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Bless the Lord of Creation (Through the Psalms) Psalm 104

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green
The Truth Network Radio
January 28, 2023 7:00 am

Bless the Lord of Creation (Through the Psalms) Psalm 104

The Truth Pulpit / Don Green

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January 28, 2023 7:00 am

Welcome to Through the Psalms, a weekend ministry of The Truth Pulpit. Over time, we will study all 150 psalms with Pastor Don Green from Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. We're glad you're with us. Let's open to the Psalms now as we join our teacher in The Truth Pulpit. thetruthpulpit.com-ttpwClick the icon below to listen.

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Welcome to Through the Psalms, a weekend ministry of the Truth Pulpit, teaching God's people God's Word. Over time, we'll study all 150 Psalms with Pastor Don Green from Truth Community Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

We're so glad you're with us. Let's open to the Psalms right now as we join our teacher in the Truth Pulpit. Psalm 104 is a Psalm of praise to God, and it is a good bookend to Psalm 103, which we studied last time. And if you'll recall, Psalm 103 was blessing God for his work in history.

There was a personal dimension to it, a corporate dimension to it, an eternal dimension to it, a universal dimension to the praise. And the psalmist opened up, bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me. Bless his holy name.

Forget none of his benefits. And then he launched on from there. And at the end of Psalm 103, he blesses God and calls upon all of his works to join in the praise. Look at the last verse in Psalm 103, verse 22.

He says, bless the Lord, all you works of his, in all places of his dominion. Bless the Lord, O my soul. And that was the bookend phrase of Psalm 103. Bless the Lord, O my soul, verse 1. Bless the Lord, O my soul, verse 22.

Everything within those bookends was designed to reinforce the theme of praise. Well, Psalm 104 has the same bracketing mechanism, and it takes that closing note of bless the Lord, all you works of his, and picks up the theme and praises God for his works. And as I like to do, let me just show you a few key verses to kind of orient you as we go through the Psalm rather quickly here this evening.

Notice the framing verses. Verse 1, bless the Lord, O my soul, O Lord my God, you are very great. And so he opens and establishes this theme of praise right from the very beginning. And he ends on that note as well when he says at the very end of verse 35, bless the Lord, O my soul, praise the Lord. And so you see that this is once again a psalm that is devoted to praise. Now we have seen many different kinds of psalms as we've studied through them.

We've seen psalms of lament as David is working through difficult trials and trying to regain his footing of trust, for example. We saw psalms that were praising the Lord as king. Here we are seeing something that is uniquely devoted to praising God for his works. And what I want to show you here, look at verse 13 here, and you see this emphasis on the works of God as the basis upon which praise is given to him.

In verse 13, the psalmist says he waters the mountains from his upper chambers. The earth is satisfied with the fruit of his works. In verse 24 he says, O Lord, how many are your works? In wisdom you have made them all.

The earth is full of your possessions. And then in verse 31, it says, let the glory of the Lord endure forever. Let the Lord be glad in his works. And so the works of God are the basis upon which this praise is being offered. But not so much his attributes, which have been praised many, many times throughout the psalms for his loving kindness and his faithfulness. The Lord's our refuge. The Lord is my shepherd.

All of those things are still true. It's just the emphasis of this psalm is praising God for what he has done. Now, if you think about it, the Bible opens with a statement about the works of God, right? In Genesis 1, as we see the six days of creation, in day one, God created light. In day two, there was an expanse created between the waters. In day three, dry land, vegetation, and trees appeared. Day four, the sun and moon.

Day five, sea creatures and birds. Day six, animals, man, and food were created by God. We're not going to take the time to review all of that from Genesis 1.

That would take a whole separate message. But just to remind you of the six days of creation is the opening theme of the entire Bible. And in Genesis chapter 1 verse 31, it famously says that God declared that all of his works were very good. All of his works were very good.

There was no defect in them. What you find in Psalm 104 is a couple of things. Psalm 104 is kind of structured very loosely on the progress of the six days of creation, as we'll see as we go along. But it goes beyond the description of the works as being good and saying that the Lord who did those works is good and therefore is worthy of our praise. And so he goes through the works of creation and says that these are a reflection upon the God who did them. And because the works are so vast and marvelous and multifaceted and great, how much they reflect glory back to the one who did them.

