Psalm 65: Are you too easily impressed?

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Psalm 65

Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion,
and to you shall vows be performed.
O you who hear prayer,
to you shall all flesh come.
When iniquities prevail against me,
you atone for our transgressions.
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!

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
and of the farthest seas;
the one who by his strength established the mountains,
being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,
so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.
You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.

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.
10 You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.

<em>Unfolded Yellow</em> | Cypress, TX | 2006

A long time ago there was a program on TV called, That’s Incredible. It was surely the precursor to YouTube shorts, showing crazy skateboarders, kamikaze bike stunts, beyond-belief athletic fetes (have you seen some of those one hand pushups from the top of a uneven bar gymnastics contraption!?!), or crazy practical jokes? Warning: Don’t go there. You’re liable to get sucked into a black hole of YouTube clickbait.

Most of us have steeled ourselves against such silliness. But in the process, I fear we may have thrown out the baby with the bathwater in regard to the simple art of being amazed. Maybe we put down our cell phone long enough to gawk at the Grand Canyon for a few minutes. But after 10 or 15 minutes, what more is there to see? And, oh! Here’s a text. And I don’t want to miss the next scenic overlook (which may actually look very much like this one). And if we get going now, we can make it to that restaurant before the crowd.

Some of us enjoy watching the sunrise over the waters of the Gulf. Or maybe it’s a sunset over the Rocky Mountains. The quiet beauty of an east Texas lake is pause-worthy. And the beauty of the flowers of spring can fill a soul and a whole morning. These are the works of God. This psalm helps us to reflect on these as awe-inspiring. God is,

the one who by his strength established the mountains,
being girded with might;
who stills the roaring of the seas,
the roaring of their waves,
the tumult of the peoples,

And that points me to Jesus. He said, “For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20-21)And when the disciples – seasoned fisheremen, well-acquainted with the dangers of storms at sea – were in fear of their lives, Jesus stepped in. In fact the disciples chided Jesus, claiming he didn’t care if they drowned.

And [Jesus] awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” –Mark 4:39-41

We’ve become jaded by the regularity of sunrise, sunset, seas and mountains all around us. God calls us to be in awe of this magnificent, glorious and creative majesty.

1 comment
  1. I can’t seem to get over God’s majesty in the simple… Recently and most notably are the tiny budding leaf-tips forming on the very trees which just weeks ago were barren in winter’s dormancy, in a small park nearby. We, mankind, did nothing to effect this change in them, but we are privileged to witness it and challenged to acknowledge it, blessed to revel in it, and to graciously declare God’s goodness and faithfulness in such a these, his tiniest of gifts for they are such kindnesses.

    I’m struck with awe by nature from plants to animals to mountains and glacial life to his handmade humans and the intricacy of their makeup, expressive nature and ability to try out loving relationship among themselves just as he desires with us… and so much more.
    Thank you for this inspiration to look for his magnificence and cause reflection of his greatest gift – Jesus, our Redemption incarnate.
    God bless you!

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