By Courtney Vanderford
Aren’t you so glad for a God of salvation?
In the Psalms, we repeatedly see cries for rescue from the God of salvation, a warrior in battle. We see descriptions of a rock and a stronghold of salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth. We need a God of salvation.
So it should be no surprise that Psalm 65 starts by proclaiming that praise is due to this God, our God of salvation. The first five verses in Psalm 65 highlight the personal aspects of our salvation, showing that God doesn’t provide some sort of blanket, impersonal rescue; revealing all the more that “Praise is due to you, O God” (Psalm 65:1).
“O you who hear prayer..." (65:2) Have you ever thought about what a wonder it is that God hears our prayers? Throughout the Psalms, I’ve noticed so many places like this that remind us that God is a God who hears us. I take that for granted far too often, but it's so good to be reminded of it so frequently. God hears us.
"To you shall all flesh come." (65:2) No matter the complete mess we might find ourselves in, totally wrecked in our sin and seemingly buried beyond rescue, the reach of Jesus’ redemption is still so much deeper, ready to receive the even the vilest of sinners.
In the book Gentle and Lowly, Dane Ortlund says, "God's forgiving, redeeming, restoring touch reaches down into the darkest crevices of our souls... More than this: those crevices of sin are themselves the places where Christ loves us most." There is no one that is better fit than another to come to him. We don't need to collect ourselves first and come to him second. He is drawn to our brokenness. The more that is broken, there is only more grace found in the God of our salvation.
"When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions." (65:3) Goodness gracious, what good news! Not some sort band-aid of temporary cover or temporary comfort, but atonement for our sins! When my iniquities, whose only reward is death, prove to be more powerful than me, the God of salvation makes a way. There's nothing better than that.
"Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!" (65:4) The two halves of this verse shouldn't mesh. We shouldn't be brought near and be able to be satisfied with goodness and holiness. If brought near, we should be completely terrified; we should only be met with wrath. But because of the work of God of salvation, Charles Spurgeon says, "...we do not come nigh in peril of dire destruction... but we approach as chosen and accepted ones, to become dwellers in the divine household: this is heaped up blessedness, vast beyond conception."
"By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest of the seas…" (65:5) More than just hearing our prayers in verse 2, he answers us. The most spectacular of these answers can only be found in the atoning and redeeming work of Jesus Christ. The very best hope of all the ends of the earth and the farthest of seas, He is our God of salvation.
Aren't you so glad for a God of salvation?