Sing to the King of Creation
Where I live signs of spring usually arrive by the beginning of March. Although my favorite season is fall, I am always happy to see the flowers bloom and trees make new leaves. It reminds me that although I could not see it during the winter months, God made the flowers and trees in such a way that they were preparing for new growth. That encourages me as I think about my own life. Sometimes I feel like I am in the winter months with little to no fruit, only to later realize that the Lord was preparing me to later bloom in the work He had for me. Perhaps you have felt that way too. As the seasons change from winter to spring, it’s a good time to sing to the King of creation. Psalm 65 helps us by focusing our mind on the Lord as our King, Savior, Creator and Sustainer.
The King and Savior
David begins and ends Psalm 65 with praise, “Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion” and “the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy” (vv. 1, 13). Though praise is “due” to God, the King of all the earth, David’s praise is spontaneous, welling up from a heart that is affectionately set on God. David is satisfied in God alone because he has experienced His listening ear: “O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come” (v. 2). He has experienced atonement for sins: “When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions” (v. 3). And he has experienced God’s presence, goodness, and holiness: “Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!” (v. 4).
What a difference there is between the Israelites at Mount Sinai, who trembled in fear of the Lord’s presence and wanted a mediator (see Ex. 20:18-21), and David who shouted praise in Zion. The author of Hebrews moves us one step further, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel” (Heb. 12:22-24). Christians have now come to Mount Zion through the blood of Christ that has atoned for our sins. In response, we should be filled with gratitude, worship, reverence and awe at who God is and all that He has done: “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (12:28-29). Dear believer, when are you grumbling when you should be grateful? When are you working when you should be worshiping God?
The Creator and Sustainer
In speaking of God as Creator, David proclaims God’s righteousness: “By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness” (Ps. 65:5). He proclaims His salvation (v. 5), and His strength, “the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with his might” (v. 6). Such attributes of God are to be met with hope, awe and joy (vv. 5, 8). If you, dear reader, fear God, but are lacking assurance today, put your hope in His salvation. If you have failed to thank God for His blessings, stand in awe of His creation. And if you are weary of the monotony of life, shout for joy at His preservation and promises.
Importantly, God is not just the Creator, He is also the Sustainer. He visits his creation and cares for it abundantly: “You visit the earth and water it; you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it” (Ps. 65:9). Think of it! God wonderfully waters His creation, “You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth” (v. 10). Such sustaining blessings are met with shouts of joy, “The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy, the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy” (vv. 12-13). Creation is singing! How much more should God’s people be doing so. Let us praise the King and Savior, the Creator and Sustainer.
Like David, Paul also speaks of God’s creation, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:19). Presently, creation is in bondage, but one day it will be renewed (vv. 20-22). The river of God in the New Jerusalem will be full of water; blessed growth will come year after year. All creation will be decked out in its fullness to glorify the Lamb of God. “And not only creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (v. 23). In the meantime, believers should follow David’s pattern in Psalm 65 and view creation through salvation. The mountains and roaring seas, as well as the meadows and valleys, should lead our eyes to Christ, the One who holds all things together and is coming again to make “all things new” (Rev. 21:5).
Sarah Ivill (ThM, Dallas Theological Seminary) is a Reformed author, wife, homeschooling mom, Bible study teacher, and conference speaker who lives in Matthews, North Carolina, and is a member of Christ Covenant Church (PCA). To learn more, please visit www.sarahivill.com.