Psalm 66 invites the entire world to praise God because he is the one who destroys our enemies (Psalm 66:1-4). The psalmist invites the nations to “come and see” what God has done on behalf of Israel (Psalm 66:5). God defeated their Egyptian slave masters (Exodus 6:1). He parted the sea and led his people across on dry ground (Psalm 66:6). He fought for them through fire and water and brought them into their own land (Exodus 14:24-27; Joshua 21:43). Israel’s freedom is a warning to the watching nations. It encourages them to join instead of rebel against God’s Kingdom (Psalm 66:7).
But God not only rescued them from slavery, he also wanted to free Israel from sin—the slavemaster in their heart. Sin bound them from being truly free to love God and each other. God disciplined them with fire and water in order to break their bondage to any power lesser than himself (Psalm 66:9, 11-12). He refined their hearts like silver in a crucible (Psalm 66:10). Now the people of God praise him with offerings of gratitude (Psalm 66:13-15). God’s salvation is not only global and national, it’s personal (Psalm 66:16-17).
The psalmist cries out to God in prayer, knowing that if God were to detect Egypt-like rebellion in his heart his prayer would be rejected (Psalm 66:18). But God has found his heart sin-free so the psalmist bursts into praise (Psalm 66:19-20). God will never fail to answer his prayers. The powerful God who liberates the world from enemies and saves a nation from slavery has reached his heart in love, freed him from sin, and listens when he prays.
Where is the Gospel?
Our world is still plagued by enemies. Wars, famines, and diseases ravage lands and nations. The apostle Paul says that all creation groans in bondage waiting to be liberated (Romans 8:20-22). And that liberator is Jesus.
Once, at the start of his ministry, Jesus’ disciples asked him where he was going. He told them to “come and see” just like our psalmist did, because he was going to achieve an even greater salvation than the deliverance from Egypt. Jesus went to battle against the greatest enemies of his people—death and sin. He fought on behalf of his enslaved people, freeing them from physical oppressors like disease and from Egypt-like sin in their hearts (Matthew 4:23; Mark 5:12-15). His death on the cross crushed the power of sin and his resurrection proved that death had finally met its match (Acts 2:24; 2 Timothy 1:10). As the waters swallowed up Egypt, Jesus will swallow up death forever (1 Corinthians 15:54). He walked out of the grave to lead a new nation into a land where no dark power will ever rule over his people again (Revelation 22:3).
Jesus’ power is both national and personal. On Jesus’ cross, the Kingdom of Death and the Empire of Sin were toppled and the Egypt in us has been destroyed. We are now sin-free in him (Romans 5:8). Which means God will never fail to answer our prayers (Romans 5:8, 8:32). We always have the ear of the God who destroys our enemies and he is on our side.
See for Yourself
I pray that the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to see the God who has conquered all slave masters, including sin. And may you see Jesus as the one who saves the world, the nations, and individuals in his love.