Friday, January 13, 2017

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday January 15, 2017

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PRAISE GOD THE PROVIDER
(We are all blessed with GOD’s provisions)
(Psalm 65)

   The forgiven should always praise GOD, knowing the awesome power that HE has exercised on their behalf. Psalm 65 was probably written by King David to be sung annually when the first grains of the barley harvest were taken in, and brought to the LORD as a sacrifice, and, to the priests, as a “wave offering”.
    This Psalm of “harvest time blessing” celebrates GOD’s goodness to Israel by hearing their “earnest prayers”, and rewarding them for giving HIM “earnest worship”, the only kind that HE can and will accept and receive. Through GOD’s power, not only are our sins atoned for, but we are also benefactors of the enormous bounties of provisions that HE showers on us from HIS unlimited storehouse.
    In verses 1-4, David expresses his understanding of how, once GOD makes atonement for our sins, after we have demonstrated “earnest repent”, HE is able to bless us abundantly. “Our repent” is the first step in our preparations to praise GOD, and it cannot be taken lightly, if our prayers are to be effective. GOD will only bring near to HIM, those who have hearts (minds) that are filled with regular thoughts of HIM. Only those will be able to share in the joy that can only be found in GOD’s Holy Courts (Heaven) (v.4). And so verses 1-4 demonstrate clearly, David’s wonderful understanding of “GOD’s perspective of salvation” to man. For man to receive salvation, GOD has to look into his heart and see HIMSELF, before HE sends him to JESUS. JESUS HIMSELF confirms this thought when HE says that “no man can come to HIM unless the FATHER sends them” (John 6:43 and 65).
    GOD faithfully answers all of our prayers with bountiful deeds here on earth. HE is the hope of all mankind, Believers and unbelievers, whether we realize it or not. However, only the Believer will be able to experience and benefit eternally from the results of their faith in HIM. The faith of the Believer is a “saving faith” that spurs them to right actions under GOD. If one’s faith does not motivate them to live a righteous life under GOD, while living here on earth, it is not the “saving faith” that is needed to unlock for them, the doors to the Kingdom of Heaven.
    In this psalm, as in many of the psalms that are written by King David, he recognizes GOD’s power and sovereignty over all of the things that HE created. Through HIS OWN power, HE formed the mountains and quieted the seas, and people all over the world must recognize the awesomeness by which GOD operates. Throughout the land, from east to west, GOD perpetually demonstrates to the whole world, just who really is in charge of the whole universe (Vs.5-8).
    In verses 9-13, David summarizes how GOD provides for, and takes care of, all of HIS creation each day. And the fruitfulness of HIS creation, testifies of its appreciation of how GOD has blessed it, merely by way of its manifestation before us. With the exception of man, all of GOD’s creation shows great joy, through its obedience and productiveness, for what GOD has done for it. Because GOD blessed mankind with “wills that are free”, we are the only part of HIS “living creation” that ever can, and often does, choose to do the wrong things in life.
    However, man’s unfaithfulness to GOD does not cause GOD to be unfaithful in HIS treatment of mankind. HE continues to water the earth for us, leaving it rich and fertile, and the overwhelming majority of HIS rivers, never run dry. They continue to provide for bountiful harvests of grain to feed us, all at the command of GOD.
    In addition, GOD continues to drench the grounds of the world with plenty of water to soften them, making them easy to prepare for the planting of life-giving seeds that are capable of feeding every living thing that requires that type of nourishment. Any wilderness can become a lush pasture at the command of GOD, and every hillside can suddenly blossom with the joy of GOD’s blessings. The meadows are filled with sheep and cattle, and the valleys are carpeted with grain. And they all shout with joy to GOD by way of their very presence and life-giving existence.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander







     
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