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Sunday School Lesson

January 22

Praise God the Creator

 

Devotional Reading:Psalm 8

 

Background Scripture:Psalm 104

 

Psalm 104:1-4, 24-30

 

1 Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

 

2 Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:

 

3 Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:

 

4 Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire.

 

24 O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

 

25 So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.

 

26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.

 

27 These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

 

28 That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.

 

29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

 

30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

 

Key Verse

 

O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.—Psalm 104:24

 

Lesson Aims

 

After participating in this lesson, each learner will be able to:

 

1. List some diverse elements of God’s creation.

 

2. Explain the connection between the first segment of the lesson text (vv. 1-4) and the second (vv. 24-30).

 

3. Write a statement of respect and commitment to care for God’s creation.

 

 

Introduction

 

 A. Recycle vs. Renew

 

Do you recycle? No one asked this question 40 years ago, but now it is common—and frequently accompanied by moral judgment. In certain ways, ecological awareness and practice has become the new morality. We are urged not to judge people regarding just about everything, but this seems to be a big exception. Filling the Internet with moral filth is OK, but filling our landfills when we could be recycling is deemed unacceptable.

 

Recycling programs in some cities have gone from voluntary to mandatory, and efforts have expanded far beyond the mere saving of aluminum cans and glass jars. Manufacturers are now very conscious of the packaging they use, designing such materials to be easily recyclable.

 

The point at which this “green” emphasis does more harm than good (if ever) is a debate best conducted elsewhere. And whether or not we choose to participate in those debates, we must keep in mind that God planned His creation to be capable of more than recycling. He intended it to be continually renewing.

 

There is no word in the Bible for recycle, but renew is an important theme. Renewing, from the Bible’s perspective, is both part of the plan of God and a process that is dependent on God. Whether it is a renewal of the earth or a renewal of the human spirit, it cannot happen without God’s blessing and power. The God who renews is the focus of the celebration that makes up our lesson this week from Psalm 104.

 

B. Lesson Background

 

Psalm 104 falls within the Psalms Book IV, the bookends of which are Psalms 90 and 106. At least one scholar sees enough similarity among Psalms 8, 33 (see lesson 5), 104, and 145 to categorize the four as “Songs of Creation.”

 

Psalm 104 also is often paired with Psalm 103, since both feature material drawn from Genesis and both are hymns of praise (note their similar beginnings and endings in that regard). Because of these similarities, some scholars propose that the named author of Psalm 103, who is David, is also the author of Psalm 104, which bears no designation of authorship.

 

Whether or not David wrote Psalm 104, its original concept apparently came from a pagan source: Pharaoh Akhenaton’s Great Hymn to the Sun. This praise of a fictitious sun god is traced to Egyptian mythology of the fourteenth century BC. The fact that the pagan sun-hymn came first means that the writer of Psalm 104 would be the borrower. Yet the two are different in vital ways! Their conclusions, the focus of their tribute, and Psalm 104’s dependence on Genesis 1 assured the ancient Hebrew that there would be no confusion between the two compositions.

 

Even so, we may wonder why the psalmist would borrow from the Egyptian sun-hymn in the first place. Perhaps it was because his culture was already familiar with it. That possibility may lead us to theorize further that Psalm 104’s praise of the Creator is an intentional jab at the Egyptian hymn’s praise of a part of creation. We should not find such a procedure surprising. The apostle Paul, for his part, used pagan sources in his sermons and letters to uphold Christ (see Acts 17:28; 1 Corinthians 15:33; and Titus 1:12).

 

Regarding tone, Psalm 104 has more of the personal element than other praise psalms. The fact that it switches in speaking of the Lord with personal address (“Thee”) and narrative (“He”) makes it seem suited for both public worship and personal reflection. Vividness is enhanced by the psalmist’s use of the technique called parallelism. That feature, common in Hebrew poetry, involves saying the same thing (or nearly the same thing) with different words (see discussion in lesson 5).

 

Our lesson today focuses on verses from the beginning and the end of this great psalm, but students should read the whole thing. In so doing, many phrases used in our worship songs will be detected. This testifies to the richness and the eternal value of this hymn of praise.

 

How to Say It

 

Akhenaton Ock-naw-tun.

