19–25 April 2015.
Psalm 104 is one of the great hymns of the Bible, one that the church has traditionally used during Pentecost. It is a hymn that describes the Creator’s great wisdom, and the way God provides for all life.
It begins in verses 1–4 with a description of God’s incredible glory. In the background we hear the questioning voice from Isaiah 66: Is this the God that the Israelites think needs a house to live in? This is the God who surrounds himself in the glory of creation, who dresses in light, who rides on the clouds and the wind! The whole universe is his creation and his home.
And what a universe he has made! In verses 5–23 we hear of the marvellous way that God has ordered this creation. He has defeated chaos, organised the world, and in his wisdom puts all things in their right places. We too have our right place in this world, together with God’s other creatures.
But God doesn’t just create wonderful things and then abandon them, he continues to care and provide for all his creatures, no matter how large or small they are.
Today, people constantly talk about scarcity, because when we measure things using our own greed there is never enough in this world to go around. But verses 27–30 list out the amazing bounty that God provides for his creation. The world overflows with his goodness and his loving generosity. In verse 30, we see that God even sends us his Spirit, not only creating us, but supporting us, holding us up, renewing the earth and the richness of life.
This hymn leaves us with a task, yet also a promise. Our task is to respect this wonderful creation that God, in his wisdom, has made, and to stop those who, in their stupidity, act to destroy it. Yet we also have a promise: that we can find our own home in this enormous universe. Through God’s wisdom and order, he prepares a small place here just for us: our own proper place, a place where we can rest together with God.
Pastor Stephen Lakkis