Psalm 104 echoes the creation story from Genesis, beginning with the glory of God before creation (v1-2) and then moves to reflect on God’s act of bringing order out of chaos (v3-9). It calls us to look around at God’s creation and to worship him for it.
“Psalm 104 gives an interpretation to the many voices of nature, and sings sweetly both of creation and providence. The poem contains a complete cosmos: sea and land, cloud and sunlight, plant and animal, light and darkness, life and death, are all proved to be expressive of the presence of the Lord.” – Charles Spurgeon
God is the creator and ultimate owner of everything. It is His earth – every single thing in this biodiverse creation belongs to God. And so to worship the God who made the earth means having a new respect as we handle and use the earth that God has made. Verse 24 (in The Message) sums it up by simply stating ‘What a wildly wonderful world, God!’
Creation is dependence upon God (v27-30). The psalmist makes the point that not only our food, but also our very breath, comes to us from the hand of God. In a week when many stop and marvel at Enon Musk’s attempt to fly to another world – this is incomparable to the works of the creator. Stop for a moment to consider how much of creation we take for granted – what a wonderful thing is a breathable atmosphere! How impossible life would be without it! It is the basic gift of God to the earth, the thing that made it possible for life to grow here in the first place.
Finally, the psalm encourages us to take our place in God’s plan for his creation. The two sides of this are spelled out in verses 34-35. Positively the Psalmist asks “May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord”. The Psalmist is then compelled to consider the dark consequences due to those who rejected the creator God in his request that “sinners be consumed from the earth and let the wicked be no more!” This may seem a strange and solemn declaration but it is the logical consequence for those who reject God as creator – a thought that the apostle Paul develops in Romans 1:18-32.
But the Psalmist does not let such a remarkable psalm end on a dark note. Instead he ends with another rousing call to His own soul to bless the Lord, and to praise the Lord. This is the fitting response of the creature to the Creator. God indeed you are the greatest and worthy of our praise.