Psalm 104 - Bless the Lord for Wisdom in His creation
This enjoyable psalm covers:
2. The earth changed by the flood (vv 5-9)
3. The economy of water dependent on God (vv 10-13)
4. The economy of food dependent on God (vv 14-15)
5. The economy of dwelling places provided by God (vv 16-18)
6. The economy of sunlight and darkness (vv 19-24)
8. Summary: All dependent upon and cared for by God (vv 27-30)
9. Praise the Lord as long as I live (vv 31-34)
10. Prayer for God to clean up the earth (v35)
Whether you look at the heavens, the mountains, the streams and rivers, the creatures or the ocean, everything created by God is beautiful and testifies that there is one Creator who is marvelous!
v1 - LXX, DSS and Aquila have heading: "Through David". MT has no heading.
v4- Quoted in Hebrews 1:7 (AV) And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
The angels are nothing to be compared to God or Christ. In Christ, we share Christ's place as God's begotten sons, a place much higher than the angels.
v5 - "fore'er" is literally "forever and ever"
v6 - Does this refer to the flood in Gen 1:2,9-10, when the earth was covered with water, or does it refer to Noah's flood? Almost every expositor that I have checked (Spurgeon, Leupold, Goldingay, Rashi, Barnes, Keil & Delitzsch, etc.) refers this to Gen 1, yet they give no reason. Jamieson Fausset Brown is the only one I have found to refer this to Noah's flood.
Surely this refers to Noah's flood because v9 says that the oceans would never flood the earth again. This is what God promised at Noah's flood (Gen 9:11), but not in Gen 1, because the oceans did flood the earth again after Gen 1. "Waters stood above the mountains" corresponds to Noah's flood also (Gen 7:20; 8:5), but not to the waters in Gen 1.
It seems odd to speak about Noah's flood when talking about the beauty of God's creation. However, whenever I see natural wonders such as Yosemite, the Petrified Forest, the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, I think about Noah's flood and how it caused these wonders.
v7 - After Noah's flood, the waters hasted away. The speed with which they retreated carved the great and beautiful canyons.
v8 - After Noah's flood, the mountains rose much higher, and the ocean beds sunk much deeper.
v10 - Before Noah's flood God had a different system for watering the earth (Gen 2:5-6). After the flood, God ordained the higher mountains to condense the water vapor.
v22 - "go away" is literally "gather together".
v29-30 - I think this refers to the whole creation passing and a new creation created by God, because God sends forth His Spirit to create.
v32 - This psalm of how wonderful is God's creation tells us at the end that this creation will be destroyed (Heb 1:10-12). We should not set our hearts on it. We are sojourners here awaiting the kingdom of God.
v34 - the ending "HIm" is literally "the LORD".
v35 - David's concluding and only prayer in this wonderful psalm is for the sinners and wicked to be no more. That is what is marring this beautiful earth.
I believe that very few wicked will be punished forever and ever as in Rev 14:11; 20:10.
All will be rewarded according to their works and then "be no more".
If the wicked will all be punished eternally, then David should have prayed that.
-copyright Steve Miller 7/9/2011