14He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
15And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.
16The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;
17Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.
18The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.
19He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
20Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.
21The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
22The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.
23Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
If you will remember from our devotion yesterday, the psalmist painted a rather serene picture of a stream flowing through the hills providing water for the beasts of the field and birds of the air. That picture is greatly expanded in the verses from Psalm 104 shown above. I was rather struck by the thought, our God is certainly a God of order.
Interestingly, while God is busy attending to all of these things, the psalmist said, "Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening." Does there seem to be an imbalance here? The psalmist spends fourteen verses speaking of God's order over nature, but just one verse about man and his work. Yet, our work consumes our lives, does it not?
I noticed, also, that God's working with man is just a small part of Him ordering all of the concerns of this earth, and not only does God order all things, He is constantly aware of our needs. He provides for the beasts of the field, but He also provides for the domesticated animals, and the farm animals, remembering that man needs them to provide herbs, vegetables and even meat to feed the world.
The farmer knows a great deal about crop rotation, dealing with pests, planting in a timely manner, and harvesting his crops, but it is God who sends the rains in its season that the plants may flourish and grow. It is God who provides the dry fall days so that the farmer can bring in the harvest. There is probably no occupation on earth where man is more aware of God ordering weather and nature. No education can assure bountiful crops or prevent crop loss due to wind, rain, and hail.
Yet God is not only concerned with man. He provides for the trees, which the psalmist quickly notes God planted, He provides for the birds, the wild goats, the conies, the beasts of the forest, and the lions. Even the moon and the sun have a purpose in the natural realm of this earth. Certain animals are active at night, using the moon for light, and others are active during the day, being guided by light from the sun.
When we begin our work, let us take a minute to stop and thank God for the work He has given to us to do. Let us also thank Him that He orders all of the forces of nature which work together to keep and dress this world. Let us also thank Him for the food which He provides.
Two things are very clear in Psalm 104. First, God is a God of order! Second, man needs God!
God Bless You,