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Reading:                                         Psalm 104                                                                  

 (Verses 1-9)

Praise the LORD, my soul.

LORD my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor 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
(NIV).

Reflection

All of Psalm 104 is a poetic ode in praise of God’s creation. Like the previous psalm it begins and ends by calling us to praise the LORD.

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Sunrise over Departure Bay, Nanaimo, BC — photo by David Kitz

The psalmist begins his description of creation at the beginning. By that I mean he begins with the LORD in the heavens. He is the source point. It’s a very fitting start since the LORD called into being all of creation—all that we can see, hear and examine. In the creation account we read, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Genesis 1:2). But here we read a more detailed—a more poetic description: 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.

The God of the heavens separates the waters of sky and earth. He establishes the boundaries of the oceans. These are the events of the second and third day in the Genesis account, but here they are portrayed as a seamless whole. In all this, the LORD is the actor, the mover, the sole performer. He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants. He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.

And what a performance this is! It has no equal and no precedent. Land, sky and sea are His handiwork and do His bidding. They respond to the Master Builder, and so should we.

Response: LORD God, you are very great! I kneel before you, my awesome God! I praise you for your creation. It is magnificent because you are more than magnificent. All praise belongs to you. Amen.

Your Turn: Is there a particular aspect of creation that you are drawn to or enjoy, for example the stars, the oceans or the animal kingdom?