Psalm 104.10-19,31 – Our dependence upon God’s Providence
Posted: 23 May 2011 in Psalms

He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.
They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.
By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
He 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;
And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.
The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;
Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.
The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.
He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.

The psalmist knows, as modern man does not, that all things come from God, and that we are wholly dependent upon his providence. Instead of praising God, he prefers to praise our own achievements, and he thereby derogates from the glory which belongs to God alone. He also fails to acknowledge that his achievements are only possible because of God’s prior providential care. This refusal of worship is one of the manifold consequences of the fall, which echo throughout all creation.

Verses 28-29 of the same psalm read:

That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

And the same goes for us. We are not the authors of the biological processes which bring forth sustenance; we merely make use of them. We live on this earth for as long as it is God’s good pleasure that we should do so, and when he decides to bring our lives to a close, we die.

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