 

leviathan luh-vye-uh-thun.

 

Pharaoh Fair-o (or Fay-roe).

 

I. Greatness of God

 

                                                                  (Psalm 104:1-4)

 

A. Clothed in Majesty (v. 1)

 

1a. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

 

The psalmist begins with a command. The wording is intriguing, for the soul is the essence of a person. Is he telling himself to do something? Yes! His comments serve as a reminder not to forget to give the Lord His deserved praise and blessing. This is a great start to a time of worship, whether group or private. Let’s focus on God, not ourselves.

 

The books of Genesis and Psalms feature the highest relative occurrences of the Hebrew word translated bless. But while the blessing statements in Genesis most often refer to God’s blessing a person, those in the Psalms speak of people’s blessing the Lord. The latter happens when people offer deserved and appropriate praise to God.

 

1b. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

 

We give the Lord the praise due Him as we recognize His exceeding greatness. The psalmist’s word picture for this is God’s clothing as honour and majesty. This describes a glorious king. In Psalm 21:5, these qualities are bestowed on a human king by God; it is as if God lends the man a share of divine glory temporarily. But in the verse before us, we see far more than a tiny derivative of glory, for God wears His majesty like a robe. We are reminded of words of the cherished hymn “How Great Thou Art.”

 

What Do You Think?

 

How can we make sure our praise comes from the depths of our souls?

 

Points for Your Discussion

 

In light of Matthew 15:8

 

In light of Matthew 21:16

 

In light of James 3:10

 

Other

 

B. Served by Angels (vv. 2-4)

 

2. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain.

 

The word picture is extended. The Lord not only wears a robe of majesty, but this garment is made of pure light. It is as if God takes the light of the sun and bends its rays to serve as a glorious cloak for himself (compare Revelation 12:1).

 

This idea of God’s using the mighty elements of His creation as fabric goes one stage further when the psalmist sees God separating the heavens from the earth with a heavenly curtain. This is an insight into the immensity of God, as if He covers the entire sky from the eastern to the western horizon with a stupendous bolt of heavenly cloth. God wraps himself in glory, and He brings His glorious touch to earth itself for us to experience.

 

God’s “Clothing” and Ours

 

Current culture is less formal today than it was a few generations ago. One way this is seen is in the attire worn on various occasions. An older generation of men still wear coat and tie to weddings and funerals, while younger adults may prefer jeans.

 

A generational divide is also seen in what people wear to church. The senior saints, who often prefer the traditional worship service, will wear their “Sunday best.” It is not uncommon to hear them complain that wearing anything less would fail to show proper respect for God.

 

The younger folks, on the other hand, may wear cutoffs and sandals to their preferred contemporary worship service. When concerns are voiced about their attire, they might respond that God is more interested in what is in their hearts than what they are wearing.

 

When we read how God is “clothed,” is anything being implied regarding our own attire in approaching Him? And does our choice of attire for worship say anything about the level of our regard for Him? Perhaps the broader question, which includes the issue of attire but many other issues as well, is this: How can we demonstrate our highest regard for God at all times and on all occasions?—C. R. B.

 

3. Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind.

 

The psalmist continues his praise of God’s wonders by expanding the idea of the skyward presence of the Lord. This imagines the beams of his chambers to be posted in the deep waters of the earth. This is a picture of gigantic pillars driven into the seabed to support the structure of Heaven.

 

In His sky abode, God rides clouds as His personal, kingly chariot and walks or rides around by using the wind as we would the earth’s ground (compare Isaiah 66:15). These powerful, poetic expressions of God are saying, “He is not like us. His ways are far above ours. He is glorious beyond our comprehension.”

 

What Do You Think?

 

What word pictures have you found to be effective when explaining the nature of God?

 

Points for Your Discussion

 

When conversing with a child

 

When conversing with an unbeliever

 

4. Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire.

 

God’s heavenly court includes angels. The Hebrew word for “angel” can also be translated “messenger,” as it is in Numbers 24:12. Indeed, a function of angels is to bring God’s messages to humans. Placing that fact alongside the parallel here of angels and ministers referring to the same group results in angels being considered “ministering spirits” (Hebrews 1:14).

