16)

Isaiah the prophet speaks of the righteous covering true believers have in the sinless Blood of Christ Jesus, the Atonement Lamb.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garment of Salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”  (Isaiah 61:10)

When we who are Spiritually regenerate come into our Father’s absolutely Holy Presence, we come rejoicing – because God the Father only sees God the Son, Christ Jesus, when He looks at the redeemed through the shed and sinless Blood of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

The Lord promised Moses that all people that were living under the blood of the slain lamb, would be completely safe from His destruction, and no plague would harm them.

“And the Blood (of the slain lamb) shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the Blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt (Egypt is always seen as a type of the unsaved world).” (Exodus 12:13)

We who are redeemed by the precious Blood of Christ Jesus, the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of ‘His people’, are promised God’s Divine protection at all times, according to His own Sovereign, and ever perfect will.  Glory to His Omnipotent Name! 

Being ever-heard, and forever safe in God’s keeping power – should we not be very quick to declare God’s Salvation grace and power unto other unsaved souls?

Verse 16. “And I will declare what He hath done for my soul.  If ‘…faith cometh by hearing…’, and it does – why are there so many seeking to be ‘secret Christians’ in this increasingly apostate 21st Century?  Silence isn’t always golden, in Christian service, it can also be just plain YELLOW!  Let us get out there and declare what the Lord Jesus has done for our souls!

Verse 17. “I cried unto Him with my mouth, and He was extolled with my tongue.  Observe that the Psalmist did both cry and speak; the Lord has cast the dumb devil out of His children, and those of them who are least fluent with their tongues are often the most eloquent with their hearts.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 286)

Take note: Ever-heard Christians should also be ever-thanksgiving Christians!

Verse 17: “…He was extolled with my tongue.  The ten lepers all cried for mercy, and all obtained it, but only one returned to render thanks.”  (John Morison1829)

Verse 20: “Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor His mercy from me.  We cannot come into God’s Presence with unconfessed sin to pray. (V.18) Once sin is confessed and forsaken – the Lord never turns away our prayers, we are ever-heard.  Thanks be to the Living Lord God Jehovah, who is listening for our prayerful praise.

Thought:  God-given faith in Christ, assures us of God’s ever-hearing ear in prayer.

5. Appropriate Thanksgiving? Psalm 66:13-15

Text: “I will go into Thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay Thee my vows, which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble.”

Psalm 66:13-14.

Good morning, grateful and thankful Christian!  Being ever conscious of the wonderous things the Living Lord God has done for you and for me, we are just as consistently conscious of our profound need to bring the Lord God continual and heart-felt worship, thanksgiving, and praise. 

If we seek to practice this level of thanksgiving to the Lord God, we do well, and the Lord is pleased with such consistency and sincerity of worship.  He takes Divine note of our appropriate thanksgiving, service, and worship, and writes it all in His ‘Book of Remembrance’.  We have His own Word on this matter.

“Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon His Name.  And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up My jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.”  (Malachi 3:16-17)

Any time we sincere, Bible-believing, Christians come before the Presence of the Lord God in prayer, in worship, or in praise – we can come into His Holy Presence in one way only, in, and through the precious shed Blood of His Holy Son, Jesus Christ.  We can come no other way, and without that level of sanctifying Sacrifice.  And we can come boldly, if Christ be our Saviour/Lord.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  (Hebrews 4:16)

The Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Redeemer, has suffered the penalty required by God’s Holiness for your sin and mine PERSONALLY.  He took all of your sins – past, present, and future sins – upon His sinless Self, and suffered the wrath of God against sin for us, in our place, as our Divine Substitute.  (See the doctrine of Substitution on this site).

This full Atonement Sacrifice of Christ Jesus on Calvary’s Cross is what enables you and I, and all who are truly and Spiritually regenerated by His Blood, into the Holy Presence of our God of Almighty wrath against all sin.  We must appear before our Father in Heaven, covered by the precious Blood of Christ, God’s Lamb.

