April 24: Psalm 66

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April 24: Psalm 66

Shout for joy, all the earth

Common meter double 86.86 D             Ellacombe (Hosanna, Loud Hosanna), p. 130
Forest Green (I Sing the Mighty Power of God), p. 70

All lands to God in joyful sounds aloft your voices raise;

Sing forth the honor of His name, And glorious make His praise,

Say unto God, How terrible in all Thy works art Thou!

Through Thy great power Thy foes to Thee shall be constrained to bow.

Yes, all the earth shall worship Thee, and unto Thee shall sing;

And to Thy name most glo-ri-ous their songs of praise shall bring,

O come, behold the works of God, His mighty doings see;

In dealing with the sons of men, most terrible is He.

He turned the sea into dry land, so they a pathway had;

They through the river went on foot; there we in Him were glad,

He ruleth ever by His might; His eyes the nations prove;

Let not the proud rebellions ones think they His strength can move.

O all ye people, bless our God; aloud proclaim His praise,

Who holdeth safe our soul in life, our feet from sliding ways,

For Thou, O God, hast tested us as silver is refined;

Didst take us in a net; on us a heavy load didst bind.

Thou madest men ride o’er our heads; through fire and flood we passed;

But Thou didst bring us out to share a bounteous place at last.

I’ll bring burnt off’rings to Thy house; to Thee my vows will pay,

As I gave promise with my lips when trouble on me lay.

Burnt sacrifice of fattened beasts with smoke of rams I’ll take,

And from the bullocks and the goats to Thee an off’ring make.

All ye that fear Him, come and hear what God did for my soul;

I with my mouth have cried to Him; my tongue did Him extol.

If in my heart I sin regard, the Lord will never hear;

But surely God has heard my voice; He to my prayer gave ear.

Forever bless-ed be our God; my prayer He has not spurned,

Nor has He ever yet from me His lovingkindness turned.

The reference to the drying up of the waters in Psalm 66 suggests that its original context was the celebration of the Passover and Israel’s liberation from slavery in Egypt, themes manifestly understood in the New Testament as types of the new Christian Pascha. The “works” of God being celebrated in this psalm, then, and for which we give thanks to His name, have to do with His accomplishing of our redemption in the paschal mystery, the death and Resurrection of Christ our Lord. This is a psalm about the passage from death to life, for the enemies of the human race are sin and death. It is from these that Christ has set us free, restoring us to eternal favor with God: “Come and hear, all who fear God, and I will tell of what He has done for my soul.” (Reardon, p. 129-130)

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