 

The Hebrew word for spirit also presents an issue of dual rendering, since it can be translated “wind,” as it is in Zechariah 6:5. The psalmist may be using this fact to depict the heavenly servants as being somehow like winds (compare Revelation 7:1). If so, a couple of things are implied.

 

First, angels are powerful, for the wording here does not describe light breezes. This is a description of moving weather at its extreme, which can be violent and destructive. Second, these powerful beings are, like the wind, invisible to us (unless God chooses to make them visible). The psalmist truly understands and believes there are angels among us, and this is a humbling and comforting thing for him. We see him awestruck in his description of these heavenly beings as a flaming fire, another way of indicating the power of God’s angels. This is not the small fire of a candle, but the powerful fire of Heaven (compare Psalm 97:3).

 

II. Greatness of God’s Works

 

                                                                   (Psalm 104:24-26)

 

A. The Abundant Earth (v. 24)

 

24. O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

 

We see parallelism here as the phrases thy works and thy riches reflect one another. The word riches carries the idea of many different creatures and the diversity of the earth’s biosphere, not the gold or other precious metals of the earth. Passages such as Psalms 8:3, 4; 66:3; and 92:5 also marvel at the complexity and scope of God’s creation.

 

The psalmist also introduces here a concept that may be less familiar to us: that creation itself is a testimony to the wisdom of God. Our universe is not self-explanatory or self-ordering. Its beauty and balance are the result of God’s perfect wisdom. We are best able to appreciate the value of our natural world when we rely on the wisdom of God. This comes full circle when we realize that our awe or fear of the Lord is the beginning of our own pathway to wisdom (Psalm 111:10). Human reverence for God and human wisdom are two sides of the same coin.

 

What Do You Think?

 

How can our congregation best use God’s great works in nature to bring people closer to Him?

 

Points for Your Discussion

 

For the spiritual growth of fellow Christians

 

For evangelistic outreach to unbelievers

 

B. The Expansive Sea (vv. 25, 26)

 

25. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.

 

In turning his attention from the dry land to the great and wide sea, the psalmist speaks as one who has spent time on ships personally. Or perhaps he has conversed with others who have. Those who have spent time at sea have the greater appreciation of how vast the oceans are. The experience of sailing out far enough to lose sight of all land can be overwhelming. When no landmarks are visible, the rolling seas seem endless.

 

The psalmist is also knowledgeable regarding creatures of the sea. He knows that the sea has some monstrous beasts as well as some tiny ones. All this contributes mightily to the author’s spirit of amazement and appreciation for the Creator.

 

26. There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.

 

The psalmist continues expressing wonder at the size of the oceans. There is plenty of room for all ships, works of humans that seem puny by comparison to the works of God.

 

The vastness of the ocean means that even the leviathan is not cramped for space. Leviathan is a transliterated Hebrew term, and Isaiah 27:1 describes it as a “serpent” of some kind. This may refer to an eel-like sea creature that is able to curl and contort itself.

 

The lengthy treatment of leviathan in Job 41 has led to different conclusions, however. Some see a reference to a mythological dragon that no longer exists. Others identify the leviathan variously as a crocodile, a seagoing dinosaur, or a whale. At any rate, the leviathan was a huge animal of the sea (see Job 41:1). We should not get so distracted by trying to figure out leviathan that we lose sight of the psalmist’s main point: that of an ocean so spacious that even a creature such as leviathan seems like a minnow within it.

 

III. Goodness of God’s Works

 

                                                                    (Psalm 104:27-30)

 

A. Feeding the World (vv. 27, 28)

 

27. These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

 

These refers to animal life, including the sea creatures just mentioned. Meat in this context has a broader sense of food in general, not just animal flesh. The psalmist solemnly notes that every single creature, from humans to fish, depend on the Lord himself to feed them. The Lord does this indirectly through the earth’s systems of production, systems He created. Both humans and sharks may catch fish to eat, but ultimately all food comes from the self-renewing system that continues to operate by God’s power. The earth God created in the first place, He continues to sustain to this day.

 

28. That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.

 

The fact of our dependence on God’s provision for daily food is put in beautiful, basic terms. We gather at harvest because God gives. We are filled (nourished) because of the Lord’s open hand.

