Psalm 65: Lessons Regarding the Blessings Available Through Faith in Jesus and Reasons for You to Praise Him

Introduction: Psalm 65 powerfully reminds believers to meditate on the many reasons to praise Jesus. As one commentator states, “This is a song of praise for God’s spiritual blessings to His people and His kind providence over all the earth.”1 Here, the Bible reveals seven blessings available through Jesus and seven reasons to praise Him. These include: (1) faithfulness, (2) answered prayers, (3) forgiveness, (4) salvation, (5) providence, (6) provision, and (7) joy.

First, David stated that silence would proceed the praise that God is owed. Out of gratitude, he promised that vows made to God would also be fulfilled. Here, David encouraged believers to meditate on God’s faithfulness to give Him the praise that He deserves. Jesus will fulfill every vow or promise that He has made. Believers should show their gratitude by keeping their vows to Him. Second, David praised God for answering believers’ prayers. You can praise Jesus for answering your prayers according to His perfect plans and His perfect timing. Third, David thanked God for forgiving his many sins in order to allow him to be in God’s holy presence. Your praise for Jesus should include thanking Him for making His sacrifice on the cross to make your forgiveness possible. Fourth, David thanked God for His grace in allowing believers to dwell in His presence. You can also praise Jesus for the free gift of eternal salvation, which allows you to dwell with Him forever in heaven. All that is required is faith that He took your sins at the cross and that salvation is possible only through faith in Him. Fifth, David praised God for His righteousness and sovereignty, with all of creation obeying His commands. Jesus also deserves your praise for His righteousness and providence. He is in control over everything. He uses His sovereignty to fulfill His perfect plan for righteousness to prevail. Sixth, David also thanked God for His abundant provision. Out of loving grace, Jesus also abundantly provides for your every need. Finally, David praised God for the joy He makes available to all believers. Jesus also deserves your praise for the joy of the Holy Spirit that He makes available to you.

1. Faithfulness: Meditate on Jesus’ Faithfulness and Then Praise Him. Ps. 65:1.

  • David sat in silence before praising God and promising to fulfill his vows. David wrote many psalms of praise. But he knew that meaningful praise sometimes required him to first sit in silent submission to reflect on God’s faithfulness: “For the music director. A Psalm of David. A Song. 1 There will be silence before You, and praise in Zion, God, and the vow will be fulfilled for You.” (Ps. 65:1). According to the Pulpit Commentary: “Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Zion; literally, there is silence praise (equivalent to ‘silent praise’) for thee, O God, in Zion. There was, for the most part, a hushed silence in the tabernacle and temple, amid which silent prayer and praise were offered to God by the priests and Levites, and any lay persons who might be present (camp. 1 Samuel 1:13).” (Pulpit Commentary on Psalm 65:1). (Emphasis original).2 “The psalmist David described a wonderful picture, the idea that praise was waiting to be given unto God in Jerusalem. The sense is that when God came to meet His people, He would be received in an atmosphere of praise. ‘The word translated ‘waiteth’ [awaiting] comes from a root meaning to be silent…. This does not mean that there is no praise, but on the contrary that praise is so complete that at first it can find no utterance.’ ‘Literally, ‘Praise is silence for thee’…. It may sometimes be the height of worship, in other words, to fall silent before God in awe at His presence and in submission to His will.’” (David Guzik on Psalm 65) (emphasis original) (internal citation omitted).3

  • Jesus came to fulfill David’s psalm.  David stated: “the vow will be fulfilled for You.” (Ps. 65:1). This pointed to Jesus. He will fulfill His vows and faithfully keep every promise to you. Jesus later referenced David’s psalms to reveal that everything in the Old Testament pointed to Him: “You examine the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is those very Scriptures that testify about Me;”  (Jo. 5:39, quoting Psalm 40:7).  The book of Hebrews also quotes David’s psalms to confirm that the Old Testament is written about Jesus, and Jesus came to fulfill the sacrificial laws by becoming the perfect sacrifice:  “Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, ‘You have not desired sacrifice and offering, but you have prepared a body for me; You have not taken pleasure in whole burnt offerings and offerings for sin.  ‘Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (it is written of Me in the scroll of the book) to do Your will, O God.”’  (Heb. 10:5-7). Thus, you can praise Jesus for keeping His promises to you, even if He has not yet fulfilled them. You can in turn show your gratitude by keeping and fulfilling the vows that you have made to Him.

