Summary: The Creating Spirit is still at large. Our life is in His hands.
A CELEBRATION OF THE CREATOR’S PRESENCE IN CREATION
Psalm 104 is not only a celebration of the LORD having created all things in the past, but also a celebration of how He is involved in Creation as it is today.
This is why the Psalm as a whole does not just slavishly follow the six days of Creation (Genesis 1). Rather, the writer envisages a world created in the first five days with man already in view (Psalm 104:14-15). Man, however, does not make an appearance until the sixth day.
Man, ultimately, was created to have dominion over the earth (Psalm 8:6-8). Who else is going to count the seasons (Psalm 104:19)? Who else will work the land (Psalm 104:23)? Who else will sail the seven seas (Psalm 104:26)? Who else will render into words Creation’s own unspoken praises (Psalm 104:33-34)?
Looking out at Creation as it now is, the Psalmist celebrates the multiplicity of the works of the LORD. It is “in wisdom,” he says, that “you have made them all” (Psalm 104:24).
Whilst I do not know why God made the world ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31), only to allow it to fall into corruption on account of the folly of man (Romans 8:20): I do know that it was done “in wisdom.” ‘Wisdom’ (Proverbs 8:1) was possessed by God ‘in the beginning’ (Proverbs 8:22). Jesus, as wisdom (Colossians 2:2-3), was involved in creation (Colossians 1:15-17).
Perhaps, after all, we are still in the sixth day. The harnessing of the waters is an on-going work (Psalm 104:9), set in a continuous tense. The creating Spirit is clearly still at large (Psalm 104:30).
All flesh does indeed depend upon God for daily provision (Psalm 104:27). A verse similar to this (Psalm 145:15) is inscribed on a famous cup, which is on display in a Scottish island Castle where I used to work. It was not difficult there to envisage the teeming life of the sea, and the playful leviathan (Psalm 104:25-26).
When God opens His hand, they gather, and are filled with good things. When He withdraws, He takes their breath away, and they die. Then He sends His Spirit, and the cycle of life begins again (Psalm 104:28-30).
This is as true of the church as it is of creatures, and of men, and of Christians in particular. If the Spirit of God withdraws from a church, the lantern is extinguished – unless we repent (Revelation 2:5). When we pray for revival, we are praying for the Lord to return in resurrection power – but we cannot so pray if we are unwilling to repent!
The Pentecost of Acts 2 was a once-and-forever infusion of the Spirit’s power into the church. Yet there is constant need for renewal.
We leave this Psalm with praise upon our lips, and joyful meditations in our hearts (Psalm 104:34). Praise for the multifarious wonder of God’s Creation. Praise at the explosive power of Pentecost (Psalm 104:32). Praise, with all our being, to the LORD who brought us into being (Psalm 104:33).
Yet it might seem that there is just one jarring note in Psalm 104:35? However, a desire for the wicked to be destroyed is completely in harmony with a desire for the balance of creation – a desire which the LORD shares as He, too, rejoices in His works (Psalm 104:31).
So we end where the Psalm began. “Bless the LORD…” (Psalm 104:35.)