Psalm 66 is a call to come to the Lord.
“Come and see what God has done, his awesome deeds for mankind!” (66:5)
When we come to the Lord, we are blown away by what he has done and what he continues to do. The psalmist uses the crossing of the Red Sea as an example of God’s mighty power for our deliverance. “He turned the sea into dry land, they passed through the waters on foot—come, let us rejoice in him.” (66:6)
Think of all the examples in the story of the bible of God using water, crossing the water, being saved from the water, to deliver his people. This past week we read in first Peter that the story of Noah and his family being saved from the flood is a picture of baptism. (1 Peter 3:20-21) Your baptism is a reminder that you are connected to the great story of God’s deliverance.
Psalm 66 is a call to trust the Lord when we are being tested.
“For you, God, tested us; you refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let people ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance.” (66:10-12)
We will experience all of these tests in our daily lives. Maybe you are feeling it right now; you feel trapped, burdened, like others are running you over. This will not last. Abundance is in the future.
Psalm 66 calls us to respond to the Lord by entering the temple.
“I will come to your temple with burnt offerings and fulfill my vows to you—vows that my lips promised and my mouth spoke when I was in trouble.” (66:13)
Jesus spoke of his body as the temple. This is revealing as we look through the story of the bible at the purpose and design of temple worship in Israel. The temple signifies God’s presence with us. The temple provides a way for the people of God to be in his presence even though his holiness and our sin cannot coexist. God provides the way through sacrifice.
In another passage we read last week Jesus tells his followers, “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (John 14:20)
Just as the temple worshippers entered the temple courts in order to be in the presence of their good and loving God, so we today are invited to enter into Jesus as our new creation temple. But this temple is so much better since, when we are in Jesus, he tells us that he is in us. The temple is in us.
We respond to the greatness of our God and to his testing in our lives by entering the temple that is within each of us. How do you practice this in your daily life? What spiritual disciplines (prayer, praise, listening, reading scripture, service, giving) are you committed to?