# 212 A journey through the Psalms. Psalm 65 God’s answer to our prayers.

It was not too long ago when I was writing about the drought followed by devastating bushfires in Australia. But now the rain has come and thankfully, in most parts, the worst of the drought is over and the fires have been extinguished.

These fires were over a huge area and at times incredibly ferocious. Our brave and hardworking fire fighters did a great job in controlling these fires and preventing what could have been even worse loss of person and property than there was. But completely extinguishing them needed a good downpour of rain over an extended period and that is what eventually happened. Many prayed for this and God answered.  

Psalm 65:1,8,9-13 seems to me to be a fitting response of praise and thanksgiving:

Praise awaits you, our God…

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy.

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.
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 grain;
    they shout for joy and sing.

The people of this time, when the psalm was written, saw things differently to many of our time and culture. There was a consciousness of God present in all the circumstances of their lives, as we shall see as we consider next the earlier verses of this psalm. As Broyles comments:

“Modern readers may wonder what links the psalm’s various sections and topics have with one another. What connections are there between Yahweh’s temple and atonement [verses 1-4], his control over mountains and seas [verses 5-8], and his care for the land with its crops and flocks? Here we moderns, who tend to compartmentalize life, can learn from the integrated world view of this psalm.”  (# 4)  

We need to look at life through the lens of scripture which reveals to us a big picture of God at work in every aspect of our lives and who is worthy of our worship and adoration no matter what the circumstances.

 Wilcock puts it this way:

“…the psalm as a whole sings not only of one and the same God as we see him in the temple, in the world, and in the harvest, but also of the way in which each of these aspects of him is related to the others. It has a profound unity.”  (# 5)

So, the psalmist begins with praise and thanksgiving to God who answers prayer, who forgives us our sins, who chooses us for himself and who provides for us good things:

Praise awaitsyou, 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 forgaveour 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.

But, the God we go to meet at the temple (or the church) is not confined to such a small place in the universe. Nor is he a local deity just for the Israelites. Our God is the One who has performed awesome and wondrous deeds in the world around us. In fact the whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders. He is not only the hope of believers, but is the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas. He is the Creator and Sustainer of all life.

And so the psalmist writes:

 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.

The Creator God of Genesis is the Redeeming Lord of Exodus and all the way through to Revelation when we read the words:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they were created
    and have their being.”
                              (Revelation 4:11)

Followed by:

“you [Jesus] were slain,
    and with your blood you purchased for God
    persons from every tribe and language and people and nation…                                                    Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honour and glory and praise!”           
(Revelation 5:9,12)

The psalmist then concludes with verse 9-13 which we considered at the beginning. Our Creator and Redeemer is also our great Provider who care[s] for the land and water[s] it;
 
the One who enrich[es] it abundantly.

 God our Creator, Redeemer and Provider, thank you that where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. Amen

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