Scriptures

Psalm 104

Introduction

This psalm is similar to the previous plasm, Psalm 103, where the psalmist, who isn’t known, speaks of adoration and praise for God because of His wonderful works of creation.

‘Praise the LORD, my soul. LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendour and majesty. The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent 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. He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants. He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them. You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth.’ Psalm 104:1-9

As in the previous psalm, Psalm 103:1-2 / Psalm 103:22, the psalmist speaks to their soul and asks their soul to praise the LORD. They want the innermost part of them to praise God, Numbers 6:23-27.

The LORD is their God who is great and clothed with splendour and majesty. God is also clothed in light as a garment, Genesis 1:3 / Matthew 17:2 / 1 Timothy 6:16.

God’s power is clearly seen in creation when He stretched out the heavens like a tent, Isaiah 40:22. His power is seen in the way He laid the beams of His upper chambers on their waters, Amos 9:6.

In other words, as a builder constructs a building, so God constructed the world out of the materials that He had created from nothing. He first laid the foundations, and then created all living things.

His power is seen in the way He makes the clouds His chariots and rides on the wings of the wind, Genesis 1:6-7. In other words, God has total control over all the elements, as the creator, He controls everything He created. The winds are His messengers and flames of fire are His servants.

Note that some translations render that verse as follows, ‘who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire’. This simply means that God rules over the angels, equipping and commissioning them as it pleases Him, Hebrews 1:7.

The psalmist understand that God is the creator, the One who set the earth on its foundation, Job 38:4. They know that God built the earth with solid foundations which won’t ever move, 2 Peter 3:10-13.

The psalmist recalls the separation of waters at creation, Genesis 1:2 / Genesis 1:9-10, and or the great flood in Noah’s day, Genesis 7:19-20. The water covering the mountains would certainly speak of the great flood, Job 38:9.

At creation, when the waters covered the earth, Genesis 1:9, God made the waters flee, Genesis 8:3. The psalmist describes God’s voice as thunder, and when He speaks the waters obeyed Him, Genesis 1:9 / Matthew 8:26.

At God’s rebuke, the waters flowed over the mountains, went down into the valleys, to the place He assigned for them. Notice it was God who set a boundary so that the water couldn’t cover the earth again, Job 26:10 / Job 38:10-11. This of course could also be speaking about the water at the time of the flood, Genesis 8:11-17 / Genesis 9:11 / Genesis 9:15.

‘He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work. He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate—bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts. The trees of the LORD are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the junipers. The high mountains belong to the wild goats; the crags are a refuge for the hyrax. He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl. The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God. The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens. Then people go out to their work, to their labour until evening.’ Psalm 104:10-23

The psalmist tells us that God made the springs water pour into the ravines and flow between the mountains, Genesis 1:9-13. By doing this He was able to give water to all the beasts and the wild donkeys, Job 11:12, who were thirsty.

He was also able to give all the birds a place to nest where there is an abundant supply of water. The water also blessed the mountains and the land was blessed as it had the water it needed to produce fruit.

It’s God who created the grass and causes it to grow in order to feed the cattle. He created plants and caused them to grow so that people can work and have abundant food to eat. He created the earth is such a way that the earth would provide food, Genesis 1:29, wine, John 2:10, oil and bread for everyone, Genesis 18:5.

Even the mighty trees of Lebanon are blessed to have plenty of water, Psalm 84:3 / Isaiah 14:8 / Isaiah 41:19. They are blessed because the birds nest in their branches and the stork makes its home in the junipers, Job 39:13.

The mountains provide a home for the wild goats, Job 39:1, and the crags are a safe haven for the hyrax, which is a shy rock dwelling animal, Leviticus 11:5 / Deuteronomy 14:7.

When God created the moon and sun, He created them to mark out the seasons and they move at His command, Genesis 1:14-18. In the darkness of night, the smaller nocturnal animals, Genesis 1:24, go out and hunt, the lions look for food which God has provided for them. Whilst the animals sleep through the day, mankind goes out to work when it’s safer to do so.

‘How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number—living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.’ Psalm 104:24-30

The psalmist continues in his adoration of God’s creation and acknowledges that everything didn’t just happen by chance, God created all of His creatures with wisdom, Acts 17:24-31.

We can imagine the psalmist looking out onto the Mediterranean Sea, Isaiah 33:21, and seeing all the creatures, both large and small who live in the sea.

He sees the ships going back and forth on top of the waters and He sees the Leviathan play around under the sea. The Leviathan is some kind of large animal, Job 41:1 / Psalm 74:13-15.

All the creates of the land, the air and sea, wait for God to feed them at the proper time. When God does feed them, they feed from God’s hand and are satisfied. In other words, they are totally dependent on God to provide for their needs.

If God didn’t provide for all the creatures needs, they wouldn’t last very long. If God hid His face or removed their ability to breath, they wouldn’t last very long. In other words, they were totally reliant on God to provide everything they need to survive and if He didn’t, the creatures would soon die.

When one creature dies, God, by His Spirit creates another. He makes everything on earth new by breathing into new animals and people so that they become alive.

‘May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works—he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke. I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD. But may sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more. Praise the LORD, my soul. Praise the LORD.’ Psalm 104:31-35

The psalmist now gives God all the glory for everything He has created, His glory will endure forever. He asks the LORD to rejoice over everything He created, Genesis 1:31.

When God looks at the earth, the earth trembles, when He touches the mountains, they smoke. These are constant reminders of God’s power over His creation, Exodus 19:18 / Habakkuk 3:10.

Because of what God created, the psalmist ends by declaring that they will sing to the LORD all the days of their life. They are determined to mediate on God and His ways because this will please God and they are determined to rejoice in the LORD.

In light of God’s awesome creation, the psalmist declares that sinners should vanish and the wicked be no more. These are obviously people who denied the existence of God and ignored all the evidence of His exitance seen in His creation, Romans 1:18-32.

The psalmist ends their palm David ended the previous psalm, Psalm 103:1-2 / Psalm 103:22, with the same words they begun with, they want their soul, their entire inner being to praise the LORD.

Conclusion

The psalmist gave glory to God for what everything God had created and the glory of God has been demonstrated through the existence of that which He created, Psalm 8.

Everything God created was good, Genesis 1:4 / Genesis 1:10 / Genesis 1:12 / Genesis 1:18 / Genesis 1:21 / Genesis 1:25, and when He created man He said it was very good, Genesis 1:31.

God is very active in His creation and He didn’t create the world and then just leave His creation to fend for themselves. Even today, He participates in the physical world of His creation by maintaining its existence, Hebrews 1:3.

He participates in the life of His creation in that He continually provides for the animals and man who live with the food that is produced by the natural environment which He upholds, Hebrews 1:3.

When we acknowledge that He exists and He controls everything within His creation, then surely we, like the psalmist should thank Him for His creation every day and praise Him all the days of our lives.

Go To Psalm 105

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

2 Corinthians 5:17

MENU