Summary: THE ABUNDANCE OF GOD’S POWER AND BLESSING -- BOTH IN NATURE AND IN OUR LIVES -- QUIETS OUR HEART IN AWE AND EXCITES OUR HEART IN PRAISE
THE ABUNDANCE OF GOD’S POWER AND BLESSING --
BOTH IN NATURE AND IN OUR LIVES --
QUIETS OUR HEART IN AWE AND EXCITES OUR HEART IN PRAISE
Thanksgiving is a time for us to step back and to consider how good we really have it.
Especially to give thanks to God for His Abundant Goodness.
God is good because He is the All-Powerful Sovereign of the Universe He is also able to do good and to
shower us with blessings. That combination of blessing and power is the picture we have of God in Psalm 65.
We need to be reminded to focus on giving God thanks because our society presents 2 very real threats to thanksgiving:
1) First: We live in a very negative age -- in a very critical society--where scandal is what grabs our attention... where the expose is the ultimate in journalistic success. Whether it’s this week’s can of worms on Sixty Minutes or the latest church split tragedy or the fall of another visible Christian leader, there are always an abundance of negatives that compete for our attention.
2) Secondly: We live in a very prosperous society -- you would think that would be an encouragement to give God thanks, but it actually presents a special trap -- to sit around all fat and happy thinking that we deserve all of this abundance -- to actually complain that we don’t have as much as someone else and to forget the goodness of God.
This Psalm also addresses 3 problems in contemporary Christianity:
1) We are too busy to worship -- can’t quiet our hearts before the Lord. We have more leisure time but it is so crammed with leisure activities that we have less leisure for quiet meditation.
2) We view God too much on a buddy-buddy basis and have lost a vision for His majesty and His greatness. Yes, Jesus is a friend of sinners, but He is also the Master of the Universe.
3) We are too emotionally inhibited and sophisticated to praise God the way we should.
I. THE BLESSING OF GOD OVERCOMES THE POWER OF SIN AND FULFILLS OUR EVERY LONGING (:1-4)
A. Desperate Sense of Need must be the starting point
(:3a)."iniquities prevail against me" -- you might think that he is talking about the sins of his enemies in opposing him, but the psalmist is really talking about his own sins since he moves on to talk of the blessing of forgiveness; In the case of Israel, personal sin had great consequences for the success of the nation. So there is also an element here
of threat from outside powers. Not only the individual but also the nation needs to experience God’s power of deliverance.
The point of desperation should be the starting point for recovery and thanksgiving rather than for a slide down into despair. But what makes the difference between desperation that leads to despair and desperation that results in thanksgiving and joy?
Casting one’s hope in God
Ps. 38:15 -- no matter how bad it gets, no matter how bad I look in the eyes of others, no matter what enemies might be scheming to do me in, I actively hope in God and am confident that God hears and will answer and will deliver me. I am counting on God’s grace, on
His favor to make the difference.
B. We have a God to turn to who hears our prayers and forgives our sin
Here’s a beautiful characterization of The Sovereign of the Universe: "the one who hears prayer" (:2;3b)
people don’t know much about what God is supposed to be like, but at least they know that if He is really God, He answers prayer
We can so easily take the privilege of prayer for granted. We know that God hears and that we can come to Him whenever we want. Imagine a situation where God takes a holiday from hearing prayer-- where He announces: "For this next week, I am not available to
hear your prayers" -- No one to turn to in our hour of need; No one to calm our anxious fears; no one to intercede to help our loved ones. How different would your life be if God cancelled prayer for a week or would you just be rolling on by yourself without much
importance of prayer -- remember the battle against Amalek in Exod. 17, when Moses held up his hand (symbolic of intercessory prayer),
the Israelites prevailed against their enemies -- he required the help of Aaron and Hur
"to Thee all men come"
Going beyond national holiday -- universal note in this Psalm.(:2,5,8) -- God’s blessing is not limited to some special geographical area, but extends worldwide
coming to God is all that is required on our part -- but even that response is graciously motivated by God first choosing to reveal Himself to us and to shower us with His love and to draw us to Himself.