A Psalm of Thanksgiving

An exposition of Psalm 65:1-13. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, November 21, 2010.

In a few days families will be gathering around tables burdened with choice foods.  There will be laughter and celebration.  There will be a prayer of thanksgiving.  Following the “amen” forks and elbows will fly and within a few minutes the fruit of weeks of planning and days of preparation will be devoured.  Immediately following the meal kids will want to play.  Father’s will plop into a recliner and wonder why they ate so much.  When the kids ask dad to play – he must excuse himself for fear he would explode!  When the clean up is done, other exhausted family members fall into chairs and onto sofas.  And we all breathe a heavy sigh – another Thanksgiving has passed.  I don’t mean to sound cynical but holidays do seem to become routine.  We often find ourselves just going through the motions.  But maybe the problem is not with the holiday – maybe it’s that we fail to recognize our need to live a life of perpetual gratitude.  A spirit of thanksgiving is to permeate our lives as the people of God.  We don’t need to be told to be thankful one day out of the year – we are to live each day in gratitude for God’s abundant blessing. We are to reflect the attitude of the psalmist as found in Psalm 65.

Text: Psalm 65:1-13

While this psalm could be sung anytime in Israel, and no doubt was, it most likely was composed as part of the annual harvest festival – The Feast of Tabernacles.  Tabernacles was the longest and most joyful feast of the Jews.  It began on the 15th day of the seventh month and continued until the twenty-second day of the month.  The eight-day celebration was in gratitude to God for the harvest just gathered.

From this Psalm we are reminded that:

Thesis: God’s person and work demands a response of gratitude, praise and thanksgiving.

We are to praise and thank God for who he is and for what he has done.
That is exactly what is happening in this psalm.
This hymn has three stanzas let’s look at them.

  1. The righteous praise God for His saving grace.  (65:1-4)
  2. The righteous rejoice in God’s mighty power.  (65:5-8)
  3. The righteous give thanks for God’s bountiful provision.  (65:9-13)

The psalmist praises God for his bountiful provision throughout the year and concludes by saying that all creation “shouts for joy and sings.”

This is to be the heart and attitude of the people of God.  Responding to God’s person and work with gratitude, praise and thanksgiving.  Praising God for his saving grace.  Rejoicing in His might power.  And giving thanks for His bountiful provision.

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