Pursuing an entirely different line of thought at this point, it is also worth reflecting on what the opening verses of this psalm say about singing, praise and thanksgiving, and about their relationships.

Most Bible students know that later in its history, after the Babylonian captivity, the nation of Israel became religiously exclusive. The masses of Jews looked down on Gentiles, who were thought of as being excluded from any relationship to the true God, and deservedly so. It is somewhat surprising therefore to find many times a considerably broader and inclusive view in the psalms.

There is a link between the last verse of Psalm 65 and the first two verses of Psalm 66, which is probably why Psalm 66 is placed where it is in the Psalter. The last verse of Psalm 65 was about the meadows and valleys of the land, and it is said of them that “they shout for joy and sing.” The first verses of Psalm 66 call for this same response from the entire earth, that is, from human beings: “Shout with joy to God, all the earth! Sing to the glory of his name.”

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.