Lord, Your creation is majestic.
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.
‘LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth’ (Ps 8:1)!
What’s the point of wasps? This is a question many of us ask on a hot summer’s day when these insects are flying around our food and drink harassing us. A BBC news report answered this question by explaining that they play an invaluable role in keeping down pests and pollinating plants (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-41042948). This reminds us that even those creatures for which we can see little purpose have a role to play. Of course, this should not surprise us as Christians, for we believe that all life has been created by God.
Today’s psalm touches upon the remarkably modern theme of the interdependence of life. It reminds us of the ongoing balance of nature and how through it God provides food and habitat for life to flourish. The psalmist describes streams supplying water for animals and birds; grass that provides food for cattle together with plants that feed us and trees that act as nesting habitats for birds. God’s creation even provides the materials to make non-essentials like wine, the purpose of which is simply to gladden the heart (15). It is incredible to think that everything we need and everything humanity has fashioned has come from this earth. God has indeed made it abundantly fruitful.
However, concern for God’s creation has not always been at the forefront of Christian thinking, for many reasons. God’s instruction to ‘fill the earth and subdue it’ and ‘rule over’ every living creature (Gen 1:28), for instance, has been misunderstood as a license to exploit the earth. This psalm, then, acts as an apt reminder that God has designed a carefully balanced world on which humans, as well as the rest of creation, depend for our wellbeing and survival. Surely, then, as Christians it is our responsibility to protect it.
How concerned are we about our planet? What prevents us from caring more? Ask God to guide us about any further actions we can take to protect His world.
Lord, every creature, including ourselves, looks to You for our sustenance. Thank You for providing for our needs.
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