To the chief Musician, A Psalm and Song of David.
1 Praise waiteth for Thee, O God, in Zion: and unto Thee shall the vow be performed.
2 O Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come.
3 Iniquities prevail against me: as for our transgressions, Thou shalt purge them away.
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.
5 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:
6 Which by His strength setteth fast the mountains: being girded with power:
7 Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.
8 They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at Thy tokens: Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice.
9 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.
10 Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: Thou settlest the furrows thereof: Thou makest it soft with showers: Thou blessest the springing thereof.
11 Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness: and Thy paths drop fatness.
12 They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side.
13 The pastures are clothed with flocks: the valleys also are covered over with corn: they shout for joy, they also sing.
We confess sin and then in faith give praise for God’s power and goodness in creation.
Sometimes the conviction of our sins overcomes us. But the Christian doesn’t wallow in depression. By faith we reach up and take hold of the Rock of God’s Salvation. With confidence we say, “You will wipe our sins away!” Then, as the focus shifts from our own sinfulness to God’s marvelous goodness and power, delight rushes in to fill our soul. We delight in God’s power manifested in creation and in His powerful control over mighty oceans and the wars of the nations. But we also delight in every tiny sprout that pokes out of the dirt and paints the hills green in the spring time, feeding both man and beast. In this psalm, our senses are all finely tuned to the millions of manifestations of the goodness of God.
Verses 1–3. This Worship psalm obviously takes place in the context of public worship in Jerusalem (or the church). Praise is about to burst forth in Zion. When God’s people come together, their primary purpose is praise and worship.
There is, however, one thing that must be addressed before we can get on with our worship. Even as believers, we are ever oppressed by our own sin, by the failings of our flesh. Sin always dogs our heels. Every Christian who sins must experience conviction of sin, which is a deep sense of the evil of his own sin, and the wretched corruption that it brings. Therefore, whenever we approach worship, we come as raggedy sinners, dirt and filth flaking from our flesh. We need a bath and we need forgiveness. With the Psalmist, then, we confess our sins and boldly affirm God’s complete pardon and cleansing.
Verse 4. The believer knows that he is accepted by God. Even though he comes as a guilty sinner, by faith he knows that God has accepted him. Verse 4 acknowledges God’s sovereign election. Any person who has become a part of the courts of the King, the house of God, or the temple of God (which we interpret to mean the church of God), is there because God has chosen him. Why are some saved and others not? Was it because one was more righteous, more wise, or even more deserving of God’s grace than another? Or is the choice based entirely upon God’s grace and His “mere good pleasure” to choose some to be part of His family? If you are in the family of God, all you can say is, “I am blessed because God chose me to be here.” (Eph. 1:4–5)
Verses 5–13. The remainder of the psalm is filled with praise for the mighty works of God in the earth. Just look around you and you will see the works of our sovereign and powerful God. He speaks through His Word, but He also speaks through every element of His creation. God’s hand works in every lightening storm, every wave of the sea, every war fought among men, and in every one of our own experiences. What is He communicating to you through all of these events? If you watch closely and listen carefully, you will discern God’s awesome power and righteous judgments in all of these things. God’s power in nature is a comfort to Christians who trust in Him for salvation.
Verses 6 through 13 delineate the works of God in creation. The gigantic mountains were set by His power—by creation and a worldwide flood. When storms cease and the armies of nations stop their shedding of blood in warfare, it is God’s hand that stopped them. When huge tsunami waves kill 300,000 people, men cannot help but fear the evidences of God’s power, if not the God who brings these things about. Nevertheless, the goodness of God is also seen in nature, when the sun rises each morning and sets each evening. He waters the earth, replenishes the rivers, and provides for corn crops each year. Every corn plant that sprouts and yields fruit is a miracle worked by God’s hand. Indeed, the evidences of God’s goodness are everywhere!
As the Psalmist looks at the corn crops in the valleys, for him they constitute such strong evidences of God’s goodness that he can actually hear the fields sing for joy! Do you see how our praise is a matter of faith? The unbeliever cannot hear the corn fields sing. We will either see our corn fields as the work of chance and nature or the good work of God’s personal hand.
How do we view the world around us? When we see evil triumph, do we see God’s judgment in the backdrop of it all? Or when we see the beauty of creation and the blessings of produce and meat in the grocery store, do our hearts warm as we think of the goodness of God? If we have hearts of faith we will see the hand of God and hear His voice through all of His creation every day of our lives.
This psalm provides a helpful order of worship that can be used in a public worship service. After opening with a call to worship, we confess our sins and declare the divine pardon and cleansing. In sermon and song, we declare God’s righteous judgments and praise Him for His goodness and power. As we listen to sermons that speak of God’s powerful works in creation and redemption, we ought to respond with faith-filled praise.
1. Name several Praise psalms.
2. How is it that we have come into the church to praise God and others have not?
3. Before launching into a litany of praise, what does the Psalmist do first?
4.In this psalm, what are the specific things for which the Psalmist praises God?
5. Do the corn fields really sing?
1. How do we see God’s hand in the events of our lives?
2. Can you hear the corn fields sing the goodness of God? How sensitized are we to seeing the goodness of God in the little things of life?