BOOK 2: PSALM 65 OF 72 – Creation and the image of God

Psalm 65 is a marked departure from the other psalms.  Where David normally describes the type of adversities he faces, here he spends little time on such iniquities.  Only one verse is dedicated to this (v3), after which the remainder of the chapter describes how the awesome creation responds to His love.

He is described as “the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea” (v5); the One who is able to “establish the mountains by His strength” (v6); He who could “still the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, and the tumult of the peoples” (v7); the Lord who makes “the dawn and the sunset shout for joy“(v8); He who “visit[s] the earth, and cause[s] it to overflow“, preparing their grain, for thus He prepares the earth (v9); He waters its furrows abundantly, settles its ridges, softens it with showers, blesses its growth, crowning the year with His bounty, his paths dripping with fatness.  It goes on a crescendo pace, from the opening verses of man’s qualms to the climax of God’s creation, His meadows and valleys, shouting for joy (v13).

This chapter is almost a reflection of how we react to our circumstances.  How often we magnify the iniquities, the sins, that are committed against us; how often we are sucked into the pace of disobedient, of the unrighteous, and that we – too – learn to use our tongue manipulatively, politically, cunningly.  However, God’s creation knows of no such schemes – it was created for one purpose alone, and that is to be the object of God’s love and to respond in kind.

In face of God’s awesome creation which surrounds us, the creation which sings to the heavenly Father, our disobedience and lack of worship is all the more pronounced.  How often do we break out in song?  How often do God’s revelations completely break us in, that we are instantly humbled and strongly desire to dwell in His house and holy temple?  Yet, we are the ones made in God’s image, not the meadows or valleys.  It must pain the Lord to see His own image so slow to react to His love.

Fear not, though, brothers and sisters.  David’s remedy to his qualms is not to continue dwelling in one’s miry issues; David invites the reader, the worshipper, to look at the other worshippers whose focus is on the Lord alone.  Let us learn from creation – let us, too, shout for joy, for we are clothed far better than the flowers of the field and arrayed more beautiful than Solomon at his financial peak.

That is why David, shortly after describing the iniquities against him, describes “how blessed is the one whom thou dost choose, and bring near to thee, to dwell in thy courts” (v4).  Whilst we are blessed, it is in the Blessed Man whom we find refuge.  It is because Jesus is the One blessed, that we become blessed.  It is in Immanuel, God-with-us, that the earth overflows with the option to be completely righteous in the Father’s eyes.  As Spurgeon comments:

Christ, whom God chose, and of whom he said, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, ” is, indeed, “over all, God blessed for ever; “but in him his elect are blessed too. For his sake, not for our own, are we chosen; in him, not in ourselves, are we received by God, being accepted in the Beloved; and, therefore, in him are we blessed: he is our blessing. With that High Priest who has ascended into the holy place and entered within the vail, we enter into the house of God; we learn to dwell therein; we are filled with its spiritual joys; we partake of its holy mysteries and sacraments of grace and love. From “A Plain Commentary on the Book of Psalms.” 1859.

That is why the original sin is so grievous; no created being can hurt the Lord like we have. No action of a created being could have pierced Jesus for our transgressions.  The enemy attacked God’s image, not just any creation; we are distinctly different, and distinctly like Christ from birth.  And it is in Adam’s fall that Christ falls; but where Adam remained in the dust, Christ rose again and ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father.  Much time is spent in Genesis to describe the wonders of creation; yet, it is in the pinnacle of the creation of man, the creation of God’s own image, that the Lord opted to be vulnerable, to be pierced, for our sins.

BOOK 2: PSALM 65 OF 72 – Creation and the image of God

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