Because of this psalm’s thankfulness and praise connected to flocks and grain many scholars believe this psalm to be a harvest song. In Jewish culture there are three harvests:
Passover – the first harvest when the barley is brought in and from which bread is made. The festival commemorates the “passing over” of the Israelite homes by the angel of death before the escape from Egypt.
Pentecost – the second harvest when the wheat is brought in and again made into bread. It was previously known as the festival of Weeks, one of the festivals when all Jewish males were expected to appear before the Lord in Jerusalem.
Tabernacles – the final harvest when the grapes are picked and made into wine. This was also known as the feast of Ingathering. It is a week-long festival and a time for pilgrimage.
These harvests remind us of the bread and wine used by Jesus to symbolise His body and blood. Paul also reminds that as Jesus died at Passover he was the “first harvest of the new people of God” (1 Corinthians 15:20). As Christians when we break bread and drink wine together we worship our Lord in the way He commanded us at the Last Supper:
“This is my body, given for you; do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:20).
This is the closest we can be to our Lord as we partake of His body and blood, given to save us.
An alternative view of this psalm is that vs 1-4 say God saves us, vs5-8 God is powerful and vs9-13 God gives us plentiful good things. When God sweeps through a country He leaves good things in abundance, unlike warrior kings who merely leave destruction in their wake.
I am reminded of Maurice Greene’s choral anthem “Thou visitest the earth and blessest it and crownest the year with Thy goodness.” To be blessed means that when we plant seeds we reap a plentiful harvest and this applies to whatever seed we sow.
Sadly, many people are not blessed and I pray that God will bless them with what they need. We must never cease in this prayer as Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:11, “Give us this day our daily bread.”
Father God send blessing on all your people, on us, our localities, our nation, our world – God bless us, every one!