Psa 104: The Lord's Activity on the earth & a call to praise
Comments: This untitled psalm is all about the Lord's
activity in respect of Creation and the earth. Parts 1 & 5
act as ‘bookends' of praise, while parts 2,3 & 4 contain the
content of parts of creation that the psalmist uses as the basis
for praising the Lord.
1 simply extols
Him for His glory and greatness, establishing both heaven and
earth. Part 2 [note spoken directly TO the Lord]
speaks of His creative activity establishing the land and the
sea. Part 3 [note spoken ABOUT the Lord] speaks
of his activity populating the earth with wildlife. Part
4 [note again spoken directly TO the Lord] extends the
wildlife to include humanity. In Part 5 the
psalmist determines to praise the Lord all his life. Because of
the nature of this psalm we will simply put Part headings and
leave the reader to take in the content of each part as it develops
and flows on.]
1: v.1-5: About the Lord, what He does
my God, you
are very great;
you are clothed with splendour and majesty.
wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.
set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.
2: v.6-8: To the Lord, about what He has done with the
covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took
flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.
3: v.10-19: About the Lord, about what He has done with
He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of
makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate –
bringing forth food from the earth:
that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.
trees of the Lord
are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the junipers.
high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.
made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.
4: v.20-30: To the Lord, about what He has done with the
You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.
sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.
people go out to their work,
to their labour until evening.
many are your works, Lord
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number –
living things both large and small.
the ships go to and fro,
and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic
creatures look to you
to give them their food at the proper
you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.
5: v.31-35: Desire to Praise the Lord
the glory of the Lord
may the Lord rejoice in his works –
who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
will sing to the Lord
all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long
as I live.
my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.
may sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more.
Comments: Two things may be noted. First in the flow
back and forth between speaking about the Lord and then addressing
the Lord, it is almost as if the psalmist keeps on wanting to
make it personal so it not just objective information about the
Lord, but an affirmation to the Lord of what he sees the Lord
has done. Second, the order of Parts 2, 3 and 4 appear to roughly
cover Gen 1:9,10, then Gen 1:24,25 and finally Gen 1:26-28 affirming
the Lord's hand in Creation, not an accident.]
to Psa 105