The Book of Psalms

Thursday: God and God’s Creation

Theme

Theme: Creation’s Joy in God
In this week’s lessons, we see that not only does creation rejoice in God its Creator, but also God himself takes joy in what he has made.
Scripture: Psalm 104:1-35
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. This is a beautiful section, holding out, first, the vast number and variety of God’s creatures (vv. 24-26) and second, their utter, childlike dependence on God (vv. 27-30): “The earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number—living things both large and small…These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things” (vv. 24, 25, 27, 28).
C. Leupold wrote rightly, “This is a picture that is drawn on so vast a scale that one scarcely knows whether one should be more amazed at the prolific imagination of the writer or at the abounding gifts of God.”1
Special attention should be drawn to verses 29 and 30. They state in a negative way the same creaturely dependence affirmed positively in verses 27 and 28. The author has just said that the creatures wait with open mouths for God to feed them, as it were, and that he does. Now he asserts that if God withholds their breath for even a moment, they die and return to dust. What is interesting here is that the word “breath” in verse 29 and the word translated “Spirit” in verse 30 are the same word, which reminds us that everything about us is dependent upon the Spirit or life-giving breath of God. This carries us back, on the one hand, to Genesis 2 where it is said that “God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7), and forward into the New Testament, on the other hand, where we find Jesus teaching that unless a man “is born of water and the Spirit,” he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5). In other words, in regard to both our physical lives and our spiritual lives, we are utterly dependent upon God. Without God we perish.
1H. C. Leupold, Exposition of the Psalms (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1969), p. 730.
Study Questions:

How is the creation dependent upon God?
What do the words “breath” and “spirit” teach us in verses 29, 30?

Reflection: How do you acknowledge your childlike dependence on God, which is true for everything we have and enjoy?
Key Point: In regard to both our physical lives and our spiritual lives, we are utterly dependent upon God.

Study Questions
Application
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