Psalm 104

Psalm 104

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O Lord My God, You Are Very Great

104   Bless the LORD, O my soul!
    O LORD my God, you are very great!
  You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
    covering yourself with light as with a garment,
    stretching out the heavens like a tent.
  He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;
  he makes the clouds his chariot;
    he rides on the wings of the wind;
  he makes his messengers winds,
    his ministers a flaming fire.
  He set the earth on its foundations,
    so that it should never be moved.
  You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
  At your rebuke they fled;
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
  The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
    to the place that you appointed for them.
  You set a boundary that they may not pass,
    so that they might not again cover the earth.
  You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
    they flow between the hills;
  they give drink to every beast of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
  Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
    they sing among the branches.
  From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
    the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
  You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
    and plants for man to cultivate,
  that he may bring forth food from the earth
    and wine to gladden the heart of man,
  oil to make his face shine
    and bread to strengthen man’s heart.
  The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
  In them the birds build their nests;
    the stork has her home in the fir trees.
  The high mountains are for the wild goats;
    the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.
  He made the moon to mark the seasons;
    the sun knows its time for setting.
  You make darkness, and it is night,
    when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
  The young lions roar for their prey,
    seeking their food from God.
  When the sun rises, they steal away
    and lie down in their dens.
  Man goes out to his work
    and to his labor until the evening.
  O LORD, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom have you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
  Here is the sea, great and wide,
    which teems with creatures innumerable,
    living things both small and great.
  There go the ships,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.
  These all look to you,
    to give them their food in due season.
  When you give it to them, they gather it up;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
  When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
    when you take away their breath, they die
    and return to their dust.
  When you send forth your Spirit, they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.
  May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
    may the LORD rejoice in his works,
  who looks on the earth and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains and they smoke!
  I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
    I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
  May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    for I rejoice in the LORD.
  Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
    and let the wicked be no more!
  Bless the LORD, O my soul!
  Praise the LORD!

(ESV)


Psalm 104 Commentary

by Hank Workman

In beautiful form, the glory of God’s creation is reflected upon throughout this psalm.  I found myself in awe while reading of the greatness of our God who formed and created all things out of nothing.  As Charles Spurgeon wrote, “The Psalm gives an interpretation to the many voices of nature, and sings sweetly both of creation and providence.  The poem contains a complete cosmos: sea and land, cloud and sunlight, plant and animal, light and darkness, life and death, are all proved to be expressive of the presence of the Lord.”

This psalm is a call to worship our God in reflection of His creation.

There is a fascinating aspect here hidden unless you’re looking for it.  It appears the psalmist had the creation story in mind when he reflected upon these praises written.  As creation started with light, so does he open up with the description of God himself.  (Psalm 104:1-2 / Genesis 1:3)  From there it speaks toward the other days of creation.

In poetic summary, day two with the creation of the heavens and waters (104:2,3 / Genesis 1:6).  Day three has the land and vegetation (104:6-18 / Genesis 1:9-13).  Day four is the sun, moon and stars (104:19-23 / Genesis 1:14-16).  Day five is the fish and the birds, (104:25-26 / Genesis 1:20-23) and on Day six is the animals, man and food to sustain his creation (104:21-24,27-30 / Genesis 1:24:24-31).

It’s a praise to God for all He has done!

Our God has clothed Himself in splendor and glory, majesty above all things we could ever comprehend our mind could fathom.  The universe is the very garment of our God.

This is truly that moment when heaven and nature sings!


Psalm 104 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Let the glory of the LORD endure forever; Let the LORD be glad in His works;  32  He looks at the earth, and it trembles; He touches the mountains, and they smoke.

Psalms 104:31-32 NASB

Sometimes we feel as if we need to defend our God’s decisions. Let’s face it, there is a lot about our world that doesn’t make sense. In our impatience, we want things to be made right. This comes from our innate sense of justice created by God Himself during our formation. But, we also wonder, at times, why He is taking so long. We question why He is allowing something to go on. We wonder if He hears us. These themes are beaten to a pulp in the book of Psalms, however, they are extremely relevant for us.

So, what does it look like to try and defend God? Some go to extreme lengths of justification that honestly make no sense to me. Some will try and twist Scripture to mean something it doesn’t. Some will seek higher knowledge and wisdom in order to try and comprehend things on the same level as God. Some work themselves into an unnecessary frenzy of undoing a “curse” or a “hex.”

Don’t get me wrong – there are times for some of these. We should defend the truth about God and seek higher wisdom in certain cases. The tricky part is when we do these things when He is actually calling us to cooperate in faith with His plan. Sometimes He just asks us to take Him at face value. This is the definition of faith. It is the is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. News flash – faith doesn’t try and figure everything out! Can you admit you don’t know everything but you are still fully believing in God’s plan? Do we really believe He can handle it? Or, do we kick into overdrive by looking for a sign or wonder or demon in everything? Is that really faith? It sounds more like insecurity to me.

In Psalm 104, the writer is in full cooperation with God. Even the fearful characteristics of God. I don’t know about you, but when I read that He looks at the earth and it trembles, it strikes a fear inside me. It is a reverence for how awesome and mighty He really is. It draws me to cooperate with His ways even if they make no sense, or, are downright unexplainable. Yes, I want to seek His ways and gain deeper knowlege – but I also want to trust Him. God, when you ask me to trust, help me to believe You instead of trying to take things into my own hands!

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