Psalm 104:31-35

This is the culmination of a wonderful psalm about the great God who is creator and sustainer of the universe.

The glory of GOD – let it last forever! Let GOD enjoy his creation. The Message. The reference to the glory of the LORD in (31) is to the Creator’s glory exhibited in His created universe. Verse 32 brings before us an awesome (and even frightening?) vision of God (see also Micah 1:3-5). He takes one look at earth and triggers an earthquake, points a finger at the mountains, and volcanoes erupt. The Message. Solid as the universe may appear it is of the utmost fragility in relation even to his eyes and fingers. J.A. Motyer: New Bible Commentary, p.554. (By the way, verse 35 seems to link to verse 32.)

In the light of the above, you might not expect a reference to song to appear next. But that is exactly what you do find (33). This is a great resolution on the part of the psalmist. It’s a good and right decision to make; not just to sing about God, but to sing to Him (recognising the personal relationship you have with Him: my God.)A friend of mine was facing a difficult time. He knew of a well-known pastor in the U.S.A. who had faced a similar situation. So my friend wrote to him to seek counsel. This busy pastor of a mega-church took the time to write back and advocated that he discover the awesome power of spiritual song. My fellow pastor put this advice into practice and it brought about a revolution in his heart. When I was staying at his house, I heard him go downstairs in the early morning, pick up a guitar and sing to God. I remember Bill Hybels saying in a talk to leaders that at times, out on his yacht, he sings his heart out to God with song after song. Not that you need a boat to do that!! But you do require a heart to do it.

So, can I ask what place song has in your personal devotions? (At times I have used a hymnbook as a prayer book. I have used the words of hymns and songs to pray to God.) In (34) the psalmist is continuing to refer to his song to the Lord in the words my meditation. Someone said that if you can worry you can meditate! Worry is just turning something over and over in your mind. Singing can help you meditate on God. It is by no means the only way to do so, but it is one way. However, we need to ensure that our songs are doctrinally sound. They are not all of equal quality. If we spent more time singing in private, it would undoubtedly impact our public worship in a positive fashion. (There is a very helpful book by Jack Hayford entitled ‘Worship His Majesty.’ It has some remarkable insights into the whole area of praise and worship.)

So the psalm ends where it began (35b; see 1). Say what you need to in order to bring your soul into line with God’s revealed truth. Don’t let the deceiver have his way with your mind and heart. Learn to preach sermons to yourself. I have told my soul today, ‘You need to sing more often to God, and not just speak your prayers.’ It’s an area where I need to learn and grow, and this has been the significant take away point from my ‘quiet time’ today. I am also thinking about Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 14:15:…I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. I can sing to God out of a hymn book, but I can also sing brand new songs, composed by the Holy Spirit within my spirit. Those songs can be in tongues or in my native language, or, perhaps, a mixture of both. So many possibilities are open. I just need to ensure that I do it.

Prayer: Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation. O my soul praise Him for He is thy health and salvation…