And that's kind of the theme about Psalm 104. God's work in creation shows that he is worthy of our highest praise. Now, that immediately rebukes the atheistic philosophy of our day.

And beloved, you know, but it's worth repeating here at this point that we did not start with a big bang, nor develop by blind chance or evolutionary development over a course of millions of years. Those who believe such things and teach such things are robbing God of his glory, among many other crimes that they are committing of a cosmic proportion. They are robbing God of his glory, and they could never enter into the nature of this praise that is found in Psalm 104. As one writer says in commenting on Psalm 104, and I quote, he says, God himself created the universe with stunning genius, precise detail, and brilliant order. God alone has effortlessly spoken everything into being out of nothing, end quote. So what we want to do is we just want to go through this Psalm and see what he is saying and the works of God, highlight the works of God that he highlights, and see how they become the basis of this expression of praise. And as we enter into this, beloved, hopefully what will happen over the next 50 minutes or so is that you'll be so swept up in the majesty of God that it will give you a reprieve from the sorrows of this world as we're lost in the wonder and majesty of God as we praise and look up at him vertically and praise him and sort of let the problems of the world wait for another time for our attention. It is always worthy of our time. It is always worthy of our effort. It is always spiritually refreshing to simply focus on who God is or what God has done and respond to him with praise.

That is always an orienting point that we can come back to in the midst of the valleys of life. Is it, oh yes, although life may be so difficult right now, God is still worthy of my praise. His works still stand, his character is unchanged, he is the highest object of my affections, and therefore I find my rest and peace and glory in him and ascribing praise to him no matter what else is happening in my life.

And so that's what we have to look forward to here in the next hour. So he opens up and he expresses praise to God for, number one, his work in creation. His work in creation, if you are taking notes, Psalm 104, as I said, opens up like Psalm 103 did.

Look at it there in verse 1 with me. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Now, he is calling himself to praise here. He is addressing his inner man and speaking to his heart and saying, My heart, it is time for you now to praise your God.

Bless the Lord, O my soul. And having invoked himself to praise, you might say, he then addresses God directly and says words that are always fitting for us to say to our God, O Lord my God, you are very great. You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a cloak, stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. And what I would invite you to see, beloved, knowing that there's a lot of sorrow in the room here this evening, is to see that the psalmist is teaching us to remember to orient our thoughts Godward, to use prayer as an expression of praise to God, not simply a matter of asking for things from him, and Lord, I need your help here, and God, help us over here.

No, to remember that there is always a central place for praise as we come to God and to honor our King as we come into his presence. And so he calls himself to praise, and then he immediately responds. Verse 2, you cover yourself with light as with a cloak, stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. And what he's saying here, and the whole psalm is highly poetic and refers frequently to nature as a means of expressing God, he's saying the majesty of God is vast, it is extensive, and that creation is a revelation of something of the majesty of who he is. So that, and you think of Psalm 19, the heavens are declaring the glory of God. Here in Psalm 104, he surveys creation, and he says creation is majestic, and it is therefore a reflection on who God is.

You know, you've heard the phrase, the world says things like, clothes make the man. You know, the outward dress says something about who the man is, and that's obviously superficial and not always true on a human level, but that familiar phrase gives us a sense that the splendor of creation is a manner in which God has cloaked himself and thereby has revealed his majesty by what he has done. And the greatness of creation tells us that God is even greater and therefore is worthy of our praise.

That is the logic of this psalm throughout. And so on the first day of creation, God created light, scripture tells us in Genesis chapter 1 verse 3, you see this emphasis on light there in verse 2, covering yourself with light as with a cloak. God, as it were, wrapped himself in light as his work began. And then on the second day of creation, he created the expanse of heaven.

Look at the end of verse 2 there. Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain, he lays the beams of his upper chambers in the waters. He makes the clouds his chariot.

He walks upon the wings of the wind. He makes the winds his messengers, flaming fire his ministers. And so you see this emphasis on the clouds and the winds and flaming fire probably picturing the lightning of the sky.

