Psalm 104

Psalm 104
Israel Praising Jehovah for His Glory As Creator and Sustainer of All Things
Psalm 104. As Psalm 103 was Israel’s praise of Jehovah for His delivering grace, so this Psalm (also of David, as the style and language implies, v.1) give us Israel’s praise of Jehovah for His glory as Creator! We have that which correlates to the six days of creation in Genesis 1, although in a poetic way.1 This is one of the creation Psalms, along with Psalm 19.
1 Bless Jehovah, O my soul! Jehovah my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with majesty and splendour;
2 Covering thyself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent-curtain; —
3 Who layeth the beams of his upper chambers in the waters, who maketh clouds his chariot, who walketh upon the wings of the wind;
4 “Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flame of fire.” [quoted Hebrews 1:7]
vv.1-4 Jehovah’s Glory in Creating the Heavens. The Psalmist exclaims over the greatness and glory of Jehovah as Creator. We have the entrance of light in v.2, and the forming of the heavens. We have the forming of the expanse in v.3 with its clouds and wind, and which separated the waters above (the “upper chambers”) from the waters below. The “beams” would be the power by which God reserved the waters above. But all of this is only the first heaven. In v.4 we have the second heaven; the beings that inhabit the spiritual realm, or the heavenly placed. This verse is quoted in Hebrews 1:7, so show how much greater the Son is than angels. The angels had to be “made” by Him, but He is eternal and uncreated.
5 He laid the earth upon its foundations: it shall not be removed for ever.
6 Thou hadst covered it with the deep, as with a vesture; the waters stood above the mountains:
7 At thy rebuke they fled, at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away; —
8 The mountains rose, the valleys sank, unto the place which thou hadst founded for them; —
9 Thou hast set a bound which they may not pass over, that they turn not again to cover the earth.
vv.5-9 Jehovah’s Glory in Creating the Earth. Having spoken of the heavens, now a fresh subject for praise appears; the wonders of God’s wisdom and power in creating the earth. We read of the foundations of the earth being laid, which would refer to the original creation of the earth (Gen. 1:1). The covering of the earth with water (v.6) is recorded in Genesis 1:6, when the waters were divided, but the waters below still covered the dry land. In vv.7-8 we have the events of Gen. 1:9-10, i.e. causing the dry land to appear. In v.9 we have the coastlines defined; “he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment” (Prov. 8:29).
10 He sendeth the springs into the valleys: they run among the mountains;
11 They give drink to every beast of the field; the wild asses quench their thirst.
12 The birds of heaven dwell by them; they give forth their voice from among the branches.
13 He watereth the mountains from his upper-chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
vv.10-13 Jehovah’s Glory in Creating the Waters. In these verses we have the creation of springs, rivers, and rainfalls that water the land and animals.
14 He maketh the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man; bringing forth bread out of the earth,
15 And wine which gladdeneth the heart of man; making his face shine with oil; and with bread he strengtheneth man’s heart.
16 The trees of Jehovah are satisfied, the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted,
17 Where the birds make their nests; as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats; the cliffs, a refuge for the rock-badgers.
vv.14-18 Jehovah’s Glory in Creating Food and Habitats. We find that the grass, grain, and herbs are produced to feed man and animal. Not only the basic needs of man are met, but he is richly provided for with wine, oil, and bread! In addition to men and animals, “The trees of Jehovah are satisfied, the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted” (v.16). The trees in turn provide shelter for birds (v.17), as the mountains provide for the goats, etc.
19 He made the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth its going down.
20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night, wherein all the beasts of the forest creep forth:
21 The young lions roar after the prey, and to seek their food from GOD.
22 The sun ariseth, they retreat, and lay them down in their dens.
23 Man goeth forth unto his work, and to his labour until the evening.
vv.19-23 Jehovah’s Glory in Regulating Seasons and Cycles. Next we find that God has regulated the cycles, systems, and seasons of the earth. The moon governs the months, and the sun days and years (v.19). The darkness is the time when certain predators hunt (vv.20-21), and they retire to their dens in the daytime (v.22), and then man begins his workday (v.23).
24 How manifold are thy works, O Jehovah! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
25 Yonder is the great and wide sea: therein are moving things innumerable, living creatures small and great.
26 There go the ships; there that leviathan, which thou hast formed to play therein.
27 These all look unto thee, that thou mayest give their food in its season:
28 That thou givest unto them, they gather; thou openest thy hand, they are filled with good.
29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled; thou takest away their breath, they expire and return to their dust.
30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created, and thou renewest the face of the earth.
vv.24-30 Jehovah’s Glory in Sustaining the Creation. The Psalmist breaks forth in praise to Jehovah for His wisdom in creation! When we consider the vastness of what God has created, “the great and wide sea” full of innumerable moving creatures big and small, it causes us to sense the true wisdom and power of God as seen in Creation. But His Creator-glory is seen not only is the act of creation but also in the work of sustaining what He has made; “These all look unto thee, that thou mayest give their food in its season”. All creation depends on God for sustenance (vv.27-28), for protection (v.29), and for growth and renewal (v.30).
31 The glory of Jehovah will endure for ever; Jehovah will rejoice in his works.
32 He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth; he toucheth the mountains, and they smoke.
33 I will sing unto Jehovah as long as I live; I will sing psalms to my God while I have my being.
34 My meditation shall be pleasant unto him; I will rejoice in Jehovah.
35 Sinners shall be consumed out of the earth, and the wicked shall be no more. Bless Jehovah, O my soul. Hallelujah! 
vv.31-35 Conclusion and Response. The Psalm turns to a higher theme; the glory of the Creator which will “endure forever”. Jehovah Himself will “rejoice in His works”. He has absolute dominion over His creation (v.32). The glory of Christ as Creator draws out the praise of Israel in response (vv.33-34). The judgment of the wicked is brought in at the end (v.35), because it is still a feature of the Millennium, but not the emphasis in Psalm 104.
  1. Day 1 (v.2a), Day 2 (v.2b), Day 3 (vv.5-18), Day 4 (vv.19-24), Day 5 (vv.25-30), Day 6 (vv.31-end).
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