Harvest Thanksgiving
Psalm 65:1-13
Praise waits for you, O God, in Sion: and to you shall the vow be performed.…

The three great Jewish feasts had reference to the harvest. The Passover was kept early in the year, when the barley harvest was begun, and a sheaf of the firstfruits was offered as a thank offering (Leviticus 23:10). Fifty days later came Pentecost, when the wheat was ripe; and then two loaves of the new corn were presented (Leviticus 23:17). Last of all was the Feast of Tabernacles, when the fruits of the earth had been gathered in, and the people gave thanks and rejoiced before the Lord with "the joy of harvest" (Leviticus 23:40; Deuteronomy 16:13-17). This psalm is a song of thanksgiving to God for the harvest.

I. THE RIGHT STANDPOINT. Israel was a people near to God. They had been separated from other nations. They enjoyed special privileges and blessings. "Zion" was to them the great centre of unity. Thither the tribes went up. There the people, with their rulers, assembled to worship God. As with them, so with us. Our worship must be ruled by God's will as revealed to us. We can only come before him with acceptance when we come through Jesus Christ. Our standpoint also is "Zion" (Matthew 18:20; Ephesians 2:11-18; Hebrews 2:22-28).


1. With unfeigned faith. "Waiting" expresses quiet confidence. It is both "praise" and "prayer."

2. With assured hope in God's mercy. Sin meets us when we come before God. It fills our hearts with shame and apprehension. But when we look to Christ we are comforted. In him we have redemption and the forgiveness of sins. It is as sinners pardoned that we should praise God. All God's gifts are enhanced in value when we take them from the hands of the Crucified.

3. With adoring thanksgiving. Relieved of sin, our hearts rise in joy to God (ver. 4). God in Christ is the true home of our souls. Here we reach peace. Here we are made glad in the light of our Father's face, and enriched out of the fulness of his grace and truth. Nay, more. Remembering God's "great love," and "the exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindness towards us" (Ephesians 2:7), and realizing the power of Christ, we can rejoice in hope of the blessedness of the coming time when the "God of our salvation" shall be the Confidence of all the ends of the earth, and the people of every kindred and tongue shall sing his praise.

III. THE SUBJECTS WINCH SHOULD SPECIALLY ENGAGE OUR ATTENTION. The world is not a dead world, a mere piece of mechanism, subject to cold material laws. It is God's world, and is ruled by God's laws. Looking back, we should recall the great events of the year. We may consider what is general - national, social, and religious blessings common to all. Not only mercies, but chastisements; forevery chastisement is, when rightly received, a blessing. How comforting to know that the same God who "by his strength setteth fast the mountains" is the God "who heareth prayer;" that the same God "who stilleth the noise of the seas and the tumult of the people" is the "God of our salvation"! In particular we should consider God's goodness in the harvest (vers. 8-13). How vivid and beautiful is the picture! We see the various stages, from the sowing of the seed onward to the reaping time; from the sweet greenness of spring to the golden glow and manifold glories of harvest. All this is of God. "He worketh hitherto." During all the ages of the past he has blessed the labours of the husbandman, and every year we see new proofs of his faithfulness, and enjoy richer manifestations of his love and bounty. "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest...shall not cease" (Genesis 8:22), and as often as the harvest comes round God's Name will be praised. - W.F.

Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician, A Psalm and Song of David.} Praise waiteth for thee, O God, in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed.

WEB: Praise waits for you, God, in Zion. To you shall vows be performed.

God as He Appears in Human History
Top of Page
Top of Page