Today’s reading in “Seek God for the City” is three verses taken from Psalm 65. But you ought to go back and read the whole psalm. The theme of joy is found throughout it. David is singing a song! It’s a song he sings as he observes his world – as looks near, as he looks far, and as he looks around.
First he looks right inside himself. “Though we are overwhelmed by our sins, you forgive them all.” (vs 3) That’s a good place for each of us to start – in grateful recognition of what God has made clean. Far from being a depressing downer, it’s good for us to look at the details of our living. It’s even better for us to realize God’s mercy in every one of those details. “What joy for those you choose to bring near.” (vs 4)
Then he takes a wide-ranging look – at those large things, awesome things, intimidating things like massive mountains, raging oceans, and noisy warring nations. And how does he start? “You are the hope of everyone on earth!” We need to remind ourselves that regardless of how overwhelming our world – God is greater. His presence is everywhere. We are not alone. Neither are we the only ones who worship God and are loved by him. “For where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy!” (vs 8)
Finally, David seems to have trained his eyes not to miss what’s right around him, under his feet. “You take care of the earth and water it, making it rich and fertile.” (vs 9) He sings about bountiful harvests, softening showers, lush pastures, and blossoming hillsides. He notices God’s creativity all around him. What a great example for us. When did you last take some time simply to look around you – to think about the miracle of flight in that bird – to smell the freshness after rain – the delicate complexity of a flower – colors, so many colors. Once you start, it’ll be a habit that’ll transform your praise and your prayers.
“The meadows are clothed with flocks of sheep, and the valleys are
carpeted with grain. They all shout and sing for joy!” (vs 13)