Psalm 65

“Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, and to you shall vows be performed. O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come. When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions. 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!”
Psalm 65:1-4

This psalm is a song of thanksgiving and praise, for both the Lord’s spiritual and physical provision. The setting was most likely during a feast at the tabernacle. At the beginning of this psalm, the author speaks of man’s need for sacrificial atonement for his iniquities and transgressions, so that he can be in relationship with God, coming to Him with prayer and praise. Furthermore, God chooses those whom He wills, and brings them near, that they can approach God and perform their vows to Him.

This is partly fulfilled in God bringing Israel out of their slavery in Egypt, making a covenant with them and the institution of the sacrificial system through which their sins could be atoned for. However, it only finds its YES! and AMEN! in the person and work of Jesus Christ. As Paul says in his letter to the Ephesians: “he (God) predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…” and “in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace” (1:5,7).

Back to Psalm 65, the author continues to praise God for His physical provision as well:

“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. You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.”
Psalm 65:9-10

Take note, however, that those whose sins are atoned for and those chosen to dwell in the presence of God are wholly blessed and satisfied. Not blessed with something material or even a good harvest, but blessed and satisfied in the goodness and holiness of God. This speaks of justification (Christ’s righteousness being imputed onto sinners) and sanctification (the process through which God makes sinners holy).

We often forget that through our predestination and salvation in God through Jesus Christ, we already lack nothing. Even if God only saved us, but didn’t provide for us physically (although He does!), we would still have endless reasons to praise God, and to be completely satisfied and blessed in Him. The well-known theologian, C.S. Lewis put it like this: “He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.”

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