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Sunday School is a vital part of any ministry. In it one is able to experience a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. We here at “Word For Life Says” want to help you help others. Below you will find resources to help you prepare for your upcoming lessons. May God bless you!
“Praise God the Provider”
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Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2013 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original tounless properly quoted/cited. As always you are encouraged to do your own studies as well. Blessings!)
There are a lot of takes and angles from which to study this particular psalm, but in the end the whole focus is to praise God our provider of all.
Psalm 65:1-3 “Praise waiteth for thee, O God in Sion: and unto thee shall the vow be performed. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, thou shalt purge them away.”
“Praise waiteth for thee, O God in Sion.” There is an expectation of future events with the opening of this particular psalm. As some attribute some portions of the writing of it to refer to a time of harvest blessings or victory over a particular enemy, there seems to be to others some prophetic and future references weaved therein; a certain day of “praise” that has yet to be fulfilled.
The one to be celebrated in this psalm; the one who receives the adoration of “praise” is God. This song/psalm is written to exalt and glorify God.
I like the way Nehemiah 9:5 writes it. It says, “Stand up and bless the LORD your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.” The people were directed and encouraged to bless the glorious name of God. We get that same sense of urgency and importance from David, the author of this psalm, for the people to bless the Lord in the opening of this psalm as he calls all people to “praise.”
The idea of praise isn’t the part that people struggle with in regard to this particular psalm. A child of God should never struggle with praise. The phrase that trips some up and confuses others revolve around these three words: “waiteth for thee.”
With that phrase we see there is an expectancy of praise. Not only expectant in dealing with time and place, but as appropriately seen being actively manifested in the lives of believers. In other words, it is fitting for a child of God to praise Him.
The word “waiteth” here has been translated as “silence” which could imply the earth quietly waiting in worship for the expectation of His coming or simply speaking of the readiness of a reverent and quiet heart worshiping before God – one that is filled with silent praise. There are many, many interpretations to what is possibly being said here.
We do know that there are times when praise is loud and boisterous; when the exaltation of God just rings out (see Psalm 98:4 and 150:5). And, there are times when the heart is quietly filled with awe, wonder, and worship before Him as they wait (see Psalm 62:1, 5; 130:5 for similar references). Here’s the thing, whether this particular psalm is focused on expectant loud praise or quiet, reverential praise; whether it was written for harvest time or for overcoming enemies, or even if it is prophetic in meaning pointing to the Millennial Age as some suggest – the idea of praise is always right for the people of God, and God has a right to look forward to what is due His holy name.
“Unto thee shall the vow be performed.” We focused on the word “unto” in last week’s lesson and allowed it to guide us to the subject receiving this praise we are studying, and that’s God. It is to God that the “vow be performed.” When one has committed to do or give something to God, God looks for that commitment to be fulfilled. This too can support the previous subject of praise in this verse and the expectancy of God to be on the receiving end of it.
“Vows” were serious business in the Bible. There was to be no reneging on what one promised to do no matter what (see Numbers 30:2). What one has offered as a tribute to God they are obligated to follow through. As a matter of fact, we are told, “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than thou shouldest vow and not pay,” (Ecclesiastes 5:5; see also Deuteronomy 23:21). But praise, as I said before is the action being looked forward to in this verse, and is something we should have no trouble giving to God.
This “vow” being looked forward to is what gives the impression to some that this has a Millennial theme to it. For as of yet, all “flesh” has not come together to that ultimate culmination of praise (see my previous notes on “The Mountain of God” under Isaiah 25:6).
But, if only all “flesh” would come they would realize that He is the one that “hearest prayer.” When we speak of hearing we think only with the idea of active listening. For God, when He hears He goes beyond the realm of listening into the realm of responding to the said prayer. He is taking action on behalf of the one who brings his/her pleas before the throne of God’s grace. Our prayers do not fall on deaf ears when God is the one to whom our causes come (compare 1 Kings 8:52; Psalm 6:9; 99:6).
“Iniquities prevail against me.” Sin has been an overwhelming battle mankind has fought with since the Fall. Sin is an intrusion to this world and our lives. It was never supposed to be a part of the program nor was it supposed to act like it has dominion, because it doesn’t.
God has the final answer for sin. The psalmist declared, “thou shalt purge them away.” That word “purge” means to clean out, to get rid of and eradicate it from the vessel that was holding it. It carries with it the implication of that old gospel song which sings:
“Well I feel God stretching out in me
I feel God stretching out in me
I cleaned up my house
And kicked the devil out
I feel God stretching out in me,” (Elder Oscar W. Richardson/Lyrics Source: Radioindy.com)
Although there is no possible way for man, woman, or child to get right before God on their own, when that person brings themselves before the only true God that can do the holy restorative work needed in that life – they can become clean. He will “purge” it from that trusting life. There is forgiveness found in God.
