1 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 in 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 forever 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 fulfill 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!
This psalm deals with the whole aspect of living. To truly live a believer’s life in this world we must develop godly habits that reflect a walk with God. However, the purpose of this walk is not to manifest our godliness but to let God make us more Christ like in everything we attempt to do. My public prayers are simple. Father, we thank you for everything you have done for us and for meeting our every need. Father be with us in everything we say and do, for we ask this in Jesus name – Amen. This prayer should reflect the desire in my heart to walk in God’s way. This psalm provides instruction and is a great guide by which we should walk in God’s way.
Reflecting on the question “Can I give an answer to the unbelieving world why I am a Christian?” I can look to this psalm for the answer. As you read this psalm notice that the first four verses are praises to God. This is the way our prayers should start. When I look at the world around me and the beauty of it, I should see the awesomeness of God. Verse five speaks of how awesome God’s works are for man’s sake. He has created everything; however, his greatest creation was man who was formed after God’s own image.
Yet I can see that God has a greater purpose for us in his creation. These verses also tell me of times of testing and refining. It is during this testing and refining that God preserves us and keeps us from falling. Verses eleven and twelve reveals that our paths will not be a bed of roses. We will face prison and times were others completely control everything we do. We will have times where we must be the burden bearers for others. We will see others take advantage of us and use us for their purpose. We will even see the forces of nature turn against us. Yet after all of this the psalm states “come and see what God has done for me.
The key to living a Christian life is also highlighted in this psalm. Verse eighteen “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” sums up the relationship we must have with God. Sin will keep us from enjoying a relationship with God. Sin also makes the answer to the question “can I give an answer to the unbelieving world why I am a Christian” much more difficult to answer. When I cherish sin in my heart then I am just like the rest of the world around me. I either blend in with the world or present a poor example of what a Christian should portray. And most of all my simple prayer will go unanswered. I guess that is why our Lord included the little phase in the Lord’s prayer “and forgive us this day our daily trespasses as we forgive those who trespasses against us.
This psalm also gives us insight on how to handle national issues as we are facing today in America. God has given us the example Israel to look to as guidance during times that we are facing today in America. Exodus chapter one set the background for God calling Israel out as a nation and delivering them for Egypt (Exodus 1:8-14).
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there fall out any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land. Therefore, they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigor: and they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field, all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigor.
Egypt had forgotten Joseph and his God that delivered the Egyptians and the world from famine and made Egypt a world leader four hundred and thirty years before. The same is taking place in the USA today. We are forgetting that it was God who made this nation of ours great.
Verse five “Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf!” is the theme of this Psalm. As we look at the history of Israel, we see how awesome God has been to his chosen people. But what does the average person believe the nature of God? If I could only ask a person one question to find out their views on God what would that question be? It would not be “Who is God?”, since many would start the answer off as do you mean “what is God or Is there a God”. No, instead I would ask the same question that the Psalmist asked in Psalm eight “What is man?”. For within the reply to the question will come either an acknowledgment of God or a denial of God. Either man was the creation of God or man evolved. God either has a place in their life or God does not exist. So ask yourself this question “Who is God?”.