 

Since most of us purchase our food in a store or a restaurant, we are far removed from the basic elements of food production. Farming takes work, to be sure, but we should still marvel that an empty field of dirt can fill with tall stalks of corn in a few weeks. We should pause in wonder that nets can be dipped into the vast sea and come up full of fish. We should never take our daily bread for granted.

 

What Do You Think?

 

What more can our church do to demonstrate the open hand of God? How will you help?

 

Points for Your Discussion

 

In meeting physical needs

 

In giving spiritual and emotional support

 

Other

 

B. Allowing Death (v. 29)

 

29. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

 

As the psalmist considers the cycle of animal life, we see parallel thoughts that interpret each other. When the Lord hides His face, the creatures are troubled. What does this mean? The next line explains: when the Lord takes away their breath, they die. Thus the poetic expression of God’s hidden face is a way of saying that the time of death has come.

 

Animals are troubled when death looms because of their instinct for survival, an instinct placed in them by God himself. We too have such an instinct, but He does not abandon us at the time of our death. Our relationship with Him helps us overcome the fear of death. It gives us the courage to walk through the “valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23:4).

 

What Do You Think?

 

At what times other than death does God seem to be hiding? How do we cope?

 

Points for Your Discussion

 

When things seems centered on one person (example: Job)

 

When a wider group is affected (example: Joshua 7:1)

 

Other

 

To return to their dust is the common result of death. All living things—from trees to tigers to toddlers—are largely composed of the same foundational ingredients of hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus. When organisms die, they begin to decompose almost immediately. Eventually the components of what once was a living body become part (again) of the earth’s elements—dust in Bible language.

 

The temporary nature of our current physical existence is a reminder of our mortality (see Genesis 3:19). We are not gods, and our bodies are not invincible or immortal (see Psalm 103:14). As we traditionally say at funerals, “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

 

C. Renewing Live (v. 30)

 

30. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

 

This is not the end of the story, however. God continually renews the life of His earth. He never intended the animal or plant life to be a single generation. All plants and animals are created with the capability of reproduction, but that does not happen without God’s life-giving spirit. This is one of the wonders in the Genesis 1 account of creation: that each order of plant and animal reproduces according to its kind. In this way, God’s creatures multiply and renew the face of the earth continually (see Genesis 1:22).

 

Circle or Cycle?

 

The Lion King is the popular 1994 animated film from Disney studios. The song “Circle of Life” sets the tone for the presentation of a newborn lion cub to the pride’s rulers. The scene is reprised at the end of the film as a cub from the next generation is presented.

 

Some think the phrase circle of life is useful to describe what happens in human families as well: as those of the older generation die off, members of the next generation step up to take their place as leaders. Infants are born to keep the circle going.

 

We should be cautious, however, about haphazardly grabbing phrases from culture and using them uncritically in Christianity. A close look at the lyrics of the “Circle of Life” song reveals elements that are at odds with Scripture.

 

The self-renewing feature of life on planet Earth, as designed by the Creator, might better be called the cycle of life. The self-renewal is not endless, however. The power God uses to create and sustain, He will use again to destroy and create anew (2 Peter 3:10-13). In the meantime, we remember that what we do with our portion of the cycle of life will influence the generations that follow. We are at our best when we embrace fully and firmly the service to which God calls us. It starts with our praise.—C. R. B.

 

Conclusion

 

A. It Didn’t Just Happen

 

Many Christians believe that science is an enemy of faith. This does not need to be so. Some elements of Psalm 104 are the ancient version of scientific observations, but these observations drive the psalmist and the reader to greater faith in God, not less. Science has done a fantastic job of documenting the intricacies and interrelated nature of things. Science increases our knowledge of our world daily. As the ancient psalmist marveled at what he could see on the ocean’s surface, today we look in awe at the life-forms on the deepest ocean floor.

 

As with the psalmist, however, a modern person should pause and ask, “Just how did all of this happen?” The explanation that our complex earth and its ecosystems simply developed through random chance over billions of years just doesn’t ring true or seem plausible to most people. For example, why do plants and animals reproduce? Science can help us see how this happens, but cannot answer the basic question of why. Even if just one single-celled life form developed from unplanned processes, why did it develop with the capability of reproduction, which even amoebas have?

