Scriptures

Psalm 65

Introduction

This is a psalm of thanksgiving. Where David gives adoration to God for His care in providing the harvest for His people.

Heading

‘For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.’

Although the headings aren’t inspired by God, they are important because they give us some understanding about the Psalm and they help us to see why it was written. The headings usually tell us four things.

1. Who wrote them, probably wrote them or possibly wrote them.

2. Information about the historical background to the Psalm. Why it was written.

3. They tell us of the tune the Psalm was written to.

4. How it was used.

The heading tells us that this psalm of David was a song, for the director of music. Some commentators believe that ‘director or music’ is God Himself and others believe that it is a song leader who led choirs or musicians, 1 Chronicles 6:33 / 1 Chronicles 16:17 / 1 Chronicles 25:6.

‘Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. You who answer prayer, to you all people will come. When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. 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.’ Psalm 65:1-4

David begins by speaking about the praise which awaits God in Zion, that is, Jerusalem, 1 Chronicles 15:1 / 1 Chronicles 16:1 / 2 Chronicles 1:4, for providing for their needs.

We can imagine the excitement of God’s people coming together to fulfilling their vows, offer praise to God and to offer their sacrifices to Him for answering their prayers.

These vows were made to God by an individual who placed a law on themselves and it was binding as a law of God until the vow was fulfilled, Psalm 22:25 / Psalm 50:14 / Psalm 56:12.

David says our sin is too much for us to bear, 1 Corinthians 10:13, and so, God will cleanse us, 1 John 1:7-9. The answer as to how to obtain forgiveness for our sins and transgressions was seen in the animal sacrifices, Isaiah 43:3 / Psalm 51:2.

These sacrifices pointed to Someone greater who would sacrifice Himself in order that we can be forgiven, Hebrews 7:27 / 1 John 2:2.

Those who live near to the courts, that is, near the tabernacle, Matthew 21:12, are blessed. Because God chose them to live near the courts of the tabernacle, they can approach God in complete confidence, Psalm 15:1 / Psalm 23:6 / Psalm 27:4 / John 6:44 / Ephesians 1:3-4 / 1 Peter 1:2-3.

It’s those people who see the benefit from being chosen by God and it’s those people who will be satisfied as God meets their every need, Psalm 36:8.

‘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, who formed the mountains by your power, having armed yourself with strength, who stilled the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.’ Psalm 65:5-8

David continues in his thanksgiving to God by thanking Him for answering their prayers in such a wonderful way. God not only answered their prayers but He also provided atonement for His people’s sins.

Although God had a special covenant relationship with Israel, He was still the king of all the world. What the Israelites eventually failed to realise was that God accepted anyone who came to Him through obedient faith, Jonah 3:10.

God’s awesome and righteous deeds are seen in His ability to still the roaring seas and to still the turmoil of the nations. God’s authority goes way beyond Israel, His authority reaches the whole earth, Psalm 107:29 / Mark 4:39.

God isn’t only the God of the inhabitants of the world, He’s also the Creator and controller of all the physical world, Hebrews 1:3. The evidence of His power is clearly manifested in the physical world, Romans 1:20.

His power is seen when the morning dawns and the evening fades, that is, the sunrise in the east and the sunset in the west. As a result, the earth rejoices every day, Psalm 19:1-7 / Job 38:7.

‘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 grain, for so you have ordained it. You drench its furrows and level its ridges; you soften it with showers and bless its crops. You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.’ Psalm 65:9-13

David tells us that God cares the land and richly provides everything the land needs, that is, water, and food, Isaiah 55:10-11 / Psalm 8:4. He provides the furrows, Job 31:38 / Job 39:10 and levels its ridges so that the water softens the ground and can produce it’s crops.

The grasslands, that is, the uncultivated places, places where there are rocks and sand, Isaiah 35:1 / Matthew 3:1, and the hills, Psalm 65:12-13, are clothed with gladness, Joel 1:19 / Joel 2:22.

We can almost imagine David looking out over the meadows and seeing them filled with flocks of sheep. We can almost imagine him looking out over the valleys and seeing them filled with grain.

Notice that the meadows and valleys shout for joy and sing. This isn’t literal of course, but it gives us the idea that even they recognise the power of God. They rejoice, along with God’s people in praise and adoration for what God does.

Since Israel was a rural community of farmers, great emphasis was placed on God’s provision for crops at the time of harvest. Because the nation depended on consistent rainfall, the farmers, were dependent on God’s store of water that was in the clouds.

He could either release or retain the water of the clouds, when He released the rain, man, animals and earth all rejoiced over the graciousness of God who showed favour to man.

Conclusion

In this Psalm David simply praises God and gives thanks to God for everything He provides for all of the world, and he invites us to do the same, Psalm 95:2-3.

Even though we may lose sight of the many blessings God provides for us every day, as Christians we have much to be thankful for.

1. As Christians, we should be thankful for His love for us, 1 Chronicles 16:34 / Psalm 106:1 / Lamentations 3:22-23.

Love is who God is and whether we are Christians or not, He just can’t help but love us, Matthew 5:45 / John 3:16 / 1 John 4:8.

2. As Christians, we should be thankful for His provision, Psalm 28:7 / Daniel 2:23.

God deeply cares for His people, He provides for our every need and longs to hear from us in prayer, Philippians 4:6 / Ephesians 5:19-20.

3. As Christians, we should be thankful for His forgiveness, Isaiah 12:1 / Psalm 103:2-3.

All too often we forget that we have been saved from our sin, Acts 2:38, but we should be thankful that even after we become Christians and we sin, He still provides a way for us to stay saved, 1 John 1:7-9.

4. As Christians, we should be thankful for His creation, Psalm 136:3-9.

When was the last time we paused from our busy lives to admire God’s creation?

When was the last time we paused to look at the stars above or the butterfly in our garden and gave thanks to God for creating it for our enjoyment? Job 12:7-10 / Psalm 148:1-6.

When we take a moment to stop and remember His love, His provision, His forgiveness and His creation, our response will always be filled with praise and thanksgiving, Psalm 116:12-14.

Go To Psalm 66

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God."

Ephesians 2:8

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