Psalm 65

Psalm 65
O God of Our Salvation
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.

(1)Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, and to you shall vows be performed.
(2)O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come.
(3)When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions.
(4)Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!

(5)By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas;
(6)the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might;
(7)who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, 
(8)so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

(9)You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it.
(10)You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.
(11)You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
(12)The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, 
(13)the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.

A Psalm of David; A Song. This is both a poem and a song, and it is meant for the worship director to use during times of praise in the tabernacle. A song to a God who saves.

A Psalm and a song of David. The Hebrew calls it a Shur and a Mizmor, a combination of psalm and song, which may be best described by the term, “A Lyrical Poem.”

Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892

Neither the title nor anything within this lyrical poem give any indication of a time or event that led David to write this. There is some thought because of the tone of the song that a great victory was won or a bountiful harvest. Some commentators also believe this to be a prophetic psalm of the end of times.

What mighty praise, O God, belongs to you in Zion. We will fulfill our vows to you, for you answer our prayers. All of us must come to you. Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all. What joy for those you choose to bring near, those who live in your holy courts. What festivities await us inside your holy Temple.
Psalm 65:1-4 NLT

Here are different translations of verse 1:

Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Zion; and unto thee shall the vow be performed. KJV

There will be silence before You and praise in Zion, God, and the vow will be fulfilled for You. NASB2020

Silence is praise to you, Zion-dwelling God, and also obedience. You hear the prayer in it all. MSG

Is this not a beautiful prophetic verse of the end of times? When God Himself shows up in Jerusalem and all of His children are waiting with great expectation for that moment?

The praises of the saints wait for a signal from the divine Lord, and when he shows his face they burst forth at once.

We shall continue to wait on, tuning our harps, amid the tears of the earth; but O what harmonies will those be which we will pour forth, when the home bringing is come, and the King shall appear in his glory.

Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892

God hears our prayers and our praise. He hears even when we are silent. Even “silence is praise to you” as the verse is translated in the Message. Whether David and the people of his time were talking about a great celebration and thanks to the Lord in the tabernacle on Mount Zion, he was also, whether he realized it or not, referring to the day when we will be present and preparing to praise the Father Himself.

As God’s children, we need to remember our vows because some day we will be standing before Him. Did we not vow to follow God when we accepted Jesus Christ into our lives? Did we not make a promise of a life in dedication to the Father upon our day of baptism? God is always faithful to us, “for you answer our prayers,” let’s remember to be faithful to Him in the vows that we took.

Iniquities prevail against me; as for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them. 
Psalm 65:3 NKJV

While David understood and believed in the blood sacrifice and atonement for sin of the Old Testament, he did not know that God would provide another sacrifice, Himself in human form, centuries later.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the world.
1 John 2:1-2 NIV

God provided the atoning sacrifice just as He said He would, another promise fulfilled.

You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth, even those who sail on distant seas. You formed the mountains by your power and armed yourself with mighty strength. You quieted the raging oceans with their pounding waves and silenced the shouting of nations. Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.
Psalm 65:5-8 NLT

David speaks of God’s faithfulness. God has done “awesome deeds,” “awe-inspiring works,” “awesome and righteous deeds” for the people of Israel in the past, as David reminds the people often. Remembering God’s faithfulness is the best way to battle life’s worries and fears.

God has been faithful. God is faithful. Therefore, God will always be faithful.

The child of God in seasons of trouble should fly at once to him who stills the seas: nothing is too hard for him.

Charles Spurgeon, English pastor, 1834-1892

And David clearly isn’t just talking about Israel: “everyone on earth,” “those who live at the ends of the earth.”

David again lifted his vision from beyond Israel to the ends of the earth, to the far off seas. He understood that though Israel belonged to God in a special sense, He was and is the God of the whole earth.

David Guzik,
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy.
Psalm 65:8 NIV

I love these words: you formed the mountains, you quieted the raging ocean, and even silenced the noise of people! All of creation sings to its Creator!

You take care of the earth and water it, making it rich and fertile. The river of God has plenty of water; it provides a bountiful harvest of grain, for you have ordered it so. You drench the plowed ground with rain, melting the clods and leveling the ridges. You soften the earth with showers and bless its abundant crops. You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance. The grasslands of the wilderness become a lush pasture, and the hillsides blossom with joy. The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are carpeted with grain. They all shout and sing for joy!
Psalm 65:9-13 NLT

These verses sing thankfulness to the Lord for a bountiful harvest. David is giving all the glory to God. The farmer may have plowed the field and planted the seed, but God watered the land. He brought the sun and protected the growing plants.

It reminds me of one of my favorite verses in the New Testament.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17 NIV

This is a psalm of praise and thanksgiving. We might stop here and ask, “well, what about all the bad stuff, the evil that happens on earth under the watch of the same God?” David has many other songs about that. God does not cause bad things to happen. He does not cause the suffering of His children.

But He is the One who provides all the good things. Because that is who He is…a good and loving Father. Remember these words that Jesus spoke as recorded in the book of Matthew?

"Which of you, if you son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"
Matthew 7:9-11

Could God stop the evil in the world? Yes, of course He could. If He is a good and loving Father, why doesn’t He? Good question. I don’t think those are bad questions to ask God when we speak with Him. Ask the hard questions; read His Word. The answers are there. The answers are in a relationship with Him.

The ending of this praise song reminds us of the great Creator God. All things are His and all things look to Him. He created the earth and was pleased. He loves what He created. And all of creation waits for the day when it is released once again to be what He created it to be.

For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay.
Romans 8:19-21 NLT

The created world itself can hardly wait for what's coming next. Everything in creation is being more or less held back. God reigns it in until both creation and all the creatures are ready and can be released at the same moment into the glorious times ahead. Meanwhile, the joyful anticipation deepens. 
The Message

Despite what we see going on around us or how others explain God and creation and evil, I know that God is good and all that is good comes from Him. I know that He created the earth and all that is in it, and one day, all that is will be made new again as He intended it to be in the beginning.

All, all is for the Lord; the world is a hymn to the Eternal, blessed is he who, hearing, joins in it, and makes one singer in the mighty chorus.

Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892

Father in heaven, thank you for your promises. Thank you that all of creation is yours. Thank you for taking care of us and providing the things that we need. Thank you for the good and perfect gifts that you give us every day. Help us to see them, to recognize them. Help us to share these promises with others, to tell the world of your love and faithfulness. Thank you for your unfailing love; during the time of King David and even today. Give us strength and peace and joy today. Amen


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