  • Praise Jesus after meditating on why He deserves praise. David was never without words of praise: “And my tongue shall proclaim Your righteousness and Your praise all day long.” (Ps. 35:28). “My mouth is filled with Your praise and with Your glory all day long.” (Ps. 71:8). “My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.” (Ps. 145:21). But he sometimes needed to sit quietly for God to speak to him or to instruct him before David had the right words of praise: “Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day.” (Ps. 25:5). Thus, to give meaning to your praise, stop and first meditate on Jesus’ faithfulness to you.

  • Be patient for God.  From his trials, David learned to wait on God:  “A Psalm of David.  I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.” (Ps. 40:1). “Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.”  (Ps. 25:3).  “Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.”  (Ps. 27:14).  “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not get upset because of one who is successful in his way, because of the person who carries out wicked schemes.”  (Ps. 37:7).  “Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.”  (Ps. 25:21).  “Wait for the LORD and keep His way, and He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are eliminated, you will see it.”  (Ps. 37:34).  “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and I wait for His word.”  (Ps. 130:5).  Satan’s wins are temporary. Thus, God wants you to have faith in His timing:  “You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.” (Jam. 5:8).  “By your endurance you will gain your lives.”  (Lk. 21:19).  Do you trust in God’s timing? If He seems slow in responding, remember every time that He has been faithful to you in the past.

Psalm 65:1 Praise awaits You, O God, in Zion; to You our vows will be ...

Reflect on God’s faithfulness to make your praise for Him more meaningful4

  • David repeatedly praised God for His faithfulness.  As our example, David’s prayers always included praises for God:  “Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His faithfulness is everlasting.”  (1 Chr. 16:34).  “I will rejoice and be jubilant in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”  (Ps. 9:2). “That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. LORD my God, I will give thanks to You forever.”  (Ps. 30:12).  “How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, Which You have performed for those who take refuge in You, before the sons of mankind!”  (Ps. 31:19).  “The righteous person will be glad in the LORD and take refuge in Him; and all the upright in heart will boast.”  (Ps. 64:10).  “It is good to give thanks to the LORD and to sing praises to Your name, Most High; to declare Your goodness in the morning and Your faithfulness by night, with the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, with resounding music on the lyre.  For You, LORD, have made me joyful by what You have done, I will sing for joy over the works of Your hands.”  (Ps. 92:104).  “A Song, a Psalm of David.  My heart is steadfast, God; I will sing, I will sing praises also with my soul.”  (Ps. 108:1).  “Praise Him with trumpet sound; praise Him with harp and lyre.  Praise Him with tambourine and dancing; praise Him with stringed instruments and flute.  Praise Him with loud cymbals; praise Him with resounding cymbals.  Everything that has breath shall praise the LORD.  Praise the LORD!”  (Ps. 150: 3-6). Don’t take God’s blessings for granted.  Are you praising God for His faithfulness?

  • Show your worship through your obedience.  The prophet Samuel stated that God desires your obedience more than your sacrifice:  “Samuel said, ‘Does the LORD have as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD?  Behold, to obey is better than a sacrifice, and to pay attention is better than the fat of rams.’”  (1 Sam. 15:22).  As our example, Jesus lived in obedience to the will of God the Father:  “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.”’  (Jo. 4:34).  “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.”  (Jo. 6:38).  According to the Apostle Paul, you are a slave to whatever you serve:  “[Y]ou are slaves of the one whom you obey . . ”  (Ro. 6:16(b); Gal. 4:7-9).  Jesus also said, if you love Him, you will keep His commandments  (Jo. 14:15, 21; 15:10; 1 Jo. 5:3; 2 Jo. 1:6).  His “disciples” were the “disciplined ones” in keeping His commandments. As bondservants or freed slaves, they were obedient out of love, not obligation.  Whether you follow Jesus and His commandments out of love instead of obligation is a test for whether you really know God  (1 John 2:3).  Satan has placed your flesh at war with God’s Spirit (Gal. 5:17; 1 Tim. 1:10).  In the end, you must pick which you will serve:  “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other.”  (Matt. 6:24).   Out of gratitude, thank God through your obedience.

