Adult 1 Sunday School Class Ps 104:5-9, 24-30 September 1, 2013
Theme: There are 150 chapters in the Book of Psalms (praises), which were the poems and/or lyrical pieces accompanied by musical instruments. The majority were written by David along with other psalmist. Ps 104 deals with the God who creates, sustains, provides, and preserves. Psalms can be hymns of praise, worship of God; prayers for protection, help, and salvation, pleas for forgiveness; songs of thanksgiving and God's blessings, and petitions to punish their enemies.
Understanding and Interpreting the Scripture (responses are in bold print)
Please explain the meaning or significance of the following verses
* Psalm 104:5 and 6, "Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. 6. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains." This is a creation Psalm that describes the foundation and the permanence of God's work, as if designed and built by a skilled engineer. This theme is continued thru v.9. The first four verses of Ps 104 praises God's royal and kingly splendor and His sovereignty over natural forces (i.e. the rotation of the earth, tides of the sea, the blowing of the winds, etc). In these verses He shifts from Lord to King over the earth in v.'s 5-9. V.6 The water drapes the mountains like a garment and gives imagery that is consistent with the cosmic flood in Genesis 7:18-20.
*v.7,8 and 9., "At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. 8. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them. 9. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth." These three verses show the power of God's voice of His commands over His creation, for example, "At thy rebuke they fled;" like warriors deserting a battle field. 8. The floodwaters receded, uncovering the mountains, and redefining the valleys by restoring the land to its natural state. Just as God created the earth in v.5, so the mountains and valleys remain where He established them. 9. As creator, God marked the boundaries that the waters could not invade, so that they will never cover the earth again (Job 37:8-11). This verse is reminiscent of the Lord's covenant with Noah ( Gen 9:11).
*v. 24. "O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches." How wonderful are the works of God, who has wisely made all creatures and has filled the earth with them. With His interconnectedness He made the water to replenish the earth, which grew the plants, and which fed the beasts of the land. Everything is being refreshed and replenished by rain, "God's celestial sprinkler system", the sustaining resource of all creation. Everything that God does is magnificent in every way; individually and collectively, they reveal His greatness, but humanity, although not specifically mentioned in this psalm, is His crowning achievement.
*v. 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." The enormity of the sea with the ships that sail on it, and the creatures great (Job 41:1, Isaiah 27:1) and small, illustrates the boundless creative ability of God. 26. "Leviathan" refers to a large sea creature, created by God, that would play in the water (Job 3:18, Isa. 27:1).
*v. 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." All of them depend upon God for their nourishment that they need today and in the future (Ps 145:5, 146:5, Isa.38:18). In short, He is the maker and the maintainer of all things.
*v. 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." The author of the psalm is saying that, "when God turns away from His creation, the people become troubled for fear that they are all alone; when He takes away their breath, they die and return to the dust from whence they came. But when He gives His creation spirit (breath), then they are created; and He then gives new life to the earth."