Answers to your prayers and psalm 65
by Joseph Jagde
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Psalm 65 reads as follows from the NIV version of the bible:
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. [d] 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. There is a general theme of the good things of the Lord and their awesomeness.
As this psalm mentions the comprehensive or filling nature of the Lord’s answers, a specific insight is just how important the concept of strength is within these answers, that the Lord is the stronghold or strength from which these good things and answers derive. The Lord is providing a strong answer within any answer. The imagery of this psalm goes into the Lord quelling the mighty seas as he wishes. The turmoil of the nations, is likened roaring and mighty waves of the seas, something that ultimately only the Lord can tame and temper by his strength and mighty power.
This psalm talks about the nearness of the Lord, within his overflowing provisions throughout the earth, and likewise therefore the call to gladness both at dawn and the setting of the sun, for his stilling of the seas, and for his just right touch on the land itself. That there is gladness both at dawn and at the setting of the sun indicates that the Lord has blessings both now and later and further blessings will meet you down the road.
The key verse to meditate upon is verse 6 which says, “who formed the mountains by your power, and armed yourself with strength.”
All the awesome deeds mentioned in the psalm including the forgiveness of transgressions are out of the Lord’s strength and power. There is no one else who is accountable to as per forgiveness of sins and imposing his strong will in doing this for the sinners.
In prayer, some situations seem direr, more pressing, and more overwhelming. In this case, the people were overwhelmed by their sins and where their sins where leading them. But it might not be sins that take on an overwhelming nature, it could be health problems, financial problems, relationship problems that seem to mount and mount further and then become overwhelming concerns that seem just too tough to get a handle on by you and to brisk of a river to cross now but needs as they are apparent can be met head on by the Lord's strength. In the case of this psalm it was the need for forgiviness of sins which were becoming overwhelming but it could have been anything else that was overwhelming that required relief. The freed people, as they were being chased to the sea by the oncoming chariots of the Eygptians, felt overwhelmed by another wave of trouble, but the Lord delivered them out of his strength and might.
The Lord can come back with an awesome answer that far surpasses the overwhelming nature of the trouble, an answer that take on and away the overwhelming circumstances and effects of the difficulties any individual may face, or even those issues which extend beyond borders into worldwide arenas.
One of the moral of this psalm, is that even within troubles of an overwhelming nature, whatever they may be, indeed right from there and those situations, there can be awesome demonstrations of the Lord’s powers and wonders, as listed here where he stills the mightiest waves of the vast and deep seas.
Verse 5 is an important verse in the psalm, where it says, “ You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all of the ends of the earth and the farthest seas.”
This verse gives what is mentioned elsewhere in the Bible, the call to universal salvation.
God is our Savior and the approach to him is from that vantage point, we are asking for favors but the favors emanate from his gift of salvation and a good way to begin to pray for what would always be relatively smaller requests, is to first thank and go into the prayer mentioning to the Lord that he is the Savior and thanking him for his saving presence.. And then bring in the request which would always come under the banner of salvation. You might be seeking a financial favor, but first give credence to salvation and the saving power of the Lord and then ask for the financial favor under the greater gift of salvation and remember that this prayer comes under the gift of salvation. First and foremost, it is the Lord’s saving power that gives us any answer that is good.
Just as his salvation is the ultimate filling to all our needs, in smaller ways he can crown this very year with his bounty. And this means from the beginning of the year right until the very last day of the year, just as it says in the psalm from dawn to dusk and this can be from dawn to dusk of anything or any time frame. He can touch the land in just the right way as the Lord’s touch is what is most desirable in getting things exactly right and to the point.
And finally the Lord cares, he doesn’t have to do any of this but this all done out of and from his care, and this includes a caring watch over you, mentioned in verse 9 which says,” 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 you have so ordained it.” The use of the word streams here alludes to a continuation of the blessings, the blessings do not start then suddenly go dry.
As we petition the Lord, we call upon his care, and contemplate and discuss his awesome power and strength, which becomes near with the answer or we become near with the answer is more so the case. The Lord’s answer brings us near and the filling of blessings is like a continued waterway. These verses speak of the overflowing stream like presence of blessings, stream like in that the blessings are containable, navigable and right for you, if it were a gushing river, it would be maybe too much, like a storm that floods the farmland and ruins the crops that way.
Verse 3 says,” Blessed are those who you choose, and bring near to live in your courts, we are filled with the good things of your house in your holy temple.”
The good things, what the Lord does choose to give freely, are part of bringing his chosen ones near. He does want those whom he chooses and the invitation is to all people according to this psalm, to come near and come close to him. Prayer doesn't make the relationship more distant but it is the Lord's wish according to this psalm that those whom he is calling come near to him in prayer. The prayers given are part of this path of coming close to the Lord and near to him and all the good things he has. And those he has chosen, indeed, he does want to be near to him in the here and now. His holy temple though would more so be a leading of a spiritual nature, and would include people of the faith with whom we are encountering the temple or the house of the Lord as a living spiritual presence rather than any given physical place.
The vow is mentioned in verse 1, the vow can be part of the prayer relationship and if agreed to by the Lord will have the quality of bringing his chosen ones near, and will always involve a coming closer in the relationship. Any type of real vow would only involve a nearing of the presence of the Lord as the vow is fulfilled or performed, the Lord will only agree to a vow that would involve bringing your closer to him in some ways that may not yet be totally understandable.
The Lord's strength indeed is the underpinning of any answered prayer.
But an overall key to this psalm, it to not forget the backdrop of how all these gifts, and there luminosity occur out of the strength of the Lord so always remember to call upon and contemplate the Lord’s strength in seeking answers in any given prayer request.
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