- August 10, 2014
- By Carolyn Porterfield / Multicultural Consultant, Texas WMU, Dallas
• The Bible Studies for Life lesson for Aug. 24 focuses on Psalm 104:1-5, 24-30.
For two years, I lived in a country where people believed in many gods. They believed some gods lived in trees, others in the waters and still others in the sky. I watched people bow in worship before idols made by men. They put their hope in gods that had physical attributes like eyes to see, ears to hear and mouths to speak, but they could do none of those things. Their worldview was very different from mine.
Every person has a worldview. What is that? A simple definition of worldview is a conception of the world and how it works. One important component of developing one’s worldview is answering questions about creation. How was the universe created? Is there really a creator and if so, what is the creator like? What is the purpose of the universe?
The writer of Psalm 104 reveals something about his worldview when he states God is the creator and sustainer of the universe.
Our powerful Creator
Who is this Creator God? What is he like? How did he create? Where do we fit into the picture? Psalm 104:1-5 lays out a picture of a powerful, unlike-any-other Creator. Praise flows from the one who writes these words. He declares the Creator is his Lord and God. His praise is specific in describing God’s majesty and splendor.
Kings and queens always are clothed in splendor. The finest cloth is used to make their garments. The finest leather is used to fashion their footwear. The loveliest jewels adorn their crowns. If you ever have been to the Tower of London and seen the crown jewels, you know what I mean. But no earthly monarch can compare to the splendor of Creator God. He does not clothe himself with jewels and fine clothes that can be stolen or destroyed. He is clothed in light. His splendor cannot be extinguished or diminished. It is not relegated to one place or time. It shines for all to see throughout eternity.
The psalmist describes the first day of creation. God is not earthbound. He lays the heavens out like a tent. His chariot is not wood and metal but the very clouds he created. He rides on the winds, and they obey his commands. Fire and wind are his messengers, his servants. His creation is at his command to do his bidding.
The psalmist declares God set the earth on its firm foundation and nothing can move it without his permission. Psalm 115:2-3 says: “Why do the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.” Yes, Creator God is worthy of our praise, because he is powerful.
Our wise Creator
Have you ever known someone who was powerful but not wise? Power without wisdom can be a dangerous thing. Creator God is both. Read Psalm 104:24-26.
God’s creation is diverse. The earth is filled with all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, insects and human beings. He made food for their nourishment. He gave them the instinct to find shelter. They can procreate. Someone with a biblical worldview recognizes how God brings order to all he has created.
On the last day of creation, God made man from the dust of the earth. Then he created a helpmate for man by making woman. After blessing them, he gave them the responsibility to be fruitful and increase in number. They were to be stewards of all he created (Genesis 1:27-30). God looked at all he had made and declared it very good.
Our loving Creator
God, in his loving wisdom, didn’t create this wonderful world and leave it uncared for or unattended. He didn’t walk away as some would claim. He still is involved in this world. In Psalm 104:27-28, we see God’s creation looking to him for what is needed to sustain life. Do we have that sense of need and dependence on God? How easy it is to delude ourselves into thinking we take care of ourselves versus recognizing God is our Provider. Without him, we are unable to live one moment.
Can you create the air you breathe? Can you make it rain? Can you cause food to grow apart from the seeds God has provided? A biblical worldview says we are dependent on him and all he has made.
These verses also show the generosity of our Creator. When God gives what we need the psalmist says the receiver gathers it up. This conjures the notion of receiving much. Notice also the receiver has to open his or her hand to receive what God provides. Open hands are prepared to receive; closed hands are not. How would you describe your hands?
Our loving God only gives what is good for us. The psalmist says we are satisfied by what God gives. Are you satisfied by God’s gifts to you? We may need to examine our hearts to see if we recognize God’s good bounty.
Dependent on Creator God
In Psalm 104:29-30, the psalmist shows our need to depend on God. When God’s face is hidden from his creation, all creatures are terrified, he says. When God takes away their breath, they die and return to the dust of the earth.
Then the psalmist shows us the opposite. When the Spirit of God comes, the earth is renewed, and life is created. Hope is born. Our God created us, sustains us and is constantly with us. Will you declare with the psalmist, “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods” (Psalm 96:4)? There is none like him.
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