 

Since scientific observations offer no answer to this question, we are driven to the conclusion that there must be intentionality undergirding our world. We cannot help but see the hand of the transcendent Creator, who is greater than and distinct from His creation. May we, like the psalmist, recognize God in His mighty power to create as we offer praise and thanks of His care for us.

 

B. Prayer

 

O Lord, You created us, each and every one. You know us better than we know ourselves, from the number of hairs on our heads to the many memories of our hearts. We owe our existence to You. We owe our daily sustenance to You. May we never forget how truly dependent we are on You, on Your grace and mercy. We pray this in the name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

 

C. Thought to Remember

 

Before God was Redeemer, He was Creator.

 

 

 

 

Kid’s Corner

Gods Wonderful Wisdom and Works!

January 22, 2017

Psalms 104:1-4 & 24-30

 

 

Psalms 104:1-4 & 24-30

(Psalms 104:1) Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty,

To praise the LORD is to honor the LORD and show our love and thankfulness toward God for who God is and how God thinks and acts especially toward His creation and us personally. Our soul connects us with God and for Christians our soul connects us directly with the indwelling Holy Spirit. Our soul enables us to think, feel, and make decisions. The psalmist thinks about the truths he has learned about God from the Scriptures and observation. The psalmist feels love for God. The psalmist has decided to praise God as his Almighty King. Everyone has a god or one or more idols, and everyone serves the LORD or idols. The psalmist says the LORD (Yahweh or Jehovah) is his God, the One he worships and serves. His praise to God in this Psalm includes his description of God and reasons for worshiping and serving the LORD. He uses words that the people of his day would associate with a mighty king dressed in festal array or holding court with his subjects. The LORD is great and the King over all creation.

(Psalms 104:2) Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.

When the LORD began to create, we learn from the Scriptures, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:3-4). The LORD wraps himself in light so He can be seen or so the creation as He creates can be seen and serve as a part of His garment with all of creation in the light revealing God’s splendor and majesty. From observation of creation, we see something of God’s splendor and majesty, and learn more about God. The “Light” can also mean the “Truth.” When we “see the light” we understand the truth. When we look at the heavens above us, they may look like a tent that covers us. God’s abode is above this tent or above the heavens.

(Psalms 104:3) He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind;

In the psalmist’s day, people knew rain fell from heaven or the firmament. They saw clouds in the sky. In poetic imagery, the psalmist described the fact that God’s “upper chambers” or abode and throne room was above the waters or firmament. In the vivid imagination of the psalmist, the clouds can serve as God’s chariots as they move across the sky and God can use the wind to do his bidding. The psalmist wants us to know that the rain, the clouds, and the wind are God’s servants, because God is King over all. God is greater than all creation. And the heavens above the psalmist were full of mystery.

(Psalms 104:4) He makes the winds His messengers, Flaming fire His ministers.

Storms and lightning flashes can serve as messengers and servants of God. Angels can be changed into flames of fire and God can change flames of fire into angels. The Scriptures teach, “In speaking of the angels he says, ‘He makes his angels spirits, and his servants flames of fire’” (Hebrews 1:7) and “Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14). As the Almighty King, God has the power to do what He knows is loving and wise in any situation, and God can use messengers and angels as His servants and to serve us whenever He sees they can meet our needs. The New Testament tells us that Jesus is greater than the angels, for Jesus is the Son of God: “And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, ‘Let all God’s angels worship him’” (Hebrews 1:6).

(Psalms 104:24) O LORD, how many are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all; The earth is full of Your possessions.

Before the psalmist began to declare some of the marvels of the fifth day of creation, he cannot contain himself and he breaks forth in praise to God. God’s works are so manifold that even today researchers are finding new species of animals, plants, and fish. The earth is full of microscopic creatures up to the largest animals and plants. In addition, God created human beings in His image. Every creature that God has created reveals the wisdom of God, and every scientific study of God’s creation can reveal God’s wisdom to researchers and those who study their writings.

(Psalms 104:25) There is the sea, great and broad, In which are swarms without number, Animals both small and great.

