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Saving Up Praise For God Who Sends Rain (Psalm 65)

"The Philosopher in Meditation" by Rembrandt

In Zion, God, praise silently awaits you,
    and vows will be paid to you.
Since you hear prayer,
    everybody will come to you.
My acts of iniquity—they overwhelm me!
    Our transgressions—you blot them out!
How blessed is the one you choose,
    the one you cause to live in your courts.
We will be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
    yes, even with the holiness of your Temple.
With awesome deeds of justice
    you will answer us, God our Deliverer;
you are the confidence for everyone at the ends of the earth,
    even for those far away overseas.
The One who established the mountains by his strength
    is clothed with omnipotence.
He calmed the roar of seas,
    the roaring of the waves,
        and the turmoil of the peoples.
Those living at the furthest ends of the earth are seized by fear because of your miraculous deeds.
You make the going forth of the morning and the evening shout for joy.
You take care of the earth,
    you water it,
        and you enrich it greatly with the river of God that overflows with water.
You provide grain for them,
    for you have ordained it this way.
You fill the furrows of the field with water
    so that their ridges overflow.
You soften them with rain showers;
    their sprouts you have blessed.
You crown the year with your goodness;
    your footsteps drop prosperity behind them.
The wilderness pastures drip with dew,
    and the hills wrap themselves with joy.
The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep,
    and the valleys are covered with grain.
They shout for joy;
    yes, they burst out in song!

-Psalm 65 (ISV)

We had rain in July yesterday. That is unusual for California, where we have been in a drought. Psalm 65 is a fine example of a song that has words in it, praising God for the rain. 

Psalm 65 is a song of praise to God.  The NIV Study Bible notes have the following entry on Psalm 65:

A hymn in praise of God's great goodness to his people.  In answer to their prayers (1) he pardons their sins so that they can continue to enjoy  the "good things" that accompany their fellowship with him at his temple (vv. 1-4); (2) as the one who established the secure order of the creation, he also orders the affairs of the world so that international turbulence is put to rest and Israel is secure in her land (vv. 5-8); and (3) he turns the promised land into a veritable Garden of Eden (vv. 9-13).  In all this, he is hailed as "the hope" of all humankind.  His wondrous deeds evoke their "fear" and move them to "songs of joy".
God's plan is to make the promised land into a lush garden.  Everything needs rain, for life to be sustained and for fruitfulness.  
You take care of the earth, you water it and you enrich it greatly with the river of God that overflows with water.

God cares about the land and brings rain to it.

You fill the furrows of the field with water so that the ridges overflow.  You soften them with rain showers; their sprouts you have blessed.  You crown the year with goodness; your footsteps drip prosperity behind them.  The wilderness pastures drip with dew, and the hills wrap themselves with joy.
I quoted the overview notes, above, about Psalm 65.  And as I looked at Psalm 65 in many translations, I noticed that some versions (The Message, ISV, CEB, AMP, GW, and Young's Literal) had a word about praise or waiting in silence, in verse 1:
To Thee, silence -- praise, O God, is in Zion, And to Thee is a vow completed. (YLT)
In Zion, God, praise silently awaits you, and vows will be paid to you. (MSG)
You are praised with silence in Zion, O God, and vows made to you must be kept. (GW)
To You belongs silence (the submissive wonder of reverence which bursts forth into praise) and praise is due and fitting to You, O God, in Zion; and to You shall the vow be performed. (AMP)
 God of Zion, to you even silence is praise. (CEB)
In Zion, God, praise silently awaits you, and vows will be paid to you. (ISV)
The writer of the NIV Study Bible's notes, offers this comment on verse 1 (Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion: to you our vows will be fulfilled.):
awaits.  Or "is silent before" (see note on 62:1; see also NIV text note here:(befits; the meaning of the Hebrew word here is uncertain)).  Perhaps the imagery is that of praise personified as permanent resident of the temple, lying quietly at rest, whom the people will awaken when they come to make good their vows (see 57:8).  our vows.  Those made in conjunction with their prayers in time of need (see 66:14 and note on 7:17: "A vow to praise.  Many prayers in the Psalter include such vows in anticipation of the expected answer to prayer.  They reflect Israel's religious consciousness that praise must follow deliverance as surely as prayer springs from need - if God is to be truly honored...")
I like this note, because we, as believers today have permanent residency in the temple.  We are often silently awaiting the time of praise.

Praise God for the rain!  It is a theological fact that God cares for the land and sends rain.  And, we have been silently awaiting God; looking forward to praising him.  Do you have praise in your heart, that is waiting on God, to give to him?

We are the priests today, who pray and praise, who receive and give comfort in the waiting room, that is the temple of God.  Californians have been praying for rain, natural rain and spiritual rain.  We praise God today for the rain we have had and pray for more rain.  We'll keep praying for that, for the drought to be over.


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