Wednesday, October 17, 2017
Psalms 104:1 – 3, 31 Praise the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty. He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters. He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind. May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works.
Shortly after hurricanes Katrina and Rita ripped into the Gulf Coast, I was in Theriot, Louisiana, working at a church out on one of the bayous. We had adopted this church as our sister church and provided assistance to them in the rebuilding process. There were so many homes that need to be raised off the ground and built up on pillars to be protected from the hurricane flood waters. The bayou is slowly sinking. Estimates are that in 30 years it will be totally under water and uninhabitable.
In the meantime, people are doing everything they can to make their homes safe from the waters so they can continue to harvest shrimp, crabs, and oysters from the sea so that you and I can enjoy eating at Red Lobster.
Looking at these raised up houses is fascinating. Large telephone poles are sunk deep into the ground into concrete, with 10 to 15 feet of pole exposed above the ground. Large beams are bolted to the tops of the poles to form the supports necessary for the floor joists. The house is built on top of these great beams. Each house becomes an upper chamber rising out of the water.
Now take that mental picture, and expand it to encompass the whole earth. Imagine poles coming out of the oceans of the world and extending to the farthest reaches of the universe. Then picture the size of the beams necessary to connect those poles to form the supports upon which the upper chambers of heaven will be built. This is the imagery the Psalmist gives us today to help us understand the splendor and majesty of God.
As you read through this Psalm you should be awestruck with the splendor of God’s creation and His sovereign control over it.
• The canopy of space is but His tent, and above that are His upper chambers where He dwells.
• The clouds of the sky are but His chariots.
• He controls all the water supply for the earth. He took the waters of the great flood and assigned them to the great underground aquifers that continue to flow and sustain all life (vs. 6-12).
• Where the mountains are so high that they cannot be watered from beneath, He waters them from His upper chambers (vs. 13).
• He provides food for all living creatures (vs. 14-23 and vs. 27).
Yet while knowing that everything in this world is currently corrupted by sin and disintegrating into death, God’s glory endures and He will restore His creation to its intended glory in the coming kingdom, and He will rejoice over it (vs. 31 – May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works).
We have a choice today and every day – to live on ground level or to climb into the upper chambers of God’s presence. The most minute detail of life is under the control of our loving Father in heaven. The waters of worry can never flood us out again (vs. 9 – You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth.) Every need is supplied (vs. 13 – the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.) He fills us with joy (wine that gladdens the heart of man), He improves our attitudes (oil to make his face shine), and He gives us peace through the promises of His Word (and bread that sustains his heart).
The challenge is to praise Him for His works even when it seems everything is at work against us. We can do that if we forget not His benefits by meditating on Him and not on our situation. But that’s hard, isn’t it? It takes work, but the reward is worth the effort.
This should be our goal each day – I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD. (vs. 33-34)
Meditate on the splendor and majesty of God and on His wondrous works. Then you will be able to sing to the Lord in all areas of your life for as long as you live. You will be dwelling in the upper chambers of the Lord, safe from the storms and floods of life.