“For the life of the flesh is in the Blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar (the Cross) to make an Atonement (at-one-ment, sinful man with Holy Lord God) for your souls: for it is the Blood that maketh (makes, and continues to make) an Atonement for the soul.”  (Leviticus 17:11)

All though Holy Scriptures – Genesis to Revelation – we find TYPES, Spiritual illustrations and analogies, that reveal one vital theme – Christ Jesus on the Cross, making the Atonement for our sins.  We theologians call this concept typology.

With such a plethora of Scriptural illustrations of what it took to redeem sinners from our vile sins; the cruel suffering, and painful death of the Cross, one would think we would begin to think more profoundly about the level, and appropriateness, of our worship, praise to God, and sincerity of thanksgiving to Him.  However, this is not always the case.

So often in this increasingly apostate, 21st Century where luke-warm Christianity is too often in evidence, do we see people going out with religious constancy to church-meetings, with the attitude that they are doing God a favour?  It seems to often be the case that, such luke-warm churchy people believe that the frequency of their dressing up and going out to ‘church’ meetings is what counts in the eyes of God.  Perish the thought!

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”  (John 4:23-24)

It is not how many of these ‘church-meetings’ that count - if attending such legalist gatherings counts for anything at all – but HOW sanctified one comes before God, and HOW truly loving and grateful to the Lord we are!  Sanctification of soul, and thankfulness of heart are what the Living Lord God deserves from each of us for whom He suffered and died!

Verse 13.  “I will go into Thy house (prayer?) with burn offerings.  Even the thankful heart dares not come to God without a victim of grateful praise; of this as well as of every other form of worship, we may say, “The Blood is the life thereof.”  Reader, never attempt to come before God without Jesus, the Divinely promised, given, and accepted burnt offering.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 285)

“Jesus saith unto him (Thomas), I am the way, the truth, and the life: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME” (John 14:6)

Verse 13. “…I will pay Thee my vows.  Beware of going into the Lord God’s Presence to barter with the Almighty!  Making conditional vows to the Lord is not a practice to make.  ‘Dear Lord, IF you will do xyz…I will do xyz in return?’ This is not appropriate fellowship with Almighty God!  Reader, desist!  Hear what Solomon says on that foolish subject:

“When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for He hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.  Better is it that thou shouldest NOT vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.  Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that is was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?”  (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6)

Verse 15. “I will offer unto Thee burnt sacrifices of fatlings.  The good man will give his best things to God.  He who is miserly with God is a wretch indeed.” (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 287)

Appropriate thanksgiving, worship, and praise begins with a sincere knowledge, acceptance, confession, and forsaking of our personal sin.  Then the way is open for true born-again believers to come into the Presence of our Holy Father in prayerful thanksgiving, worship and praise.  When we come into God’s Presence in prayerful thanksgiving, we come covered from all sin by Christ’s precious and sinless Blood.  Then our service and worship of God is truly acceptable in His sight, and we enjoy the bliss of His Holy Presence.  Hallelujah!  Dear Father, we worship you, in Christ Jesus!  Amen.

Thought: “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.”  (Psalm 19:14)

4. God-Held Souls! Psalm 66:8-12

Text: “O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of His praise to be heard: which holdeth (holds, and continues to hold) our soul in life, and suffereth (allows) not our feet to be moved.”

Psalm 66:8-9.

Good morning, God-Held Christian!  So often you, like the author, have perhaps been so overwhelmed by oppositions, dreads, doubts, testings and trials – that you have begun to feel that your Salvation is just about to be lost; that the Lord has abandoned us; that the enemies of our souls were already knocking at, and breaking down, the doors of our faith.

However, just when all hope seemed to be lost – the Lord God sent us deliverance, refreshments; renewal of winning faith, and caused us to rejoice in faithfulness again.  What a blessed Lord and gracious Saviour we have in Christ Jesus!  Amen.

God’s Word is the best encourager of our fallible faith, and our feeble hearts.

“Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are KEPT by the power of God through faith unto Salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”  (1 Peter 1:3-5)

The word ‘kept’ in the apostle Peter’s writing - under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit – denotes the same grammatical concept as the word KEEP, as in the Keep of a castle; the strongest, most secure part of a fortified castle building. 

