Many, O LORD my God, are your wonderful works which you have done, and your thoughts which are to us-ward…
I. LET US RECALL SOME OF THE WONDROUS WORKS AND THOUGHTS OF GOD TO USWARD DURING THE YEAR.
1. The first wondrous mercy is life itself, How wonderful is life! We lavish upon it our choicest and fondest expressions. With what jealous care we guard it. What are all our daily toil and efforts but a battle for life! When the last stroke seems about to fall, how, do we quiver and weep! When that stroke is suspended, what joy thrills through our frame! Life with its five mysterious senses — life, with its powers of knowing — life, with its susceptibilities of loving and aspiring — life, with its sublime sense of duty, and with its affections and hopes that soar towards God and heaven — is a treasure that makes the weakest man the possessor of boundless wealth. But life is not more sweet and precious than it is frail. At any moment the small dust of the balance may turn the scale against us. A slight pressure of the brain, a pause of the breath, and all is over. Life is a frail ship that ploughs the great ocean amidst hurricanes and lightnings, by quicksands and rocks. How wonderful is it that this frail ship should sail for twenty, forty, seventy years — that this breath should flow on — this flower bloom, not for one, but for many years!
2. We have another illustration of the wonderful works and thoughts of God to us-ward, in the means of life and the comforts of life. Life hangs on the power of God, and no means can give life one moment longer beyond God's will; but life cannot be maintained without means, and those means of life are truly wonderful. The head of a family knows best how much work and thought must go to the getting of food and raiment and other needful things for the children. But what are his work and thought to the work and thought of the great Father of all for each of His children? Think of what is needed for each harvest; what exact adjustment of natural laws so as to suit the different stages of the plant. And these wondrous works of God are not mere works without soul in them. They are His thoughts also. We do not praise the earth, or the clouds, or the sun, but we thank God. But I would notice as the crowning example of God's many and wonderful works and thoughts to us-ward.
3. His works and thoughts in regard to the supreme purpose and aim of life. Life and the means of life are not the end, they are only the means of a greater end. They only give us a basis. We still want a structure to be built upon them. And our Father in heaven knows that the gift of health and life and all temporal blessings Will be no blessing, but only a curse to us, unless we rear upon these the structure of right principles, and holy affections, and Christian usefulness — in a word, all the work of faith, and hope, and charity. He has destined us for these as our chief end.
II. THE GOOD EFFECTS WHICH SHOULD FOLLOW SUCH A REVIEW OF GOD'S WORKS.
1. There should be grateful acknowledgment of His mercies. Gratitude ploughs up the field which is to others only a barren waste, and plants it, and keeps it fresh and green with its tears of joy. The whole past life is the field which it ploughs up, and out of which it makes to spring all that can refresh and strengthen us.
2. The grateful review of the Divine works of mercy will inspire us likewise to be workers of good — to be good, like Him, that we may be His children — to be merciful as our Father is merciful.
3. Lastly, let the grateful review of the wondrous works of God to us-ward produce in us, not only the works of mercy, but the thoughts also of mercy, the spirit of mercy and charity.
Parallel VersesKJV: Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.
WEB: Many, Yahweh, my God, are the wonderful works which you have done, and your thoughts which are toward us. They can't be declared back to you. If I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.