Today, I am Pondering the Goodness of God, Who Is My Savior. “God is Great. God is Good. Let us Thank Him for ……..” Psalm 65:4

Psalm 65 Amplified Bible

God’s Abundant Favor to Earth and Man.

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A Song.

65 To You belongs silence [the submissive wonder of reverence], and [it bursts into] praise in Zion, O God;
And to You the vow shall be performed.

O You who hear prayer,
To You all mankind comes.

Wickedness and guilt prevail against me;
Yet as for our transgressions,
You forgive them [removing them from Your sight].

Blessed is the one whom You choose and bring near
To dwell in Your courts.
We will be filled with the goodness of Your house,
Your holy temple.

By awesome and wondrous things You answer us in righteousness, O God of our salvation,
You who are the trust and hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea;

Who creates the mountains by His strength,
Being clothed with power,

Who stills the roaring of the seas,
The roaring of their waves,
And the tumult of the peoples,

So they who dwell at the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs [the evidence of Your presence].
You make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.

You visit the earth and make it overflow [with water];
You greatly enrich it;
The stream of God is full of water;
You provide their grain, when You have prepared the earth.
You water its furrows abundantly,
You smooth its ridges;
You soften it with showers,
You bless its growth.
You crown the year with Your bounty,
And Your paths overflow.
The pastures of the wilderness drip [with dew],
And the hills are encircled with joy.
The meadows are clothed with flocks
And the valleys are covered with grain;
They shout for joy and they sing.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

If you grew up in a Christian home, you may have learned this childhood prayer:

God is Great
God is Good
Let us thank him for our food
By His hands we are fed
We thank You for our daily bread. Amen.

While simplistic, that prayer covers one key characteristic of God: his goodness.

This simple, yet powerful prayer, reminds us, each day that as it is quietly said around our family’s dinner table that God is, indeed great, good and that God is providing for us, His beloved children, out of the abundance of His great love.

Although this prayer is the simple prayer of a child, it recounts the living truth of an eternal God who cares for His children. The same God who provided for the Hebrews in the desert, the same God who fed thousands, with but a few loaves of bread, He is the same God who is present with us at the dinner table.

Is it really true that God is good all the time?

Absolutely—but many people don’t live like they believe it. It can be hard to believe in God’s goodness for many reasons, including when we’re in pain.

We forget it when we’re in conflict.

We think it’s for everyone else except us when we’re depressed.

And when we’re worried or stressed out, we can’t seem to find—much less think about—God’s goodness, even when it’s right in front of us.

So how can we trust in God’s goodness when we don’t feel it?

His Word reminds us of his goodness over and over: 

“The Lord is always good. He is always loving and kind, and his faithfulness goes on and on to each succeeding generation” (Psalm 100:5 TLB).

Focusing on God’s goodness is so important to your life because it gives you perspective on your darkest days, when you need it the most.

When you forget God’s goodness, it causes all kinds of difficulties.

God wants to give you a life of confidence, even on your most difficult days.

He wants to give you assurance.

He wants to protect you.

He wants to give you a life of influence and abundance.

He wants to give you a life filled with generosity.

Who doesn’t want that? Who doesn’t need that?

When you believe and understand the goodness of God, it will revolutionize, transform your whole life and your relationships. You and I won’t be the same!

There are any number of holy Scriptures through which we may joyfully and continually remind ourselves of the eternal Goodness and Greatness of God.

Our passage in Psalm 65 is a celebration of God’s goodness.

It is a call to count our blessings – number them one by one.

It is God’s gracious reminder to cultivate thanksgiving and give praise to God for all that He has done for us and all that He is doing for us.

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, And to sing praises to [the Lord] . . .” (Psalm 92:1). 

Psalm 65 instructs us in how to do that.

It leads us in a celebration of God’s providential care and provision.

This Psalm of Corporate Worship was probably sung during the fall feasts in celebration of the harvest.

It references the atonement and rejoices in God’s care and provision.

It was particularly appropriate for the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles. 

Psalm 65 was designed for corporate worship, although any of us can find it useful in our private devotion.

Tehillim 65:1-4 Orthodox Jewish Bible

65 (For the one directing. Mizmor Dovid. Shir). Tehillah (praise) is due Thee, O Elohim, in Tziyon; And unto Thee shall the neder (vow) be performed.

2 (3) O Thou that hearest tefillah (prayer), unto Thee shall kol basar come.

3 (4) Divrei avonot (instances of iniquity) overwhelm me; as for peysha’einu (our transgressions), Thou hast made kapporah for them.

4 (5) Ashrei is the one whom Thou choosest, and causest to come near unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy khatzerot; we shall be satisfied with the tov of Thy Beis, even of Thy Heikhal Kodesh.

The two Hebrew words in the title “calls it a Shur and Mizmor, a combination of psalm and song. . . [it] may be said or sung. . . .”

Keep in mind, the titles of these Psalms were God inspired along with its words.

We will read the whole Psalm to get a sense of the overall flow.

Then we will make a few observations and applications.

Psalm 65English Standard Version

O God of Our Salvation

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. A Song.

65 Praise is due to you,[a] 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!

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;
the one who by his strength established the mountains,
    being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    the tumult of the peoples,
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.

You visit the earth and water it;[b]
    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.

This Psalm opens with a RESPONSE of praise:

“Praise is awaiting you, O God, in Zion.”

Zion is representative of the gathering of God’s people. 

When we gather for worship, we are gathering unto God and we are joined by angels of God.

We are a part of “the general assembly and church.” It is an awesome event, even for two or three to gather in the name of Jesus (Matthew 18:20).

We must begin with an understanding of the significance of corporate worship.

The world is impressed with huge crowds and lots of confetti.

But it is the invisible presence of God that makes our gathering awesome.

The angels want to participate in the event.

If we do not know the significance of gathering and worshipping in the name of Jesus, we will not show the maximum reverence, maximum respect it warrants.

We may not appreciate the privilege being enjoyed.

Israel’s communion with Yahweh was limited.

It was genuine and ordained by God.

But the level of intimacy we enjoy is far superior.

Demons tremble when God’s people gather in true worship.

But more importantly, the Father’s heart rejoices (John 4:23).

God inhabits the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3).

God absolutely delights in His thankful children.

We should begin our corporate worship with an appreciation of the privilege afforded us by God.

Praise that pleases God flows from the heart.

A parrot can mimic words, but it is infinitely inferior to praising God with a heart of understanding alone versus one coupled to a heart of experiences.

How do we prepare ourselves to praise God from the heart?

We begin by pondering His goodness.

We consider His works done in our behalf.

We meditate on His love and care for us.

When these subjects have filled our hearts, then praise flows with passion.

Jesus condemned empty, superficial worship in Matthew 15:8-9.

Quoting God’s Prophet Isaiah He said,

“These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. 9 And in vain they worship Me. . . .”

God forbid that He would ever say that about our worship.

I have been in Praise and Worship services that felt like people were just mouthing the words. Their hearts were somewhere else. They were going through the external mechanics of worship, but their hearts were not in it.

David would not allow himself to worship God that way.

Listen to the command he made to his own soul in Psalm 103:1: “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!”

With ALL that is within me, I will continually bless His holy name.” Our God is worthy of more than mere lip service. We will bless Him with all our hearts!

It’s impossible to do that when our thoughts are not aligned with our words.

In this Psalm David gives good rationale for praising God. He fills the Psalm with specific works of God that promote gratitude in our hearts and minds.

This Psalm is a wonderful reminder of our Savior God’s great and gracious goodness to our lives.

And that is such an undeniably good and great and gracious preparation for our genuinely praising Him with every word and thought emanating from our lips.

The first verse of our text says, “Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion. We have addressed the phrase “in Zion.” It sets the context of the praise: “in Zion.” We gather in corporate worship to praise the Lord our Maker. But there is a revelation here that is easily missed in the English translation.

The Hebrew word translated “awaiting” is duwmiyah.

It carries the connotation of silence or stillness.

The imagery I get from that is a crowd of people quietly awaiting the entrance of a dignitary. That entrance is so important to them that it has captured their attention, they are not visiting with one another, they are not on their iPhone.

Each and everyone is sitting still, at attention waiting for the dignitary to enter.

The moment this dignitary into the room, they all stand and clap in celebration of his presence.

Psalm 100English Standard Version

His Steadfast Love Endures Forever

A Psalm for giving thanks.

100 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
    Serve the Lord with gladness!
    Come into his presence with singing!

Know that the Lord, he is God!
    It is he who made us, and we are his;[a]
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise!
    Give thanks to him; bless his name!

For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

“Praise is awaiting You, O God.”

During times of revival, I have seen people arrive early to the meeting just to prepare their hearts for the worship.

Most of the time spent in worship services today is consumed just getting our minds on the Lord, setting aside all the preoccupation with other things.

By the end of the worship service, we are prepared to praise God aright.

Think upon the difference if we all entered with our hearts and minds already fully filled, occupied with the goodness of God before we walk into the church sanctuary!

