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Psalms Of Providing

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When people pray, often they hope that God will answer their prayer requests fully. It is of interest, then, to see that Psalm 65 is a Davidic psalm of answered prayer and praise to the Lord. The psalmist’s praise is especially felt in verses 9-13. This section begins with the reasons for the psalmist’s praise:

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.

You drench its furrows
and level its ridges;

You soften it with showers
and bless its crops. (vv. 9-10)1

As Futato observes, “Psalm 65:9-10 describes the coming of the fall rains that soften the hard soil, allowing for plowing and planting, and that provides sufficient water for abundant new crops and other vegetation to sprout.”2 Van Gemeren points out that the psalmist’s praise for the water is one of David’s blessings and benefits so that “when after the gentle rains, vegetation grows”.3 Too often people ignore this aspect of God’s goodness to the earth and its people – especially those who are part of his salvation provision.

As David points out further, God was the provider for ancient Israel:

You gave abundant showers, O God;
You refreshed your weary inheritance.

Your people settled in it,
And from your bounty, O God, you provided for the poor.
(Ps. 68:9-10)

A later psalmist points to the fact that God himself is He who provides such things as food: “He provides food for those who fear him” (Ps. 111:5a; cf. Ps. 132:15). Not only that, but God is “gracious and compassionate” (Ps. 111:5b). Moreover, it was He who “provided redemption for His people” (Ps. 111:9). Accordingly,

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise. (Ps. 111:10)

Therefore, believers may “sing to the Lord with thanksgiving” (Ps. 147:7), because

He covers the sky with clouds;
he supplies the earth with rain
and makes grass grow on the hills.

He provides food for the cattle
and for the young ravens when they call. (Ps. 147:8-9, 11)

As Van Gemeren remarks, the psalmist observes that God is to be praised not only because he is the good king over his creation but, “because he justifies those who look to him in faith.”4

All of this reminds us that not only was the Lord gracious to the ancient Israelites despite their faults and shortcomings, but to all believers everywhere. Christian friends, may we happily sing Lela Long’s hymn “Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know”.

Jesus is the sweetest name I know,
And He’s just the same as his lovely name.
And that’s the reason why I love him so.
Oh, Jesus is the sweetest name I know.5

1 All scripture references are from the NIV.

2 Mark D. Futato, “The Book of Psalms”, in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed.  Philip W. Comfort (Carol Stream, Il.: Tyndale House,2009), VII:219.

3 Willem A, Van Gemeren, “Psalms”, in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, eds. Tremper Longman III and David E, Garland, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008), V:200.

4 Ibid, 999.

5 Lela Long, “Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know”.

Related Topics: Character of God, Devotionals, Prayer

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