God parted the seas and separated lands and mountains from the seas. Live coral reefs and other forms of sea life often grow slowly among innumerable varieties of plants, fish, and mammals that live in the ocean. Small microscopic shrimp can feed tiny seahorses. Dolphins, squid, sharks, and whales take their place as some of God’s great sea creatures. God has created all things, small and great things.

(Psalms 104:26) There the ships move along, And Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it.

Whereas faraway lands once separated people of various nations and races, ships now cross the oceans as a highway to bring people together and enrich kingdoms through trade. The Leviathan is mentioned also in Psalm 74:13-15. God intended the Leviathan to enjoy the sea and be a creature that God and those in ships would enjoy watching when it broke forth above the waters.

(Psalms 104:27) They all wait for You To give them their food in due season.

Human beings, human beings on land and sea, animals on land and animals that live in the seas, all human beings and animals depend on God to survive. A person may think he depends on his resourcefulness alone to live and prosper, but all depend on God to supply them with food and oxygen. Intelligent human beings, those with understanding, look to God for their provisions, and they know the seasons that God has provided for the planting and harvesting of the variety of foods they eat. Here the psalmist praises God not only for creating, but also for sustaining life.

(Psalms 104:28) You give to them, they gather it up; You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good.

The Bible teaches that God is personally involved in His good creation throughout all history (someone has said that “history” is “His story”). God did not just create and then decide to sit back to watch and let the world be totally self-sustaining. God personally gives us what we need. We “work” to gather our food, but God has provided the food and God has given the growth to a farmer’s field. The good things we enjoy come from God’s open hand — a sign of love: God is not selfish.

(Psalms 104:29) You hide Your face, they are dismayed; You take away their spirit, they expire And return to their dust.

For good and sufficient reasons, God sometimes allows or causes His creatures to not have everything they need or want. For example, Job was dismayed at his losses, but God revealed His faithfulness to Job. The psalmist praises God for the cycle of life and death. For good reasons, God sometimes seems far away, but God is still personally involved in all life and death. Jesus said that God even cares for every sparrow that falls to the ground.

(Psalms 104:30) You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground.

During various seasons, the face of the ground changes, God brings the springtime after fall and winter. God brings forth the green trees, grasses, flowers, and crops in their seasons. God creates by Word and Spirit, and God’s Spirit gives life to all living things. From the Scriptures, we learn, “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Genesis 1:2). From the New Testament, we learn with certainty about life after death and the future that God has promised His children, all those who love God through faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

 

 

 

Gods Wonderful Wisdom and Works!

January 22, 2017

Psalms 104:1-4 & 24-30

 

 “How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (Psalms 104:24).

 

Within the past few years, amazing pictures of planets and stars from space telescopes have been sent back to earth. These results continually increase our knowledge of the works of God – far more than anyone can count. Recently, scientists have speculated that on a planet named HAT-P-7b, which is 1000 lightyears away, it rains rubies and sapphires. The works of God in the universe are more complicated and surprising than science fiction, and the reasonableness and orderliness of the works of God demonstrate the wisdom of God. God’s absolute exactness in His creation makes mathematical calculations possible for scientists to send telescopes to distant solar systems, receive back pictures, calculate distances, and make precision maneuvers of rockets and orbiters. Our world is so full of God’s creatures that among the many new creatures and species found in 2016 alone are new cave beetle varieties, a new glow-in-the-dark fish, and a new spider named Márquez. Because of God’s manifold works and wisdom the psalmist tells us repeatedly to praise the Lord. When the psalmist considered God’s many abilities and attributes in the light of the kings, rulers, and others who band together against the Lord, he wrote, “The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them” (Psalms 2:4; see also, Psalms 14:1). The psalmist has also told us how all of God’s creatures are created, and how many of them can live in locations on earth unsuitable for humans without special equipment. He even dealt with the worrisome threats to our environment: “When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground” (Psalms 104:30).

 

 

Thinking Further

Gods Wonderful Wisdom and Works!

