“The streams of God are filled with water to provide the people with grain, for so you have ordained it”.
Ps 65:9 NIV
The whole of humanity depends on nature. And in particular we are all dependent on rain. In some parts of the world rain is a nuisance and people complain that it stops some of their many activities. But farmers know that they need it. And a fertile farming district is nothing unless the rains come in the right quantity and at the right time. Sometimes they do. But not always.
Israel is a hot country bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The sun is so strong that it soon withers the crops if the rains don’t come. So the psalmist was keenly aware of the society in which he lived – and its need of water. His faith told him that the streams and rivers of Israel were all provided by God. He knew that the life-giving wa- ter also was a gift of God’s loving provision for his people. The psalm breathes an atmosphere of faith and gratitude for fertility, water and an abundant harvest. But its focus is on the God who is behind it all. It glories in the rich harvest, rejoices in the healthy grain which provided the flour with which the people were fed, and exulted in the God whose overarching providence brought life, health and wealth.
It is a lesson and model for Christians today. Whilst we caution ourselves not to get too carried away because of the widespread poverty, hunger and destitution we still need to keep our consciousness tuned to the God whose goodness overflows to us every day. And we need also to make every effort to eradicate the poverty and hunger which is all around us.
Lord, share your bounty with all your children.