Imagine if you and I can of our witnessing a worship service which begins with every heart and soul already abundantly overflowing with gratitude towards God!

I understand why we often come short of that.

I too come short in this regard.

But we should at least understand the ideal.

We should at least know the difference between what is common in our churches and what could be.

A key principle for effective worship is the fear of the Lord. By that I mean such a reverent respect for who God is we are in awe of His majesty and goodness.

Another key to effective worship is stated in the second half of verse 1: “And to You the vow shall be performed.”

We will live up to our covenant commitments to the Lord.

In the context of Psalm 65 people often vowed to give a freewill offering to God—a grain offering or a lamb or something like that.

The point of the text is they followed through with the covenant commitment.

It was a “natural and instinctive” part of their worship of God their Savior.

The praise was accompanied by instinctive faithfulness to the vows made.

When you got saved you made a vow to the Lord.

You dedicated your life to Christ and vowed to follow Him.

Your water baptism was a public affirmation of that vow.

It is impossible to separate our worship from our lifestyle. When worship flows out of a lifestyle of obedience, God receives it as sweet incense pleasing to Him.

We typically make a vow to God in one of two scenarios.

When we get into trouble, we say something like this to the Lord:

“If you will get me out of this mess, I will serve You or I will never mess with that evil again.”

Out a state of desperation we make a fresh commitment to serve the Lord.

It can be appropriate to make a vow like that, but we must do it with sincerity and dependence on the Lord. 

Ecclesiastes 5:5 says it’s better to not make a vow than to make it and not fulfill it. Don’t make it flippantly.

Hannah made a vow to God that she kept.

She lived in deep sorrow because of her infertility.

In that culture it was a severe reproach to be childless.

In her desperation she cried out to God for a son and made a vow to the Lord.

1 Samuel 1:10-11 records her vow:

“And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. 11 Then she made a vow and said, ‘O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head.’”

God answered that prayer and gave her a son: Samuel. She kept her vow and dedicated him to the Lord. And Samuel became a mighty prophet of God.

The other occasion when we are prone to make a vow is during a time of great gratitude toward God—times when our hearts are filled with love for God.

In my very early experiences with God, I had several occasions when I was so filled with His grace, His love and His mercy that I consecrated myself deeply—I committed to go wherever He told me to go and to do what He told me to do.

Sensing His call on my life, I vowed obedience to that call.

One night, I fell on a patch of black ice. I was trapped on the cold ground, I was unable to move, unable to speak above a whisper without the greatest of pain.

Then I quietly uttered this prayer – “O my God, not this, I am going to die!”

God heard that quiet prayer shouted over the silence of my voice, the stillness of my broken helpless body against the mounds of piled snow and hidden by a car.

I was a 41 year old “anti-all things of God” man recovering from a surgically repaired, severely broken left hip when I said that; later I obsessed with the thought, prayer, I could never just walk away from it and do something else.

Thankfully God was faithful to His vow of hearing all of our Prayers.

By His great goodness and abundant mercy He lifted me up, introduced me to, brought me into agreement with all of His great prophetic words of Psalm 65:1 > “And unto You the vow shall be performed.”

So the theme of praise is established in the first sentence of this Psalm.

It is a praise that flows out of a heart that is grateful for God’s goodness.

It is a praise that is accompanied with faithfulness to vows made.

First we have this response of praise set forth.

Then we find in Psalm 65 many REASONS for the praise.

(1) God answers prayer.

Verse 2 addresses God this way: “O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come.” David essentially ascribes this title to God: “You who hear prayer.”

Psalm 34:17 lets us know that it is the kind of hearting that is followed up with an answer.

“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, And delivers them out of all their troubles.”

When you need help, He will help you.

When you pray, He hears you.

And when He hears you He acts in your behalf.

(2) Another reason to praise God is that He forgives our sins.

Where would we be if that were not the case?

A leopard cannot change his spots, and we cannot cleanse ourselves from sin (Isaiah 13:23).

In Psalm 65:3 David confessed, “Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them.”

Those Old Testament saints exercised faith in the cross by offering the blood sacrifices commanded by the Law.

We exercise faith by looking back at the cross and receiving the forgiveness of sin Jesus provided for us.

For all of us, the atonement is found only in the cross of Jesus Christ.

We must all confess that our “Iniquities prevail against [us].”

We cannot defeat them on our own.

We need a Savior just as surely as David did.

And Jesus is the perfect Savior.

Is this not a sufficient enough reason for us all praising God today? “

“as for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them.”

David could only say, “You WILL provide atonement for them.”

But with even more confidence we can say,

“You HAVE eternally provided “permanent atonement for them.”

