Psalm 104:  God the Creator and Provider

O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions– Psalm 104:24

All nature displays the glory of God

 

God’s greatness is displayed in the Creation He shaped and sustains.  This powerful psalm weaves praise for God through its graphic description of majestic elements of creation which show God’s power and the compassionate elements which show His concern for living creatures.  No wonder the psalmist’s heart, and ours are filled with wonder and praise.

104:2 God is Spirit (see John 4:24), and descriptions of Him vary through the Bible.  One strong description of Him is light (see 1 John 1:5).  Here light is described as the garment that enfolds His wonder.  The first act of God in Genesis was the command for light (Gen. 1:3).

2  Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.

104:3, 4 beams of His upper chambers:  With these poetic words, the psalmist alludes to the heavenly dwelling place of God, a place beyond human understanding.

3  He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind,

104:5-7 At Your rebuke:  The poet recalls that God brought dry land from the watery abyss in Gen. 1:9, 10.  The word of God is referred to as a “rebuke” or a “thundering.”

5  You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever, 6  You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters stood above the mountains. 7  At Your rebuke they fled; At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away. 8  They went up over the mountains; They went down into the valleys, To the place which You founded for them. 9  You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, That they may not return to cover the earth.

 

104:14, 15 vegetation:  The basis for this section is Gen. 1:11-13, the creative acts of God on the third day.  Here the psalmist indicates the specific purpose of God’s creation:  to provide for the needs of human beings.  Wine, oil, and bread – staples of everyday life in Israel – are blessings of God to enrich life.

14  He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth, 15  And wine that makes glad the heart of man, Oil to make his face shine, And bread which strengthens man’s heart.

104:19 seasons:  The events of the 4th day of creation are reviewed here (Gen. 1:14-19).  The point is that God has established the patterns of life.

19  He appointed the moon for seasons; The sun knows its going down.

104:24 The Hebrew wisdom writers looked at the world with a sense of wonder and reference because it reflected the wisdom of its Creator.

24  O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions–

104:27-30 These all wait:  All creation depends on the Creator for birth, life, and sustenance.  Even death is controlled by the Sovereign One.

These all wait for You, That You may give them their food in due season. 28  What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. 29  You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30  You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.

104:31 God continues to rejoice in His creative work on earth (Prov. 8:30, 31).  The Lord considered His creation “good” from the beginning (Gen. 1:31), and His pleasure in it remains.

31  May the glory of the Lord endure forever; May the Lord rejoice in His works.

104:34, 35 my meditation:  The poet wants to respond properly to God’s creation.  Bless the Lord echoes the beginning of the psalm (v.1).

34  May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord. 35  May sinners be consumed from the earth, And the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!

** I am happy to be His creation.  I am not just one of many others made with a cookie cutter.  Each of us are so uniquely and wonderfully made!  My joy does not come from the greatness of me but from knowing that of God.  We who trust in Him can have peace, knowing that our Creator will take care of us from beginning to end.  “May the Lord rejoice in His works… May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.”

 

 


104 1  Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, 2  Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. 3  He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind, 4  Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire. 5  You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever, 6  You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters stood above the mountains. 7  At Your rebuke they fled; At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away. 8  They went up over the mountains; They went down into the valleys, To the place which You founded for them. 9  You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, That they may not return to cover the earth.

10  He sends the springs into the valleys, They flow among the hills. 11  They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst. 12  By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches. 13  He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works. 14  He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth, 15  And wine that makes glad the heart of man, Oil to make his face shine, And bread which strengthens man’s heart. 16  The trees of the Lord are full of sap, The cedars of Lebanon which He planted, 17  Where the birds make their nests; The stork has her home in the fir trees. 18  The high hills are for the wild goats; The cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers.

19  He appointed the moon for seasons; The sun knows its going down. 20  You make darkness, and it is night, In which all the beasts of the forest creep about. 21  The young lions roar after their prey, And seek their food from God. 22  When the sun rises, they gather together And lie down in their dens. 23  Man goes out to his work And to his labor until the evening. 24  O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions– 25  This great and wide sea, In which are innumerable teeming things, Living things both small and great. 26  There the ships sail about; There is that Leviathan Which You have made to play there. 27  These all wait for You, That You may give them their food in due season. 28  What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good. 29  You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. 30  You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.

31  May the glory of the Lord endure forever; May the Lord rejoice in His works. 32  He looks on the earth, and it trembles; He touches the hills, and they smoke. 33  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. 34  May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord. 35  May sinners be consumed from the earth, And the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!