We who are saved by the precious Blood of the Lamb, Christ Jesus, are placed by God in the most secure place, the Keep of the castle of His power.  As such, we are forever God-held souls.  Praise His Name!

“My sheep hear My voice, and they follow Me: and I give unto them Eternal life (not temporal life, but Eternal life!); and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.  My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all: and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand.  I and My Father are One.”  (John 10:27-30)

If you and I are SAVED by God’s Sovereign grace – we shall be KEPT by God’s grace.  We who are born again have Eternal life NOW!  Praise God for His grace!

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ.”  (Philippians 1:6)

Now I challenge all Readers: IF we are, by God’s Spirit, and His gifts of repentance and faith sure we are Eternally SAVED – how can we withhold our heart’s praise of the Lord God Who has blessed us with such a multiplicity of blessings in Christ Jesus?

Verse 8.  “O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of His praise to be heard.  Whoever else may sing with bated breath, do you be sure to give full tongue and volume to the song.  Compel unwilling ears to hear the praises of your covenant God.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 284)

The wise man built his house upon the Rock, as the Sunday-school chorus informs us – the Word of God is that Rock, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Eternal Father God. 

The Word: Check out for your own encouragement the mentions in Spirit-inspired Scriptures of the Word of God, and you shall find Spiritual treasures that will assure your very soul.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh (the incarnation of God the Son as Jesus Christ), and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  (John 1;14)

“And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.” (John 17:5)

“Father, I will that they also, whom Thou hast given Me, be with Me where I am; that hey may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovest Me before the foundation of the world.”  (John 17:24)

“For the Word of God is quick (living) and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (the whole essence of man.)  Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in HIS sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”  (Hebrews 4:12-13)

This is THE WORD, Christ Jesus, Who is coming back soon to us, not this time as a meek and lowly lamb, but as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, with all the armies of Heaven to make an end of Christ-rejection, Sodomy, and sin.  “Even so, Come Lord Jesus!”

“And He was clothed with a vesture dipped in Blood: and His Name is called The Word of God.  And the armies which were in Heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.”  (Revelation 19:13-14)

Verse 9.  “Which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved.  If God has enabled us not only to keep our life, but our position, we are bound to give Him double praise.  Living and standing is the saints’ condition through Divine grace.  Immortal and immovable are those whom God preserves.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 284)

We persevere as Spirit-quickened, Blood-bought children of God, because we are God-held.  It is the Lord God Almighty that does the Eternal holding of the souls He saves.

God-held Christian believers are ALWAYS sorely tried and tested to make us stand strong.

Verse 10.  “For Thou, O God, hast proved us.  God had one Son without sin, but He never had a son without trial.  The day may come when we shall make hymns out of our grief and sing all the more sweetly because our mouths have been purified with bitter draughts.”  (C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, page 284)

An army, one has said, can only be called ‘invincible’, AFTER it has fought battles and won.  All Christians serious about serving the Lord Jesus Christ, must be tested continually, to make us strong and faith-filled for the Spiritual Battle.

Verse 12. “…We went through fire and through water.  The fire could not consume us, the waters could not drown us – because the Lord God Jehovah, our Father, would not let them.

Thought: “The greatest danger that befalls man comes whence it should least come, from man himself.  Lions fight not with lions; serpents spend not their venom on serpents; but man is the main suborner of mischief to his own kind.”  T. Adams (1614)

3. SEE the Works of God! Psalm 66:5-7

Text: “Come and SEE the works of God: He is terrible in His doing toward the children of men.”

Psalm 66:5.

Good morning, clear-sighted Christian!  You and I are fearfully and wonderfully constituted within the Body of Christ Jesus – for we can see with ears and eyes, all the wonderous works of the Lord God Who has redeemed our never-dying souls through Christ Jesus.  Hallelujah!  Let us remind ourselves often of the wonderous works of our God!

