Summary: Harvest Psalm - Harvest Thanksgiving Service. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Reading: Psalm 65
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."
• 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.
• The expression: “Praise awaits you”.
• It is a difficult phrase to translate into English.
• 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.
• 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:
• 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:
• "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.
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,