By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
Nan Shepherd wrote about her life in the Cairngorms, ‘The mind cannot carry away all that the mountain has to give.’ I was thinking that this is true of any study of God. He is infinitely greater than our ability to comprehend.
Just over 4 years ago, Jilly and I visited La Palma – one of the smaller Canary Islands. It is noted for its dark skies. One particular night, probably in the early hours of the morning, Jilly came into our room and said, ‘You’ve got to come and see this.’ I somewhat reluctantly pulled myself up from my warm, cosy bed, and plodded outside into the rather chilly air. But I have to say it was worth it. The great expanse of the heavens was bejewelled, and those jewels looked larger, closer and more sparkly than I had ever seen. It was impossible to feel anything but awe and wonder.
It is “fitting” to praise God for His Word. It is such a powerful Word. He spoke creation into being. He commanded the sun, moon and stars into existence. God’s Word is His work. This is why I am so committed to trying to expound Scripture in context; because I believe if God speaks worlds of beauty will be formed in human lives. Alec Motyer says with reference to “breath” (6): ‘…what the Lord says is full of the Lord’s energy to bring it to effect (cf.9; 104:7,30; GNB.1:3,6).’ ‘New Bible Commentary’, p.506.
‘It is as easy for God to create the universe as for a man to breathe, nay, far easier, for man breathes not independently, but borrows the breath in his nostrils from his Maker…Happy is the man who has learned to lean his all upon the sure word of him who built the skies!’ C.H.Spurgeon: ‘Treasury of David.
It could well be that we have intimations of the Godhead in verse 6: see reference to “the LORD”, “the word” (see John 1:1-4), and “the breath” (or ‘spirit’, or ‘Spirit’).
God is not only the Creator of the universe (6,9), but He is also its sustainer (7). He is in control. In Scripture, the “waters’ are regularly seen as representing the forces of chaos. We need to know that wherever see chaos, God is over it. He rules and reigns.
Spurgeon points out that we can read verse 8 not only as a prayer, but also as a prophecy. One day this will happen. The awareness of the glory of the Lord will cover the earth “as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:!4).
PRAYER: Lord God, amidst the chaos of current history, (and what may sometimes feel like the chaos in my own personal world), help me to know that your purposes will be fulfilled and the earth will be filled with the knowledge of your glory.
Thought: One of the hardest things to do is to remember that the story of God is still the story of the world (John Eldredge).
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