Friday, July 10, 2020

July 10 – Friday prior to Proper 10

Psalm 65:1-13 – This Psalm is suggested for next Sunday. The key verse is verse 5, “By awesome deed Thou dost answer us in righteousness, O God our salvation. Thou who are the trust of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest sea.”

Most Bible scholars suggest that Psalm 65 is a harvest psalm.  The Old Testament recognized three significant harvests.

 1.  Passover (March-April). This was the first harvest, when they brought in grain called barley. Their bread was made from barley.
2.  Pentecost (May-June). This was the second harvest, when they brought in grain called wheat. They also made bread from it.
3.  Tabernacles (September-October). This was the last harvest, when they picked the grapes. They made wine from the grapes.

These harvests remind us of the bread and wine that Jesus said are his body and blood. Paul also reminds us that because Jesus died at Passover he was the first harvest of the new people of God! "The first fruits of them that slept." 1 Corinthians 15:20.

This psalm could possibly have been prayed or sung at a festival. As to the structure of the psalm in Vv. 1-4 the Lord draws us to Himself, reminding us that God saves us. Vv. 5-8 tells us that God is powerful; He governs creation. Vv. 9-13 He substations creation making it flourish. God gives us plenty of good things.

The possible applications of this psalm today are many.  The psalmist provides a vision counter to what we tend to see in the world today.  With its wide-ranging portrayal of an undefiled, joyful creation, along with peoples delivered, at peace, and praising God, this psalm challenges us to take in the beauty and grandeur of the handiwork of God’s creation.

Verses 9-10 in particular celebrate the gift of water, which provides people with grain, shapes the earth, and causes life to grow.

We are now in the growing season as crops in the fields, vegetables in our gardens and flowers in our planters begin to take shape. We anticipate a bountiful harvest. It is the Lord who sustains us but He always works through means. We plant the seeds each spring and the Lord sends the rain.

We tend to our fields cultivating and caring for our crops while the Lord provides the sunshine and heat. As you look at your stand and observe your produce realized it is the Lord; the creator and sustainer of all things that provides for all we need to support this body and life.

A prayer for Agriculture - Almighty God, You blessed the earth to make it fruitful, bringing forth in abundance whatever is needed for the support of our lives. Prosper; we implore You, the work of farmers, especially in this planting season. Grant them seasonable weather that they may gather in the fruits of the earth and thus proclaim Your goodness.

A prayer based on Psalm 65 – Lord God, joy marks your presence beauty, abundance, and peace are the tokens of your work in all creation. Work also in our lives, that by these signs we may see the splendor of your love and may praise you through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A Man went out to sow, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House St. Louis
For All the Saints A Prayer Book For and by the Church, Volume 2, The American Luther Publicity Bureau © 1995 Delhi, NY

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