Recently, I celebrated a numerically significant birthday. We could just leave it at that, but I’m going to disclose the digits as I talk about my “birthday psalm” anyway. So, turning sixty-five is kind of hard for me to believe. It seems a long way off, and then inexplicably, there are a lot of candles on your cake!
Truly, time passes slowly and then suddenly.
You may have heard the expression, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” Well, not this old! Truly, every day is a gift from God, and we should all be grateful for each purpose-filled day He gives us in Christ Jesus.
However, my birthday psalm quickly turns my eyes from the winkles on my face, the gray in my hair and the frailty of life to the Author of Life Himself. Psalm 65 (see below) has always been one of my favorites! I hope you will take time to read it aloud and talk about it with your friends and family no matter how old you are!
When you do, notice how many times it repeats “You” or “Your” as it proclaims the abundant provision of our loving Heavenly Father. By doing so, David asks us to join him in a very personal psalm since he is not talking about our Heavenly Father, but to our Heavenly Father!
YOU (O Lord) hear our prayers (v.2), YOU forgive our sins (v.3), YOU choose us to become YOUR sons and daughters (v.4), and YOU lavish us with goodness because YOUR house is filled with good things (v.4)!
YOU alone are God and Savior – YOU alone are the Hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas (v.5)! YOU alone are the Creator, and YOUR sovereignty extends over all (v.6).
YOU created the spectacular mountains of the earth which rise in all their majesty (v.6) and YOU calm the roaring of the seas as well as the roaring of the nations (v.7). From the heights to the depths, nothing escapes YOUR sight, YOUR care or YOUR command. Now, rest your thoughts on verse 8 for a moment:
“The whole earth is filled with awe at YOUR wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, YOU call forth songs of joy.”
How beautifully poetic! We stand in awe at YOUR unfathomable wonders, O Lord. Each day, we see the sun make its journey from one end of the sky to the other – from its dawning to its fading – shining in all the glory YOU gave it – bringing Light and Life – literally singing and shouting for joy unto YOU!
And oh, how YOU care for YOUR Creation. By YOUR sovereign command, YOU soften it with showers, and YOU bring forth blessed crops to nourish YOUR people (v.10). Without YOUR Word, both we and the land would be dry and barren. But in YOUR kindness and grace, YOU drench us with abundance from YOUR streams whether watering the earth or quenching our souls!
It’s as though YOU personally sign all YOUR work by putting YOUR royal crown atop YOUR bounty (v.11)! YOU, O Lord, are the God of superlatives!
The land is enriched abundantly (v.9) – the streams are filled (v.9) – crops are blessed (v.10) – YOUR paths overflow (v.11) – the grasslands overflow (v.12) – the hills put on garments of gladness (v.12) – the flocks flourish (v.13) – the valleys adorn themselves with grain (v.13) – and everything shouts and sings for joy to YOU – our great God and Savior (v.13)!
This is a call to worship.
Thank YOU, O Lord, for calling us to truly see what YOU are doing every day and inviting us to join in the song all of Creation is already singing. I think that’s why David begins this psalm with the end in mind:
“Praise awaits YOU, our God…”
For the director of music. A psalm of David. A song.
1 Praise awaits You, our God, in Zion;
to You our vows will be fulfilled.
2 You who answer prayer,
to You all people 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.
5 You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas,
6 who formed the mountains by Your power,
having armed Yourself with strength,
7 who stilled the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
and the turmoil of the nations.
8 The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders;
where morning dawns, where evening fades,
You call forth songs of joy.
9 You care for the land and water it;
You enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so You have ordained it.
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
You soften it with showers and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with Your bounty,
and Your paths overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing.