Summary: How often do you blow it when trying to obey God? Instead of pulling into yourself in shame, or denying the sin itself, why not embrace the sin (your unfaithfulness) and God's faithfulness to you?
Psalms 104 through 106 are interesting in their comparisons. Psalm 104 is about God as the creator and provider for everything on earth. Psalm 105 is about God’s faithfulness in providing for His people Israel from going to Egypt through the wilderness and into Canaan. But then Psalm 106 turns right around and using the same stories, shows how unfaithful Israel was to this provider God!
Psalm 104 follows the days of creation found in Genesis.
1 – 4
The psalmist looks at the sky and pictures a very great God mounted on a giant chariot in the form of a thunderstorm with pillars of clouds going up, heavy rainstorms coming down along with lightning and fierce winds. It’s a great word picture. On the first day, God created light. On the second He created the heavens.
5 – 13
On the third day, God created earth and the seas. This portion of the psalm also alludes to the time of Noah and the flood when God send a deluge to cover the earth, and then promised never again to destroy the earth with water. Instead now He uses water to supply and nourish His created beings.
14 – 15
These verses talk about the efforts of man to grow livestock and crops—but it is all God providing.
16 – 18
Here he describes the wild places, full of forests and craggy cliffs where only mountain goats can find a footing. But again, they all belong to God!
19 – 23
Here the psalmist turns to the diurnal cycle of day and night, and how God created the planets on day four. He ordered it so His creation finds balance between the creatures of the day and those of the night.
24 – 26
On Day 5 God created the animals and fish in the sea. As for Leviathan—there are many opinions as to this creature’s identity. I tend to think that in this instance it may refer to whales, spouting and breeching.
27 – 30
On the sixth day He created man. The point here is that not only did God create them all, but they are all dependent on Him for food and life. God’s creation happily submits to its creator.
31 – 35
All day, every day, everyone should praise the Lord!
The psalm also serves as an argument against the worship of the sun and the natural elements, which was common in that day. Today, though we claim to be rationalists, many scientists worship nature as if it were a god. That is a mistake. We must start with God creating the heavens and the earth and then go from there.
1 – 7
There are ten commands to God’s people in the first seven verses:
Call on His name
Proclaim His deeds
Sing to Him
Tell what He’s done
Rejoice in Him
Search for Him
Seek His face
10.Remember the great things He has done.
What a great to-do list for us today as well! Now the psalmist moves into detailing all the different ways we can employ these imperatives in remembering what God did for Israel:
8 – 11
12 – 15
Abram and his family travelled about from Ur to Haran, Canaan, and Egypt, but God did not allow them to be harmed (Genesis 12:17, 20:3-7). By the way, verses 1-15 of this psalm reoccur in 1 Chronicles 16:8-22 as David ushers the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem.
16 – 25
Now we come to Genesis 37 – 50 with the story of Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, but then became the second in command in Egypt and rescued his family. What started out as a wonderful welcoming became slavery over time.
26 – 38
These verses detail the Exodus from Egypt under Moses—all the plagues and finally the last plague with the death of the first born, where the Egyptians begged the Israelites to leave and gave them gifts that they later used to make the Tabernacle.
39 – 41
Following the Exodus, God was a cloud by day and a fire by night as He led His people through the wilderness (Exodus 14), providing food and water when they needed it.
42 – 45
The psalmist circles back to the promise made to Abraham of the land of Canaan and how He brought them in to “a land flowing with milk and honey.”
All this occurred “so they might keep His statutes and obey His instructions.” He married Israel and simply wanted His wife to be faithful.
Note too that as believers in Jesus Christ we have been grafted into that Abrahamic covenant (Romans 10-11), which is a covenant not of obedience by law but grace by trust in God’s faithfulness.