Sermon Text: Psalm 65:1 – 5
Pastor Daniel Schmidt
If you were to look up the word “awe” in the dictionary, you would find a definition such as, “an emotion mixed with respect and wonder.” If someone or something is “awesome” the dictionary tells us that it has “the power to inspire respect and wonder”. We often times use the term to talk about how great someone or something is. If you are enjoying your favorite meal you may say, “This food is awesome.” If you are watching a great athlete, you may say that he or she is an awesome player.
Today, God’s Word gives us the opportunity to talk about the greatness of the one and only true God. As we listen to the Word of our Lord today, you and I will see that our God is an awesome God! Listen now as I read from the Psalm of the Day, Psalm 65:
1Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled. 2O you who hear prayer, to you all men will come. 3When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. 4Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. 5You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior.
This is the Word of the Lord.
King David, the writer of Psalm 65, writes, “When we were overwhelmed by sins…” There were times in his life when David felt overwhelmed by his sins. Listen as he writes about this in Psalm 32, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.”
There are times in your life and mine that we too, like David, feel overwhelmed by our sins. Far too often, you and I fail to love the one true God with all our heart, soul and mind. Far too often, there are those times when you and I do not love our neighbor like ourselves. You and I feel overwhelmed by our sins when we realize just how sinful we are. You and I feel overwhelmed by our sins knowing that what our sinfulness and our sins have earned for you and me is only God’s eternal wrath and punishment in hell.
Yet, the Good News from God’s Word is that our God is an awesome God! Listen closely as David is led by God the Holy Spirit to write in Psalm 65, “When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions.” As you and I feel the weight of God’s Law crushing our hearts and driving us to our knees, you and I plead for our Lord’s mercy and forgiveness. And the Good News of the Gospel is that through Jesus Christ, you and I are able to be sure of the forgiveness of all of sins. Because our Savior-God is an awesome God, David could write here in Psalm 65, “Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts! We are filled with the good things of your house, of your holy temple. You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior.”
And this Good News of the forgiveness of all of our sins, empowers and motivates you and me to live a life that gives all praise and glory to our awesome God. Again, it was David whom the Holy Spirit used to write these words found in Psalm 51, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Save me from bloodguilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.”
A certain athlete may play so well that we say of him or her, “They are awesome!” Today you and I have been reminded from God’s Word that our Savior-God is greater than any athlete. In his great undeserved love for you and me, our gracious God forgives all of your sins and all of my sins, because of Jesus Christ our one and only Savior. Yes, indeed, our God is an awesome God! In response to his greatness, with joy and thankfulness filling our hearts, you and I join along with King David and say, “Praise awaits you, O God…When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. Blessed are those you choose and bring near to live in your courts…You answer us with awesome deeds of righteousness, O God our Savior.” Amen.