Friday, January 2, 2009

Psalm for the New Year

Psalm 65 speaks of the faithfulness of God in saving and preserving his people, all of which redounds to his praise. It is a psalm that I think of especially as I consider the ways in which the Lord has provided for us according to our needs in the past year, and a reminder to meditate upon his wonderful works as we beseech him to continue his loving-kindness upon his servants.

John Brown of Haddington offered these remarks to those who sing this psalm (the psalm metre itself is from the 1650 Scottish Metrical Psalter):

Here we are directed to praise God, (1.) For his kindness manifested in his kingdom of grace ­ in hearing prayers; in pardoning iniquities; in satisfying the souls of his people with his blessings; and in protecting and supporting them in every exigence, ver. 1-5. (2.) For his kindness in the kingdom of Providence in fixing the mountains; in calming the seas; in preserving the regular succession of day and night; and in rendering the fields fruitful, and the flocks numerous and happy, ver. 6-13.

While I sing, let praise wait, in my soul, for the Lord; and let me pour out my heart before him. Under a deep sense of guilt and pollution, let me believe his unbounded forgiveness, and sanctifying influence. Let me come even to his seat, and enjoy ravishing fellowship with him. Let all my confidence be fixed on him; and, even in the blessings of Providence, let me discern the exceeding riches of his grace.

Psalm 65

1 Praise waits for thee in Zion, Lord:
to thee vows paid shall be.
2 O thou that hearer art of pray'r,
all flesh shall come to thee.

3 Iniquities, I must confess,
prevail against me do:
But as for our transgressions,
them purge away shalt thou.

4 Blessed is the man whom thou dost choose,
and mak'st approach to thee,
That he within thy courts, O Lord,
may still a dweller be:

We surely shall be satisfied
with thy abundant grace,
And with the goodness of thy house,
ev'n of thy holy place.

5 O God of our salvation,
thou, in thy righteousness,
By fearful works unto our pray'rs
thine answer dost express:

Therefore the ends of all the earth,
and those afar that be
Upon the sea, their confidence,
O Lord, will place in thee.

6 Who, being girt with pow'r, sets fast
by his great strength the hills.
7 Who noise of seas, noise of their waves,
and people's tumult, stills.

8 Those in the utmost parts that dwell
are at thy signs afraid:
Th' outgoings of the morn and ev'n
by thee are joyful made.

9 The earth thou visit'st, wat'ring it;
thou mak'st it rich to grow
With God's full flood; thou corn prepar'st,
when thou provid'st it so.

10 Her rigs thou wat'rest plenteously,
her furrows settelest:
With show'rs thou dost her mollify,
her spring by thee is blest.

11 So thou the year most lib'rally
dost with thy goodness crown;
And all thy paths abundantly
on us drop fatness down.

12 They drop upon the pastures wide,
that do in deserts lie;
The little hills on ev'ry side
rejoice right pleasantly.

13 With flocks the pastures clothed be,
the vales with corn are clad;
And now they shout and sing to thee,
for thou hast made them glad

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