Receive God’s Favor
“You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.” (Psalm 65:11).
What a powerful verse that clearly shows God’s favor is available to all believers! Psalm 65 is considered a psalm of praise and thanksgiving to God for His goodness. It was apparently sung after the spring rains came in to water and refresh the earth and was even more meaningful after a particularly bad dry season. I would like to share three thoughts about God’s favor from this psalm.
1. GOD PLACES A CROWN OF FAVOR ON THE YEAR
A crown is a special and glittering insignia worn by special people like kings, queens, emperors and other royalty. At sporting events in Biblical times, sometimes a crown or something that resembled it was given to the winners. In present-day beauty contests too, the winner is given a crown. We also crown people with titles like King of Rock and Roll (Elvis Presley), and King of Pop (Michael Jackson). But mostly, crowns are identified with royalty. Of course, we know only too well that human crowns fall off after a season.
The Bible identifies God’s people as a Royal Priesthood, crowned by God Himself! Psalm 65:11 as we read, says that ‘God crowns the year’. Yes, His grace will crown every day we face in the coming year with its challenges!
Here are some of the crowns mentioned in the Bible. In 2 Timothy 4:8, Paul, possibly remembering the then famous Isthmian Games, speaks about a ‘crown of righteousness’, while in James 1:12, we read about the ‘crown of life’. Isaiah 61:3 talks about a ‘crown of beauty’ and 1 Corinthians 9:25, reminds us about an ‘eternal crown’. Peter, in his first epistle tells us about a ‘crown of glory’ (1 Peter 5:4) and Isaiah 51:11 says, ‘Everlasting joy will crown their (believers) heads’.
Let’s now look at the ‘crown’ Psalm 65:11 is talking about.
2. THE CROWN OF GOD’S FAVOR IS A BOUNTIFUL HARVEST
The NKJV translates it as ‘His Goodness’.
My prayer for you is that God’s favour will bring you a ‘bountiful harvest’.What a comfort it is to know that His ‘Goodness’ is upon us. So, let’s look at some of the acts of God’s ‘Goodness’, shown in this Psalm, which will lead to a ‘bountiful harvest’.
- God answers our prayers (verse 2)
- He forgives our sin (3)
- Fills us with the good things of His house (4)
- He answers with awesome deeds (5)
- Protects us (5-7)
- He does wonders (8)
- And He sends rain and makes the land fertile as the climax to a year of abundant blessing (9-13). This was of great importance in the agricultural setting and community in which this Psalm was written.
As a man of God once said, “You may lack the fastest, the finest and the latest, but you won’t lack what is needed!”
Are you ready to prepare yourself for a ‘bountiful harvest’ through God’s ‘goodness’?!!
3. GOD’S FAVOR IS SEEN EVEN IN THE HARD PLACES
“Even the hard pathways overflow with abundance”.
No doubt, you and I will have to face some, if not many ‘hard pathways’ at some point. It’s part of life. But, the Psalmist says, “Even the hard pathways overflow with abundance”. Yet again, this statement must be looked at in the agricultural setting in which it was written. God’s abundance is spoken of here, even in the most difficult moments or seasons.
Someone said, “If God takes us on stony paths, He will fix us with strong shoes!”
This Psalm speaks about abundance, after a dry season. Maybe you have been through a ‘dry season’ for you; for your ministry. If so, can we believe together that you will see ‘God’s abundance overflowing in the hard pathways’?
As we prepare our hearts to see Psalm 65:11 fulfilled in the days ahead and to receive God’s favor, let’s remember that on our part, we need to give the Lord Jesus the first place in every area of our life. Here is some advice I once came across in a bulletin.
“To achieve spiritual success, do not forget to give God the first hour of the day, the first day of the week, the first part of every paycheck, the first consideration in every decision, and the first place in your heart.” That’s a great way to live.
May you receive ‘A crown of goodness and a bountiful harvest’, and may you find ‘His abundance overflowing even in the hard pathways’. May you see God’s favor upon you and your family.