January 22, 2017

Psalms 104:1-4 & 24-30

Name _______________________

 

1. Why do believers need to praise God as the Creator of all things and people?

 

 

2. Name one or more acts of Jesus during His public ministry on earth that show He is powerful over creation.

 

 

3. Describe some ways that God brought order into His creation instead of disorder.

 

 

4. Name one or two of God’s creations that demonstrate God’s wisdom.

 

 

5. Give an example of where the psalmist implies that God enjoyed creating and enjoys His creation.

 

 

 

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

 

1. Why do believers need to praise God as the Creator of all things and people?

The writers of the Bible praise God as the Creator of all who rules over all. Genesis reveals the fact of creation and the Gospel of John reveals the fact that Jesus, the Word of God, created all things because He was God and was with God. These facts inspire praise in believers. We need to praise God as the Creator to remind ourselves and others of how much we depend on God, who is worthy to be praised. God’s marvelous creation points to how marvelous God is as our Creator, and we praise God for giving us the ability to experience and appreciate our Creator and creation.

 

2. Name one or more acts of Jesus during His public ministry on earth that show He is powerful over creation.

Jesus quieted a storm and walked on water. He saved His disciples from a stormy sea. He told them where to catch fish, without needing to be in the boat himself. He healed all diseases and raised the dead. He knew what was in the heart and mind of others. He did things that only the Creator of the world could do.

 

3. Describe some ways that God brought order into His creation instead of disorder.

God prepared places for the dry land, rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans. He set boundaries for land and sea. He created plants, and He created some plants as food for animals and people. God created wild animals and animals that could be domesticated to work for people and be their friends.

 

4. Name one or two of God’s creations that demonstrate God’s wisdom.

The human body and brain with their complexity. The way the human soul and spirit live in a human body for there to be active and intelligent life.

 

5. Give an example of where the psalmist implies that God enjoyed creating and enjoys His creation.

In Psalm 104:26, the psalmist wrote that God created the Leviathan “to sport” in the sea.

 

 

Word Search

Gods Wonderful Wisdom and Works!

January 22, 2017

Psalms 104:1-4 & 24-30

Name _______________________

 

M I H I R I Z N V U S Q E L W

S K A Z L S Y P O E K I F U D

T E G T K E S T R J X H E O E

C D M R M W A U S N Y R W S G

O S O A I C T K J E I Q L P L

R W R S L A I L C F J K U I F

F O D E E F S T B L T A G Z S

V O D R G V F R A X O H M E H

M Y C N T N I C W E T T R I W

I X W O E K E N H S R V H G Q

Q L N P G L D S Z A A G T E C

P R A I S E P R S N R E Q R D

E J Y N U H Z S T E D I X T B

K Z R Z T G B S F Z M Q O K L

N S P I R I T Q S P I H S T O

 

 

Praise

Soul

Great

Clothed

Splendor

Majesty

Light

Chariot

Messengers

Flames

Fire

Servants

Works

Wisdom

Creatures

Ships

Satisfied

Spirit

 

 

 

True and False Test

Gods Wonderful Wisdom and Works!

January 22, 2017

Psalms 104:1-4 & 24-30

Name _______________________

 

Circle the true or false answers. Correct the false statements by restating them.

 

1. We should praise the Lord with our heart and mind. True or False

 

2. We can praise God and show our love for the Lord by the words we say and the choices we make. True or False

 

3. In the Bible, the word “light” can sometimes mean “truth.” True or False

 

4. God wraps himself in both light and darkness. True or False

 

5. We can easily count the number of God’s good works. True or False

 

6. God used wisdom when He created all the creatures on earth. True or False

 

7. If we praise God for His greatness, God does not much care how we act. True or False

 

8. The psalmist warned sailors at sea that the leviathan could easily sink their ships. True or False

 

9. God’s creatures depend on God for their food. True or False

 

10. Today, God does not get involved when creatures are created or the earth is not cared for properly. True or False

 

 

Answers to the True and False Test

Psalms 104:1-4 & 24-30

Sunday, January 22, 2017

 

1.    True

2.    True

3.    True

4.    False

5.    False

6.    True

7.    False

8.    False

9.    True

10.False

 

 

Prayer

 

O Lord, You created us, each and every one. You know us better than we know ourselves, from the number of hairs on our heads to the many memories of our hearts. We owe our existence to You. We owe our daily sustenance to You. May we never forget how truly dependent we are on You, on Your grace and mercy. We pray this in the name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.