July 4th 2016 – Psalm 104 (part one)

Psalm 104 (part one) – a song of praise to God, marking the days and stages of creation

psalm 104i

My Lord and my God,
may my whole being, body and soul,
praise and worship You.
For You are awesome, You are great,
robed in majestic finery,
ruling in splendorous victory.
You are clothed in pure, bright light,
and You stretch out the heavens
just like we lay out a tent –
You are laying out the foundations of the earth and the heavens.
The clouds in the sky are Your mode of transport –
like a heavenly chariot –
the wind in the sky carries You where You want to be.
That wind is Your breath, Your message for the world.
Even the fiery flames serve Your grander purpose.

My Lord and my God,
it is You who has firmly rooted the earth,
setting its foundations
so it can never be moved, never be shaken.
You clothed it with the deepest of oceans,
initially covering everything,
even the highest, the mightiest of mountains.
But at the sound of Your voice,
the waters sped off
down they ran, as Your thunder roared.
Those mighty waters receded
down the mountainside
into the valleys
to become the rivers, streams,
lochs and lakes
which You had designed them to be.
These waters are now limited by the boundaries You have set –
never again will the whole earth be covered.

My Lord and my God,
Your streams water the mountain sides,
Your springs bring life to the deepest valleys.
You provide drinking water for all the animals
in their fields – wild horses and donkeys are able
to quench their thirst.
We see how the birds of the air make their homes,
build their nests alongside rivers and streams,
their beautiful birdsong reverberates through
the branches of the trees.
From the heights of heaven,
Your rainwater falls down the mountainside,
and refreshes the earth,
enabling the grass to grow to provide food for the cattle,
and crops for human beings to nurture,
to provide food for people.
Your earth provides grapes to make wine,
to gladden people’s heart, to make their faces glow.
Your earth produces wheat to make bread,
to strengthen people’s lives.
All Your trees are well watered, O Lord,
all Your cedars (like those in Lebanon) are firmly rooted.
See how the birds make their homes, build their nests here –
even the impressive stork dwells in Your mighty fir trees.
See how the mountains provide a home for the wild goats,
and the valleys a home for wild badgers.
The provision of Your wonderful creation, my God.