Psalm 65:1
Praise awaits You, O God, in Zion; to You our vows will be fulfilled.
Sermons
Praises and Vows Accepted in ZionCharles Haddon Spurgeon Psalm 65:1
A Harvest HymnJ. Stalker, D. D.Psalm 65:1-13
God as He Appears in Human HistoryHomilistPsalm 65:1-13
Harvest ThanksgivingW. Forsyth Psalm 65:1-13
Praises and Vows Accepted in ZionPsalm 65:1-13
Reasons for Praising GodC. Short Psalm 65:1-13
Zion's Praise Ready for Her LordPsalm 65:1-13
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).

II. THE SPIRIT IN WHICH WE SHOULD DRAW NEAR.

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.







And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of His doing.
I. AN ACT OF GOD. His enemies were strong and powerful, but God was omnipotent, and in Him was his help and trust; they designed his utter ruin, but God turned their mischief upon their own heads.

1. The suddenness of their destruction.

2. The manner of the discovery, and prevention of his danger.

II. ITS EFFECT UPON MEN IN GENERAL.

1. Fear, which naturally arises in men's minds upon the apprehensions of God's irresistible power and greatness; for whom has an arm like God? or who can thunder with a voice like Him? yea, who can hear His voice and not tremble? or see His hand stretched out and not be afraid? "All men shall fear," but fear alone will not profit us; for the devils tremble before the power they hate, and wicked men may dread God's vengeance, where they are unwilling to see His hand; and therefore here follows another effect, which such signal actions have upon men.

2. "They shall declare the work of God." And this is an effect as general and large as the other, though upon different accounts; for even they who are unwilling to own it shall be forced to acknowledge it, and they for whose sake it is done shall rejoice to publish it.

3. "They shall wisely consider of His doing." That is, they shall better understand the method of God's proceedings, and the reasons of His dealings in the world; for these things make it plain that God takes care of the affairs of His people, and that the enemies of His Church shall not be able to prevail against her.

III. A DUTY RESULTING FROM ALL THESE CONSIDERATIONS, AND CHIEFLY INCUMBENT ON GOOD MEN.

1. "The righteous shall be glad in the Lord." A duty no less easy than pleasant, and that which we all seem to covet most; that which we eagerly pursue as the best of this world's satisfaction, joy and rejoicing.

2. "The righteous shall trust in Him." And good reason indeed to trust in Him, of whose favour and lovingkindness we have had so large experience; well may we rely on that power which is so able to protect us; well may we depend on that providence which so remarkably takes care of us.

3. "All the upright in heart shall glory." They shall glory in His strength, and triumph in His favour. But that is not all; they shall glory in the confusion of the wicked, and rejoice in the continual disappointment of such treacherous designs.

(H. Dove, D. D.)

I. The necessity there is of attention and CONSIDERATION, to discover the hand of God, and the manner of its working, in those events of which we are informed either by history, or our own experience. — "They shall consider of His doing."

II. The WISDOM of thus considering — "They shall wisely consider of His doing."

III. CERTAIN MARKS WHEREBY WE MAY AT ANY TIME DISCERN AN ESPECIAL PROVIDENCE, Diligently to mark, and carefully to treasure up in our minds, the special providences of the Almighty, is the way to preserve and nourish our faith and hope in Him; it furnishes the grounds of our thankfulness and praise; it stirs up our finest feelings and very best affections toward Him; holy joy, humble reverence, and hearty love; it supports us under all our sufferings; and affords us comfort in all our sorrows.

(Bishop Horne.)

All the upright in heart shall glory
1. THE DISPOSITIONS OF THE PERSONS. "All the upright in heart," and then, THE RETRIBUTION upon these persons, "They shall glory," or, they shall be celebrated, they shall be praised. In the first, the qualification of the persons, we shall pass by these steps; first, that God in His punishments and rewardings proposes to Himself persons. God does not begin at a retribution, nor begin at a condemnation, before He have persons, persons fit to be rewarded, persons fit to be condemned. God did not first make a heaven and a hell, and after think of making man, that He might have some persons to put in them; but, first for His glory He made man, and for those, who, by a good use of His grace preserved their state, heaven; and for those who, by their own fault fell, He made hell. And, in the qualifications of these persons, He proposes first a rectitude, a directness, an uprightness; declinations downward, deviations upon the wrong hand, squint-eyed men, left-handed men (in a spiritual sense), He meddles not withal. They must be direct, and upright; and then, "upright in heart"; for, to be good to ill ends (as, in many eases, a man may be), God accepts not, regards not. But, let him be a person thus qualified, "upright," upright because he loves uprightness, "upright in heart"; and then, he is infallibly embraced in that general rule, and proposition, that admits no exception. All the upright in heart shall be partakers of this retribution; and in these branches we shall determine our first part, first, that God proposes to Himself persons; persons thus and thus qualified; He begins at them. Secondly, that God had rather dwell Himself, and propose to us the considerations of good persons, than bad, of His mercies, than His judgments, for He mentions no other here, but persons capable of His retributions; and then, the goodness that God considers, is rectitude, and rectitude in the root, in the heart; and from that root grows that spreading universality, that infallibility. All such are sure of the reward. And then, in our second part, in the reward itself, though it be delivered here in the whole bar, in the ingot, in the wedge, in bullion, in one single word, Gloriabuntur, Laudabuntur, they shall glory, yet it admits this mintage, and coining, and issuing in lesser pieces, that first we consider the thing itself, the metal in which God rewards us, glory, praise; and then, since God's promise is fastened upon that (we shall be praised), as we may lawfully seek the praise of good men, so must we also willingly afford praise to good men, and to good actions. And then, since we find this retribution fixed in the future (we shall be praised, we shall be in glory), there arises this consolation, that though we have it not yet, yet we shall have it; though we be in dishonour, and contempt, and under a cloud, of which we see no end ourselves, yet there is a determined future in God, which shall be made present, we shall overcome this contempt, we shall glory, we shall be celebrated; in which future the consolation is thus much farther exalted, that it is an everlasting future; the glory, and praise, the approbation which we shall receive from good men here, shall flow out and continue to the hosannas in heaven, in the month of saints, and angels, and to the "Well done, good and faithful servant," in the mouth of God Himself.

(John Donne, D. D.)

It is only where there is much faith and consequent love that there is much joy. If there is but little heat about the bulb of the thermometer, no wonder that the mercury marks but a low degree. If there is but small faith, there will not be much gladness. The road into Giant Despair's castle is through doubt, which doubt comes from an absence — a sinful absence — in our own experience, of the felt presence of God, and the felt force of the verities of the Gospel.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.).

Praise waiteth for Thee, O God, in Zion: and unto Thee shall the vow be performed.
This is a psalm of thanksgiving for plentiful rain, falling at the critical time in a year of drought and ensuring a plentiful harvest. To an agricultural people this was a memorable mercy.

I. THE ATTITUDE OF THE WORSHIPPERS (vers. 1-4). The opening words, "Praise is silent for Thee, O God, in Zion," describe the hush of a multitude just ready to burst forth in song. The air is full of an intention which has not yet expressed itself, but it will utter its thought immediately, because the nation has assembled to perform the vows made during the drought, when dearth was feared. The worshippers acknowledge their dependence on the Hearer of prayer: they are part of frail humanity ("all flesh"), which can never be equal to its own requirements, but must ever be dependent on a higher Power. But there is a still deeper cause for humility, which ought always to be kept in mind when an approach is made to God: "Iniquities," says the psalmist, "prevail against me." What mortal has ever existed who did not require to say so? Iniquities press in from without and they press outwards from within; and man is not able to withstand their force. Yet the psalmist has discovered the secret: "As for our transgressions, Thou shalt purge them away." God can overcome this terrible force, by blotting out the guilt of past sin and breaking the power of present sin. And the next verse supplies a description of the blessedness of those who, thus liberated, have free access to the throne of the Divine grace and full enjoyment of its privileges.

II. THE OBJECT OF WORSHIP (vers. 5-8). He is not a God unknown, but in all the centuries of the history of Israel has shown Himself mighty on behalf of His people, by acts of salvation which have struck terror into their enemies. And not only in the events of history has His power from time to time been shown; it is exhibited continually in the great aspects of nature.

