1 Shout for joy to God, all the earth;
2 sing the glory of his name;
give to him glorious praise!
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you.
4 All the earth worships you
and sings praises to you;
they sing praises to your name.” Selah
5 Come and see what God has done:
he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
6 He turned the sea into dry land;
they passed through the river on foot.
There did we rejoice in him,
7 who rules by his might forever,
whose eyes keep watch on the nations—
let not the rebellious exalt themselves. Selah
8 Bless our God, O peoples;
let the sound of his praise be heard,
9 who has kept our soul among the living
and has not let our feet slip.
10 For you, O God, have tested us;
you have tried us as silver is tried.
11 You brought us into the net;
you laid a crushing burden on our backs;
12 you let men ride over our heads;
we went through fire and through water;
yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.
13 I will come into your house with burnt offerings;
I will perform my vows to you,
14 that which my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
15 I will offer to you burnt offerings of fattened animals,
with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats. Selah
16 Come and hear, all you who fear God,
and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
17 I cried to him with my mouth,
and high praise was on my tongue.
18 If I had cherished iniquity in my heart,
the Lord would not have listened.
19 But truly God has listened;
he has attended to the voice of my prayer.
20 Blessed be God,
because he has not rejected my prayer
or removed his steadfast love from me!
I am finding the psalter to be a wonderful tonic for my sorrow, fear, and malaise. We live in an age of information and speed, and I love the psalms because they force me to slow down a little. If you gifted with some extra time on your hands, consider this bit of ancient poetry. It is not meant to be read quickly, but deeply and slowly. The psalmist invites you and the rest of the creation to join him in praising God. He remembers the Exodus and the stories of the judges when God “let men to ride over our heads.” God has tried them in a forge. But God has brought them back to abundance.
Starting at vs 13, the psalmist reveals a little of himself. He will fulfill the vows he spoke when he was in trouble. He will make good on that promise to bring an offering. It sounds as though it has not been a straight line to blessing and vow fulfillment for the psalmist. There have been a few detours along the way. Were they detours caused by more affliction or caused by prosperity I wonder? What kept him from fulfilling those vows in the past? What keeps you from keeping the repentant vows you have made?
“Come and hear,” calls the psalmist to us. Hear what God has done to rescue his soul and how God has answered his prayers. After you read and ponder this psalm, reflect on how God has rescued you. Have you been in a day of trouble and found relief? Have you grieved and found comfort? Have you suffered and been given strength? Be ready to tell that story.