Ep.149: Psalm 65: You Water the Land.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”. 

Psalm 65 is notable for what is absent from the psalm and what is present. 

First, what is missing?

  • The poet’s enemies are absent. They aren’t threatening him, they aren’t building traps or shooting arrows, they have disappeared for now!
  • The poet’s desperation has also disappeared. He’s no longer stuck in a dark pit, pleading for rescue and salvation.
  • The poet’s thirst and longing for God? That’s absent too. There’s no hint of his “dry and weary land where there is no water” (Ps. 63:2). This poem is full of refreshing water!
  • And finally, the sense of God’s anger and rejection is absent, very different from Psalm 60 where the poet said,
        You have rejected us, God. . .
            you have been angry–now restore us (Psalm 60:1). 

So. . .if all that is absent from Psalm 65, what is present? 

The most striking presence in the poem is an atmosphere of peace and confidence, because God is redeemer and creator. 

As redeemer, God:
– answers prayer
–  he forgives overwhelming sin
– he gives hope to all the earth
– he welcomes people into his house
– and stills the tumult of the nations.

As creator, God:
– quiets the roaring sea of chaos
– he calls forth joy at morning and evening
– he waters the land with gentle rain
– and dresses the land with grass for the livestock and grain for the people

Let’s pray this joyful psalm.

    Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;
        to you our vows will be fulfilled.
    O you who answer prayer,
        to you all people come (vv. 1-2). 

Our God, we praise you for this work as redeemer. You are the God of answered prayers, the God who receives our good works, who welcomes all people into your presence. 

   When we were overwhelmed by sins
        you forgave our transgressions.
  We are filled with the good things of your house,
        and of your holy temple (vv. 3, 4b). 

Our sins and the sins of the world overwhelm us. But you forgive them all. You replace our overwhelm with joy in your house, with joy as we worship you. Our sense of despair and emptiness gives way to fullness of life under your care.

    You formed the mountains by your power,
        having armed yourself with strength.
    You stilled the roaring of the seas,
        the roaring of their waves,
        and the turmoil of the nations (vv 6-7). 

You are the God of creation. You flexed your muscles and raised up the mountains. You rebuked the primordial sea of chaos and stilled its angry waves. You silence the turmoil of the nations, until all the earth is quiet before you.

       The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders,
            where morning dawns and evening fades,
            you call forth songs of joy (v. 8).

O creator God,  we see in sunrise and sunset the glory in the skies you created. We rejoice in your faithfulness as you call each day into being, then let it pass with a glorious sunset. 

          You care for the land and water it (v. 9a).
          You drench its furrows and level its ridges,
              you soften it with showers and bless its crops (v. 10).
          … the hills are clothed with gladness
          The meadows wear flocks like a robe,
                the valleys wear grain like a garment,
                they shout for joy and sing (vv. 12b-13). 

Each year you continue the work of creation. You water our crops and soften the soil and make grain and flowers grow again. The hills are glad under your care, the valleys shout for joy at the robe of grain you clothe them in.

And we, your people, join all creation in glad song to you, our creator and redeemer. 


I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.