Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Psalm 65:9-13 describes an earth which is fruitful due to the presence of God. As the Lord nourishes the earth he created, it brings forth bounty. This is a joyful thing. The description, especially in verses 11-13, shows an abundance which is so overwhelming that people can barely keep up with it. Even the meadows and the valleys are singing in joy.
If this is so, why are we currently hearing about the problem of hunger in many parts of the world? Wouldn’t we expect the problem to be overabundance? What’s wrong, anyway?
Genesis chapter 3 points us to the result of sin. It will be difficult to make the earth bring forth food. When I consider my little garden plot and the challenges of weeds, animals who would like to eat the plants, the diseases which can strike plants, the problems caused by too much or too little water or sunshine, and all the many other challenges of raising food, it amazes me that we get anything at all from the ground. Failure to trust in God results in all generations of humans living with difficult conditions, including their food supply.
We also find that the parts of the world which are subject to famine conditions almost always have other conflict, or recent history of conflict. A government has taken away the natural reward system of cultivating land. An army has trampled or otherwise destroyed a harvest. Political wrangling has interfered with the optimal timing of planting or other crop care. One failed harvest can lead to another and another.
The Lord who created this earth and filled it with food can make it bring forth abundantly. As we trust in his ability and hope in his provision, we can learn to be good stewards even of a fallen world. We can look at everything we receive as a gift from God, a blessing, to be used for us and for our neighbor. There’s hope yet.
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