Weds 28 October - Psalm 65
1 Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;
to you our vows will be fulfilled.
2 You who answer prayer,
to you all people will come.
3 When we were overwhelmed by sins,
you forgave our transgressions.
4 Blessed are those you choose
and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
of your holy temple.
5 You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
God our Saviour,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas,
6 who formed the mountains by your power,
having armed yourself with strength,
7 who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.
8 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
you call forth songs of joy.
9 You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with corn,
for so you have ordained it.
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty,
and your carts overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with corn;
they shout for joy and sing.
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Meditation on Psalm 65
We have already seen that many Psalms are very personal – relating to specific situations in the Psalmist’s life or confession of sin or some very personal calls to God for help, for rescue, for divine intervention.
There are some that are Psalms of exuberant praise, without a request in sight.
Such is Psalm 65 and the three following – each has the title ‘A song’.
Yet, Psalm 65 opens with a call to reflective worship – ‘Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion.’
The literal translation of these opening words is: ‘Praise is silent before you, our God, in Zion.’
Rather than bursting out hastily, the Psalmist suggests we reflect on who we have come to worship.
- The ‘Zion’ of verse I is God’s temple – His house where He met His people throughout the OT through the sacrifices offered by the High Priest and His house (the church) where He meets us today in and through Christ. This is what Paul is saying when he writes to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19. ‘Don’t you know that you yourselves (plural – referring to the church) are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?’
But then he brings it down to the personal – ‘don’t you know that your bodies (referring to individuals) are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?’
- The ‘Temple’ of verse 4 is Zion – His house; His dwelling place.
Thus, God dwells in His church and in His people.
Verses 1-4 The God we worship.
- God is ‘at home’. He is on the throne and we have access to Him through the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ. -
- God answers prayer – may not always be as we ask and sometimes He seems to be ‘God on mute’ (title of a book by Pete Greig).
- God is approachable – we can come to Him and talk with Him as ‘Abba Father’.
- God forgives our sins – this brings us to the Cross where we have the assurance that ‘the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, goes on cleansing us from all our sin.’
- God chooses – our being in His house, in His presence, is all of His grace. ‘He chose us in Him from before the creation of the world.’
- God provides – ‘He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies.’
Verses 5-8 The God who is at work in His world
The Psalmist speaks of ‘His awesome and righteous deeds.’
Psalm 66:5 has the invitation to ‘come and see what God has done, His awesome deeds for mankind.’
Here is a great God and…
- He is our hope. He is the hope of all. He is our Saviour.
- His power is seen in creation – the mountains, the roaring seas and waves.
- He is God over ALL the nations. We see this throughout the OT and at the end of the NT we are reminded that we will see this when Jesus comes again.
- He is worthy of our songs of joy as we consider His greatness – ‘How great Thou art.’
Verses 9-13 The God of the harvest.
We know that across the world there are many for whom a good harvest is just a dream. We who have so much should reach out to those who have so little.
Notice the emphasis in these verses is on ‘YOU’ (verses 9,10,11)
God is the Creator, Redeemer and Provider.
All creation – animate and inanimate – sings for joy at the work of His hands.
Thursday 29 October - Psalm 66
Friday 30 October - Psalm 67
Saturday 31 October - Psalm 68
Sunday 1 November - Psalm 69
Monday 2 November - Psalm 70
Tuesday 3 November - Psalm 71