Important as the opening stanza may be for identifying Psalm 105 as a thanksgiving psalm, it is really not until stanza two (vv. 7-11) that we find out what the theme of the psalm is to be. It is God's covenant with his people, particularly his covenant with Abraham, which he confirmed with his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob. It is hard to miss this point since the word "covenant" occurs three times (in vv. 8, 9 and 10).

In our study of the Psalms we are coming to the end of the fourth book of the Psalter (Psalms 90 to 106), where we find two psalms that form a striking pair: Psalms 105 and 106. The first deals with the faithfulness of God to Israel from the time of his initial covenant with them through Abraham to their entering into the Promised Land. The second deals with their unfaithfulness to him during the same time period.

At the very end of the psalm we come to what I referred to once before this week as its "surprising" second part. Here God is said to rejoice in his creation, just as the creation has already been said to rejoice in God.

Like the middle section of the psalm, the next two stanzas (stanzas five and six) speak of the dependence of creation on God and of God's provision for his creatures' every need. But the special note here is the joy of the creation in God's care.

Stanzas 2-4 of Psalm 104 (vv. 5-23) cover days three and four of creation: day three, the separation of land and water (Gen. 1:9, 10) and the creation of trees and vegetation (Gen. 1:11-13); and day four, the creation of the moon and sun as timekeepers (Gen. 1:14-19). But again, as in stanza one, the emphasis is not on creation itself or even on the sequence of God's creative acts, but on creation as it displays God's glory.