This majestic hymn focuses on the glory of God in creation, calling us to consider the world He has made and how its beauty reflects the Creator. The psalmist pictures God as the controller of his creation. God “stretches out” the infinite expanses of space and rides the wind like a chariot (v.2-3).
In a poetic rendition of the creation story of Genesis 1, the psalm shows how God “set the earth on its foundations” and then defined each geographical feature: mountains, valleys, rivers, and oceans (v.5-10). And God cares for His creation, making sure every wild donkey has something to drink and giving the birds a place to sing their songs (v.11-13). He causes the earth to yield everything humans need to survive and thrive: food for their livestock, crops to eat, wine and oil and bread “to strengthen man’s heart” (v.14-15). He provides a home for every organism: forests for trees, trees for birds, mountains for goats, and rocks for badgers (v.16-18). God thinks of everything!
The glory of God can be seen in the rhythm of night and day, sunlight and moonlight (v.19-23). It is God who created the beautiful and mysterious world of marine life “which teems with creatures innumerable” (v.24-26). (This may be a hint that we will never discover and classify every species of life — there are simply too many variations to count!)
We are not unlike the animals in verses 27-34. We look to God to give us what we need, and we always find Him to be faithful. We find life in His presence and renewal in His Spirit. We tremble at His power but rejoice in His greatness. Like the birds in the cedars, we sing our praise to Him. We can’t help it…His majesty stirs up our praise and His glory inspires our worship.
Note: Go outside or find a window and look at God’s creation. Think of the intricate design of that plant or that bug and think of how God designed you in His image. You were created to know Him and to love Him. Look at that stately tree or that majestic mountain and think of the glory of their Creator. Join all of creation in giving your praise to Him today. He deserves it!