And it's the same idea being expressed in Psalm 19. We look up at the heavenly globe, if I can be poetic myself in describing it, we see the sky and stars and the airs above us, and what he is saying is that God created that as effortlessly as a camper spreads out a tent. The majesty of creation was not difficult for God to do. He did it as a display of his power, and the vastness of it all is a revelation of his own vast immense being. And so the upper atmosphere then acts as the foundation for God's dwelling even beyond it. It's as though the throne of God is resting upon the heavenly creation that he has made.

And beneath those waters were the atmospheric clouds that flow through the sky like a chariot. And what he is saying here is that God is over the motions of the sky. He is over the wind, the clouds, and the lightning, and he reigns over them.

He sovereignly directs them. And that which is far beyond the power of our hands to control, who can restrain the wind, who can send forth lightning from human hands, that which we see in the heavens above us, God is sovereignly in control of. And the vastness and the power of it all is a revelation of his majesty and becomes a ground for praise to his God. Now, going on to day three of creation, God established the dry land and the vegetation that you read about in Genesis. Well, the psalmist picks up on that beginning in verse five. As he describes the work of God in creation, in verse five he says, he established the earth upon its foundation so that it will not totter forever and ever.

You covered it with the deep as with a garment. The waters were standing above the mountains. At your rebuke, they fled. The waters were being separated at this point in creation.

At the sound of your thunder, they hurried away. The mountains rose, the valley sank down to the place which you established for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass over so that they will not return to cover the earth. He speaks metaphorically there in verse five of God establishing the earth upon its foundations. This building and any other building in the world sets on a foundation and good buildings are set on a strong foundation. And what his metaphorical point is, is that God, watch this, God set an order for the earth in creation that is established, the earth now stays in its orbit, it tilts properly, it rotates with precision.

All of this is an indication, and the word foundation is an indication of how firm the order that God established in creation would be. And we take it all for granted. We assume that the earth is going to continue rotating as it does. We set calendars on the assumption that this year coming will be like all of the years in the past, 365 and a quarter days.

This happens to be a leap year, of course, but that's beside the point. The point is, is that God set this order in creation and has sustained it ever since. Well, the power of that is great.

And that's why he says in the opening verse, O Lord my God, you are very great, and praise results from that, and deference and honor comes, and a position of humility is adopted before this God. Now, it reminds me, to set up a different point, there was a time in my foolish young days where I broke my hand, which is a completely different story, but I had to go to the doctor for x-rays. And I really did not want my hand to be broken, because it was going to mess up my plans that I had for the coming months if I had a cast on my hand. And I'll never forget going to see Dr. Doster in Bloomington, Indiana.

I don't even know if he's still alive or not. But they took the x-rays, and he came back to me, and he was showing me the x-rays, and he said, look, you broke it. And I was about 18 or 19 at the time.

I was not even a Christian. And in my foolish, youthful impetuosity, if that's a word, I said, no, doctor, I think you're looking at the x-ray wrong. I think you've just got a bad angle on the x-ray there.

I don't really think it's broken. I never will forget what he did. He was completely unfazed by what I had just said. He just took the x-rays, he handed them to me, and he said, here, do you want to treat yourself? He had me there. I said, no, no, I guess not. I just kind of backed away.

I knew that his superior intelligence indicated that he had a knowledge about things that put me in my place, and rightly so. Imagine, my friends, if for a moment you had to do something like uphold the order of creation. Suppose we're being very silly here, but imagine the impossibility of God handing over the keys of the universe to you and saying, here, you uphold it for the next five minutes. We would be crushed by the thought. We would know instantly that there was no possible way for us to do this. This is utterly beyond our ability to do.

I mean, just infinitely beyond anything that we can imagine. How does God hang the world in space and keep it turning with such precision, not only on its own axis, but around the sun, while simultaneously taking care of billions of other galaxies that we can't even see with the best of telescopes? And you realize the precision of it. You realize the greatness of it. And you step back, and you're speechless.

There's nothing left to be said. And this is what happened to Job, right? In chapters 38 to 41 of Job, God revealed Himself. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Job, all Job could do at the end was say, I retract, I repent in dust and ashes.

