Day 11—Psalm 66

July 16, 2019 |

Reading 11—Sing for Joy
Psalm 66

Read Psalm 66

It is easy this time of year in Western North Carolina to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation. Lush green mountains, cool trout streams, warm sun and nourishing rains, and even the friendly Asheville black bears are all reminders of our masterful Creator. Every time I step outside, it is so easy to proclaim with the psalmist “How awesome are your deeds,” and sing for joy for all that God has made.

The first section of Psalm 66 encourages us to sing to the glory of God, our Creator, joining our voices with the earth and all its creatures in worship and thanksgiving for life, providence, and steadfast love. As much as I believe that everyone CAN and SHOULD sing, and that music is a true gift from God, I believe that joyful proclamation of the goodness of God, in word and deed, is the kind of singing that the psalmist has in mind.

The second section of Psalm 66 recalls the Exodus, the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea on dry ground. We can almost hear Miriam and the women dancing, playing tambourines, and singing for joy! This story reminds us that God brought the Israelites, God’s covenant people, from slavery into freedom, and gave them a new life.

As we recall this story in our study of Psalm 66, we can be reminded today that we too are God’s covenant people. In Christ’s death and resurrection, we have been brought from slavery in sin to freedom in grace, and have been given new, eternal life. We are sealed with the cross of Jesus in our baptism, and are called beloved, forgiven, redeemed, children of God forever.

Psalm 66 concludes with reminders of God’s providence. Verse 12 declares “we went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a spacious place.” Just as God brought the children of Israel to the Promised Land, God has cared and continues to care for God’s people today through all the difficult times we encounter. From the immense to the particular—from the trees on top of mountains to the hairs on top of your head—God’s love for creation is without end. You were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image your Creator for a purpose, and given gifts with which you can serve and give thanks to God. With love, mercy, forgiveness, and joy, God will continue to care for you all the days of your life.

To Consider

If you are able, get outside today and marvel at God’s creation. What do you see? What do you hear? “Sing” for joy at what God has made!

What “fire and water” have you been through in your life? How did God bring you through it? How did you see God at work?

How can you join your voice in singing for joy in thanksgiving to God? How can you use the gifts that God gave you to glorify God?

God of all creation, we sing for joy with our whole being, and give you thanks for your steadfast care and providence. Open our eyes to see the beauty you have made. Open our mouths to raise our voices with the earth and all its creatures. Continue to make us new each day so that we might proclaim in all we do that God is good! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Deacon Katie Rivers serves alongside the people of God at St. Mark’s, Asheville. She sings for joy while cooking, brewing beer, caring for her English Setter, and teaching children that Jesus loves them.










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