objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read
layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses
for meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic
a description of what is happening)
psalm uses three different forms – speaking to himself, speaking
to the readers, and speaking to the Lord.
verses 2-5 and 10-19 it is as if he speaks to his readers objectively
about who God is and what he has done.
verses 6-9 and 20-30 he speaks directly to the Lord – observe
the use of ‘You'.
of it comes with a sense of reverent awe, extolling God and providing
fuel for our worship of Him.
to himself to praise God) Praise
the Lord, my soul.
because he is so great) Lord
my God, you are very great;
appears so full of splendour) you
are clothed with splendor and majesty.
He stands back and describes to us what the Lord does and has
psalmists recognition of the Lord's greatness, over and above
glory always surrounds him) The
Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
(space is but his home) he
stretches out the heavens like a tent
home is above the clouds) and
lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
(indeed the scudding clouds look like your transport)
He makes the clouds his chariot
(and you said across the sky on the wind)
and rides on the wings of the wind.
winds seem to bring his messages) He
makes winds his messengers ,
( lightning does his bidding) flames
of fire his servants.
the earth) He set the earth
on its foundations;
(so it can never be moved) it
can never be moved.
He steps forward and addresses the Lord directly (1) - His initial
acts of creation
psalmist's recognition of God's initial creative acts seen in
v.6 (you made much water on the earth)
You covered it with the watery depths
as with a garment;
(so much it even covered what today we call mountains)
the waters stood above the mountains.
(but at your
command the waters receded) But
at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they
took to flight;
evaporated what was left flows down as rivers and streams)
they flowed over the mountains, they
went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for
were formed of designated sizes) You
set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover
He stands back again and describes to us what the Lord does and
has done (2)
the Lord's creative acts but now seeing it bringing water for
the life on earth) He makes
springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the
provide for living creatures of the earth) They
give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys
quench their thirst.
(even the birds
need water as do the trees they nest in) The
birds of the sky nest by the waters; they sing among the
(the water cycle
means water comes from the clouds, runs down the mountains, fill
the seas and is evaporated to clouds again, a constant supply
) He waters the mountains from
his upper chambers; the land is satisfied by the fruit of his
for cattle, plants for mankind, food grown using water) He
makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
– drink that brings pleasure) wine
that gladdens human hearts,
(oil for skin care and enhancing beauty and wellbeing)
oil to make their faces shine,
(bread the staff of life that sustains us) and
bread that sustains their hearts.
enables great trees to grow) The
trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon
that he planted.
(and there provide
homes and security for birds) There
the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the
(some of the
creatures find security in the high mountains) The
high mountains belong to the wild goats; the crags are a refuge
for the hyrax.
seasons, all profit from the sun and moon) He
made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when
to go down.
He steps forward again and addresses the Lord directly (2)
The activity of the Earth
v.20,21 (Lord, you created the night where
the animals prowl to find their food) 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 they retire) The
sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down
in their dens.
is the time when people get up and work) Then
people go out to their work, to their labor until evening.
this activity is because you created them) How
many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them
all; the earth is full of your creatures.
sea there is just as much activity) There
is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond
number— living things both large and small.
surface similarly, much activity) There
the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed
to frolic there.
life relies on you to provide for them) All
creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper
God's interaction with all creatures
it, they receive it) When you
give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they
are satisfied with good things.
don't they are in trouble) When
you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away
their breath, they die and return to the dust.
power of your Spirit you bring life to creatures and plant life
alike) When you send your Spirit, they
are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
To God be the Glory
wonderful presence be here forever, Him rejoicing in all His works
on earth) May the glory of the
Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—
He moves and the earth is changed) he
who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the
mountains, and they smoke.
touches my heart so I will sing of it forever, praise to my God)
I will sing to the Lord all my life; I
will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
conclusion be aright and please him) May
my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.
those who are godless and unrighteous be taken away. I will praise
Him for He is worthy) But may
sinners vanish from the earth and the wicked be no more.
Praise the Lord, my soul. Praise the Lord.
The apostle Paul rebukes the unbelieving world for its
failure to perceive God in the wonder of His world (Rom 1:19,20)
This psalm is an antidote for that unbelief as the psalmist focuses
our attention on the wonder of the Lord's activity (v.2-5), His
activity in establishing the planet (v.6-9), bringing life with
living creatures and His provision for them (v.10-19), seen in
all the activity on the earth (v.20-27), seen in the way how He
provides for them and they rely on Him (v.28-30). All of this
provokes him into praise and worship (v.31-35) – and hopefully
us as well.