That is the effect that a proper view of creation has on the heart of believing people, and what it should do to convict those who are unbelievers is to realize that the greatness of creation shows us, and the precision and the operation of it all reveals the majesty of God in a way that compels us to worship and humbles us. So much so that the psalmist describes it there in verse 7. God speaks, look at it there again in verse 7, as he's talking about the formation and the placement of waters and mountains. He says in verse 7, at your rebuke they fled, at the sound of your thunder they hurried away. Remember the thundering voice of God at Mount Sinai.

We can't do any of this remotely. We can't even build a sandcastle on the beach that withstands the waves, right? And yet God simply speaks, and oceans and mountains and valleys obey Him. This is very great, and this calls us then to praise Him. Now, going on in the psalm, secondly we come to His work in animal life, you might say, over the next nine verses.

God's work in animal life becomes a source of praise to Him as well. He says in verse 10, as He establishes the water sources to sustain animal life, He says in verse 10, He sends forth springs in the valleys. They flow between the mountains. They give drink to every beast of the field.

The wild donkeys quench their thirst. I know we have mountain lovers here in the room with us, and you just kind of, and even if you haven't been there, you picture some of the great mountain ranges in North America, and you picture water flowing down through them, and it's a beautiful scene. It's a beautiful picture that He's painting as rivers and springs flow between the mountains and generate life-giving resource to all that is around them. Verse 12, beside them the birds of the heavens dwell.

They lift up their voices among the branches. He waters the mountains from His upper chambers. The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works. And then He goes on and He describes how God ordered vegetation to provide for the life of man and beast.

Look at verse 14. He causes the grass to grow for the cattle and vegetation for the labor of man so that he may bring forth food from the earth and wine which makes man's heart glad, so that he may make his face glisten with oil and food which sustains man's heart. The trees of the Lord drink their fill, the cedars of Lebanon which he planted, where the birds build their nests and the stork whose home is the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats.

The cliffs are a refuge for the shephanim, small furry animals is what scholars believe those to be. And so you see this richness of variety in creation. You see God providing for the food that each kind of animal needs.

You see Him providing different kinds of homes for each kind of animal. And you realize the richness of the variety of what He has done. And the stunning genius, the stunning wisdom, and the immeasurable care that He has for the most insignificant aspects of His creation, all being expressed as a grounds for praising Him. The wine, the oil, and the food in verse 15 showing God's ample provision for the daily needs of men, and His kindness and wisdom show that He is worthy of praise. Now, let's stretch this, let's reach into the New Testament to remind us of what that says to us in our own spiritual lives. Look at Matthew chapter 6 with me here. We are to think on these things, and Jesus points to these aspects of God's care for His creation, as being a grounds for the stability and certainty of our life, even in the midst of difficulty and weakness that we go through from time to time. We've taught on this many times. Matthew chapter 6 verse 25, Jesus said, For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink, nor for your body as to what you will put on.

Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? And so He's telling us don't be anxious. Now, if you're in a state of anxiety, that's bare command, coming from a man anyway would not be helpful at all. You know, it's so superficial and unhelpful to say, to simply say don't be anxious when one man tells another.

It does not do any good to tell somebody in sorrow to put on a happy face, because that doesn't address the deep issues of the human heart. Jesus doesn't leave it there. What Jesus does is the grounds upon which you do not need to be anxious as a believer. He points to the simplicity of things in creation and draws out lessons from them in a way that augments what we see being expressed in Psalm 104. Look at verse 26 there. He says, look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. You see, this is the same theme that is being expressed in Psalm 104. God, in His greatness, God in His goodness, God in His precise care for every aspect of His own creation, feeds the birds of the air. Jesus takes that undeniable reality and says to His worried, anxious disciples, He says, are you not worth much more than they?

You're worth more than a sparrow, right? Well, if God takes care of the sparrow, the argument from the lesser to the greater is, if God is so concerned to take care of sparrows and make sure they eat day by day in His providential ordering of His creation, then, beloved, you should see that. In His greater goodness to men and especially His greater goodness to His own people, that God is surely going to provide for you and care for you even if the road ahead looks cloudy and unclear and curvy and dangerous, we should always have rooted in our minds that the nature of God's care for the animal kingdom in His creation is an indication that He is going to care for us as well. And that deals a death blow to anxiety because you realize, so important, so important, you realize that the certainty of your future is not gathered into what you see and understand and what you can work out in your own mind. The certainty of the provision for your life in the future rests in the hands of a great God who is able to make all of creation without counsel from anyone, a God who has sustained that creation ever since, does it on a day by day basis in an undeniable way. If that God is your God, then it's obvious that He's going to care for you as well.