2. Answered Prayers: Praise Jesus for Answering Your Prayers. Ps. 65:2.

  • David praised God for answering prayers. David also gave thanks that he worshiped a caring and loving God who listens to the prayers of the sinners who come before Him: “You who hear prayer, to You all mankind comes.” (Ps. 65:2). It defies human comprehension that God could listen to billions of prayers, or that He would care about any one sinner amongst the billions of people on Earth. But this is just one of the many reasons to praise God.

  • David repeatedly thanked God for answering His prayers. David never took credit for his blessings. Instead, he always credited God with answering His prayers. “I was crying out to the LORD with my voice, and He answered me from His holy mountain. Selah” (Ps. 3:4). “But know that the LORD has set apart the godly person for Himself; the LORD hears when I call to Him.” (Ps. 4:3). “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God for help; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry for help before Him came into His ears.” (Ps. 18:6). “As for me, I said in my alarm, ‘I am cut off from Your eyes’; nevertheless You heard the sound of my pleadings when I called to You for help.” (Ps. 31:22). Are you giving God the credit when He answers your prayers?

  • If God does not immediately respond, trust in His timing.  Although God will ultimately respond to your prayers, He will only do so in His timing.  His perfect plans may require you to suffer or experience hardship before He blesses you according to His will:  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Ro. 8:28).  David had to wait to become king as God molded Him as a lowly servant within Saul’s court.  David would later suffer under Saul’s rule. But God used his suffering to mold David for His greater glory (Ps. 66:10). Abraham also had to wait to see the fulfillment of his promised son.  He left Haram at age 25, and he did not receive his promised son until he turned 100 (Gen. 12:4; 21:5).  “And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise,” (Heb. 6:15).  Even when it appears to be foolish to others, God wants you to wait on His timing:  “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  (1 Cor. 1:18; 2:14).  Do you patiently wait on God’s perfect timing and for His will to be done?

3. Forgiveness: Praise Jesus for Making Your Forgiveness Possible Through His Sacrifice for You at the Cross. Ps. 65:3.

  • David praised God for forgiving his sins. Because David could not approach God with sins, including murder and adultery, he thanked God for forgiving his sins and purifying him: “3 Wrongdoings prevail against me; as for our offenses, You forgive them.” (Ps. 65:3). “It is the duty of a grateful people to render thanks to God in the Temple, assembling to pay its vows to the universal Hearer of prayer. The consciousness of manifold sins might deter them from approaching a holy God, were not He Himself graciously ready to purge their guilt away. In the blessings, of which the welcome to His house is the pledge, is to be found man’s truest happiness.” (Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges)5

  • Praise Jesus for dying on the cross to forgive your sins. Throughout the Bible, believers are reminded to rejoice that they serve a loving God who offers to forgive their sins against Him: “Rejoice, you nations, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, . . . and will atone for His land and His people.” (Dt. 32:43). “Save me from the guilt of bloodshed, God, the God of my salvation; then my tongue will joyfully sing of Your righteousness.” (Ps. 51:14). “Help us, God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; and save us and forgive our sins for the sake of Your name.” (Ps. 79:9). “He has turned His attention to the prayer of the destitute and has not despised their prayer.” (Ps. 102:17). “let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open, to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, day and night, on behalf of the sons of Israel Your servants, confessing the sins of the sons of Israel which we have committed against You; I and my father’s house have sinned.” (Neh. 1:6). Out of love for you, Jesus paid the ultimate price at the cross to make your forgiveness possible (John 3:16). How are you thanking Jesus for what He did for you?

