Psalm 65Thankfulness in everything to God our Salvation - Calvary Baptist

Psalm 65

 

Introduction

A missionary to India was traveling through a city and stopped to speak to a man beside the road. He talked with the man for a time about Jesus. Then, having to travel on, he gave him a few pages of the Bible in the man's language. The Indian read them and was thrilled to learn of Jesus.

To show his gratitude, the man measured the footprints left by the missionary, and made a pair of moccasins. He then traveled 200 miles to give them to the missionary as an expression of thanks.

The missionary's life was enriched by the gift, but the Indian man was much more enriched because he had expressed his thanks.

Have you ever tried to give 200 miles of thanks?

How many things do you complain about on a daily basis?

How many of God’s gifts do you take for granted and even grumble about it?

This weather is horrible!

I’m tired of these kids!

I’m bored!

Thankfulness to God in all things is the theme of this song of David. 

By the end of this, I want you to see your un-thankfulness and change.

I want you to thank God for every detail of your life and realize that everything comes from God.

I want to show you how to be satisfied and joyful in Christ no matter what your circumstances.

Whether health or sickness, trial or peace, death or life, cancer or beauty.

You must understand that in your attitude of thankfulness in every situation you have the opportunity to glorify God.

And by your actions you prove your thankfulness.

When the world is cursing because the economy is crashing, you will be rejoicing in our Sovereign God because He is using everything for His glory.

This Psalm is actually a song that David wrote in thanksgiving to God after some kind of great harvest that had come after a drought. 

The Psalm is actually divided into three parts.  These three parts are different reasons that we are to be thankful to God.  It is meant to be sung in order but for preaching application purposes it seems better to me to preach it backwards.

The song starts with the climax and then fades to a conclusion so I want to start at the end and end at the beginning.  So bear with me and look at verses 9-13.

Thankfulness is due to God because of His Sovereignty over His creation and provision through His creation.

 

Read 9-13

The land is fruitful.

The land is fruitful and produces food for us because God not only prepares the ground of the earth but waters it.

God gives just enough rain and sun to grow a crop.  Too much of either is bad.

Do you know what would happen to us if God stopped sending rain and this snow down on the earth?

We would all die in a fairly short period of time.

 

If no rain fell:

 

  • The ecosystem would collapse.
  • Crops wouldn’t grow.
  • Soil would deteriorated and turn to dust and blow away, which is what a desert is.  This is uninhabitable.
  • Temperatures and weather patterns would affect ocean currents.
  • Trees that we use to build things would die and not reproduce anything new.
  • Once all the trees are dead we have an oxygen problem.
  • Grass that we feed animals that we eat would die so therefore all herbivores would eventually die off.
  • The carnivores that stay alive by eating the herbivores would die off.
  • Humans, the omnivores, would eventually die off because we need to eat meat or produce from the earth and we would have neither.
  • The earth would become a wasteland in 50 years and there would be massive world wars over the little storehouses of food the nations have stored up.

Much of the time we take for granted the fact that God is providing everything for us by blessing the earth to produce food for us.

God set the earth at just the right distance to ripen a tomato.  If the earth was closer to the sun, the earth would be a uninhabitable wasteland.

If the earth was just a little further from the sun, we would be a mass of ice that could inhabit nothing.
But God set the earth at just the right distance to be inhabitable but we must still rely on God to sustain the earth with rain, snow and sun in order to produce a crop to feed us.  Every farmer knows this.

Everything that you rely on to live on in your life is dependent on God.  So everything thing that you have that is sustaining you comes from God and is a gift from God.

 

Mrs. Green will illustrate this for us:

 

Mrs. Green thanked Tom, the grocery boy, for delivering a loaf of bread.

"Do not thank me. Thank Grocer Jones," Tom smiled. "He gave me the loaf to deliver."

But when she thanked the grocer, he said, "I get the bread from Baker Brown. He makes it, so he deserves the thanks."

 

So Mrs. Green thanked the baker. But he told her that Miller Milligan should be given the gratitude. "Without Miller Milligan's flour, I could not make bread," Brown replied.

 

The miller told her to thank Farmer Foster because he made the flour from Foster's wheat. But the farmer also protested, "Don't thank me; thank God," Foster said. "If He did not give my farm sunshine and rain, I could not grow wheat."

Yes even a common loaf of bread can be traced back to God, the Giver of "every good and perfect gift"

Everything comes from God as a gift to us.  Do we deserve it?  Absolutely not.

We have never done anything to deserve it, that is why we should be so thankful to God.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:45:

 

For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

 

That is amazing and that is why the people in this Psalm are rejoicing and thanking God. 

As these verse 9-13 explain how God actually tends to the earth to make it produce a crop to keep people alive, the people rejoice because they know that it is because of God the crop came to them.

They are smart enough to see God’s provision and thank Him instead of the earth.  They are not thanking mother earth because mother earth doesn’t exist, only Father God.

Mother Earth is a made up idol that people worship.  Father God is the author and sustainer of everything in His creation.

So when you sit down tomorrow and eat a meal in your warm house, understand that it never came from Mother Earth but it came from God and thank Him.

Live a life of thankfulness to God, understanding it all came from Him and nowhere else.

Let us look at the next section, verses 5-8, and find an even greater reason to be thankful to God.

 

Read 5-8

 Thankfulness is due to God because He gives the people at the end of the earth hope.

 

Verse 5 is the answer of verse 2.  Verse 2 says that God hears our prayer and verse 5 says that He answers them by awesome deeds and with righteousness.

The awesome deeds He is referring to are His sovereignty over the earth.  His establishing the mountains and stilling the raging seas and all the sustaining of the earth in verses 9-13.

The last part of verse 5 is the most important for us.  It says:

O God of our salvation, the hope of the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.

God is the confidence or hope of all people that dwell at the uttermost parts of the earth and seas.

The writer, of course, is writing according to the way that people perceive things.  There is actually no end of the earth, it’s round.  It is the same way that we say the sun has risen this morning when we know that the sun doesn’t rise or set but the earth is rotating.

So the ends of the earth means:  the people that are in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and have never even heard of Jesus.  Or the people in Iceland, or in the deserts of the middle east, or under slavery in North Korea, or in poverty in India or dying of disease in Africa or the people wasting away in American as they peruse the un-biblical, materialistic American dream.

All these people have hope.  God is their hope.  God is their only chance for salvation. 

Buddha can’t save them. Muhammad can’t save them.  The Pope can’t save them.  Joseph Smith can’t save them.  But God can save them.  God is their hope.

Distance, remoteness, poverty, slavery and bondage can’t stop God.  They still have hope.  God is the only hope of mankind.

So I hear this question a lot from many different people.  They will ask me, “What about the people deep in the Amazon jungle that have never heard of Christ, what happens to them?”

I answer the same way.  They have hope in God.  God has His people scattered across the whole face of the earth in every tribe, tongue and nation.

God will save those who are His.  He is capable of it and has guaranteed it.  His sheep hear His voice and they follow Him and He gives them eternal life and they will never perish.

God not only ordains that He will save His people, He also ordains the means that He will do it.

 

Romans 10:17 says:

So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

 

The only way these people at the ends of the earth will be saved is if they hear the Word of God, the gospel and call out to God. 

So how will they call on Him in whom they have not believed?

And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard?

And how shall they hear in the deep jungles?

Only one way.  A preacher who is sent by God.  This is how faith comes.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

God has a people out there somewhere.  God knows who’s are His and He will save them.  He will save them by the means of hearing the gospel.  And He will send someone to them to preach the gospel so they can hear and be saved.  There is hope for them.

 

Missions are the means that God has ordained to reach the ends of the earth and the farthest sea.

 

This is how it has always been down since the birth of the church.  Jesus commissioned us to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations.

 

Jesus told this to His disciples and they stayed in Jerusalem so God sent horrendous persecution upon them and the believers scattered to the ends of the earth preaching the gospel to every creature.

 

Missions to the ends of the earth are the means that God has ordained to save His people.  They have hope.

 

So if God ordained the means and Christ commissioned us to do this then are we all to be obedient to God in going to the ends of the earth?

 

The answer is yes.  We must all be involved.  Oswald Smith says:

Any church that is not seriously involved in helping fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist. 

Not all are capable of going but all must be involved. 

  

Some are capable but make excuses why they can’t go which is opposite of George Scott.

 

A one-legged school teacher from Scotland came to J. Hudson Taylor to offer himself for service in China.

"With only one leg, why do you think of going as a missionary?" asked Taylor.

"I do not see those with two legs going," replied George Scott.

He was accepted.

If you are capable of going and are qualified biblically to go, then you must go but if not you must be involved in sending.

 

Sending is as important as going.  William Carey said:

 

I will venture to go down, but remember that you must hold the ropes. 

 

So we must me so thankful to God that every tribe, tongue and nation has hope, even though their circumstances seem so hopeless.

We should be so thankful to God that He has ordained the way in which they will be saved.

We should be so thankful that God actually gives us the highest privilege to be involved in His ordained plan to save His people at the uttermost ends of the earth.

Missions, whether sending or going, should not be a burden but a joyous privilege taken by all.

So in verse 2, we pray and God hears.

He answers our prayer in verse 5 by awesome deeds, by His power and provision over creation by establishing the mountains and stilling the roaring seas, verses 6 and 7, for the sole purpose of showing those who dwell at the ends of the earth His power.

Here is how it works:  We pray, God answers and shows through His creation and sovereignty over the earth, that He does exist.  These people in the far ends of the earth see God exists through creation.  God then calls us to go to these people of His and tell them who this True and Living God actually is so they can be saved.

These signs of God’s sovereignty over His creation leave the people in awe, verse 8.

In the same way, Jesus demonstrated His divinity by His power to calm the seas in Mark 4:39 and this sign left the people in awe of the power of God.

By looking out at creation, all men can see that God exists by the power and wonder and order of nature.

This, however, won’t save them.  Only by the hearing of the gospel can one have faith in Christ and be saved.

So now we come to the last point but it is the first point in the song.  Look at verses 1-4

Thankfulness is due to God because he hears us and sent us His Son.

Read verses 1-4

The opening words of this song say that Praise is due to you.  Why do we praise God? 

Because it is due to Him alone and no other.

Because He is the only true and living God and that He actually hears our prayers and we can actually come to Him.

Verse 2 says that God hears our prayers and that all flesh come to Him but verse 3 says that our iniquities prevail against us.

Your sin separates you from God and hinders your prayer. 

God won’t hear your prayer if you have sin in your life.  Have you ever wondered why you have been praying for things that never get answered?

Your sin is keeping you from knowing and coming to God.

But you have hope.  Just like those at the ends of the earth, you have hope in God.

The reason that we should be most thankful is because God did provide a way for our sins to be forgiven.

When you dishonor God by lying, stealing, cheating, manipulating, cursing the name of God, cussing, lusting, coveting, hating, you pile these iniquities on yourself.

Your burden under sin grows and grows.

You store up more of the wrath of God daily.

You wallow in sin and misery until they overtake you.

But be thankful to God.  There is a way out.

God provided an atonement for your sin.

God sent Jesus Christ, the sinless One, the holy One, the righteous One, the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

Christ, though innocent, went to the cross, removed your burden of iniquities that were prevailing against you and placed them on his head.

The Father satisfied His justice by crushing His Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus bore your sin and guilt and paid your fine.  He paid the punishment that you deserve.  God satisfied His justice in the death of His Son.

That is something to be thankful for.  God really did give you a way out of your sin and misery and consequence of sin which is Hell.

Even though you are a vile sinner, Christ still died for you. 

Even though your sins may be like scarlet, Christ will wash them white as snow.

Be thankful also because this salvation, this atonement, is a free gift.  If you repent of your sin, acknowledge it and turn away from it to God, and confess and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, God will save you.

God will change you.  God will change your heart and desires.  God will bring you into His courts to dwell with Him.

Verse 4 says that God chooses you and brings you near, to dwell in His courts. 

We can only come into the presence of God through the unique One whom God chooses to come near to Him as our representative.  This is Jesus Christ.

What a joy and privilege.  How thankful should we be?

If you are a Christian, God chose you to dwell with Him.  Wow!  How thankful should we be?

We have a representative, a high priest that intercedes for us and bought us with His own blood.

The last part of verse 4 says:

We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!

I want you to understand that the whole purpose of, not only your life, but all creation is Jesus Christ.

Everything that did exist, exists now, and will exist is for the sole purpose of glorifying Jesus Christ.

You were made for it.  Jesus Christ will get glory out of you either by saving you or sending you to Hell.

Heaven Illustration.   What heaven will be like.

 

Conclusion

 

So please, leave here today thankful, not only for God’s providing for you everything that sustains you but that the ends of the earth have hope and everyone that is still breathing has hope. 

Be also so thankful that God gave you a way out of the Hell you deserve through His precious Son, Jesus Christ.

Be thankful that you exist for Jesus Christ and have the privilege of glorifying Him. 

Be so thankful that you prove your thankfulness by walking in obedience to Him in the Great Commission.

And know this, that the greatest joy and satisfaction you will ever have in this life will be gained by glorifying Him.  You will never be more satisfied, thankful, and filled with joy than when you fully die to yourself and live for Him glorify Him.

 

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