Themes for Psalm 104
Yahweh’s relationship to the natural world
Yahweh exercises his kingly rule over creation, not through mankind's dominance, but through his direct rule and intervention of his Spirit
God’s mighty acts in nature (“the earth is satisfied by the fruit of His work” — Psalm 104:13)
The Positive Outlook On Life – Psalm 104:34
How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24
A. Hymns in General
Psalms 8; 19; 29; 33; 65; 67; 68; 96; 98; 100; 103; 104; 105; 111; 113; 114; 117; 135; 136; 139; 145-150. Form
1. Introduction: A call to praise, sing, and rejoice to Yahweh in some form. 2. Body: The reasons why Yahweh should be praised (often introduced by כי, kî, “for”). a. His qualities and attributes.
b. His regular or repeated actions, including his works in creation and conservation of cosmos and his works in history, especially for Israel. 3. Conclusion: renewed summons to praise.
Sitz im Leben
Hymns were sung as part of worship on diverse occasions, including sacred festivals as well at other times, perhaps by a choir or an individual singer.
The Story of Psalm 104
Many Bible students think that David wrote Psalm 104. But it does not say that he did. It is about God as the Creator. "Creator" means "someone who makes something". The Bible always uses the word "creator" in a special way. It means that the person that makes something is God, or the LORD. LORD is a special name for God that his servants use.
What Psalm 104: 1 - 9 means
This is a long psalm, so it is easier to study it in parts. Verses 1-9 are about God creating (making) the earth and the sky. Because God did this, the psalm starts, "*Praise the *LORD". "Praise" means "say that someone is great". Then the psalmist (the person that wrote the psalm) says three things about God. He is: · someone with honour. This means someone that is famous because they are honest. You can believe that they will always do what is right. They will always say what is true. They will always be fair to people. · someone with majesty. Majesty is what a king or a queen has. It describes their power and how great they are. · someone with light. The easy way to understand this is that God is as the sun. He shines with a very great light. But remember ... he is not the sun! He created (made) the sun, so he is greater than the sun! God wears all this as people wear their clothes. We do not see people, only their clothes. We do not see God. We only see his clothes ... his *honour and his *majesty, which make him shine as the sun shines. This part of the psalm then describes what God did when he created (made) everything. The skies are as a roof over the earth, (verse 2). The skies seem to rest on the mountains! God’s home is heaven. He built it "above the waters that are over the skies", (verse 3). He "built the earth on its *foundations", (verse 5). When you want to build something, you start with the foundations. The building is on top of the foundations. The foundations were strong, so nobody would ever move the earth. Then the waters above the skies came down on the mountains. They became rivers and seas when God shouted at them, (verses 7-9). The burning fires in verse 4 maybe lightning, that lights up the sky in a great storm. In verse 7 there is a good example of *Hebrew *poetry. Poetry is a special way to use words. The *psalmist wrote in the Hebrew language. The first part and the second part of verse 7 mean the same thing. Thunder is the loud noise we hear in the sky in a great storm. The *Jews thought that it was the voice of God. (Jews are people who were born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children.) "Fled" is another word for "ran away". So, "when you shouted they ran away" and "at the sound of your thunder they fled" both mean the same! We do not speak about the earth and sky as the *psalmist did. But...
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