4. Eternal Salvation: Praise Jesus for Your Gift of Eternal Salvation. Ps. 65:4.

  • David praised God for making it possible to dwell in His presence. Although David knew that sinners cannot be in God’s holy presence, he had faith that God would provide a way for sinners like him to one day dwell forever in His holy presence: “Blessed is the one You choose and allow to approach You; He will dwell in Your courtyards. We will be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Your holy temple.” (Ps. 65:4). This again pointed to Jesus. Through His death on the cross, He makes salvation possible through faith in Him.

  • Out of love, Jesus died on the cross so that everyone might find eternal life.  David had the faith to know that he could live with God “forever”  (e.g., Ps. 61:4; 23:6).  Out of love, God sent Jesus to die on the cross to allow all who believe to have eternal life:  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  (John 3:16).  “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies,’”  (Jo. 11:25-26; 14:19).  You cannot earn eternal life through your works.  His gift is free:  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  (Ro. 6:23).  Your faith alone can bring you the blessing of Jesus’ fellowship:  “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (1 Cor. 1:9).  But merely accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is not enough to be in fellowship with Him. There are plenty of people who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior but then make no effort to walk with Him.  Your faith should be accompanied by a willingness to accept Jesus’ invitation for a deeper relationship. (Rev. 3:20).  Are you accepting Jesus’ invitation for His fellowship?

5. Providence: Praise Jesus for His Righteousness and Sovereignty. Ps. 65:5-8.

  • David praised God for His righteousness. David thank God that all creation is in submission to Him and obeys His greater plan for righteousness: “By awesome deeds You answer us in righteousness, God of our salvation, You who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and the farthest sea; who establishes the mountains by His strength, who is encircled with might; who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the turmoil of the nations. They who dwell at the ends of the earth stand in awe of Your signs; You make the sunrise and the sunset shout for joy.” (Ps. 65:5-8). God’s creation testifies to His love of mankind. He created the perfect Earth for mankind to live in. He then entrusted mankind to steward His creation (Gen. 1:26). All creation knows that it is in submission to the Creator. But mankind sadly fails to submit to Him: “An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its master’s manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand.” (Is. 1:3; Jer. 8:7).

Psalm 65:8 | Psalm 65, Psalms, Sacred scripture

Praise Jesus for His love in creating the Earth for you to inhabit6

  • All creation will one day praise Jesus. Because God uses His sovereign power for good, David prophetically foretold of a time when all creation would praise His holy name: “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will worship before You.” (Ps. 22:27). “As is Your name, God, so is Your praise to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness.” (Ps. 48:10). “All the earth will worship You, and will sing praises to You; they will sing praises to Your name.” Selah” (Ps. 66:4). “God blesses us, so that all the ends of the earth may fear Him.” (Ps. 67:7). Jesus rebuked His critics and stated that if His disciples had not praised Him the rocks would do so: “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you, if these stop speaking, the stones will cry out!’” (Lk. 19:40). He also has complete control over all creation: “He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?’ Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm.” (Matt. 8:26). When you see beauty in the world, stop and praise Jesus.

  • God’s full love and blessings to mankind are beyond our limited comprehension. David marveled that he was unable to count the fullness of God’s blessings (Ps. 40:5).  When Job repented to God, he also conceded that he could not fully understand the fullness of God’s wonder and love for him:  “Who is this who conceals advice without knowledge?’ Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I do not know.”  (Job 42:3).  God’s love for you is beyond your comprehension. Any time you go through a trial, stop and praise the Creator of the universe for molding you into His image.

6. Provision: Praise Jesus for His Grace and Abundant Provision. Ps. 65:9-11.

  • David praised God for His provision. David also thanked God for using His control over creation to abundantly provide for the needs of His people: “You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; You greatly enrich it; the stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for so You prepare the earth. 10 You water its furrows abundantly, You settle its ridges, You soften it with showers, You bless its growth. 11 You have crowned the year with Your goodness, and Your paths drip with fatness.” (Ps. 65:9-11). God never let His people starve when they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. When you trust Jesus and follow His direction, He will also faithfully provide for your every need.

