Briefing: My first police job was in a department that had about 3,000 officers. Later I went to work for a medium size department with about 200 officers. I retired from that department and took a post-retirement job at a University Police Department that has 18 officers. It was only then that I realized what the impact of being short one or two officers has on the whole. New growth is very important.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 65.
On the Street: This is a joyous, happy psalm. David seems to take a break from the psalms accounting the constant dangers, trials and troubles of his life. He may not be giving us the step by step perils of being God’s chosen instrument and king but he does not stop giving us psalms that teach God’s lessons.
This psalm is about the coming of spring growth. It was a song sung, historically at a festive celebration, probably the Feast of Tabernacles. The theme of the song is, turn your hearts to God for His bountiful blessings. They celebrate the rain, the crops, the landscape and the awesome God of Israel who provided it all.
This idea of a fresh start and new growth does not just extend to the harvest and the bounty of grain and seeds. Verse 3 speaks of a fresh start for our soul, “When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions.” David never seems to miss an opportunity to turn a conversation back to God, to teach the listener or reader about a truth that may bring them closer to God. This verse is a seed that David plants in a psalm that praises God for the seeds He planted and harvested.
David then waters the seed by telling us about how deeply God loves us and provides for us. In verse 4 David points out that God chose us to be His children. “Blessed are those you chose and bring near to live in your courts!” It is always nice to be chosen by someone. No one wants to be the person who does not get chosen or picked for a team. God chose us, not because of what we have done or potentially may do, He chose us because He loves us. No more, no less, just because He loves us. John 15:16, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”
What does a fresh start and new growth look like? I believe God wants us to repent right where we are. I believe His desire is to let those around us witness a true life change in us. I am talking about the kind of radical change that makes people stop what they are doing and take notice. I’m talking about the kind of change that makes people curious, that makes them think, that makes them start to ask questions. This kind of life change is contagious. It will give you opportunity to share the gospel of Christ with others who are hungry for what you have (the joy of salvation). I have seen this happen and I know it is true.
Verse 9 is a picture of a gardener who loves to see the new growth of His plants. “You care for the land and water it; you enrich it abundantly. The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it.” The gardener has taken care of these plants for a long time. He has watered them, weeded the garden, and pruned the plants. God loves this garden, but is it the plants or is it us? We are the fruit of His labor. We are also the ones getting the benefits of the fruit of the world He created. Now that is a loving God! Verses 10-13 list the amazing bounty He gives us. Not because He has to but because He wants to, He is our loving Father.
Investigational Resources: History of the Feast of Tabernacles is found in Leviticus 23:33-43 and Numbers 29:12-39. Psalm 128:2, 1 Corinthians 15:58.
Officer Safety Principle: We need to be intentional about starting and nourishing new growth in our lives and the lives of those around us.
from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 1
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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