June 1st – Les Kovacs Psalm 65
Observe: Psalm 65 is a joyous song of praise to God from David. You can just hear the adoration in his voice.
David starts by praising God for all the good things He does for us. He answers our prayers. He forgives our sins. He chooses to be with us and bless us with every good thing we need in life.
He then praises God for the hope He brings to all creation because of His mighty deeds. He created the mountains, calms the stormy seas, and brings peace to the nations. He brings forth the dawn and the evening and we can rejoice in their rhythm.
And finally, David praises God for His care of the land and of His people. He waters the land and blesses the crops which yield the abundant harvests for His people. Because of His tender care, the grasslands and the hills are covered with life. The meadows are filled with sheep and the valleys with grain, and all creation resounds with joy.
Interpret: David’s reign in Jerusalem was a tumultuous one. As king, he experienced times of peace and times of war. He enjoyed the thrill of victory in battle, and the joys of following in the paths of the Lord. But he also knew the sting of defeat and of bitter betrayal .
Through it all, however, he knew that his world revolved around the Lord. Whether in joy or in sorrow, as a man after God’s own heart, David always turned, or returned, to the Lord. He remembered that it was by God’s grace that he triumphed over the challenges he faced, and that it was by God’s mercy that he received forgiveness when he stumbled. It was always from God alone that David knew his hope came. And so, David praised the Lord for His unfailing goodness as witnessed in the lives of His people or in the wider creation. David reminds us that God deserves to be praised for His wondrous and mighty deeds as well as for His everyday mercies.
The psalm is full of David’s thankfulness and praise to a God who loves beyond all understanding.
Application: David was undoubtedly a flawed human being. Yet God was able to use David to lead His chosen people as one of the greatest human kings the Israelites ever knew because of his deep faith in God and his desire to follow His will. Growing up in an agricultural setting, and tending his father’s sheep from an early age, David saw firsthand the beautiful and wonderous works of God in nature. He therefore naturally draws on the imagery of creation in his praises, supplications, and expressions of hope and thanksgiving. He is in tune with all the subtle and majestic ways the Lord moved in his life.
I often think how far removed we are from feeling that divine connection in our own lives when we too-easily forget that we are beloved children of the Almighty. Like David, we too are daily confronted with challenges and failures. We too are daily blessed with victories small and large. We too are daily faced with myriad choices and decisions, perhaps not nation-shaking, but certainly effecting our own lives and the lives of those around us, perhaps with eternal consequences. Yet how often do we stop what we’re doing to remember that God is there with us in the mist of our busy hustlings. How often do we drop everything just to say, “Thanks be to God!”, even when we are in the dark of the night? How easy to is to praise Him when we are celebrating, but how about when we are suffering? How often do we press “pause” just so we can hear Him, who is the still small voice?
Whatever we do, wherever we are, God is right there with us. As followers of Christ, we are never alone. He created us. He has a plan for us. He has a deep desire to be on intimate terms with us. But in order to do our part, we need to have a heart for God, as David did.
When our hearts are aligned with God’s, then we can clearly see His handiwork in us, in our lives, and all around us. And we can joyfully praise Him for hearing our prayers; for forgiving our sins; for walking with us through the valleys and the hills. We can praise Him for the sound of a child’s laughter as well as the rumble of the thunder. We can praise Him for the warmth of the sun as well as the cool of the night. We can praise Him for being able to stand in a freshening breeze as well as in the howling gale.
Our God is worthy of praise whether we feel like it or not, whether we’re laughing or crying, whether we’re praying or singing, whether we’re celebrating or suffering because He is our great and loving God. Praise be to Him, forever!
Prayer: Father God, we raise our voices in praise to you alone. You answer our prayers, you forgive our sin, you heal our pain, and you call us to you. You created the earth and tend it and bring forth life and provide for all our needs. You the God of abundance. You are the hope of all the nations of the earth. Open our lips, Lord, and our mouths will declare your praise. This we pray in the merciful name of Jesus, Amen.
Song: How Great is Our God – Chris Tomlin
Bible Blog 2022
This year the blogs are focused on the Psalms and are posted on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.