June 08 2023
Today, Thursday June 08
“Blessed Is the Man You Choose…”
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David. A song.
“Praise is awaiting You, O God, in Zion; And to You the vow shall be performed. O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come.
Iniquities prevail against me; As for our transgressions, You will provide atonement for them. Blessed is the man You choose, And cause to approach You, That he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, Of Your holy temple.”
Psalm 65 is a beautiful Psalm that I look forward to reading and meditating on the fifth day of every month!
From the title we know that this is another of David’s Psalms. It is called “a song” and it was written to be sung or led by the Chief Musician as the people came together to worship the LORD at the temple. It appears that it might have been written to be used during or after the harvest (vv. 11-13).
In any case the Psalm may be said or sung, and is suitable for either. We have had two such Psalms before, Psalms 30 and 48. This is the first of four psalms (Psalms 65-68) that focus on praising the Lord for His manifold blessings in nature and for His gracious dealings with His people. He is the God of creation and the God of the covenant. The psalm acknowledges our total dependence on the Lord to provide both our spiritual and material needs. The phrase "crown the year" (v. 11) suggests a harvest festival in October, the first month of Israel's civil year.
David wrote the previous Psalms, Psalms 52-64, during and about the times that he was either fleeing from King Saul, or he was dealing with the rebellion of his son Absolom. They are Psalms where he is pleading and calling out to God for protection and deliverance. It is fitting that Psalm 65 follows them, as it is a special Psalm of praise and worship!
Perhaps verse 3 suggests the annual Day of Atonement that ushered in the Feast of Tabernacles, a harvest festival (Lev. 17; 23:26-44). The early rains usually began in late October, softening the hard soil and enabling the farmers to plow the ground and sow their seed (vv. 9-13). Perhaps God had disciplined His people by sending drought and famine (Lev. 26:3-6; Deut. 11:8-17) and allowing other nations to threaten Israel (v. 7). This discipline brought them to repentance, and they anticipated the promised rains and a blessed harvest from the Lord.
David's unusual experience involving the Gibeonites that we read about in 2 Samuel 21:1-14, might have been the occasion for writing this Psalm. Whatever the historical setting, the psalm helps us to worship our great God and glorify Him for who He is and what He does for us. The Psalm divides into three almost equal divisions.
In verses 1-4, we see the grace of God, in providing atonement for our transgressions (v. 3) and choosing us to approach Him to worship in the holy sanctuary (v. 4). In verse 5-8, we see the government of God as He rules over all the nations of the earth, and as He performs “awesome deeds in righteousness” (v. 5). In verses 9-13, we see the goodness of God as He provides rain for the crops and green pastures for the flocks!
In any case, this Psalm is also clearly prophetic in character. It anticipates the day when Jesus shall reign, and the earth will at last enjoy the prodigal bounty of the millennial age. This is indeed "a song for all nations." Its ultimate setting is in the future rather than the past.
The first four verses speak of our approach to the LORD. Before we approach the Lord, we must confess our sins and trust Him for forgiveness (v. 3), (1 John 1:9). The priests were chosen by God to serve in the sanctuary (Num. 16:5), but God wanted all of His "chosen people" to live like priests (Ex. 19:3-8; Deut. 7:6-11; Ps. 33:12). Believers today are called “a holy priesthood” (1 Peter 1:5), "a kingdom of priests" (1 Peter 2:9-10; Rev. 1:5-6), chosen by the Lord, offering Him their praise and worship.
What the Jewish worshipers had in their sanctuary, believers today have in Jesus Christ, and we find our complete satisfaction in Him. We have all these blessings only because of the grace of God, for He has “chosen us and ordained us to bring forth fruit” (John 15:16).