Psalm 65:1-13 NKJV
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A Song.
65 Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion;
And to You the vow shall be performed.
2 O You who hear prayer,
To You all flesh will come.
3 Iniquities prevail against me;
As for our transgressions,
You will provide atonement for them.
4 Blessed is the man You choose,
And cause to approach You,
That he may dwell in Your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house,
Of Your holy temple.
5 By awesome deeds in righteousness You will answer us,
O God of our salvation,
You who are the confidence of all the ends of the earth,
And of the far-off seas;
6 Who established the mountains by His strength,
Being clothed with power;
7 You who still the noise of the seas,
The noise of their waves,
And the tumult of the peoples.
8 They also who dwell in the farthest parts are afraid of Your signs;
You make the outgoings of the morning and evening rejoice.
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 ridges abundantly,
You settle its furrows;
You make it soft with showers,
You bless its growth.
11 You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.
12 They drop on the pastures of the wilderness,
And the little hills rejoice on every side.
13 The pastures are clothed with flocks;
The valleys also are covered with grain;
They shout for joy, they also sing.
A Psalm of thankfulness and praise to the Almighty for His goodness and mercy. Sinful flesh, however, gets pulled away from the surety and promises contained within God’s Word, because of the enticements of the world, our sinful flesh and the devil. We get tugged at to go search for peace through the created things of the world — ever searching for our own version of peace (ever avoiding suffering). These are the things man always has in his fallen heart and mind — even as Christ said to Peter. (see Matt. 16:23)
The true source of peace, however, is only found in the Lord, that is, a rightly focused faith in the Lord. Psalm 65 reveals God’s sovereignty — He is the One who is always in control. Yet, being sovereign, this means that He also allows suffering to happen. Man (ever trying to avoid hardship) asks: “Why does there have to be suffering in the world?”
Luther says this abut suffering: First, “in this way [God] wants to make us conformed to the image of his dear Son, Christ, so that we may become like him here in suffering and there in that life to come in honor and glory. Second, “even though God does not want to assault and torment us, the devil does, and he cannot abide the Word. Then our Lord God looks on for a while and puts us in a tight place, so that we may learn from our own experience that the small, weak, miserable Word is stronger than the devil and the gates of hell.”
Third, he says, “it is also highly necessary that we suffer not only that God may prove his honor, power, and strength against the devil, but also in order that when we are not in trouble and suffering this excellent treasure which we have may not merely make us sleepy and secure.” And lastly, Luther says, “Christian suffering is nobler and precious above all other human suffering because, since Christ himself suffered, he also hallowed the suffering of all his Christians.” (LW 51, 198-208)
Let us pray: Forgive us for caving in to the world, the devil and our sinful flesh — and pull us back to the surety of Your promises and a right understanding through Your Word. Amen.