“Variety and breadth, sharpness of detail and sustained vigour of thought, put this psalm of praise among the giants.” (# 29)
It is a celebration of God as Creator and the awesomeness of his creation, its “order, symmetry, and majesty” (# 2). Although it seems to be modeled on the story of creation as told in Genesis 1, it is not just another telling of that great narrative because it is looking, not so much at the past event, but at the here and now. In fact, “Yahweh’s personal oversight is centre stage.” (# 4) He delights in all that He has created as we are reminded of in Genesis 1 many times – And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:9, 12, 18, 21, 25) – God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. (1:31).
Our God delights in his creation, and we see in this psalm “the intimate yet regal relationship of God to His world. He is distinct from His universe… but He is anything but remote from it, as though He had merely set it going or given it orders… [its language] invites us to see the world as something He delights in, which is charged with His energy and alive with His presence.” (# 29)
Read the whole Psalm through now and note what Kidner means by “it being charged with his energy and alive with his presence”. Here are just a few examples:
2 The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3 and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
4 He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants. 5 He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved…
10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains…
19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down…
24 How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures…
31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
But there is more! God is not only Creator but also Sustainer of all He has created:
11 [The springs] give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst…
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts…
21 The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.
27 All creatures look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
I think that we too easily forget the truth of these verses as well as verses 29-30 that “The whole world is daily dependent on God’s sustenance, God’s face, God’s presence, God’s breath”:
29 When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.
There is no doubt that “the world is impressive and to be celebrated. But it has no independent existence… The world is well-ordered and reliable. But, on its own, it has no possibility of survival or well-being. All of that is [a] daily gift [from the Creator]. (# 2) Something to seriously consider in our “scientific world” as leaders independently struggle to come up with answers to the world’s challenges! An acknowledgement of God as Creator and Sustainer would make all the difference! A far better alternative to the worldview which “excludes the dimension of the spirit, so that human beings end up alone in a disenchanted, empty and cold cosmos.” (SU Notes. Encounter with God 11/02/2022)