This is unanswerable. This is why Jesus says it. And He goes on in verse 28, He says, Why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow.

They do not toil, nor do they spin. Yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. And he draws upon the fact that God is active in sustaining and providing for His creation there in verse 30. He says, But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you, you of little faith? If God exercises such care as to make the flowers of the field glorious, they're here today gone tomorrow, what do you think He's going to do to care for one with an eternal soul?

Well, there's really no answer for that, is there? And we start to see something. We start to see that not only is our anxiety over life unjustified, we see that it is unnecessary.

Actually, I wanted to say that in the opposite direction. Not only is our anxiety unnecessary because God cares for His creation, our anxiety is unjustified in light of who we know God to be. So that your knowledge of God, your understanding of what He does in creation, has a direct impact on the way that you experience life and the way that your heart responds to the things that come to you in life. You look at your heart, you say, Bless the Lord, O my soul. Your heart says, Ah, but I'm anxious.

You say back to your heart, You have no right to be anxious. Do you not remember who your God is? Do you not know who the God of creation is?

Do you not know what He has done? Throughout, since the beginning of time, He has always cared for His creation. On what grounds do you, my heart of little faith, what grounds do you have to question Him or to doubt the fact that He will care for you going forward? When you add on top of that the even more majestic realization that this same God in the person of His Son came to earth in the form of a man, lived a perfect life, offered that life up on the cross in an act of sacrifice and in an act of infinite love for your soul in order to take away your sins that you could be reconciled to this very God that you've sinned against, we realize that we are under a vast tent of wisdom and love and care that guarantees the certainty of our well-being in the end.

It's guaranteed. It could be no other way. And to the extent that we struggle with that, to the extent that we doubt that, to the extent that we don't always walk in the fullness of the peace that that should generate in our hearts, simply an indication that we have opportunity to get to know God better.

Let's put it that way. And to recognize and to rest in His goodness. Those of you that come here on a regular basis, you hear me say things like this consistently again and again and again, don't you? We must, we must repent of our doubting spirit toward God, our suspicious attitude toward Him that wonders whether He's actually going to be faithful to us tomorrow, if He's actually going to provide for us in our time of need. That is unnecessary, and it is an utterly wrong view of God. God is good. God is faithful. God is love, 1 John 4.8 says. And if we truly know Him through faith in Christ, and we know something of that Savior, our bleeding, dying, and resurrected Savior, then we should realize that perhaps the preeminent response that we make to Him is to trust Him, and to love Him, and to honor Him in a manner that is worthy of the way that He has displayed Himself to be.

There is nothing in creation, there is nothing in redemption, there is nothing in Scripture that would give us any grounds for doubting the goodness and the care of God. And at the risk of getting too far afield here from the text, let's turn back to Psalm 104. You know, there have been books written, and Christian motivational speakers will say things like, you know, let's do big things for God, and you know, all of these things about that stroke people's vanities, about I'm going to do something great for God, I'm going to do hard things for God, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it all sounds so great, and so spiritual, and so hyped up, especially when you put strobe lights and fog machines around the music that precedes the message, and you just create an environment.

Well, you know what my perspective on it is? You know what, if we want to do great things for God, let's trust Him in our day-to-day life. Let's honor Him by simply trusting Him. And instead of telling young people and setting their minds on doing great, great things for God, you know what, let's just start with you being faithful in a few little things.

Jesus said He who's faithful in little will be faithful in much. Well, let's just start on knowing God as we've studied Him here tonight, trusting Him, believing Him, loving Him, honoring and worshiping Him, regardless of whether the opportunity comes for us to do something great or not. God doesn't really need great things done by us, because God's already done great things.

He's got great things at His disposal. The preeminent thing, the preeminent commandment for us is to love Him with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind. And in Psalm 104, you see a man who is praising God simply for the majesty of what He has done. In the words of Jesus, we see how that plays out in the way that we respond to anxiety in our lives. And it's just a matter of ongoing preeminent importance to me, as the pastor who speaks in this local body, that we would increasingly more and more become a people that just automatically assumes the goodness of God in everything that happens to us, that somehow He is working out good for us, even if we can't see it, even if we can't possibly understand it from our perspective. I was thinking earlier today, you know, what was going through Joseph's mind when he was thrown into prison and locked up, and day by day, months became years, and he spent two years there abandoned in a dungeon. And where's the purposes of God in all of that inside the dungeon?

And where does he see any hope of something good coming out of that? Well, beloved, look, you know, not to allegorize or spiritualize things, but yeah, we go through times where we're in dungeons, so to speak. What you and I have to do to prepare ourselves for those times is to get so settled in our understanding of the goodness of God that when adversity strikes us, we say, you know what, I'm okay here. There's a sense in which nothing has changed for me, even though this sudden adversity has stricken me, nothing has changed for me. The voice of faith says nothing has changed for me because the same God that I knew yesterday as sovereign, wise, good, loving, and revealed in my Lord Jesus Christ, he's the same God today that he was yesterday before this hurricane hit me. And since he's in control of all of it, since he's always working out his purpose in my life, and in our church, and in the world, and in a sense, nothing's changed. My outward experience of circumstances, yes, that's changed.

But in terms of who is in charge and what he is doing over the course of time, it hasn't changed. Creation proves his power. Providence has proven his ability and his faithfulness to sustain it.

And in Christ, beloved, you have what you need for your heart to rest. This is the voice of faith that speaks in this way. God's power is revealed in creation. Creation and his providence reveals his kindness and wisdom. It shows that he's worthy of praise, and beloved, he's worthy of trust.

He's worthy of your confidence going forward. So let's go back to Psalm 104 here and consider point number three, his work in the skies, his work in the skies. God established the moon and sun on day four of creation, and you see the psalmist picking up something of that theme beginning in verse 19. And you just see this loose outline that corresponds roughly with the six days of creation being unfolded as we go through Psalm 104. So beginning in verse 19, the psalmist says he made the moon for the seasons. The sun knows the place of its setting. You appoint darkness and it becomes night in which all the beasts of the forest prowl about. The young lions roar after their prey and seek their food from God.

When the sun rises, they withdraw and lie down in their dens. Man goes forth to his work and to his labor until evening. Psalmist is saying God created the heavenly bodies, the sun and the moon, and didn't simply create them. He established them to establish an order for the daily operation of life in all of his creation. And that even within his creation, there is an assignment of animals to do their hunting at night. The sun comes up and now it's the stage for man predominantly to do his work.

The orbit of the moon marking off seasons, the sun setting the daily order of day and night, and God has established this brilliant, brilliantly wise rhythm to life so that the animals of prey operate at night, human beings do their work during the day, and what we see in the outworking following the six days of creation is that from the very beginning, God provided for the cycle of life in the heavenly bodies that he established. And in another fresh way, we see a manifestation of Psalm 19.1, the heavens are declaring the glory of God. We are so dense, we are so unobservant, we are such superficial, shallow thinkers that we would utterly miss the brilliant wisdom that undergirds the rhythm of life if Scripture did not point it out to us.

We're so accustomed to this, we take it for granted. The psalmist, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, records for us that God had a design in it even if we are too dull to discern it. And then he lays out for us exactly what it is and says, this is all like a heartbeat, the heart beats and then it's at rest, the heart beats and then it's at rest, boom, boom, boom, boom. And so the beat of the heart displays another aspect of God's creation and then the resting point comes, oh yeah, God, all I can do is praise your name, all I can do is honor your name. Another aspect of creation, God, another reason for praise.

Creation, animal life, the plant life, the skies, it's just imprinted all throughout. So that in verse 24, the psalmist is caught up in his own poetic expressions of what has been said so that he himself has to step back and say this in verse 24, oh Lord, how many are your works? In wisdom you have made them all, the earth is full of your possessions. He says, God, when I get started talking on this theme, I can't exhaust it. I just keep going and going and going. Creation is revealing so much about your wisdom.

And as that's unfolded, the outbursts of praise follow. God, when I meditate on it, I just see how great your works are. He goes on, point number four speaks briefly about God's work in the seas. His work in the seas, S-E-A-S, in the waters. And he honors God for his work in the sea following a pattern of day five of creation.

