By Christin Ditchfield Lazo
Reading from Psalm 104
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul;
O LORD my God, how excellent is your greatness!
you are clothed with majesty and splendor.
2 You wrap yourself with light as with a cloak
and spread out the heavens like a curtain.
3 You lay the beams of your chambers in the waters above;
you make the clouds your chariot;
you ride on the wings of the wind.
4 You make the winds your messengers
and flames of fire your servants.
5 You have set the earth upon its foundations,
so that it never shall move at any time.
6 You covered it with the Deep as with a mantle;
the waters stood higher than the mountains.
7 At your rebuke they fled;
at the voice of your thunder they hastened away.
8 They went up into the hills and down to the valleys beneath,
to the places you had appointed for them.
9 You set the limits that they should not pass;
they shall not again cover the earth.
10 You send the springs into the valleys;
they flow between the mountains.
11 All the beasts of the field drink their fill from them,
and the wild asses quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of the air make their nests
and sing among the branches.
13 You water the mountains from your dwelling on high;
the earth is fully satisfied by the fruit of your works.
14 You make grass grow for flocks and herds
and plants to serve mankind;
15 That they may bring forth food from the earth,
and wine to gladden our hearts,
16 Oil to make a cheerful countenance,
and bread to strengthen the heart.
17 The trees of the LORD are full of sap,
the cedars of Lebanon which he planted,
18 In which the birds build their nests,
and in whose tops the stork makes his dwelling.
19 The high hills are a refuge for the mountain goats,
and the stony cliffs for the rock badgers.
20 You appointed the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows the time of its setting.
21 You make darkness that it may be night,
in which all the beasts of the forest prowl.
22 The lions roar after their prey
and seek their food from God.
23 The sun rises, and they slip away
and lay themselves down in their dens.
24 Man goes forth to his work
and to his labor until the evening.
25 O LORD, how manifold are your works!
in wisdom you have made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
26 Yonder is the great and wide sea
with its living things too many to number,
creatures both small and great.
27 There move the ships,
and there is that Leviathan,
which you have made for the sport of it.
28 All of them look to you
to give them their food in due season.
29 You give it to them; they gather it;
you open your hand, and they are filled with good things.
30 You hide your face, and they are terrified;
you take away their breath,
and they die and return to their dust.
31 You send forth your Spirit, and they are created;
and so you renew the face of the earth.
32 May the glory of the LORD endure for ever;
may the LORD rejoice in all his works.
33 He looks at the earth and it trembles;
he touches the mountains and they smoke.
34 I will sing to the LORD as long as I live;
I will praise my God while I have my being.
35 May these words of mine please him;
I will rejoice in the LORD.
36 Let sinners be consumed out of the earth,
and the wicked be no more.
37 Bless the LORD, O my soul.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word “awesome” was first used almost 500 years ago. It described something or someone who inspired tremendous awe and wonder. To witness something awesome was to be utterly overcome in the presence of great beauty or power, overwhelmed with a reverential fear, rendered practically speechless — unlike the teens of my generation who used the word constantly as a synonym for “cool” or “great.”
Reading today’s psalm, we get the sense that the psalmist was filled with wonder, overcome with awe, contemplating the truly awesome (awe-inspiring) power of God. Verse after verse celebrates God’s wisdom, faithfulness, and love — especially as seen in the beauty and majesty of creation.
“Ever since the creation of the world [God’s] eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made” (Rom. 1:20). When was the last time you felt this kind of awe? When have you been struck by the awesomeness of God in creation?
Take a break from the horrors in the headlines, all the trauma and drama on social media. Search instead for the signature of God in all he has made. Watch the sunrise or sunset or go for a walk. Look closely at the flowers and trees in your own garden or neighborhood. Listen to the whisper of wind in the trees, the roaring of the ocean, or the patter of the rain. Consider how magnificent creation truly is and what it reveals about its Creator. Meditate on it, reflect on it. Join with the psalmist and let your heart sing God’s praise!
Christin Ditchfield Lazo, Th.M., is a best-selling author, conference speaker, and syndicated radio host, passionate about calling believers to a deeper life of faith.
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