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Clothed in Majesty: Psalm 104:1–13

Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 6:00
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Clothed in Majesty

September 1, 2013

Lesson: Psalm 104:1–13

Key Verse: Psalm 104:1

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Introduction

When the Word of God is sung, our hearts are filled with the grace of God in Christ Jesus. Scripture encourages us to sing to our Lord: “Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:19–20). We read again of this song to be sung from our hearts to God: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly and in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col. 3:16). True praise comes from within the heart of the saint whose soul has been redeemed by the precious blood of Christ.

Delitzsch (Psalm Commentary) titles Psalm 104, “HYMN IN HONOUR OF THE GOD OF THE SEVEN DAYS.” Psalm 104, which begins, “Bless the Lord, O my soul,” is a song of praise. “The poet sings the God-ordained present condition of the world with respect to the creative beginnings recorded in Gen. 1–2:3; and closes with the wish that evil may be expelled from this good creation, which so thoroughly and fully reveals God’s power, and wisdom, and goodness.” John Calvin introduces this Psalm as, “presenting to us a lively image of his wisdom, power, and goodness in the creation of the world, and in the order of nature, encourages us to praise him for the manifestation he has made of himself as a father to us in this frail and perishable life.”

God is the Creator! God first revealed Himself as the Creator. For all that we see in the movement of the stars, the warmth of the sun, the moon and its reflection, is here because God created them and gave to them certain qualities, as well as glorious purposes. The solar system in the midst of a galaxy of planets and stars proudly exhibits earth as it produces fruit, nurtures sea and land creatures, upon which the Creator placed an historic Adam and Eve. God wrote of His glory, “In the beginning God created the heaven and earth” (Gen. 1:1). It was on the sixth day that God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (1:26). At the end of the sixth day, it is written, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good” (1:31). Without this knowledge, we would not understand the darkness from which we were redeemed. For God’s creation was complete, all was very good and lacked nothing for its eternal existence. Therefore the Psalmist could testify, “O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.”

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O Lord My God!—Psalm 104:1

The Psalmist finds great hope in his Creator, saying, “Bless the Lord, O my soul.” Bless; kneel down before the Almighty Jehovah God, who said, “I AM THAT I AM. Also he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you” (Ex. 3:14). The Son, the second Person of the Godhead, reveals the truth of the Name of Jehovah, “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:2–3). He is appointed the only Messiah, the Redeemer of His people, who reveals that in the Godhead alone is there life: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:1–4). Thus the ‘I AM’ Triune God is revealed in the Son, who declares that all men have their being in God, saying, “I AM the resurrection, and the life, he that believeth in me, though he were dead, ye shall he live” (John 11:25).

We, therefore, kneel, pay homage, honor the Lord, with the words of the Psalmist, “O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.” What follows in Psalm 104 is the glory of that honor and majesty, the glory of the Creator who will redeem His creation and cleanse it of all wickedness. Therefore we will continue to sing “unto the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being” (104:33). Our praise cannot be an honor to the Lord unless the Lord continues to teach us about Himself. The Psalmist has the hunger and thirst that draw him to the Lord: “My meditation of him shall be sweet; I will be glad in the Lord” (34). To bless the Lord is to sit at His feet, to learn of Him by the Spirit, as we communicate with Him through His Word. Let not our Bible studies be practices in religion but exercises in fellowship with our Lord.

Discussion: What does it mean to say, “Bless the Lord, O my soul”?

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Our Creator!—Psalm 104:2–5

The Lord God Almighty is the King of kings. His royal robes reveal His glory. The Psalmist looks toward heaven and testifies to the revelation he has received from the divine throne of grace, that our Creator is truly great and wonderful. The Lord covers Himself with “light as with a garment,” that he might show Himself to us, as in His Creation. We, therefore, “must cast our eyes upon the very beautiful fabric of the world in which he wishes to be seen by us” (Calvin). The Lord reveals Himself in His great and glorious Palace, stretching out the heavens like a curtain, laying the beams of his chamber in the waters; making the clouds His chariot. This is a picture of what the world was like in its perfection, as recorded in Genesis. The six days of Creation reveal to us a glorious chamber where the canopy of water nurtured the earth to produce fruit and reveal the wonderful presence of God.

The majestic Creator and Lord had made His “angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire; who laid the foundations, that it should not be removed for ever.” The angels are ministers, serving and worshiping their Creator from the heart. Their witness is like flaming fire, burning bright and unquenchable. Moses gave this blessing to Israel, reminding them of the great Law of God: “The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints; from his right hand went a fiery law (by royal command) for them” (Deut. 33:2). The Lord’s royal command is with us today. His angels and saints witness to His glory. Our obedience to His Word commends His love toward us, and our love toward Him.

Discussion: How is our faith strengthened in the knowledge that God is our Creator?

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The Fruit of His Word!—Psalm 6–13

The power or authority of the Creator is revealed in His creation. Again we are brought to the edge of a mountain to see the wonder of those six days of creation. From the “foundations of the earth,” that shall never be removed, to the nineteenth verse, “He appointed the moon for seasons,” we see the confirmation of God’s work on the third day. For it is by His Word that all things were created good, mature and complete, in a period of six days, some six thousand years ago. The Lord speaks, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it; I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded” (Isa. 45:12). The Word of the Lord is confirmed as efficacious, both in creation and in the redemptive soul: “For the word of the Lord is right; and all his works are done in truth. He loveth righteousness and judgment; the earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth” (Psa. 33:4–6). Our faith is confirmed in the Word of God, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Heb. 11:3). Therefore, we are certain of the truth of our salvation in Christ Jesus. For God has spoken to us by His Son, “by whom also he made the worlds”; who upholds “all things by the word of his power (inherent authority), when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Heb. 1:2–3).

Discussion: What fruits of the Spirit have been blessings to your life?

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Lessons are based on the International Sunday School Lessons for Christian Teaching, copyright © 2013 by the Committee on the Uniform Series.

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