Just look at it briefly, we won't spend any time here. Verse 25, there is the sea, great and broad, in which are swarms without number, animals both small and great. There the ships move along, and leviathan, which you have formed to sport in it. He's saying, God, when I consider the seas, there in the dark inky depths of it is a whole other aspect of creation that's hidden from human sight. All of these sea creatures are in there.

You ordered all of that. You provided them an environment fitting for their existence as they swim and sport about in the water. And as the waters carry ships along in their course, God, I just see another great display.

This deep is filled with marine animals beyond number. And what you and I see, as the psalmist reflects on that, is that God has ordered creation, he has ordered an entire dimension of creation in the seas, and he cares for that which is in the dark waters and the dark depths. He cares for that which we can't even see, which have, in one sense, have no effect on our lives whatsoever. God has created a realm that operates, and his majesty of creation is displayed there as well.

You look at the skies, you look at the land, you look at the seas, and you see the justification for the quote that I opened up with. Stunning genius, precise detail, brilliant order, and God did it all effortlessly. He had the same amount of power and wisdom after creation that he had at the start. It didn't even diminish him. He wasn't tired, though he rested on the seventh day.

It wasn't because he needed physical rest. The fifth point, you see God's work in providence. His work in providence, God created man and the beasts on day six. Now look at verse 27 with that in mind.

As he gathers up the beast that he spoke about in prior sections, the beasts in the sea, the beasts on the land, the beasts on the sea, verse 27, he gathers it all up and he says, and they all wait for you. All of creation, this is so simple to say, so profound in its implication. All of creation is dependent on its creator. All of creation is dependent upon God. Scripture says, in him we live and move and have our being.

And in verse 27, the psalmist builds on that thought, establishes that theme. He says, they all wait for you to give them their food in due season. You give to them, they gather it up. You open your hand, they are satisfied with good. What happens when God withdraws his hand?

You hide your face, they are dismayed. You take away their spirit, they expire and return to dust. You send forth your spirit, they are created and you renew the face of the ground. Having established creation, now man and beast depend on this self-same God to sustain them.

And he does. So that God is stunning, God is majestic, God is wonderful in his work over all of creation. It reminds me something of Psalm 8. Psalm 8 verse 1, O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth, who have displayed your splendor above the heavens. Verse 3 of Psalm 8, when I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have ordained, what is man that you take thought of him and the son of man that you care for him? He ends in verse 8, the birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the sea. O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.

Psalm 8. And there's a point to everything that he's saying here. He's not simply reciting these things for the sake of, you know, to be trite about it. He's not doing a science project here.

This isn't a science project that he's doing. It's a spiritual project that he's doing. The psalmist has declared all of these things to make one profound spiritual point. And that spiritual point is that the God of creation is worthy of praise.

Not only is he worthy of praise, the psalmist actually does, praises him in response and ascribes glory to his name. And that brings us to the sixth and final point here as we conclude this psalm. We've been speaking about the work of God in creation. Well, the remainder of the psalm shows us our work in praise. The sum of God's creative work should lead us to joyful praise. Look at verse 31. He surveyed creation with a broad, loose structure that parallels what we see in Genesis 1.

And now he comes to his point. God laid the foundation for the world in the creation. The psalmist here in the first 30 verses has laid a firm foundation upon which his praise will stand, and which we are to enter into the spirit of as we respond to God's word ourselves. With all of that said in the first 30 verses, in verse 31 now he says this, Let the glory of the Lord endure forever. Let the Lord be glad in his works. He looks at the earth and it trembles.

He touches the mountains and they smoke. And he says, I will sing to the Lord as long as I live. I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. Blessed be God, praise the Lord. Let the glory of the Lord endure forever. I'll sing to the Lord. I'll sing praise to him as long as I have my being. Oh, what a grace it would be to each one of us if we are conscious at the time of our passing that what would be on our lips in our dying breath would be the sentiment that is expressed here, God, I still have my being and your praise is still on my lips, even in this hour of extremity. Because, God, that's what you're worthy of.

You're worthy of my praise even now. You know, from the mouth of infants he's established praise. We go through our youthful days of strength. We praise him.