  • God offers abundant provision to His people. If the Jews followed God’s Covenant, He also promised them abundant life.  The surplus of their crops would be so great that they would have uneaten crops remaining when the new crops arrived the following year: “then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit.” (Lev. 26:4). “The threshing floors will be full of grain, and the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil.”  (Joel 2:24).  “So your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.”  (Prov. 3:10; Ps. 144:13).  God also promises to “pour out” His blessings when you tithe with the right motives: “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.’”  (Mal. 8:3).  He does not hold back that which is good when we walk in His Commandments  (Ps. 84:11; 19:7).  Jesus also promised not just life but “abundant life” when you follow Him  (Jo. 10:10).  But this is not a promise of gluttony. God will not give you more than you can handle. If a blessing will lead to coveting or hoarding, that would violate the Tenth Commandment  (Ex. 20:17; Dt. 5:21).  Jesus also warned against those who might hoard God’s material blessings by building a bigger barn to store them  (Lk. 12:18-20).  God’s real blessing comes when you store up treasures in heaven by giving to others  (Lk. 12:33).  This blessing brings joy, happiness, and love no matter what trials you may face.  Are you being obedient and generous to receive this blessing?

  • Praise Jesus for His provision in your life. Jesus’ provision in your life is a sign of His love for you and a reason for you to praise Him: “yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:17). Failing to give thanks only causes God grief: “They do not say in their heart, ‘Let us now fear the LORD our God, who gives rain in its season, both the autumn rain and the spring rain, who keeps for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”’ (Jer. 5:24). Do you praise Jesus for the many good things that He provides you?

7. Joy: Praise Jesus for the Joy of the Holy Spirit. Ps. 65:12-13.

  • David praised God for the joy He provides to His people. David concluded by thanking God for the joy that He makes available to His people: “12 The pastures of the wilderness drip, and the hills encircle themselves with rejoicing. 13 The meadows are clothed with flocks and the valleys are covered with grain; they shout for joy, yes, they sing.” (Ps. 65:12-13). Even though many fail to credit God with their joy, all creation will one day celebrate the Creator with great joy: “May the rivers clap their hands, may the mountains sing together for joy.” (Ps. 98:8). “Shout for joy, you heavens, for the LORD has done it! Shout joyfully, you lower parts of the earth; break into a shout of jubilation, you mountains, forest, and every tree in it; for the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and in Israel He shows His glory.” (Is. 44:23).

  • Praise Jesus for your joy. The Psalms remind believers to also praise Jesus for the joy that He provides: “And He led out His people with joy, His chosen ones with a joyful shout.” (Ps. 105:43). “Then they believed His words; they sang His praise.” (Ps. 106:12). “For you will go out with joy and be led in peace; the mountains and the hills will break into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.” (Is. 55:12). Joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,” (Gal. 5:22). Are you praising Jesus for the joy in your life?

  • Praise God in every context.  Even when you don’t feel joy, the Psalms remind believers to praise God in both good and bad times.  For example, when Saul was trying to kill David, David wrote in one of his many psalms that he would always praise God:  “A Psalm of David, when he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.  I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.”  (Ps. 34:1).  Likewise, when Daniel learned that the king had signed an order that would result in him being thrown in the lion’s den, he continued in his regular praises for God:  “Now when Daniel learned that the document was signed, he entered his house (and in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and offering praise before his God, just as he had been doing previously.”  (Dan. 6:10).  As another example, Paul worshiped even when he was jailed for his faith: “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to our God and Father;”  (Eph. 5:20).  Do you worship and praise God in both good and bad times?

  • Make gratitude a regular part of your walk with God. The Psalms are filled with examples of prayers and songs of appreciation for you to follow: “Let’s come before His presence with a song of thanksgiving, Let’s shout joyfully to Him in songs with instruments.” (Ps. 95:2). “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courtyards with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.” (Ps. 100:4). “Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praises to our God on the lyre;” (Ps. 147:7). “But I will sacrifice to You with a voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the LORD.” (John. 2:9). Are you giving regular thanks for all that God does for you?

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