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Psalm 66

Psalm 66

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY J. STRACEY. MA.

" O come hither, and behold the works of God: how W07iderful He is
in His doing toward the children of men. He turned the sea
into dry land, so that they went through the zuater on foot ; there did
we rejoice thereof.'" " O come hither, and hearken, all ye that fear
God, and I will tell you what He hath done for my soul." —
Psalm Ixvi. 4, 5, and 14.
BY J. STRACEY. MA.

" O come hither, and behold the works of God: how W07iderful He is
in His doing toward the children of men. He turned the sea
into dry land, so that they went through the zuater on foot ; there did
we rejoice thereof.'" " O come hither, and hearken, all ye that fear
God, and I will tell you what He hath done for my soul." —
Psalm Ixvi. 4, 5, and 14.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 12, 2013
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PSALM 66BY J. STRACEY. MA." O come hither, and behold the works of God: how W07iderful He isin His doing toward the children of men. He turned the seainto dry land, so that they went through the zuater on foot ; there didwe rejoice thereof.'" " O come hither, and hearken, all ye that fearGod, and I will tell you what He hath done for my soul." — Psalm Ixvi. 4, 5, and 14.THIS sixty-sixth Psalm is ascribed almost unani-mously among commentators to the time, if notto the pen, of Hezekiah. It seems to have beencomposed just before or just after some great deliveranceof Israel, and no doubt, if we are right in attributingit to the reign of Hezekiah, it refers to the greatdeliverance of Jerusalem from the armv of Sennacherib,which melted away in one night. The reference whichit makes to the passage of the Red Sea, and forty yearsafterwards of the Jordan, as on dry land, gives it aspecial application to the Paschal season which we areIII. I114 PSALM LXVI.again approacliiiig. Wlien as Israel emerged from theRed Sea on its opposite shore in safety, seeing theirenemies drowned in the waters which threatened to betheir destruction, so our Lord Jesus Christ rose from thegrave, after His passage of the Eed Sea of His ownblood, and became victorious over death and the grave.It is to this that special reference is made at everybaptism, when we say, '^Almighty and Everlasting God,Who of Thy great mercy didst save oah and his familyin the Ark from perishing by water ; and didst safelylead the children of Israel, Thy people, through the RedSea, figuring thereby Thy Holy Baptism."There is one thing peculiar in this Psalm, and thatis, the sudden change it makes at and after the thirteenthverse from the plural to the singular number. Afterthat verse it is "we" and "us;" but at and after thethirteenth verse it speaks only of one person. Thus thetwo parts of my text begin Avith the same words,
 
"O come hither," but the first says, "and behold theworks of God: how wonderful He is in His doingstowards the children of men." The latter verse says," O come hither and hearken, I will tell you what He(God) hath done for my soul." The explanation of this has been thought to be this, that the first twelveverses were to be sung in chorus, the latter only by asingle voice ; still I should rather regard them as, first,the expression of the devout thankfulness of Israelfor their national and sudden deliverance from theDARKESS GOE. Il5Assyrians, and secondly, as Hezekiali's own andpersonal acknowledgment to God for what He haddone for him. That is a very beautiful sentence, con-taining much the same great truth, as each part of mytext expresses, which occurs in a later Psalm, I meanthis : " To the godly there riseth up light in thedarkness." It was a dark time indeed to Jerusalem,and especially to Hezekiah, when Jerusalem wassurrounded by this large Assyrian army, and all hopeof deliverance, except by Divine interposition, seemedtaken away. Then it was that Isaiah inspired courage,and raised the hopes of the good king by these wordsspoken of their enemies, "Because thy rage againstMe, and thy tumult is come up into My ears, thereforeI will put My hook in thy nose, and My bridle in thylips, and I will turn thee back by the way by whichthou earnest. For I will defend this city to save it forMine own sake, and for My servant David's sake."AU this came to pass by the sudden destruction of Sennacherib's army in one night, the work of theAngel of death, as of old in Egypt on the PaschalEve.It was a dark night again, and all hope seemed pastand gone, when as soon as the Sabbath was past, beforeday had yet dawned, the faithful women set out tocomplete, as they intended, their care for the Lord'sBody, which the approach of the Sabbath had inter-rupted. But Israel had once more, as it were, passed
 
Il6 PSALM LXVI.through in safety the waters of the Red Sea. Thegreat representative seed of Abraham, the Son of David,had already risen when they came ; the stone was rolledaway, and the tomb was already empty, except for thetwo Angels in white, who sat where the head and thefeet of the Lord had lain. And so of that momentwe may say once more with true Christian joy andsignificance, "0 come hither, and behold the works of God: how wonderful He is in His doings toward thechildren of men. He turned the sea into dry land, sothat they went through the water on foot ; there did werejoice thereof." " come hither and hearken, all yethat fear God, and I will tell you what He hath donefor my soul." "I'ow is Christ risen from the deadand become the firstf ruits of them that slept : for sinceby man (Adam) came death, by man (Christ) came alsothe Resurrection of the dead : for as in Adam all die,even so in Christ shall all be made alive." "BecauseI live, ye shall live also." "For if we believe thatJesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleepin Jesus shall God bring with Him." These are thegreat truths, this last the greatest of all truths, whichwe have to repeat again and again, and to hand on fromgeneration to generation. It is the centre of all ourhopes, that as Israel passed safe through the Red Sea,and again throug-h the waters of the Jordan, so too, asChrist passed through death and the grave to HisEternal Glory, and highest exaltation at God's RightO MORE SEA. 11/Hand, so may we, living our life here below in andTinto Him, pass througli death and the grave untoEternal Life with God for ever in Heaven."This is of course our greatest change of all, when thismortal shall have put on Immortality, and we shall beclothed upon with the Glory and Righteousness won forus through our Great Redeemer. Then, above all othertimes, shall we say, "0 come hither, and behold theworks of God : how wonderful He is in His doingtoward the children of men." " come hither, andhearken, all ye that fear God: and I will tell you what

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