We go through our days of decline and older age and diminished strength. We praise him, and at our dying breath we praise him. Because that is what he is worthy of.

So that nothing diminishes our sense of his majesty. And so he prays in verse 34, a virtually identical praise that you see at the end of Psalm 19. He says in verse 34, let my meditation be pleasing to him. As for me, I shall be glad in the Lord. He says, what my prayer is, what I'm asking for is that the way that I think and meditate in response to this, God, would be pleasing to you. That I would respond with a sense of adoration and worship and affection toward you that is worthy of the greatness of the way that you've revealed yourself and the greatness of who you have revealed yourself to be.

God, I realize that for my meditation to reach that, it's unending how high that could and should go. And so he asks God to receive his praise while expressing his commitment to be glad in the Lord. Look at that at the end of verse 34. Let it sink in. As for me, I'll be glad in the Lord.

Life comes, life goes, prosperity comes, prosperity goes, happiness comes, happiness goes. Deep in my heart, I'll be glad in the Lord. It's the only right thing for me to do in response to who he's revealed himself to be in creation.

And so there's just everything, everything up to this point has just been this magnificent, this magnificent recitation of the glory of God and his prayer of response of praise. So, wow, does verse 35 suddenly jar against your ears at first glance when he says in verse 35, let sinners be consumed from the earth and let the wicked be no more. All of a sudden, he lets forth this imprecation on people who are sinners, those who do not join in this kind of praise. He says, God, let them be consumed from the earth.

Now, why would he say something like that? This is foreign to most of what passes for Christianity today. All roads lead to God. No, no, no, this psalmist understands things in a way that we tend to miss. There is this perfect harmony and glory in the way that God created the earth. And everything about his providential care for it since creation calls for his praise. When man rebels against that, when man defies God and ignores God and rejects God, sets up his own false religion, refuses to praise these sinners, these wicked people who refuse to give glory to God in light of his revelation in creation and providence in Christ, they are completely out of harmony with everything else.

They have forfeited their right to exist. Creation exists to display the glory of God. Those who refuse to give glory to him should be banished from the scene then. If you will not join in the praise, you have lost your right to exist, is what he's saying.

Everything in God and by God is glorious. Rebellion against him must cease so that everything, so that there is no longer this discordant note in the harmony of creation. These out of tune, out of touch voices must be silenced so that all of creation without exception is returning to God the glory he deserves.

That's what he's saying. He's so enraptured with the nobility and glory of creation that the thought of anyone opposing it is out of line and must be silenced. And one day, my friends, you read the end of the book of Revelation, one day they will be silenced. God has given a window of grace now to grant them time to repent, but one day God will restore full harmony to all of his creation. There will be a judgment on these sinners and these rebellious voices will be forever silenced and go to the judgment that they deserve. What will be left are the people of God joining with the rest of creation and the angelic beings and then, without anyone violating the harmony, rising up to give glory to this great God. And with that brief look at the consummation of the ages, the psalmist rejoices again.

Verse 35, look at it there at the end. Bless the Lord, O my soul, praise the Lord. Let the redeemed of the Lord see it and praise him. Let those of you that have refused to come until now, I pray to God that you'd come to your senses, that the Spirit of God would open your heart, and that you would come to Christ before judgment falls. Let's pray together. Dear Father, we bless you as the Lord of creation. We honor you for the majesty with which you have cloaked yourself and which is there for everyone to see. We bow before you and give thanks.

Thanks for your majesty. Thanks for your provision, both in the past, today, and for all the days of our lives. We pray, Father, with this psalmist and with David in Psalm 19.

In response to this, we pray that the meditation of our hearts would be pleasing in thy sight. In Jesus' name, amen. Well, friend, thank you for joining us on Through the Psalms. If you would like to follow my weekly messages from Truth Community Church, go to truthcommunitychurch.org and look for the link titled Pulpit Podcast. Again, that's truthcommunitychurch.org. God bless you. Thanks, Don. And, friend, Through the Psalms is a weekend ministry of the Truth Pulpit. Be sure to join us next week for our study as Don continues teaching God's people God's word. Your message is copyrighted by Don Green. All rights reserved.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-28 04:08:08 / 2023-01-28 04:27:44 / 20

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