Thursday, March 22, 2018

March 22: Psalm 65; God’s Grace

             How is God’s grace manifested toward us? Psalm 65 explains his special grace to us in salvation and his general grace to us in provision. In verses 1-5, we see a brief picture of the way God saves by his grace. In verses 6-7 God’s awesomeness is declared. In verses 7-12, God’s physical provision by his graces is declared.
            David contemplates his praise to God and his vows (Ps 65:1). How can a sinful person praise God? As he contemplates this, he digs deeper into what it means to be able to praise God and understands it starts with prayer and that in his great mercy, God hears our prayers. We can’t be saved if we don’t ask for salvation. We must pray for it (Ps 65:2). How can we pray for salvation when, as sinners, we don’t even want it or want anything to do with God (Ps 65:3)? So what does God do? He first makes atonement for us (Ps 65:3). Romans 5:8 reminds us that when we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We didn’t initiate our salvation, God did by making atonement while we were still dead in our sins and unable to even ask for salvation. But there are still some who don’t respond even when they understand that Jesus died for them. Digging deeper still into this salvation by grace we see that it is because we are chosen for salvation (Ps 65:4). Again, God’s grace is seen in that even before Jesus died for our sins, he chose us and brought us near (Eph 1:4-5). This brings us to the very foundation of God’s salvific grace. It is God’s deeds of righteousness that brings our salvation (Ps 65:5). We can’t claim any part in it.
            David has plumbed the depth of salvation and glorifies God who is the creator and sustainer of the universe (Ps 65:6-7). Think about it! This God, who made mountains and keeps the oceans in place as well as people, is the one that has brought salvation to individuals.
            David then explores God’s general grace. This is the way God works for all people whether they know him or not. He does all these things for people all around the world (Ps 65:8). The Lord takes care of the just and the unjust alike (Matt 5:45). Even in the midst of suffering and pain, evil, or oppression, we are able to find reasons to shout for joy. God has promised that as long as the earth exists, there will be seasons for planting and harvests (Gen 8:22). David could have been meditating on this when he completed this Psalm. Surely, everything that the earth produces, whether we are helping things along with irrigation or other techniques, if it were not for God’s provision, we would not have anything. And this brings us full circle to paire God.

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