He said in Isaiah, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool,” (Isaiah 1:18). God has the means to do away with all “iniquities” and “transgressions,” and His name is Jesus.
David, the author of this psalm, knew personally what it was like to be on the receiving end of God’s forgiveness. He knows what it’s like to be taken in a fault and feel overwhelmed in this battle against sin. He knows that God is to be praised because He is the one who has made atonement for the sin of mankind and can “purge them away.”
Psalm 65:4 “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.”
“Blessed;” happy and full of joy is the one who is allowed “to approach unto thee.” This individual has received God’s answer to the sin problem of this life. The barrier that those iniquities and transgressions caused between man and God has been pulled down and has opened access to the Almighty. Therefore, they are “blessed.”
“That he may dwell in thy courts” gives the impression of permanence. The bond between the redeemed and the Redeemer has been sealed and solidified with everlasting love through the ever-saving blood of Jesus Christ. The usage of the word “courts” brings the repentant heart to where He is. Those blessed individuals are so because they have been welcomed to enter into the realm of His holy Majesty. The “blessed” have become holy courtiers in His kingdom. With the lifting of the plague of sin that blocks the unbelieving from entering, this one who has received forgiveness can enter those holy grounds on the premise of grace.
“We shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple.” God satisfies with “goodness” those who come to Him (see also Psalm 36:8). With the inclusion of the word “we,” King David also applies this to himself as being on the receiving end of the blessings that flow from God. With the dissatisfaction of dealing with everything that is wrong in this life, he looked forward to a day when he would know the sweet, uninterrupted joy of His “goodness” continually and freely flowing on him.
This goodness is found where He is; in His “house, even of thy holy temple.” As much as sin and iniquities prevail or overwhelm us – more so will His goodness overshadow and satisfy us when we repent. Corrie Ten Boom reminds us, “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” To the soul that comes to Him, He will satisfy with the beauty of redemption.
Psalm 65:5-8 “By terrible things in righteousness wilt thou answer us, O God of our salvation. Who art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are afar off upon the sea. Which by his strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power: which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people. They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens. Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.”
The things that God does for His people are mind-blowing. This may be why other versions of this verse call them “awesome deeds” instead of “terrible things.” All speaks toward the same thing. God can shake you up with the stuff that He does and is doing. His power on display can be overwhelming and leave one standing in awe (compare Psalm 66:3). “For the LORD most high is terrible; he is a great King over all the earth,” (Psalm 47:2). Thinking back through history, there were
times when God performed miracles and wrought works such as bringing the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage. At that time, His fame went ahead of the people and other nations recognized the awesome things that God was doing for His people (see Exodus 15:6; 23:27).
And what He does, He does it (and all things) in “righteousness,” meaning right. God always has right ways, right motives, right everything that pertains to His unmoving and steadfast holy character. God “answers us” by the very righteous nature of who He is. “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all,” (1 John 1:5).
It is in Him we rest and praise because He is the “God of our salvation,” our Redeemer. “But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble,” (Psalm 37:39). Those that come to Him need not worry, only praise.
God is “the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and them that are afar off upon the sea.” Location means nothing to God. As Creator of the earth and Sovereign King there are no places we can go that’s out of the reach of God.
God’s faithfulness and His ability to do wonderful things extend beyond the borders of Zion; beyond just Jerusalem alone. David saw God’s hand of salvation extending to “all the ends of the earth.”
In an article I published earlier this week titled God Wanted More! I wrote:
“God’s thinking for salvation was too big in scope and depth for His heart to settle for reaping the souls of just a single kindred or nationality of folk. As far as His love (which can never be measure by human standards) reaches – that’s how far He wants to grab a hold of people, and love them as His own. He couldn’t rest with just saving “some,” but He wanted the “sum” of humanity to have a chance to experience this awesome deliverance.” (Word For Life Says)
Thus, He is our “confidence;” our trust, stay, and hope no matter where one resides.
“By his strength” talks about the power by which His mighty works are done. When I think of the word “strength” I think of a show of might. As Creator of all His strength is shown in what He does. The simple act of speaking causes great and majestic “mountains” to come into their proper place.
This is nothing for God to do. The Bible tells us, “God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God,” (Psalm 62:11). When all else fails (and it will) God will still remain in control and be clothed with “power.”
