I think you could say that Psalm 104 deals with the theme of what’s referred to in theological terms as “common grace.” That provision of God available to all mankind. Divine realities whose benefits are experienced by everyone, regardless of whether they believe or not. Common because they are the things we wake up to every day, and go to sleep with every night.
But as I hover over Psalm 104, it cries out, “Ain’t nothin’ common about this grace!”
While it might be enjoyed by all, the songwriter seems to be reminding me this morning that there is nothing “un-special,” or second-rate, or to be taken for granted, about God’s day-in-day-out provision to those who inhabit earth. In fact, if I’m picking up what the psalmist is laying down, even pausing for but a brief moment to consider the wisdom of God in the mechanics of creation should elicit awe and wonder and a hearty, “Bless the LORD, O my soul!”
The song chronicles various aspects of “the manifold works” of God (v.24). Love that word manifold. Many in number. Different in type. But all, if we’ll take but a moment to consider them, a powerful indicator of a Creator purposing to love and provide for His creation.
He set the earth on it’s foundation, determined the topography of mountains and valleys, set their boundaries as he determined. He made the moon and the sun. The moon to mark the seasons. The sun to rise and set to mark each day.
What’s more, he purposes to satisfy the earth with the fruit of His work. He makes springs to gush forth in the valley, so that every beast might drink and quench their thirst. He causes the grass to grow which feeds the livestock. It’s by His design and provision that plants grow for man to cultivate so that there is food to eat, wine to gladden the heart, oil to make the face shine, and bread to strengthen the heart. And the sea? Well it teems with “creatures innumerable.” And all these, the songwriter declares, “These all look to You, to give them their food in due season.”
No wonder the psalmist sings at the top of his lungs,
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
O LORD my God, You are very great! (Psalm 104:1 ESV)
While we tend to take common grace for granted, there is enough material in this common grace to sing to the LORD for a lifetime (v.33). Enough to consider to evoke praise despite the season or circumstance.
And here’s what grabbed me in particular this morning: the thought that God just might find pleasure in such common consideration.
May my meditation be pleasing to Him,
for I rejoice in the LORD. (Psalm 104:34 ESV)
To consider the mundane. To stand in awe of the predictable. To look upon daily realities and wonder at the divine dynamics behind it. That, it would seem, might bring pleasure to the God who is very great.
To be still, and know that He is God. As we look to the heavens which declare His glory. As we walk another day on the earth which speaks of His power. And as we, without thought, breath the air which reminds of His faithful provision. With such consideration of the common, with such common consideration, might we too join in the song.
Bless the LORD, O my soul!
Praise the LORD! (Psalm 104:35b ESV)
By His grace. For His glory.