III. A PICTURE OF PLENTY (vers. 9-13). After weeks of rainless weather, when the hearts of the husbandmen were quaking with fear, the showers, earnestly prayed for, had come at last. In the clouds sweeping over the landscape the happy inhabitants saw the footsteps of the passing Deity dropping fatness as He went. Hill and dale and wilderness had all partaken of the benefit. The flocks were full of life on the mountain sides and the fields and the valleys stood in all the bravery of healthy and abundant crops; till it seemed to the poet as if a great shout of joy were going up from all the revived objects in the landscape to the heaven from which the blessing had come.

(J. Stalker, D. D.)

Homilist.
I. GOD AS HE APPEARS IN HUMAN HISTORY.

1. As a prayer-answering God (ver. 2). That this title belongs to Him as He appears in human life is —

(1)Suggested by universal consciousness.

(2)Proved by the universal experience of the good.

(3)Declared by the mouth of God Himself. "Call upon Me," etc. "Ask, and ye shall receive," etc.

2. As a man-needed God. Sooner shall the Mississippi keep away from the ocean or the earth from circling round the sun, than your soul keep away from your Maker.

3. As a sin-removing God (ver. 8).

4. As a world-trusted God (ver. 5).

(1)All men require some object to trust in. They must lean on something.

(2)Their condition, whether happy or otherwise, depends on the object they trust. The great misery of man is, that he rests on the unworthy, the changeable, and the insecure.

(3)The only safe object of trust is God.

II. God as He appears in human history, WORSHIPPED.

1. The kind of worship. "Praise waiteth for Thee, O God, in Zion." Are we to understand "waiteth," in the sense of silence? Then the essence of worship is silent — it is in the profoundest thoughts, the deepest feelings, the strongest aspirations, which are independent of language or sound. The deepest things of the soul are unutterable.

2. The blessedness of worship (ver. 4). The idea is, fellowship with God, going into His courts, dwelling in His temple.(1) The fellowship is chosen. "Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest." What a distinction is thus put on man! No other creature in the world can hold fellowship with the Infinite.(2) The fellowship is permanent. "Dwell in Thy house." Not a mere visitant for a terminable period. But a resident so long as existence endures.(3) The fellowship is satisfying. "We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house." This is, and nothing else, the satisfaction of the soul. "In Thy presence is fulness of joy."

(Homilist.)

Upon Zion there was erected an altar for the offering of sacrifices. Burnt offering was only to be offered there. In fulfilment of this type, "we have an altar whereof they have no right to eat that serve the tabernacle." There is but one altar, Jesus Christ our Lord.

I. THE HOLY OFFERING OF WORSHIP WHICH WE DESIRE TO PRESENT TO GOD. There is —

1. Praise. It is the chief part of the worship of heaven, and therefore should be much regarded upon earth. It is to be rendered only to God. "For Thee, O God." For Thee only, and for Thee all. Not to virgins, or saints. And our praise is not to be formal, of lips and sound, but of the soul. And let it be continual — "waiteth for Thee." And humble; let it wait as the servants wait in the king's palace. And let it be expectant: on the look-out for more of God's blessings. What abundant reason we have for praise. Mercies temporal and spiritual.

2. The vow. "Unto Thee shall the vow be performed." We are not given to vow-making in these days. But there have been some we have made. At our conversion, at our uniting ourselves to the Church of God; when we entered on our work as Christian ministers; and, perhaps, in times of affliction. Let us keep them.

II. THE BLESSED ENCOURAGEMENT.

1. God hears prayer. "O Thou that hearest prayer."

2. And all prayer, if it be true. "Unto Thee shall all flesh come."

3. Let none of us exclude ourselves.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

If not always soaring we may be as birds ready for an instant flight, always with wings, if not always on the wing. Our hearts should be like the beacons made ready to be fired. When invasion was expected in the days of Queen Elizabeth, piles of wood and combustible material were laid ready on the tops of certain hills, and watchmen stood prepared to kindle the piles should there be notice given that the ships of the enemy were in the offing. Everything was in waiting. The heap was not made of damp wood, neither had they to go and seek kindling; but the fuel waited for the match. The watch-fire was not always blazing, but it was always ready to shoot forth its flame. Have ye never read, "Praise waiteth for Thee, O God, in Zion"? So let our hearts be prepared to be fired with adoring praise by one glimpse of the Redeemer's eyes.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

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