Scripture Reading – Psalm 65-67; 69-70
Psalm 65 – A Psalm of Thanksgiving for the Grace, Greatness, and Goodness of God
David introduces the psalm acknowledging that the LORD is worthy of praise because He hears and answers prayer (65:2). The King confessed that sin hinders prayer (for “iniquities prevail against me”), but the LORD purges sin, and blesses those who seek Him (65:3b-4).
Reflecting on God’s sovereignty over all creation (65:5-8), David praised the LORD for providing rain and running streams that quench the thirst of creation and provide green pastures and grains so that all nature rejoices (65:9-13).
Prayer and gratitude for rain and rushing streams is nearly foreign to the 21st century man. Most of us give little thought to the requirement of life-sustaining water. In an agrarian society, however, the need of rain and water was a relentless concern. Livestock depended on pastures for grazing and a good harvest of grain was not only the livelihood of most families, it was life itself!
I have not heard that phrase in years, but I remember the elderly from my childhood asking, “Who would like to say grace?” or “Who would like to say the blessing?”
To “Pray Grace” was to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for the bounty of God’s blessings, and in particular, for the meal we were about to consume. To pray at mealtimes is to openly recognize the LORD as the provider and the source of all blessings.
If “saying grace” is not a practice in your home, it should be. Every meal should begin with you bowing your head, thanking God for His “GRACE.” Remember, the sun, wind, and rain all come from Him!
Psalm 66 – “Make a joyful noise unto God” (Psalm 66:1).
Psalm 66 opens with an invitation for all the nations of the earth to praise and worship the LORD (66:1-7). The next section of the psalm is an invitation to Israel, God’s chosen people, to praise the LORD (66:8-12). Beginning with Psalm 66:13, David’s focus is personal as he declares, “I will go into thy house [the Tabernacle] with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows, 14 Which my lips have uttered, and my mouth hath spoken, when I was in trouble” (66:13-14).
Have you made a promise to the LORD in a time of trouble? Did you vow to the LORD when you were under conviction? Do you remember responding to the LORD and praying you would give him your heart?
What? You forgot? Did you know the LORD is omniscient; He never forgets our vows, promises, and decisions.
Psalm 66:18 – 18 If I regard [see; perceive; i.e. unwilling to confess] iniquity [sin; wickedness] in my heart, the Lord will not hear [hearken; listen] me:
David concludes Psalm 66 reflecting on the LORD’s mercies, grace, and willingness to hear his prayers and forgive his sin. The king had suffered the fate of men who “regard iniquity,” and experienced the silence of heaven.
Friend, please don’t risk a seared conscience and a hardened heart. The LORD is longsuffering, patient and willing to forgive our sins if we will confess and forsake them.
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith