I was raised in the residential area of Dallas. Not completely surrounded by buildings, but the downtown area was pretty close. I've never lived in the country or in a rural area or small town. I'm grateful for the modern comforts of air-conditioning and heating, but I think sometimes we "city folk" have missed something by living in an exclusively urban environment with all the light pollution which blocks the stars. The only "wild" animals I encounter are at the zoo, and there's a cost to that.
What does this have to do with today’s Psalm? Well, this has been called the “Creation Psalm,” since it’s such a beautiful description of what God has made. I think it's a good reminder of some things for people like me. But there's more here than just his actions in creation.
Another thing I see here is organization. He didn't create the universe, set it running like a well-made clock and then step back. He set up boundaries for everything; like the old saying goes, a place for everything and everything in its place. He set boundaries for the waters, and they stay within those boundaries. The sun, the moon and stars all have their places, and the reason they're useful for us in marking out the seasons and times is because they stay within the boundaries their Creator sets for them.
And notice another aspect of his work: Provision. He doesn't create something without providing everything it/he/she needs. The grass and everything else can't live without water, and he pours out the rain for them. The beasts of the field need food, and he provides for them. And he doesn't just give us what we need. He even gives us things to make life in creation more enjoyable (wine to gladden human hears, oil to make our faces shine). The inspired psalmist says he gave the entire sea to the "Leviathan" as its playground.
Every believer knows him as our Savior, Redeemer, Lord, Best Friend, Father and Elder Brother, Counselor, Comforter, and a host of other titles. But we city folk spend way too much time in and around buildings, and it’s a good thing to take some time and look at the world he's made. Regain some awe at the incredible wisdom and power of our great and mighty and wise Creator. He designed us down to the smallest atom, and he's created everything from caterpillars to Red Woods to the greatest stars and set them all in a grand and glorious dance. And just like for the rest of creation, he provides everything we need, including proper boundaries.
And on a final point, please note that the last verse actually talks about a “blight” on creation: not people as such, but rebellious humanity. This is the only reason why the world is not as beautiful as it can be. Yes, that’s your sin and mine which adds to the ugliness. And one day this problem will be dealt with. He'll destroy all rebels against his kingdom, but of course we know from the rest of Scripture that his preferred method of "destroying" rebels is by turning them into his beloved sons and daughters. But rest assured, one way or another, this ugly spot on his beautiful creation will be removed.
On a much lighter note, for your enjoyment I present Rich Mullins's "The Color Green," a song inspired by this Psalm.
Father God, I am amazed that you created all of this with just a word. Your wisdom and power is on display everywhere I really look. I praise you, and I thank you.
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