November 18

Worshipping God Who Made Everything Wisely

“The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. In them the birds build their nests; the stork has her home in the fir trees. The high mountains are for the wild goats; the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers. He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting. You make darkness, and it is night when all the beasts of the forest creep about. The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God. When the sun rises, they steal away and lie down in their dens. Man goes out to his work and to his labor until the evening. O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made them all.” (Psalm 104:16-24) 

It’s remarkable to me how many different climates there are in the world, and how varied the weather and landscapes are at this time of the year. Here in Texas, the Autumn nights are cool and the afternoons mild and sunny, in the 60s or 70s. In Minnesota the high temperature today will be 26 degrees, and in Calgary, Canada it will only be 12 degrees, but no more snow forecast for either location in the upcoming days. On this same day in Monrovia, Liberia the humidity and sun will combine to feel like 96 degrees, with palm, coconut, and banana trees waving in the hot breezes by the ocean. Only God could make a world as diverse as this, yet stable and useful for people and every type of animal in each ecosystem.  

Two particular aspects of creation are emphasized in these verses—the strong, tall trees of the forests that grow wild and the dark nighttime with its luminary, the moon. The trees are those that God alone plants by the work of nature which re-creates life as seeds and hulls fall to the ground; these are not the trees you and I plant in our yards or the nursery owner grows in the greenhouse. The “cedars of Lebanon” receive their nurturance from God’s natural system of the water cycle, the earth, and the sunshine, to provide homes for even the large birds like storks. (See photo below.) The stork was considered an unclean animal in the Old Testament, but the Lord, in his grace, provides for them, as he gives for his unclean, sinful people. (1)

The moon lights the way for the animals at night, many of which were also considered unclean. The moon illuminates the darkness, and on moonless nights, when the clouds hide even the stars, there is a bit of light, since light always overcomes the darkness. Here were are again reminded of God’s general grace over all creation, and his special grace in the light of Jesus Christ, who is the “light of the world” (John 1:5; 9:5) 

“There is a most glorious display of the wisdom of God in the most minute thing his hands have made; he has made everything beautiful in its season: a skillful artist, when he has finished his work and looks it over again, often finds some fault or another in it: but when the Lord had finished his works of creation, and looked over them, he saw that all was good; infinite wisdom itself could find no blemish in them: what weak, foolish, stupid creatures must they be that pretend to charge any of the works of God with folly, or want of wisdom?” (2)

Does not the Lord deserve our grateful worship today for his continual demonstration of wisdom to all creatures, be they people or animals, clean or unclean, forgiven or yet to be forgiven?

(1) John Gill’s Exposition on the Whole Bible, Psalm 104:17, https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/psalms -104.html

(2) Ibid, Ps. 104:24

These marabou storks are over 3 feet tall and roost in the trees in the middle of Kampala, the capitol city of Uganda, East Africa.  

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