“When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.” Psalm 104:28
In the very beginning of Creation, God established the job of man: “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.” (Genesis 2:15) In our culture, we may simply read this and think, “The very first man on earth was…a gardener?” In our age of corporate CEOs, professional athletes, world travelers, and powerful politicians this seems, at first view, to be a simplistic and insignificant role for which we think, “Adam could have done better.”
In Psalm 104, we see the psalmist’s commentary on the days of Creation from Genesis 1 and 2. As God spoke, the waters came and ran through the mountains settling in the right places for man and animal to use and enjoy (see vss. 1-13).
“He makes…plants for man to cultivate – bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens the heart of a man, oil to make his face shine, and bread that sustains his heart.” (Psalm 104:14,15) God is the source of every good thing man puts his hands to do. Men and women are cultivators. We take something from God using our hands, intellect, and ingenuity to produce something better and more. Out of the ground a seedling becomes a wonderfully satisfying delight to the stomach. We were made by God to enjoy this ongoing process of creation.
The food mentioned in verses 14 and 15 are wine, oil and bread – all basic staples of ancient times. These quotes – “gladdens the heart of a man”, “make his face shine”, and “sustains his heart” – show the deep satisfaction men and women feel and enjoy when we operate out of the role God has for us.
God is the Creator. We are the Stewards – ones who take care of and cultivate what God has created and owns. A steward is entrusted with what belongs to him.
What has God entrusted to you? Do not be deceived or confused. Because God made you, he has entrusted you with many personal resources that can be cultivated and increased for your satisfaction and for God’s glory and praise.
If you are married, God has uniquely positioned you with your spouse to love and cultivate that person to help them become all God wants them to become. If you have children or grandchildren, you are cultivating them with your words, your example, and your love. Where you have work (whether outside the home or inside), you take a task with the opportunity to perform it with excellence and improve on it over time. God desires that all of these be extremely satisfying to you and when you are satisfied with godly tasks, he is ultimately praised and honored.
In Psalm 104, the psalmist ends his psalm with “Praise the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord.” May this be our heart’s cry as we steward well the tasks entrusted to us as God’s people.
William “Carey” Northington of One Master Ministries in Xenia may be contacted at OneMaster.org.