If God never did another thing for us, we could praise Him forever for that atonement.

Those who value the cross of Christ are people of praise.

Praise is a natural fruit of that revelation.

Consider where you would be without it! You would be without hope.

You would have no chance of deliverance from sin.

You would have no destiny other than hell. (Luke 16:19-31)

But in the cross and in the person of Christ our destiny in heaven is secure.

No wonder Apostle Paul wrote, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. . . .”

May all our boasting be found in what Christ did on the cross.

God alone is Good!

God alone is Great!

God alone deserves every last ounce of glory.

(3) Furthermore, the Psalmist rejoices in God’s call on his life. 

Psalm 65:4: “Blessed is the man You choose, And cause to approach You, That he may dwell in Your courts.”

Are you and I such a person?

If you and I know Jesus Christ as Savior, you and I are!

For Jesus himself said,

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him . . . (John 6:44).

John 15:13-16 English Standard Version

13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants,[a] for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

You didn’t find the Lord; He found you. He sought you out because He loves you.

He caused you to approach Him. 

Ephesians 1:3-6 declares that work of God in your life.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”

A genuine realization of all that should cause praise to well up in our hearts.

Is your name written in heaven? If so, rejoice in that today (Luke 10:20).

You could have never made that happen.

But your God loved you and me before you and me ever even minimally knew Him. He absolutely made it all happen for us. Rejoice and again I say rejoice.

But God does not just let us approach Him. He invites us to dwell in His courts. He welcomes us into His family as His own dear children.

Look at our text again in verse 4. “Blessed is the man You choose, And cause to approach You, That he may dwell in Your courts.”

To dwell in the courts of God is the highest of privilege.

To be numbered with the redeemed of the Lord is favor beyond imagination.

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1).

If God only allowed us into heaven as the lowest of servants, we would still have every reason to forever praise Him for His mercy, for He has made us His own.

He has clothed you and me with the righteousness of Christ.

He has crowned you and me with His goodness and made you and me joint heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

How could we not praise Him?

Such a praise! Will we not also allow the rocks to declare His glory in our place (Luke 19:40). Will we long hold our peace when God has done so much for us?

(4) David makes this additional statement in Psalm 65:4: “We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Of Your holy temple.”

While declaring the works of God toward people, 

Psalm 107 pauses to make this reflection in verses 8-9:

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! 9 For He satisfies the longing soul, And fills the hungry soul with goodness.”

If God does that for humanity in general, how much more for His own children who dwell in His house.

He has provided for us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

“No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).

There are many good things (both natural and spiritual) to our Father’s house.

The heavenly refrigerator is always and abundantly full.

The heavenly cupboards are always and abundantly overflowing.

There are always and forever abundant fruit bowls full of tasty fruit.

There is always an abundance of good, great things in our Father’s house.

For all these we give thanks.

We praise Him because He satisfies us with His goodness and greatness.

(5) The remaining verses are filed with additional reasons for praising God.

We only have space to mention these additional blessings.

David talks about the way God waters the earth and crowns the year with harvest.

It is a beautiful reminder of all the natural blessings we enjoy—blessings so plenteous that we can easily take them for granted.

And there are spiritual applications we can make to these natural provisions.

God refreshes and waters the earth with the former and latter rains.

Psalm 65:9 says, “The river of God is full of water.”

But John saw “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Revelation 22:1).

There are times of refreshing in nature when the rains water the earth.

But God also gives “times of refreshing” when the Holy Spirit renews our strength with His presence (Acts 3:19).

During your private time, meditate upon the providential care in this Psalm.

Meditate on some of these reasons for praise.

The specifics in this Psalm will fill your mouth with endless songs of highest praise and greatest thanksgiving.

It will undoubtedly, undeniably, produce indescribable worship from the heart.

“Oh, bless our God, you peoples! And make the voice of His praise to be heard.”

This great holiday season – of Thanksgiving, of Advent and of Christmas ….

Pray! Devote the preponderance of your thoughts unto God’s Great Goodness.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

What mighty praise belongs to You, O God,

for Your great acts of love and faithfulness toward us!

In Your mercy You hear our prayers,

You forgive our sins,

You provide for our needs.

From one end of the earth to the other,

You inspire worship and praise!

Even nature celebrates Your goodness.

We, too, would offer our praise and thanksgiving

for Your mercy and Your faithful love toward us.

Receive our adoration,

our confession,

our thanksgiving.

Through the power of Your Holy Spirit

make Your presence known among us

that we may hear Your Word and know Your will.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Intercessor, we pray. Amen.

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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