As a mere man dresses in his apparel for the day, God is never seen not donning His “power.” Never is there a time when He is not able to subdue all under His feet. As Jesus in His day spoke to the waves and calmed the sea (Matthew 8:26; Mark 4:39), in David’s song of praise he sees God always in control; large and in charge, if you will. He is able to make the “seas . . . waves . . . people” quiet themselves before Him. The Almighty has the power to make all of creation to “Shhh!” (compare Psalm 107:29; Isaiah 17:12-13).
“They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens.” Playing off the previous verse we see God’s power is known and feared throughout the world. Creation itself gives signs or “tokens” of the power and wonders of God that leave man in awe; that makes them “afraid.” Even those in the “uttermost parts” have witnessed enough of His creative power in action throughout nature to realize the awesomeness of God.
Romans 1:20 tells us, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse,” (read verses 18-20). Creation gives evidence to who God is and testifies of His power. Paul states that it is clearly seen and leaves mankind, even those in the “uttermost parts,” without excuse. Therefore, everyone has a reason to praise!
He makes even “the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.” The things we take for granted such as the daily rising and setting of the sun; these aspects of creation are signing praises before the Almighty. Wherever they touch (which is everywhere) the simple, but not so simple changing of days give witness to the power of God.
Psalm 65:9-13 “Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it: thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God, which is full of water: thou preparest them corn, when thou hast so provided for it. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: thou blessest the springing thereof. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.”
God’s power not only extends from the dawning and resting of new days and nights, but the earth is completely dependent upon the mercies of God for daily provisions. “Thou visitest the earth, and waterest it.” God supplies from His abundant “river” the resources this world needs to survive and thrive. In last week’s lesson I referenced the earth being made of 70 percent water. No small feat by any means of the imagination, yet God provides it all.
God is the supplier of everything that life needs to exist. His power doesn’t stop at water, but He has blessed the earth so and “provided for it” grain (here stated as “corn,” where the plenty is abundant making the valleys appear to be covered with it) and “flocks” that seem to completely cover the pastures, again because of their abundance.
“Thou crownest the year with thy goodness; and thy paths drop fatness.” Both of these sayings speak as the earth being abundantly blessed as well. “Thou crownest the year with thy goodness” gives us the impression that David is speaking in this verse of the bounty of harvest time (also where some base the whole of this psalm from) and “thy paths drop fatness” is a beautiful picture of overflow. Think of a huge cart or chariot so filled with all His goodness and provisions that it spills over and cannot be contained, dropping to the “paths” below.
Regardless of the view, because of the abundance provided for, there is a “shout for joy, they also sing.” God has given and blessed of His bounty and goodness to man, beast, and field. Grain, water, and flocks have been provided for as a beautiful gift, supplying the needs to sustain life. Therefore, praise rings out as shouts of joy letting God know that they are appreciative of the blessings we have received from Him.
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:19). Praise Him for provision!
Standard Print PDF: Praise God the Provider Standard Print
Large Print PDF: Praise God the Provider Large Print
Below are activities to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Draw the Scene: Praise God the Provider Draw the Scene
Memory Verse: Praise God the Provider Memory Verse
Consider using the above memory verse as a coloring sheet to make this easy craft. Let students color the sheet and glue to construction paper. Attach seeds to the silo/barn (any seeds will do grass seed, sunflower seeds, any that you have on hand) symbolizing God’s provision in today’s lesson. Below is an example of one already done that I used for a previous lesson. Enjoy!
Please note: There are any number of Thanksgiving activities and crafts that can be found online that can be used to show students to be appreciative of God’s provisions and blessings, and to praise Him for it. Think along the lines of abundance, harvest, cornucopias, and the like. A few ideas are listed below. Enjoy!
“Thanksgiving Preschool Bible Lesson and Craft” (Has a printable cornucopia worksheet that can be used.)
Below are Links/Activities/Resources from other lessons but may be able to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
“God is Our Provider” (Take your time and go through this. You may find something you would like to incorporate to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!)
“Provision” (Kids activities)
“God Provides Every Day” (An opportunity to use bubbles. Exciting!)
“God Provides in the Desert” (Although this is for a different lesson some of the same principles can be applied. I like the “Thankful Hearts” and “Steal the Bacon” activities. Enjoy!)
“God, Our Great Provider” (The base of this is for Elijah and the Widow but you may find some helpful hints for this week’s lesson as well. Enjoy!)
“God Will Supply Our Needs Printables and Activities” (Awesome Ideas!)
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