Meditation of Psalm 104

Meditation on Psalm 104 (Preached 8.18.13)

We sing “how great is our God.” We teach our children “God is great. God is good.”

But how do we know that God is great and God is good?

 Psalm 104 invites us to Worship the Lord because He is Great . . . because He is Good.

 

Read Psalm 104 slowly.

Use the “COMA questions for Hebrew wisdom literature and poetry” from David Helm’s book One to One Bible Reading: A Simple Guide for Every Christian. See last’s week’s post for a link to these questions.

 

Read Psalm 104 a second time and ask:

·      What does it teach us about God?

·      What does it teach us about the world in which we live?

·      What does it teach us about who we are and what God expects from us?

Read Psalm 104 a third time: look for four things:*

 

·      A light bulb: anything that shines out in the passage and draws attention; it can be something important, or something that particularly strikes you.

·      A question mark: anything that is hard to understand; something that you would like to be able to ask the author about.

·      An arrow: anything that applies to your life.

·      A Heart: identify the central idea of the passage (What’s the main point of the text?).

 

*This reading strategy also comes from David Helm’s book One to One Bible Reading: A Simple Guide for Every Christian. See chapter 8.

 

Readings for Reflection: You may also look for a light bulb, a question mark, and an arrow in these thoughts.

 

“We see here, also, that nothing is made in vain; though no human lip is moistened by the brooklet in the lone valley, yet are there other creatures which need refreshment, and these slake their thirst at the stream. Is this nothing? Must everything exist for man, or else be wasted? What but our pride and selfishness could have suggested such a notion? It is not true that flowers which blush unseen by human eye are wasting their sweetness, for the bee finds them out, and other winged wanderers live on their luscious juices. Man is but one creature of the many whom the heavenly Father feeds and waters.”

 

C. Spurgeon Treasury of David, Exposition of Psalm 104:11

 http://www.spurgeon.org/treasury/ps104.htm (accessed 8.20.13)

“I point out the story-arc of the Bible and speak of the gospel in terms of creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. We once had the world we all wanted—a world of peace and justice, without death, disease, or conflict. But by turning from God we lost that world. Our sin unleashed forces of evil and destruction so that now “things fall apart” and everything is characterized by physical, social, and personal disintegration. Jesus Christ, however, came into the world, died as a victim of injustice and as our substitute, bearing the penalty of our evil and sin on himself. This will enable him to some day judge the world and destroy all death and evil without destroying us.”

 

T. Keller, “The Gospel in All Its Forms” Leadership Journal 29 (Spring 2008):

http://www.christianitytoday.com/le/2008/spring/9.74a.html?start=5 (accessed 8.20.13).

 

Q. 27.

What dost thou mean by the providence of God?

A.

The almighty and everywhere present power of God; whereby, as it were by his hand, he upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and barren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, and all things come, not by chance, but be his fatherly hand.

 

Q. 28.

What advantage is it to us to know that God has created, and by his providence does still uphold all things?

A.

That we may be patient in adversity; thankful in prosperity; and that in all things, which may hereafter befall us, we place our firm trust in our faithful God and Father, that nothing shall separate us from his love; since all creatures are so in his hand, that without his will they cannot so much as move.

 

The Heidelberg Catechism

http://www.ccel.org/creeds/heidelberg-cat.html#Heading4 (accessed 8.20.13)

 

Sermon Review

Text: Psalm 104

Main Point of the Text (MPT): Praise God as the Creator and Sustainer of all life.

Main Point of the Sermon (MPS): Worship the Lord because He is Great . . . because He is Good.

Basic Outline:

Worship the Lord because He is Great (vv.1-9)

He is clothed with splendor and majesty (vv.1-4)*

He set bounds for the land and the sea (vv.5-9)

Worship the Lord because He is Good (vv.10-30)

He provides water for the land creatures (vv.10-13)

He provides food & homes for the land creatures (vv.14-18)

He governs the rhythm of day and night (vv.19-23)

He delights in the sea creatures (vv.24-26)

Worship the Lord because He is Great . . . because He is Good:

All creatures everywhere depend on his provision (vv.27-30)

May we ever rejoice in the Lord’s works like he does (vv.31-35)

Our Response

God wants you to adore and praise him because of who he is.

God does not want you to forget or ignore who he is.

But God does want you to know his creation and trust his providence.**

Knowing God’s power in creation and providence is for our comfort: We can be patient when things go against us. We can be thankful when things go well. We can have confidence for the future.

 

*See the outline for Psalm 104 in Dennis, Lane T. and Wayne Grudem, eds.,

The ESV Study Bible. Accordance electronic edition, version 1.4. Wheaton: Crossway Bibles, 2008.

**See the reading from the Heidelberg Catechism above.