Missiology Through Scripture – Psalm 65:5-8

“By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas; the one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might; who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs. You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.” – Psalm 65:5-8

This is a psalm of thanksgiving by following for a fruitful harvest provided by God. The awesome deeds which God has done for his elect bring hope not only to Israel, but to all nations. The blessings lavished on Israel show the rest of the world Yahweh is the only one worthy of great praise. God reigns over, not just one people or geography, but the whole world. Every land which is touched by the rising and setting sun is ruled by God. Every nation is offered salvation in his grace and mercy. The mountains show God’s firmness and the waves represent chaos. Yahweh rules the world through the good and bad.

God created the whole earth for his glory. He controls all which occurs in the nations. Both, that which we call good and that which we call bad are at his disposal. Karl Barth said, “We hear continually that the earth as such is God’s, and therefore that all the blessings of creation come from God; but also that the lordship and the judgment over all and upon the whole world is God’s. Again and again the heavens, the sea, the storm, the mountains, the earthquake, the world of plants and beasts, the nations and their rulers, and in the height the angels, are all appealed to as the creatures, the servants and instruments and therefore the loudly speaking witnesses of God.”[1] Man need not like, nor approve of the chaos in the world. Natural and man-made pain brings forth God’s will and ushers in his glory.

Missionaries should not travel into the nations promising peace or wealth in this life. That was never guaranteed the elect. The turmoil experienced among the nations may bring us temporary ill, but it brings God eternal glory. Our suffering is good, if God is glorified in it.


[1] Karl Barth, Geoffrey William Bromiley, and Thomas F. Torrance, Church Dogmatics: The Doctrine of God, Part 1, vol. 2 (London; New York: T&T Clark, 2004), 107.