Throughout September 2022, I managed to read and reflect – briefly – on a Psalm each day. For December 2022, I attempted to pick up the discipline. I got part-way through that month, and so after a long hiatus, am determined to get going. I’ll read the Psalm, pray, and then ponder a few questions:
- What is this Psalm about?
- What does this Psalm teach about God?
- How does this Psalm connect to God’s people today?
I’ll close the post with a simple prayer, trying to draw the themes together.
On the 28th of October 2023, here’s 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.
What is this Psalm about?
This Psalm is less tied to a particular event or mood, and more a general Psalm or song of praise. It declares truth about God in a variety of ways – with the interesting imagery of creation praising God (v. 13).
What does this Psalm teach about God?
God is a God of a people, and is to be praised (v. 1) – the latter being a theme that gradually buds from the rest of creation (v. 13). God is a God who answers prayers (v. 2), and also the creator of all things and the sustainer of all things (v. 6, v. 9, most of the Psalm!). There is a fascinating blend of the general power of creation and the particular timing of God – be that provision of grain (v. 9b) or the way that God chooses to ‘crown the year’ (v. 11). God is a God of abundance. And, almost subtly, God is ‘our saviour’ (v. 5).
How does this Psalm connect to God’s people today?
Regardless of the situation we find ourselves in, it is always good to be reminded of God’s goodness, of God’s provision and abundant kindness, and the fact that God creates and sustains all things. If we feel small – we are invited to know that God is big and good. If we feel lost – we are invited to remember that God knows every part of creation. And it is always good news – we never graduate form it – to hear that God is our saviour.
A prayer drawn from Psalm 65
Lord, you alone create all things and sustain all things. Lord, you know every ear of grain and range of mountains, and yet you hear me, and provide for me. Remind me, Lord, to remember you, where morning dawns and evening fades, and remember your wonders. Amen.