We come then to the stanza for which the two preceding sections have prepared us. It is about the people's harvest, and it tells us that the God who is gracious to his people and all-powerful in effecting his purposes, has shown both his grace and his power in blessing the harvest and the land.

God is gracious, but he is mighty too, as the second stanza of the psalm points out. God's strength is more than equal to any gracious design he may have. In this stanza the psalm mentions three specific displays of God's power: 1) in raising the mountains; 2) in calming the seas; and 3) in quieting the nations.

A psalm which is as focused on a national Jewish festival as this one might easily have become narrowly nationalistic, that is, a psalm in praise of One who is thought to be the God of Israel only. But however special the relationship between Jehovah and his specially chosen people may be, the God of Israel is nevertheless the God of all other peoples too, and this important balance is maintained in the opening verses.

How was this psalm to be used in Israel? And when was it sung? It could have been sung at any time, of course, and probably was. But since it deals with the bounty of a good harvest, it is likely that it was composed for the Jews' annual harvest festival, the Feast of Tabernacles. This was the longest and most joyful feast of the Jews.

Psalm 65 is an extraordinary, exquisite poem about nature. But it is also predominantly about the God of nature, who is gracious to man, powerful in his acts and the source of all nature's bounty—which is what we would expect of a song written by David, the great poet of Israel.