You visit the earth and water it;
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide their grain,
for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy. Psalm 65:9-13 ESV
In past generations he allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness. Acts 14:16-17 ESV
It’s a lot of work to grow wheat or some other grain. The first thing you need is good soil. Soil that will grow good wheat needs to have the right minerals in it, but some soil is poor and won’t support growing grain. Then the topsoil has to be broken up. If it’s in clumps, you can’t plant the seeds easily. Besides breaking up the topsoil you have to make furrows, which are long narrow trenches in the dirt, and it’s in these furrows that you plant the seed. After you plant the seeds, one of the most important things of all is water. Wheat won’t grow without water. If rain doesn’t naturally water the field, it’s necessary to irrigate it. Insects and diseases can harm wheat, and while there are pesticides available nowadays, in Bible times people had to hope that nothing would hurt their grain crops.
Farmers work hard with soil and fertilizer and planting and watering, but both now and long ago it’s God who makes grain grow so that people can have food to eat. Psalm 65 talks about how God gives water to soften the dirt and cover the grain in the furrows. God gives good soil and sunshine and everything that the grain needs to grow. This psalm talks about the joyful harvest time when all the grain is ready. It makes a picture of the valleys being so full of grain that they are singing and shouting with joy, while on the hills there are many healthy flocks of goats, sheep, and cows. Psalm 65 talked about God’s awesome deeds in the mountains and on the sea, but now it talks about these everyday blessings from him. We don’t need to see signs of God’s incredible power to know how good he is and how he cares for people.
When the apostle Paul was telling the good news to the people of Lystra, he pointed to the way God had always taken care of people by giving them rain and crops and food and happiness. These everyday blessings were ways that God wanted to use to let people know that he was there and that he cared for them. People from all nations of the world experienced God’s goodness, but they still walked in their own ways. Then God sent Jesus to come as a human person and live as one of us. Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins, and it’s through Jesus that we can know God and his love and care for us. God’s everyday blessings remind us that his love for us sends us many wonderful things, and most of all a Savior to bring us back to him.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all the good things you give us every day, and especially for Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.