Psalms 65:4



Psalms 65:4 says, “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.”

This verse in Psalms is another great gospel verse which teaches us something very important about what in the world is going on between God and man. Remember that in the previous verse of Psalms 65 we were told just how weak and sinful we as human beings are in the phrase, “iniquities prevail against me.”

Well this verse expounds on that truth when it says in the first half of the verse, “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee.” Thou is speaking of God. God chooses and God causes. This puts an emphasis on God and the work that God is doing, the use of God exercising His will and His plans. This is not to say that man does not have a free will. But remember man is weak and sinful. Man is enslaved to sin. The free will of man is not more powerful than his sin nature.

I John 4:19, “We love Him, because He first loved us.” Another way of understanding this is by looking at the story of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.

         After Adam and Eve sinned and then realized they were naked they hide themselves from God. And God came seeking them. Genesis 3:8-9, “And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”

Their nakedness of course symbolizes the lack of righteousness. In the same sense all men being sinners have a certain awareness in their own conscience of their own spiritual nakedness. And just like Adam and Eve all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God and all men have sought to hide themselves from God. But God comes to them.  Adam and Eve did not come to God seeking forgiveness God came to them and taught them about their need for a sacrifice for sins.

In the same sense God has come to us to teach us and to try to get us to repent. God uses nature to teach us. God uses the conscience that He gave man. God uses His Word that has given the world. God uses everything you can possibly think of to try to bring a person to Him.

It does not matter what your particular strengths and weaknesses are as a person without Jesus you are lost in sin. You are a slave to evil. It is just the same as if you were locked in iron chains in a dungeon full of darkness. There is no way of our own strength you are going to be able to free yourself from those chains and escape into the light.

Man is not just weak and sinful but man is so weak and sinful and so lost in his sins that He does not even come to God to seek God, to seek truth, to seek righteousness, not until God first comes to Him. This is how sinful men are. And this is how loving and gracious God is.

This is a very important truth to understand about the gospel for several reasons. One reason it is so important to understand that we are actually that sinful, that we don’t seek God until He first seeks us, is so that we can understand the concept of being led by and controlled by the Spirit of God and recognize when God is working in the heart of a lost person.

It is very easy for a human being to make the mistake of focusing on the flesh, on human effort, human will, and not being led by the Spirit.

God is a very gentle, loving God. You could say He often works very delicately in peoples lives. The Great, Almighty, All knowing, Glorious God whose face is as the sun shinneth in its strength understands that we are but dust and He approaches us delicately.

1 Kings 19:10-12, “And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away. And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”

God works in mysterious and tender ways, speaking to us in a still small voice; with the inaudible voice of truth which rings out in nature itself and in His written Word. God could thunder from the heavens with the same power of speech by which He created this World but He does not do that. Man however is very opposite. Man however is very strongly self-willed.

         It must be that the all powerful God is so gentle with us because of how much He loves us and how much He desires for all men to be saved. So He works very carefully in peoples lives. He is the potter and we are the clay. He treats us like fine china; creatures that are delicate and easily broken. If God wanted He could rain down hell, fire, and brimstone into everyone’s lives.  And it is true He is going to do that to the world during the great tribulation but we live in what is called the age of grace.

         It is important to understand How God does His gospel work in this age. And understanding that begins by understanding that it is God who seeks us first not we who seek God first. Psalms 65:4 says, “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee.” Jesus said John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

The other reason that it is important to understand this truth is so that you will not become prideful. It does not matter if you were saved when you were 4 years old and someone else was saved when they were 19 years old or 30 years old or 50 years old. The principle is still true. In any of those cases all were lost in sin.  None came to Jesus until Jesus first came to them. In addition to this fact is the fact that this principle is really still the same throughout the Christian life.

When we are saved we are given a new nature in Christ. Without that new nature, without the Spirit of God inside us to empower us we could not overcome sin. God is most certainly in our lives working and toiling in His labour of love and lovingkindness, blessing us and blessing us, forgiving us and forgiving us always drawing us back to Him. Without God doing all of this work we would go astray from the Lord, we would stop serving the Lord, we would fall into sin and never rise again.

Way too many  Christian organizations have made the same mistake that the people of the world make the mistake of not understanding just how sinful they really are, not understanding how weak the flesh and the human will really is, not understanding just how dependent they really are on the power of God through His Spirit and through His Word. If you don’t see how weak and sinful you are how are you going to realize and then rely upon God instead of yourself and the strength of your own will?

The Apostle Paul understood this and he wrote in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.” 

Because in these kinds of situations Paul could much easier see the weakness and the failures of the flesh and in these kinds of situations Paul was more likely to rely wholly upon Jesus and not himself.

There are many more truths that can be learned from understanding this verse. Psalms 65:4 says, “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts:

Another truth that we can learn more about is just how much God loves us. We will never fully understand how much God loves us because that love is perfect and eternal. It has no end and no beginning. But the more that we see how weak and sinful we are and the more that we see how much effort, and work, and sacrifice and suffering, and forgiveness God has put into our lives the more we will see the love of God for us.

