The psalmist declares His intention to praise, describes the character of the Lord, gracious and compassionate. Then proceeds to tell us what He has done. His deeds validate the proclamation of His character? What has He done? He has provided food. We now begin to see a concrete application of the virtues of God extolled at the beginning of Psalm 111. We know He is merciful and full of compassion and this is demonstrated in His provision of food.
He has provided food for those who fear Him; He remembers His covenant forever.
The Amplified version says that He has given food and provision to those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him. His provision covers every dimension of our existence. Let’s break it down
He gives food and provision to men
Food is a primary need of man. The person who gives you food is one of the most important people in your life because food is a necessity for human existence on Earth. As long as we live on earth, we will always have needs, and we have a God who makes full provision. What does this tell us about God? It speaks of His goodness, to provide that we may live. It speaks of His power, and it speaks of His sufficiency.
When the Bible speaks thus of His splendour and majesty, it encompasses more than His loveliness and beauty but speaks of His character, the goodness of His heart. And it is here demonstrated by His abundant provision of food. It is not beneath Him to care that we are fed, He concerns Himself with even this most mundane need of mankind. He gives food. He is a practical father. Furthermore, he is a caring Father. He is a providing father. He is a loving father.
His provision of food speaks of His power. To give food to humans, God had to put in place a series of processes by which we arrive at what we call food. We may take these for granted, and we usually do, but it is nonetheless remarkable. It is not raining manna from heaven any more. The whole system and cycle of planting, harvesting, transforming, gathering, hunting was not devised by man but created by God for the provision of food to humans. And it is by His mercy and His power that it all holds together.
Psalm 104 is a splendid celebration of His greatness. Read it, think on it, celebrate Him.
Ps 104:10-12 He turns springs into streams ; they flow between the mountains They provide water for all the animals in the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the sky live beside them; they chirp among the bushes
He gives provision to animals
He gives provision even to the animals, as we see in Psalm 104. This is abundant confirmation of God as the giver of food. He gives water to the animals and to the birds, He gives water to the mountains and satisfies the earth. He gives grass to livestock, crops, and food to man. All creation is nourished by His generosity.
10 He causes the springs to gush into the valleys;
they flow between the mountains.
11 They supply water for every wild beast;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky live beside the springs;
they sing among the foliage.
13 He waters the mountains from His palace;
the earth is satisfied by the fruit of Your labor.
14 He causes grass to grow for the livestock
and provides crops for man to cultivate,
producing food from the earth,
15 wine that makes man’s heart glad—
making his face shine with oil—
and bread that sustains man’s heart.
16 The trees of the Lord flourish,
the cedars of Lebanon that He planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
the stork makes its home in the pine trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the cliffs are a refuge for hyraxes.
It is very likely that most of us have never pondered these things, we have simply taken them as a matter of course. Every benefit that exists is a deliberate orchestration of good from the heart of God. We hear the birds sing without thinking of their Maker and His benevolence towards them. We see all the work that goes into feeding domestic animals and never even consider what an amazing system God has put in place whereby animals in the wild with no one to care for them by and large survive and flourish. Not only that, but we love nature documentaries about life in the wild, yet hardly pause to honour the great architect of the universe.
And so the psalmist, more sensitive than we are, cries out in verses 24 and 25.
How countless are Your works, Lord!
In wisdom You have made them all;
the earth is full of Your creatures.
25 Here is the sea, vast and wide,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
These are the wonderful works that we are supposed to remember. He goes on to celebrate His kindness and provision
27 All of them wait for You
to give them their food at the right time.
28 When You give it to them,
they gather it;
when You open Your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
He is all-sufficient
He satisfies all with good things, and He is all we need. No good does He withhold from those who fear Him as psalm 34 says. God is a helper of men. All good proceeds from Him. So all provision is satisfied in Him. And it is done in conformity with His character. It requires no begging, no manipulation, no crying.
The consequence of this is confidence in your walk with God. Trust Him daily.
This article is an excerpt from the book Psalm 111 decoded. (Meditations on God) and is not to be copied without permission.
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