International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday January 15, 2017
Purpose: To find our security in the God who provides for our needs
Bible Lesson: Psalm 65:1-2, 9-13
Background Scripture: Psalms 65; 67:6-7
Key Verse: “In righteousness you answer us, by your awesome deeds, God of our salvation—you, who are the security of all the far edges of the earth, even the distant seas.” (Psalm 65:5)
Psalm 65:1-13 (CEB)
(1) God of Zion, to you even silence is praise. Promises made to you are kept— (2) you listen to prayer— and all living things come to you (3) When wrongdoings become too much for me, you forgive our sins. (4) How happy is the one you choose to bring close, the one who lives in your courtyards! We are filled full by the goodness of your house, by the holiness of your temple. 5 In righteousness you answer us, by your awesome deeds, God of our salvation— you, who are the security of all the far edges of the earth, even the distant seas. (6) You establish the mountains by your strength; you are dressed in raw power. (7) You calm the roaring seas; calm the roaring waves, calm the noise of the nations. (8) Those who dwell on the far edges stand in awe of your acts. You make the gateways of morning and evening sing for joy. (9) You visit the earth and make it abundant, enriching it greatly by God’s stream, full of water. You provide people with grain because that is what you’ve decided. (10) Drenching the earth’s furrows, leveling its ridges, you soften it with rain showers; you bless its growth. (11) You crown the year with your goodness; your paths overflow with rich food. (12) Even the desert pastures drip with it, and the hills are dressed in pure joy. (13) The meadowlands are covered with flocks, the valleys decked out in grain— they shout for joy; they break out in song!
Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter
For the past three weeks and I have taken some time off. During that time, I have heard from many of you that you missed the weekly lessons and commentary. It has also given me the opportunity to reflect on my call, and responsibility. It is probably no surprise to many of you that I get so much more than I give by doing the lessons each week.
In today’s printed text I have included the background text, because I think it adds to our lesson. Also, our Key Verse comes from that text in verse 5.
As I and my family begin a new year and end the old one, we have gone through a Christmas season without one of our grandsons. Our grandson was called home at the age of 39 through a common disease that seems harmless, diabetes. He was vibrant, hardworking and took care of his body. He worked out daily.
For those of you that have grandchildren you can appreciate what many say, “grandchildren are God’s gift for not killing your children when they were young”. But as much as we miss him, his mother and father miss him more. I only share this because our lesson deals with everyday disappointments and failures and with the awesomeness of God.
I am struck by the words of verse (1) “to you even silence is praise. I think the closest we can get to God is in our own silence. It is in our silence that we realize the majesty and magnitude of God's holiness and power. In our silence, we can forget our cares and concerns, our disappointments and sorrows. With confidence, we know God loves and cares for all His creation.
It has been said that, “worrying is like praying to yourself.” As you think about that statement, realize there is more truth in that, than you may be willing to admit. There is only one way to deal with our struggles, be they grief or hunger, that is to trust in the one that made everything and knows everything. The One that knows how to give gifts and supply our every need.
There is a verse from John that has been of great comfort to me during this time, and I think it shows how God’s grace is more than sufficient for our needs. John 6:11 says, “Then Jesus took the bread. When he had given thanks, he distributed it to those who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, each getting as much as they wanted.” The last phrase, “each getting as much as they wanted,” jumped off the page to me. It reminded me of God’s generosity. Seeing that, I felt in my spirit a sense that God was saying, “There is enough for you, too.” Even when I am in a distant sea, or far off place. Regardless of the need.
There is one hymn that comes to mind as I read and study this text, “Jesus is all the World to Me.” “My life, my Joy, my all, He is my strength from day to day.”