Jun - Aug 2019

Psalm 104: When I'm Astounded by the Natural World

Barry Rodriguez

Jul 21, 2019

Today we are going to be looking at Psalm 104, which is all about wonder and amazement with Creation.

Psalm 104:1-9
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
O Lord my God, how great you are!
You are robed with honor and majesty.
You are dressed in a robe of light.
You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens;
you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariot;
you ride upon the wings of the wind.
The winds are your messengers;
flames of fire are your servants.
You placed the world on its foundation
so it would never be moved.
You clothed the earth with floods of water,
water that covered even the mountains.
At your command, the water fled;
at the sound of your thunder, it hurried away.
Mountains rose and valleys sank
to the levels you decreed.
Then you set a firm boundary for the seas,
so they would never again cover the earth.

But then, the psalm zooms in and takes a closer look at what lives in this Creation.

Psalm 104:10-23
You make springs pour water into the ravines,
so streams gush down from the mountains.
They provide water for all the animals,
and the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds nest beside the streams
and sing among the branches of the trees.
You send rain on the mountains from your heavenly home,
and you fill the earth with the fruit of your labor.
You cause grass to grow for the livestock
and plants for people to use.
You allow them to produce food from the earth—
wine to make them glad,
olive oil to soothe their skin,
and bread to give them strength.
The trees of the Lord are well cared for—
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
There the birds make their nests,
and the storks make their homes in the cypresses.
High in the mountains live the wild goats,
and the rocks form a refuge for the hyraxes.
You made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to set.
You send the darkness, and it becomes night,
when all the forest animals prowl about.
Then the young lions roar for their prey,
stalking the food provided by God.
At dawn they slink back
into their dens to rest.
Then people go off to their work,

The idea of God as the Creator isn't just about something he did long ago. It's about something he continues to do. God provides for His creation.

God didn't just snap his fingers, create everything, and walk away. He actively provides for creation. He's the designer of the universe and the author of life. He is great provider.

Psalm 104:24-35
O Lord, what a variety of things you have made!
In wisdom you have made them all.
The earth is full of your creatures.
Here is the ocean, vast and wide,
teeming with life of every kind,
both large and small.
See the ships sailing along,
and Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea.
They all depend on you
to give them food as they need it.
When you supply it, they gather it.
You open your hand to feed them,
and they are richly satisfied.
But if you turn away from them, they panic.
When you take away their breath,
they die and turn again to dust.
When you give them your breath, life is created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the Lord continue forever!
The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!
The earth trembles at his glance;
the mountains smoke at his touch.
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live.
I will praise my God to my last breath!
May all my thoughts be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
Let all sinners vanish from the face of the earth;
let the wicked disappear forever.
Let all that I am praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!

The psalmist has taken us from the stars to the mountains to the fields...and now he zooms in all the way. He describes how God didn't just create life. He doesn't just provide for life. He is life.