“The Heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork.  Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.  There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1-3)

God’s ‘…doing towards the children of men…’ can be clearly seen, as it was literally seen in Old and New Testament times, by those whom, by the inspiration, guidance, and direction of God the Holy Spirit, were ordained of the Living Lord to record the Holy Scriptures.  As in all of my Bible expositions, I have God’s own Word – Divine chapter and verse authority - on this subject.

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.  For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”  (2 Peter 1:20-21)

We Bible teachers/preachers cannot at any time merely give out our own verbal or written opinions, or schools of thought, on any such important matter as Eternal Salvation, Spiritual direction; or doctrinal practice and belief.  No!  We must at all times speak/teach/write only what the Spirit of the Living Lord God directs and inspires us to set forth.  God’s Word alone is truth!

“Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth.” (John 17:17)

Verse 6. “He turned the sea into dry land.  The Psalmist was not only inspired of God’s Spirit to write this Scripture, he had the recorded annals of Moses himself, still in existence, to encourage him to SEE the works of God! 

Moses had stood on the edge of the Red Sea, saw the humanly impossible passage before him and the children of Israel as they fled from the wicked Pharaoh.  Yet, the Lord parted the waters when he stretched forth his rod, and, therefore, ‘…They went through the flood on foot…’, after God ‘…turned the sea into dry land…’!  Hallelujah! 

Through the eye-witness accounts of God’s chosen chroniclers, you and I as Christian believers can actually SEE the works of God.  We SEE such wonders because we look through the eye of God-given faith.  What a joy to behold such works! 

“But lift thou (Moses) up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”  (Exodus 14:16)

“And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.”  (Exodus 14:21)

Now, ask yourself, beloved Reader: is it any wonder that Moses and the children of Israel ‘…rejoiced in Him.’? (V.6)

Verse 6. “There did we rejoice in Him. A much greater miracle is that men should pass over the bitter sea of this life and cross the river of mortality that never ceases to run and which swallows up and drowns so many and still come safe and alive to the land of Eternal promise, and there rejoice in God Himself, beholding Him face to face; and yet this greater miracle is so accomplished by God that many pass through this sea as if it were dry land and cross this river with dry feet.”  (Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621)

At this time of global plague, and Covid virus casualties – I personally believe, that our Holy and Living Lord God is either, sending this divesting plague or, at least, in His complete Sovereignty over all things – permitting it to ravish the world in His wrath against the Christ-rejecting nations and those wallowing in the mire of Sodomy and unbelief. The eyes of our Holy Lord God are, in fact, beholding the nations, and He is appalled by what His Holy vision sees.

Verse 7. “He ruleth by His power forever.  The Lord God Jehovah, Creator of all things, is a Sovereign Lord God Who rules over all things, people, situations, and circumstances, and works all things to the tune of His own Sovereign will and purpose.  Any other being would not be worthy of worship, obedience, or praise. 

“For by Him were all things created, that are in Heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.  And He is the Head of the Body, the church…”  (Colossians 1:16-18)

Verse 7.  “His eyes behold the nations. This should give check to much iniquity.  Can a man’s conscience easily and delightfully swallow that which he is sensible falls under the cognizance of God, when it is hateful to the eye of His holiness and renders the action odious to Him?”  (Stephen Charnock 1628-1680)

Verse 7. “Let not the rebellious exalt themselves.  This is a dire warning to any such rebellious soul, a soul that might dare to endeavour to shake a puny human fist at the power of the Almighty Lord God – yet, so many today, in this increasingly apostate and rebelliously sinful 21st Century, seem to be doing just that!  What a doom awaits them!  What a come down is looming so inevitably before them!  Pathetic is their unbelief!

“For we know Him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord.  And again, The Lord shall judge His people.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.” (Hebrews 10:30-31)

With the eyes of God-given faith, we believers can actually SEE the works of the Lord God!  Seeing such wonders, and fully believing in the power of the Living God – how can we do anything else but be filled to the full with a Holy joy unspeakable?  Hallelujah!

Thought: Regenerated Christians are the only folk who can hear with our hearts, and SEE with a ‘sanctified imagination’ – all the wonders of a truly Sovereign Lord God.