MOLECULES AND MOUNTAINS
I praise You, God, for who You are and what You’ve done.
Read Psalm 104
1 Praise the Lord, my soul.
Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
2 The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3 and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
4 He makes winds his messengers,[a]
flames of fire his servants.
5 He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.
6 You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7 But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
8 they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.
10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the Lord are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.
19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work,
to their labor until evening.
24 How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
27 All creatures look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Praise the Lord.[b]
- Psalm 104:4 Or angels
- Psalm 104:35 Hebrew Hallelu Yah; in the Septuagint this line stands at the beginning of Psalm 105.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow does the creation around you show you the greatness of God?
This psalm is a wonderful example of heartfelt, poetic praise. For those with eyes to see, Romans 1:20 teaches us that God’s invisible attributes are clearly visible throughout creation. For the faith-filled Christian, science and exploration hold no fear and can be a superhighway of worship as we see more of God’s great wisdom and power revealed in molecules and mountains.
The psalmist helps us see God’s kindness and provision to us through creation. God is intimately involved and connected to our planet and galaxy, from setting the moon in motion (19), to supplying food to His creatures (27) and even causing grass to grow (14). During times of stress and anxiety, it is a great comfort to trust in the truth that God has ‘set the earth on its foundations’ (5).
What’s your style when you praise God? Is it more, ‘O Lord, you are good’ compared to the psalmist’s unreserved ‘O Lord my God, you are very great!’ (1, ESV)? The psalmist’s response is one for us to mimic (33, 34): praise, worship, rejoicing (feeling and showing great joy) in God.
How do you worship God? Do you prefer to sing? Write? Kneel silently? Dance? Step a little further out of your comfort zone today and worship God with greater abandon.
‘I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live’ (33).
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