Forgiven and Fruitful
Heavenly Father, give earthly fathers wisdom to live faithfully, patiently and lovingly before their children.
Read 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 Savior,
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 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.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Prayer can lead to praise (1), precipitated by pardon (3), followed by provision (9). How good is the God we adore, who provides for our physical and spiritual needs!
This is a harvest psalm that joyfully sings and celebrates God’s goodness and faithfulness. It offers an early recognition of sin and the experience of forgiveness (3). All true worship must be rooted in this deep experience of God’s grace-filled response to our sinful unworthiness. Any praise experience that ignores our sin and our need for God’s forgiveness would be superficial and misguided. It is only when we experience God’s forgiveness that we are brought near to live in God’s courts (4). We can then tell God how we are filled with “the goodness of your house” and “the holiness of your temple” (4, ESV).
The worshippers reap a rich harvest and trace the source of their blessings to God: “You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds” (5). God cares for the land and waters it (9). God had told Israel that the economy of the Promised Land was distinctly different from that of Egypt (Deut. 11:10–12). In the land of their former slavery, water was scarce and irrigation and hard work were needed to get good harvests. But God’s land of mountains and valleys “drinks rain from heaven. It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end” (Deut. 11:11,12).
The psalm celebrates this goodness of God and how he gives his people a rich harvest. It sparkles with lovely pastoral scenes of the soil softened with showers (10). God blesses the crops and crowns the year with his bounty. The carts carrying the harvest “overflow with abundance” (10,11). The hills are “clothed with gladness,” the meadows are “covered with flocks” and the valleys are “mantled with grain” (12,13). The land sings with the worshippers and responds with abundant fruitfulness.
What do you need to thank and praise God for? How can you develop a thankful heart?
I thank You, Lord, for Your promise that, while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest shall not cease (Gen. 8:22).
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