This is probably one of the main reasons so many Christians fail to really rely upon the Word of God like they should, to study the Word of God like they should and to allow themselves to be led by the Spirit of God in what they do. It’s much more than just laziness or stupidity. It’s a lack of spirituality, a lack of understanding and seeing just how sinful and weak they are. Thankfully we will all have the opportunity at the judgment seat of Christ to actually see and realize just how much God has done for us. That will be a glorious time for the child of God, a time when he or she can accurately and humbly look at his or her own life and have it surmised correctly with God getting all the glory and the child of God having a full appreciation and understanding of the forgiveness of sins.

It is no surprise then after talking about how God chooses and God causes now the rest of Psalms 65 will go on to talk about the works of the Lord.

Psalms 65:5-7 says, “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: Which by His strength setteth fast the mountains; being girded with power: Which stilleth the noise of the seas, the noise of their waves, and the tumult of the people.”

The key phrase to notice here is the first part of verse 5 which says, “By terrible things in righteousness wilt Thou answer us,”

Now why does it say that God will answer us? Was a question asked? The question has to do with the works of man. The question is what is the response of God to man’s actions? What is the greatest question that man has? The greatest unknown? Is it the question how old is the earth? Is it the question where the end of the universe? No the greatest question that man always has is what happens after death or another way of phrasing it is what is the summary of my life? Was my life meaningful? Did I live the life of a good person? All these questions are really asking the same question which is am I justified before God?

The words in this verse in Psalms answer this question by saying, “God of our salvation.” Once again Psalms has a very simple way of explaining salvation. Salvation is of God. It is not of man. Of course the New Testament goes into even further detail when it gives the gospel and tells us how Jesus did all the work. Jesus fulfilled the law. Jesus suffered and died for sin. Jesus conquered and defeated death. No wonder God is our salvation.

By terrible things in righteousness wilt Thou answer us,” The key word here is the word righteousness. Where does righteousness come from? How does man acquire righteousness? The Word of God makes it very clear that righteousness does not come from our own works but it is imputed to us freely by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Titus 3:4-7 says, “But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”

Men often marvel at the achievements of other men: things like man walking on the moon, or man breaking an Olympic record, or man building the tallest building in the world, or someone becoming a leader of a nation, or someone discovering the cure for a disease. And I’m not saying these are not significant accomplishments but consider the works of the Lord. The works of the Lord are much, much greater than anything that man can ever achieve.

The works of the Lord are terrible, wonderful, aweful, fearful works of righteousness. In talking about the terrible things that God has done the rest of Psalms 65 goes on to talk about His creation. That is because there are great spiritual truths learned from observing God’s creation.

Psalms 65:8-13 says, “They also that dwell in the uttermost parts are afraid at thy tokens: thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. 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. Thou waterest the ridges thereof abundantly: Thou settlest the furrows thereof: thou makest it soft with showers: Thou blessest the springing thereof. Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness; and Thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness: and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered over with corn; they shout for joy, they also sing.”

Certainly one of the truths being taught here is the faithfulness of God. God is actively involved in His creation. God takes care of His creation. Year after year the sun rises and the sun sets. Year after year water rain falls on the earth watering the earth and causing it to grow. God is faithful. If you study nature year after year you will realize just how faithful God is in taking care of His creation.

It should be obvious how faithful God is. But most people in the world do not understand, do not think about, or do not believe in the faithfulness of God. The faithfulness of God means that God keeps His promises.

For example, God promised to preserve His Word. How many Christians in today’s age actually have full confidence just in this truth? So many have been misled by humanism and intellectualism and peoples cunning lies about history and ancient Greek and Hebrew Texts. You do not have to be an expert in textual criticism or an expert in Hebrew and Greek translations or an expert in archeology in regards to ancient Biblical texts to come to the realization that God has preserved His Word. There is certainly nothing wrong with studying out these topics. But it is enough to know that God promised to preserve His Word and we know that God is faithful. If you ever doubt the faithfulness of God to keep any of His many promises that He has made then take a brief glimpse at nature and watch How God faithfully takes care of His creation.

What God does with His creation teaches us so much about His faithfulness. Psalms 46:8 says, “Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations He hat made in the earth.”

In the earth there are many great deserts. There are ice deserts of the North and South poles and there are the great sand deserts of places such as the Sahara. These landscapes are harsh and barren climates. But what a glorious testimony to the faithfulness of God because they remind us of the judgment of God. It’s amazing to think such places were once lush, vibrant landscapes. Yet even now with them laid waste they still can hold such beautiful sunsets and sunrises. God is faithful in His judgments. God is faithful in His works of righteousness.  When God does a work in the world it is always a terrible work of righteousness even when it is a work of judgment. The deserts of this world are a testimony to that. Come behold the terrible works of righteousness with the LORD hath done. What desolations He hath made in the earth.

Perhaps Jesus has come to you and knocked on the door of your heart. Perhaps you have heard the still small voice of God whispering gently to your soul and telling you to repent of your sins and to accept Jesus as your Savior. If He has I hope and pray that you do not turn away from Him and from His righteousness.


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