Let’s begin today with the recognition that we regularly need to exhort our souls to respond to the truth about who God is with heartfelt praise (1a). Preach yourself a sermon today. Take the Word of God into yourself like prescribed medicine. Tell yourself some truth you know you need to hear. Read this passage through. Indeed, traverse further into the psalm, and you will surely remind yourself in doing so that this great God – your God – is worthy of endless worship. Don’t rob Him of His due.
One thing that is manifestly true about God is this: He is not only great but very great (1b).
He is also beautiful. We have a remarkable poetic picture painted in these first four verses: …beautifully, gloriously robed, Dressed up in sunshine, and all heaven stretched out for your tent. The Message. It’s been said that if splendour and majesty (1c) are to be distinguished, the former relates to God’s intrinsic importance, and the latter to His observable majesty. The opening verses of this glorious psalm reveal God to be both transcendent and immanent. He is far above all that He has made (transcendence), yet He is intimately and personally involved with it (immanence).
F.B. Meyer makes the point that God often comes to us on a cloud (3b), something that may look dark and foreboding. Then he quotes this verse from a familiar hymn; Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; The clouds ye so much dread Are big with mercy, and shall break In blessings on your head.
Alec Motyer entitles this psalm: ‘Creation rhapsody.’ God has created this incredible world which we enjoy (and often sin against, sad to say!). The psalmist compared creation to the building of a house: laying the foundations, putting up the beams, hanging the curtains, and taking care of the water system. Warren W.Wiersbe: With the Word, p.377.
The stateliness of ‘Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation, compared with the exuberance of ‘All creatures of our God and King’, catches pretty well the relationship of Genesis 1 to Psalm 104. This psalm turns creation truth into song, environmental theory into wonder and praise. The sequence of the psalm accords with Genesis 1 and we can imagine a poet meditating on that great statement of the Creator and his work and giving free play to his imagination. There is a broad structural parallel between the two passages. J.A. Motyer: New Bible Commentary (4th edition),p.553.
It seems appropriate to quote some words from a well-known hymn:
This is my Father’s world,
Oh, let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world;
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is king; let the heavens ring.
God reigns; let the earth be glad. Maltbie D. Babcock.
Prayer: Thank you Father God for this breathtakingly beautiful world you have given us to live in. Truly, ‘something lives in every hue, Christ less eyes have never seen.’ Help me to fully play my part in being a good ‘caretaker’ of your ‘property’.