Celebrating the Gift of Life

KEY VERSE: “How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” —Psalm 104:24, New International Version


ENVIRONMENTALISTS OF TODAY have sought to draw mankind’s attention to the beauties and intricacies of nature, marveling at the interdependence of the species. The Biblical writers were also keenly aware of nature, but viewed it with an awe and reverence that is today mostly overlooked. Martin Luther once wrote that “God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees, and flowers and clouds and stars.” Today’s lesson from Psalm 104 emphasizes the reasonableness and necessity of understanding the wonder of God’s creation, and giving praise and thanks for this wonderful gift.

We often dwell on the size and majesty of the stars, the oceans, the deserts, or the mountains when considering the wonder of God’s creation, but in today’s Key Verse, the psalmist draws our attention to the infinite variety of God’s creation: “The sea is teeming with creatures beyond number.” (vs. 25) How incredible, for example, that scientists have identified more than 300,000 varieties of beetles alone! The psalmist saw all these as wondrous gifts from God. Even the dreaded leviathan is seen as good, formed to “frolic” in the sea. (vs. 26) All of this is a revelation of the wonder of God’s power, and a reason for praising God.

God is not only the Creator of these multitudes of creatures, he is also their sustainer. While many would look at nature and see a struggle for survival, David sees them “look to you [God] to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things.” (vss. 27,28) David saw all nature this way, a tender relationship between God and all creatures, where God makes sure that all have what they need to survive. This care for his creation is another demonstration of his great love for us.

We are told in verse 29 that all creatures are terrified when God hides his presence, and “when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.” This fact was first stated in Genesis 2:7 in describing the creation of Adam. “The Lord God … breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” Without God’s breath of life, none of the animals, nor man, could exist. And thus we know that life is dependent upon God.

Continuing, David describes the earthquake and the volcano, beholding them not as terrifying disasters, but simply as two more examples of God’s awesome power. God merely has to look at the earth to cause an earthquake, or touch the mountain to cause a volcano. (vs. 32) This power and love demonstrated by God as the Creator and sustainer of life leads the psalmist to a deep reverence: “I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.”—vss. 33,34

We look upon all creation as instruments of God’s love and see the glory of God in everything. Our meditation becomes more deep and sincere as we strive to show our appreciation for the Creator and sustainer of life.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |