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Summary: Harvest Psalm - Harvest Thanksgiving Service. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Harvest Psalm

Reading: Psalm 65

Ill:

A corny joke for harvest!

• A man is driving down a country road;

• When he spots a farmer standing in the middle of a huge field of grass.

• He pulls the car over to the side of the road;

• And notices that the farmer is just standing there, doing nothing, looking at nothing.

• The man gets out of the car, walks all the way out to the farmer and asks him,

• "Ah excuse me mister, but what are you doing?"

• The farmer replies, "I’m trying to win a Nobel Prize."

• "How?" asks the man, puzzled.

• The farmer replies,

• "Well I heard they give the Nobel Prize to people who are out standing in their field."

Ill:

• A farmer in the country has a watermelon patch;

• And upon inspection;

• He discovers that some of the local kids have been helping themselves to a feast.

• So the farmer thinks of ways to discourage these help yourself thieves;

• After much thought he decides to put up a sign that reads

• "WARNING; ONE OF THESE WATERMELONS CONTAINS CYANIDE!”

• The farmer returns a week later;

• To his delight he discovers that none of the watermelons have been eaten,

• But to his horror he finds another sign that reads,

• "NOW THERE ARE TWO!"

This morning I want to divide this Psalm into three sections:

(1). GOD OF GRACE (vs 1-4)

1 Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion;

to you our vows will be fulfilled.

2 O you who hear prayer,

to you all men 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.

Note:

• The expression: “Praise awaits you”.

• It is a difficult phrase to translate into English.

(1).

• It literally means “To you, silence [is] praise”);

• It may imply “silence is praise” - and it may mean to fall silent before God.

• Ill: Met your hero or someone like the Queen – your mind might go blank leaving you speechless.

• So it can mean to fall silent before God.

• As you reflect on the wonder & majesty of his presence.

(2).

• The C.E.V. translates the phrase:

• “Our God, you deserve praise in Zion”

• Zion is a term that most often refers to Jerusalem and, by extension, the Biblical land of Israel.

So straight away in this Psalm is the reminder that God deserves our praise:

Ill:

• Last night with the young people I reminded them exactly why;

• See for yourselves - DVD Clip - “Give thanks to the Lord”.

• David, in this psalm, talks about how God blesses us and why God is worthy of praise,

• Scan the Psalm and see the many reasons given.

• Verse 2: Praise him because He hears prayers.

• Verse 3: Praise him because He forgives sins.

• Verse 4: Praise him because He chooses people to dwell in His presence.

• Verse 5: Praise him because He answers prayer.

• Verse 5: Praise him because He delivers.

• Verse 5: Praise him because He saves.

• Verse 6: Praise him because He creates the mountains.

• Verse 6: Praise him because He demonstrates strength.

• Verse 7: Praise him because He calms the seas.

• Verse 7: Praise him because He calms the nations.

• Verse 8: Praise him because He strikes the nations with awe.

• Verse 8: Praise him because He inspires praise of the nations.

• Verses 9-10: Praise him because He sends rain on the earth.

• Verse 9: Praise him because Makes the earth fertile.

• Verse 9: Praise him because He makes grain grow.

• Verses 9-10: Praise him because He ripens crops.

• Verse 11: Praise him because He blesses the annual cycle.

• Verse 11: Praise him because He gives abundance.

• Verses 12-13: Praise him because He provides rich pasture.

Now out of those 19 things mentioned I want to dwell on verse 3:

“When we were overwhelmed by sins,

you forgave our transgressions”.

Question: What is the difference between ‘sins’ and ‘transgressions’?

Answer: them in reverse order:

(1). “TRANSGRESSION”:

• "Transgression" is:

• When we "go beyond or overstep some boundary or limit";

• In everyday situations we transgress the law of the lands when we break the speed limit.

• e.g. Motorway the limit is 70 to go beyond that is to transgress the law of the land.

Ill:

Old boy who bought himself a top range BMW.

• Policeman said:

• “You were braking the limit, you refused to slow down when you saw my blue lights,

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