You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man’s heart (Psalm 104:14-15).
The psalmist is worshiping God for all his creative acts and wonders. And among the things God gets credit for, according to Scripture, is the results of human labor!
No only is God worthy of worship because he makes grass to grow for cows to eat; God is worthy of worship because he provides the raw stuff that humanity uses to make other things. The psalmist praises God for providing herbs for people to cultivate, for creating the plants from which people make wine, and oil, and bread for their own enjoyment.
This is especially revealing, because unlike the grass which just grows and the cows eat it, wine and bread and oil are all things that humans have to work themselves to produce. Wine does not just flow out of the ground like water; it is made from grapes, after much human work and initiative. Oil does not just occur in nature, but has to be pressed by humans out of olives or some other natural plant. Bread does not grow on trees, but has to be ground from grain, mixed, and baked in an oven.
Everything we have comes from the gracious hand of God, even if we worked very hard to obtain it.
Yet after all this human effort and ingenuity is exercised, the psalmist still says, “These things come ultimately from you, O Lord, because you are the great Maker.”
Applying this same principle to every product of human invention and ingenuity, we ought to be praising God for smartphones, for satellites, and for symphonies. Yes, humans have produced these things, but it is God who provided us with the breath and the ability to do so.
The psalmist goes on to praise God for trees, for mountains, for day time and night time… and finally concludes his worshipful mediation by saying we — humans and every other earthly creature — exist because God created us, live because God gives us life, and die when God takes our breath away. In other words, everything we have comes from the gracious hand of God, even if we worked very hard to obtain it.
Everything we have, everything we are, comes from God.
We need to come to this realization; we need to come to grips with this fact. We belong to God because he has made us and everything we see and use around us. Therefore, Scripture reminds us, God deserves our praise and thanksgiving. Always.
If we are not worshiping God it is because we are not thinking enough about who God is, what God is like, and what God has done. It is always true, whether we say it or feel it or not, that the Lord is “very great” (Psalm 104:1). Everything we have, everything we are, comes from God.