Psalms 65

1 O God, it is right for us to praise you in Zion and keep our promises to you,
2 because you answer prayers. People everywhere will come to you
3 on account of their sins. Our faults defeat us, but you forgive them.
4 Happy are those whom you choose, whom you bring to live in your sanctuary. We shall be satisfied with the good things of your house, the blessings of your sacred Temple.
5 You answer us by giving us victory, and you do wonderful things to save us. People all over the world and across the distant seas trust in you.
6 You set the mountains in place by your strength, showing your mighty power.
7 You calm the roar of the seas and the noise of the waves; you calm the uproar of the peoples.
8 The whole world stands in awe of the great things that you have done. Your deeds bring shouts of joy from one end of the earth to the other.
9 You show your care for the land by sending rain; you make it rich and fertile. You fill the streams with water; you provide the earth with crops. This is how you do it:
10 you send abundant rain on the plowed fields and soak them with water; you soften the soil with showers and cause the young plants to grow.
11 What a rich harvest your goodness provides! Wherever you go there is plenty.
12 The pastures are filled with flocks; the hillsides are full of joy.
13 The fields are covered with sheep; the valleys are full of wheat. Everything shouts and sings for joy.

Psalms 65 Commentary

Chapter 65

God is to be praised in the kingdom of grace. (1-5) In the kingdom of providence. (6-13)

Verses 1-5 All the praise the Lord receives from this earth is from Zion, being the fruit of the Spirit of Christ, and acceptable through him. Praise is silent unto thee, as wanting words to express the great goodness of God. He reveals himself upon a mercy-seat, ready to hear and answer the prayers of all who come unto him by faith in Jesus Christ. Our sins prevail against us; we cannot pretend to balance them with any righteousness of our own: yet, as for our transgressions, of thine own free mercy, and for the sake of a righteousness of thine own providing, we shall not come into condemnation for them. Observe what it is to come into communion with God in order to blessedness. It is to converse with him as one we love and value; it is to apply ourselves closely to religion as to the business of our dwelling-place. Observe how we come into communion with God; only by God's free choice. There is abundance of goodness in God's house, and what is satisfying to the soul; there is enough for all, enough for each: it is always ready; and all without money and without price. By faith and prayer we may keep up communion with God, and bring in comfort from him, wherever we are. But it is only through that blessed One, who approaches the Father as our Advocate and Surety, that sinners may expect or can find this happiness.

Verses 6-13 That Almighty strength which sets fast the mountains, upholds the believer. That word which stills the stormy ocean, and speaks it into a calm, can silence our enemies. How contrary soever light and darkness are to each other, it is hard to say which is most welcome. Does the watchman wait for the morning? so does the labourer earnestly desire the shades of evening. Some understand it of the morning and evening sacrifices. We are to look upon daily worship, both alone and with our families, to be the most needful of our daily occupations, the most delightful of our daily comforts. How much the fruitfulness of this lower part of the creation depends upon the influence of the upper, is easy to observe; every good and perfect gift is from above. He who enriches the earth, which is filled with man's sins, by his abundant and varied bounty, can neither want power nor will to feed the souls of his people. Temporal mercies to us unworthy creatures, shadow forth more important blessings. The rising of the Sun of righteousness, and the pouring forth of the influences of the Holy Spirit, that river of God, full of the waters of life and salvation, render the hard, barren, worthless hearts of sinners fruitful in every good work, and change the face of nations more than the sun and rain change the face of nature. Wherever the Lord passes, by his preached gospel, attended by his Holy Spirit, his paths drop fatness, and numbers are taught to rejoice in and praise him. They will descend upon the pastures of the wilderness, all the earth shall hear and embrace the gospel, and bring forth abundantly the fruits of righteousness which are, through Jesus Christ, to the glory of the Father. Manifold and marvellous, O Lord, are thy works, whether of nature or of grace; surely in loving-kindness hast thou made them all.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. [One ancient translation] us; [Hebrew] me.

Chapter Summary

Psalms 65 Commentaries