Have you ever been in a situation where you know you have wronged someone and are anxious for an opportunity to apologize and ask for forgiveness? When you do finally get a chance to say you are sorry and even restore the relationship, it comes with a huge sense of relief.
David had this experience with God. In today’s reading, David praises God because “you forgave us our transgressions” (v. 3). In the Old Testament sins could be forgiven through repentance and participation in animal sacrifice at the temple. Ultimately, Jesus’ death would fulfill the requirement for sacrifice. Because of His death, we too are forgiven. We have all the more reason to declare, “Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts!” (v. 4).
In verses 5–8 of this psalm, David praises God for His mighty works in creation. God formed the mountains and is able to calm the mighty power of the seas (vv. 6–7). In the ancient world, the sea was viewed as a primeval source of chaos and destruction. Even the gods were afraid of its power. But not the God of Israel. He created the sea and can easily tame it. Creation itself joyfully proclaims God’s glory from morning to night (v. 8).
In the final stanza, David praises God for His bountiful provision of food and water. In the industrialized world, we are often far removed from our sources of food and don’t think much about them. But when David looked at the fertile hills and streams, he recognized God’s goodness and care (vv. 9–13). God is the One who clothes the valleys with grain and the fields with flocks (vv. 12–13).
>> Even if you don’t regularly pray before your meals, take time today to thank God for His provision. It is because of Him that we have nourishment for each day. “You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly” (v. 9). Honor Him with praise today!
God is the Creator and sustainer of all life. We pray together with the Psalmist and praise “God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas” (Ps. 65:5).