God's Wisdom in Creation


In the Psalms, creation is God’s calling card. If ever the psalmist needs a ready-made description of God’s majesty, he has only to look at the mountains.

When it comes to creation, Psalm 104 is one of the crown jewels of the psalter. There are so many similarities with the Genesis creation account that it’s tempting to interpret it using a one to one comparison (this part equals that, and so on). But to do so is to lose the main point stated in verse 1: “O Lord my God, you are very great!”

When the creation account comes up, we can get so defensive about the particulars we forget that the central testimony of creation is not just how it was done, but why. It is a display of God’s wisdom as much as his power.

On the one hand he restrained water to certain boundaries and did not allow it to cross over them (v.6-9). On the other, he caused water to flow freely from springs which provided drinking water as well as water for plants and crops (v.10-14).

He gave trees for birds (even certain trees for certain birds) and high mountains for goats and rocks for badgers (v.16-18). In other words, God didn’t just make random terrain and let the animals pick and choose what they wanted. He created ecosystems.

He gave us ways to mark time, the sun for day and the moon for seasons (v.19). He created the time for us to work and made our time of rest the time for nocturnal animals, some of them dangerous to us, to go about their work of getting food (v.19-23).

God even filled the ocean, that great purveyor of chaos, full of life. It “teems with creatures innumerable,” the majority of which we can’t even see (v.24-25). But we can traverse this vast domain alongside some of the largest creatures in the world (v.26).

God not only gave all this to us, but He manages it for our good and for the good of the animals. When God breathes on us we live. If He takes His breath away from us, we die. And what is the psalmist’s response to all this?

“May my meditation be pleasing to the him, for I rejoice in the Lord. Let sinners be consumed from the earth” (v.34-35a).


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