The Final Hallelujah
Creator God, who made the stars in the heavens and set the galaxies in place, I bow before You in awe and worship.
Read PSALM 104:1-35
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Reflect on the words of Romans 8:18-22. All creation is waiting for the day when it will share in the redemption Christ has won. What a day!
Excluding the final, exuberant Hallelujah (Hallelujah is based on the Hebrew for “Praise the Lord”), this psalm is framed by the words “Praise the Lord, O my soul” (1,35). In-between, the author extols the majesty of God and the splendor of the cosmos. With a rich variety of imagery the psalmist celebrates God’s power as revealed through his creative and sustaining activity in nature. All of creation is surveyed as the psalmist describes God’s ordering of land, sea and sky.
In a psalm which is so taken up with the wonder of God and his world, v. 35 seems strangely out of place. We would perhaps feel happier if such strong sentiments were not expressed with such bluntness. Their unexpected presence contrasts with the beauty and harmony of all that has gone before. Yet this may be just what the psalmist intends. God’s creation has been distorted by the presence of sinful human beings. While his ordering of nature is clearly evident, reflecting his majesty, all is far from perfect. The presence of wicked people on the earth pollutes the whole of nature, both metaphorically and literally.
The psalmist’s petition that sinners should be removed from the earth is not said with a vindictive spirit but rather out of recognition of God’s purposes for the world. Implicit in this statement is the hope that one day the whole of creation will become what God originally intended. When Christ returns, this present earth will be replaced by a new earth. As John’s vision of the New Jerusalem highlights, there will be no place for “the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars” (Rev. 21:8). Then all creation will indeed proclaim “Hallelujah!”
Consider some practical steps to enable you to take greater care of the natural environment created by God.
Lord, enable me to love Your creation and treat it with the care it so richly deserves.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Encounter with God is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.