Saturday, January 21, 2017

Master Designer

Print Passage: Psalm 104:1-4, 24-30
Devotional Reading: Psalm 8

I was recently sent an email which reminded me of the opposite of this lesson’s title. According to a Fengshui Master in Hong Kong nothing like February 2017 will occur again in our lifetime. This February has 4 Sundays, 4 Mondays, 4 Tuesdays, 4 Wednesdays, 4 Thursdays, 4 Fridays, and 4 Saturdays. This only happens once every 823 years. Fengshui did well to point out this fact to cause us to speculate and wonder about time. However, he was not the creator of all the wonders of the universe. Psalm 8, a psalm of David, reads in part at verses 3-9, “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. LORD, our LORD, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (NKJV) Fengshui was only a creature who could point out a created marvel by the Creator. He was not the Creator of the innumerable marvelous and beyond understanding wonders of the universe.

We are in Unit II – “Praise from and for God’s Creation” of the three units of the quarter. This is the fourth lesson of a five-lesson study. In the lesson today we shall focus on Psalm 104, a psalm which invites us to praise God for His creation.

Our daily lives must reflect a Christian walk as we bless the LORD with our entire soul. The psalmist teaches us the necessity to dutifully serve our Creator in verses 1-4 in his attempt to describe His honor and majesty. The verses read, “Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty, who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, who stretch out the heavens like a curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, who makes the clouds His chariot, who walks on the wings of the wind, who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.” (NKJV)

Webster’s dictionary describes honor as the esteem due or any expression of respect or high estimation by words or actions. The psalmist describes the LORD God as great, not only because He is clothed with this honor but because He is majestic. Webster’s describes majesty as a greatness of appearance; quality or state of a person or thing which inspires awe or reverence in the beholder; applied with peculiar propriety to God and his works. Our God is a Spirit. As a Spirit we are not able to see him with our naked, natural eyes, but He is clothed with this honor and majesty for us to continually bless His Name to the depth of our soul. God is Spirit. 1 John 1:5b states, “…God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.” (NKJV) He covers Himself with light in order that we might see Him. He is the Father of lights who gives every good and perfect gift (James 1:17), and dwells in the unapproachable light (1 Tim 6:16). As the psalmist continues he described the heavenly glories of God surrounding Him as if it were a curtain or a tent. This would include the entire sky from the eastern to the western horizon.

God is not only in the entire sky. There are beams in His upper chambers in the entire sky which are posted in the deep waters of the earth. God is everywhere as He supports the structure of the heavens and the earth with his beams. He rides the clouds for transportation as if they were jet airplanes and walks upon the winds as if they are moving sidewalks or elevators through the universe. God created the angels to be His messengers to humans. The angels are spiritual beings more closely associated with the divine. They are invisible, unless God chooses otherwise, and are swift as the wind. They are not the small fire of a candle, but they serve as the powerful fire of Heaven as God makes whatever use He chooses of them.

As the psalmist has highlighted in the aforementioned passages, humans and angels were developed to serve the Almighty Great Creator. We each have a duty even though we have free will and sometimes fall short of that duty to submit to the will of God. I am reminded of the praise hymn How Great Thou Art to keep me from falling out of line of serving the LORD. The lyrics to the song are “O LORD my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds thy hands have made; I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee, How great Thou art! How great thou art! Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee, How great Thou art! How great Thou art!” 1

The psalm continues with praising God for founding the earth from nothing and balancing it by its own weight to setting boundaries to the seas to bringing forth the creatures and elements of the heavens and the earth, etc. Not only were we developed by God for specific and dutiful service, but we were created in due season. Our lesson picks up again at verse 24 where the variety of God’s works are acknowledged due to His wisdom. Ps 104:24 reads, “O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions.” (NKJV) God’s works are too numerous to count or catalogue. Many have not been discovered and some have gone into extinction. Yet all belong to Him due to His wisdom. And James 1:5 advises, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”(NKJV)

Now the attention turns to the sea. The seas are full of life, both large and small, and yet humans are even able to sail ships. Ps 104:25-26 is presented by the psalmist as, “This great and wide sea, In which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great. There the ships sail about; There is that Leviathan which You have made to play there.” (NKJV) The sea was not made in vain any more than the earth. It is full of life which continues to reproduce, both small and great. The Scripture specifically mentions the Leviathan, but it is unknown which sea creature it represents. It is referred to in the Old Testament as a “sea monster”. It is also known as either the whale, the great whale, the crocodile, or a species of serpent. He is specifically made to play in the sea and has nothing to do, unlike man who must go to work. He has nothing to fear, unlike the beasts, and therefore he plays in the waters. He is not afraid of the hooks, spears, and the javelins. Yet while this fearless sea monster roams the waters, there are a countless number of creatures living in the sea and ships and boats sail.

While the psalmist may still be discussing the sailors and the creatures of the sea in Ps 104:27-28, its meaning is applicable to all life forms because God is the Source and Sustainer of all creatures wherever found. The verses read, “These all wait for You, That You may give them their food in due season. What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good.” (NKJV) All living things expect, unconsciously sometimes, God to provide them with food at the time they have a need to eat. God has programmed every living thing with the instinct as to when and what to eat. As God supplies it, they gather it in and are abundantly filled. Some creatures must eat three times daily where others might not eat for another six months and be filled in their due season.

When God formed man from the dust of the ground and gave him the breath of life, He knew man would sin and would have to return to the dust. Such is the cycle of human and animal life. Ps 104:29-30 reads, “You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.” (NKJV) God allows death and renews life. He does not wipe out generations; they continue to reproduce after their own kind. Animals and humans have a natural fear of death because of our instinct for survival. However, God does not abandon the believers at the time of their death. They have a relationship with the LORD to help them overcome the fear of dying as they know they will be with Him eternally happy.

I have known teachers, architects, engineers, seamstresses, tailors, etc. But God is our Master Designer. He is the great king, but not a harsh ruler. While He creates everything He does not abandon creation. He continues as their Provider and Sustainer until dust that life returns. The goodness of God can’t be matched because He gave His Son, Jesus, to allow us the opportunity of eternal life. As a Sunday school teacher once stated, “God planned His work and worked His plan.” Hallelujah!


Written by Deborah C. Davis

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