“In the beginning, God…” (Genesis 1) Creation began with words from God’s lips. At the close of each “day” God called His creation good, perfect in every way. Creation was made to give honor and glory back to Him and to give pleasure to his created humans. “All Things Bright and Beautiful”, a hymn written in the 17th century, gives a musical backdrop to our psalm today.
All things bright and beautiful,
all creatures great and small,
all things wise and wonderful:
the Lord God made them all.
God gave us eyes to see them,
and lips that we might tell
how great is God Almighty,
who has made all things well.
Can we imagine the Garden of Eden before the Fall of Adam and Eve? Imagine running through the grass without thorns or stickers. Imagine drinking from pure streams cascading down a mountain side. Dream of blue skies that never rain on your sunny day. Enjoy animals that are peaceful and kind to you and each other. There are no enemies among the creatures of this perfect picture of tranquility. Now, can we imagine doing the very thing, the only thing, God asked us not to do? That’s what Adam and Eve did. But don’t get too judgy, we seem to do it all the time.
Evil has limited power but enough manipulative schemes to get our attention with anything that draws us from God. But this power is not as great as our God’s power who loves us beyond our human thinking. Evil hates us because we are God’s created. Evil wants the worst not the best for us. Evil, the fallen angel, wants all that is of God destroyed. The serpent of evil began his distractive manipulations with Adam and Eve. We can’t rationalize, “the devil made me do it” because at the end of the day, they had a choice.
God knew this would happen because He is God. He created us with the freedom to choose right and wrong, evil or Him. Why? Well, think about it. Do you want someone to love you because they are dictated to love you OR do you want someone to love you because they want to love you? Someone who loves us because they WANT to love us and be with us is real, unconditional love. God desires the same from us. He does not want our love returned to him only from a place of obligation, duty or rules. God wants a wholesome, honest, loving, delightful relationship with us, from a heart that desires to be with Him as much as He wants to be with us! So, knowing that we might not choose wisely and regret it, knowing we might fall to evil’s schemes, God created a Plan to save us from ourselves. That Plan was Jesus.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1) This WORD was Jesus, God’s One and Only Son, who paid the debt of our foolish, regretful, and repentant sin of turning from God to evil’s schemes of self-destruction of our very souls.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Creation. Doesn’t it all make sense now? Bless the Lord, O my soul, indeed! Now read this Psalm knowing God’s extreme love for us! God’s Word, all of it, is always about Him! Bless the Lord, o my soul…
Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 104, The Message
1-14 O my soul, bless God!
God, my God, how great you are!
beautifully, gloriously robed,
Dressed up in sunshine,
and all heaven stretched out for your tent.
You built your palace on the ocean deeps,
made a chariot out of clouds and took off on wind-wings.
You commandeered winds as messengers,
appointed fire and flame as ambassadors.
You set earth on a firm foundation
so that nothing can shake it, ever.
You blanketed earth with ocean,
covered the mountains with deep waters;
Then you roared and the water ran away—
your thunder crash put it to flight.
Mountains pushed up, valleys spread out
in the places you assigned them.
You set boundaries between earth and sea;
never again will earth be flooded.
You started the springs and rivers,
sent them flowing among the hills.
All the wild animals now drink their fill,
wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Along the riverbanks the birds build nests,
ravens make their voices heard.
You water the mountains from your heavenly reservoirs;
earth is supplied with plenty of water.
You make grass grow for the livestock,
hay for the animals that plow the ground.
14-23 Oh yes, God brings grain from the land,
wine to make people happy,
Their faces glowing with health,
a people well-fed and hearty.
God’s trees are well-watered—
the Lebanon cedars he planted.
Birds build their nests in those trees;
look—the stork at home in the treetop.
Mountain goats climb about the cliffs;
badgers burrow among the rocks.
The moon keeps track of the seasons,
the sun is in charge of each day.
When it’s dark and night takes over,
all the forest creatures come out.
The young lions roar for their prey,
clamoring to God for their supper.
When the sun comes up, they vanish,
lazily stretched out in their dens.
Meanwhile, men and women go out to work,
busy at their jobs until evening.
24-30 What a wildly wonderful world, God!
You made it all, with Wisdom at your side,
made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.
Oh, look—the deep, wide sea,
brimming with fish past counting,
sardines and sharks and salmon.
Ships plow those waters,
and Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them.
All the creatures look expectantly to you
to give them their meals on time.
You come, and they gather around;
you open your hand and they eat from it.
If you turned your back,
they’d die in a minute—
Take back your Spirit and they die,
revert to original mud;
Send out your Spirit and they spring to life—
the whole countryside in bloom and blossom.
31-32 The glory of God—let it last forever!
Let God enjoy his creation!
He takes one look at earth and triggers an earthquake,
points a finger at the mountains, and volcanoes erupt.
33-35 Oh, let me sing to God all my life long,
sing hymns to my God as long as I live!
Oh, let my song please him;
I’m so pleased to be singing to God.
But clear the ground of sinners—
no more godless men and women!
O my soul, bless God!
TRUTH: Creation was made to praise God, the Father of it all!’
Proverb 30:5-9, The Message
WISDOM: The believer replied, “Every promise of God proves true;
he protects everyone who runs to him for help.
So don’t second-guess him;
he might take you to task and show up your lies.”
7-9 And then he prayed, “God, I’m asking for two things
before I die; don’t refuse me—
Banish lies from my lips
and liars from my presence.
Give me enough food to live on,
neither too much nor too little.
If I’m too full, I might get independent,
saying, ‘God? Who needs him?’
If I’m poor, I might steal
and dishonor the name of my God.”
I love you, without reserve, no holding back, no conditions, no bargaining, I just love You back with all that is in me. Help me to love others like you love me. Great are you, Lord. Great is your unchanging, unconditional love for us.
In Jesus Name, Amen