Daily Bible Reading Reflections

The Awesome in the Ordinary

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation… (Psa 65:5)

If you’re like me, it’s easy to read a verse like that and think, “Well, I know God’s people in ages past saw the Lord answer by awesome deeds. The ten plagues on Egypt. The parting of the Red Sea. Water flowing from a desert rock. Manna from heaven. He’s a God of awesome past deeds for sure, but I’ve never seen anything like that, so there’s a pretty big disconnect between me and David’s point in Psalm 65.” If you’re tempted to think like that (as I have in the past), could I encourage you to slow down and really listen to the message of Psalm 65 today?

By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness,
O God of our salvation…

…and what sort of “awesome deeds” does David actually go on to describe?

This God established the mountains by his strength (65:6).

Our God stills the roaring of the seas and their waves (65:7).

My God makes the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy (65:8).

Your God visits the earth and waters it, softening it with showers and blessing its growth (65:9-10).

This God provides the grain, crowning the year with a bountiful harvest (65:9, 11).

Our God makes the pastures of the wilderness overflow and the green hills to sing with blossoming joy (65:12).

My God clothes the meadows with flocks (65:13).

Your God decks the valleys with grain (65:13).

No, I’ve never seen the water of a river turn to blood or a sea parted. You’ve never seen water flow from a rock or manna fall from heaven. And neither had David. But when he looked at mountains, he saw the might of the Lord. When I stand with my feet in the ocean, I’m a witness to my Creator’s magnitude. As you watch the sun rise in the morning and set in the evening, you’re beholding the joyful work of a glorious Designer and Upholder.

We are surrounded by the awesome of the “ordinary.”

And today is another opportunity in a long string of opportunities you’ve already been given to open your eyes and ears. Behold. Listen. Pay attention. Reflect. See the world around you through the lens of Psalm 65. The Lord of heaven and earth is making, visiting, watering, softening, growing, providing, clothing, showering, decking, crowning, and blessing today. He continues as the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas (65:5). And he cares deeply for you. Just listen…

O you who hear prayer,
to you shall all flesh come.
When iniquities prevail against me,
you atone for our transgressions. (65:2-3)

The establisher of mountains hears your prayers. The Lord of harvests atones for our transgressions. When iniquities prevail against me, he knows. He cares. He has intervened. He invites. He extends and empowers. He saves. Praise is due to this God of our salvation (65:1).

By “awesome deeds”–morning by morning, day after day, evening by evening, night after night–he answers us with righteousness. Sunrises. Spring rains. Green pastures. Summer crops. Flowering meadows. Autumn harvests. Roaring waterfalls. Winter snows. Sunsets. Starlit night skies. “Awesome deeds.”

Don’t fail to see the awesome in the ordinary today.