Pastor Chris Jones Commentary in italics.
1Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty,
When we come into the presence of God we come as He made us. We are beings made up of three parts. We have a spirit, soul and body. To function properly our spirit must be in control as we are led by the Holy Spirit. Our spirit must deliberately “wake up” our inner self which is our soul, so our flesh does not prevent us from worshiping God. We can not let our fleshly nature dominate us and rob God of our worship.
The soul is made up of the mind, will and emotions. Our spirit must take control and command our soul, “hey you, wake up now. Shake yourself and make ready to give honor and praise to our God.” This is what David is doing here when he says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” – see (Isa. 64:7).
When we consider our God, what do we think of Him? Can He be compared to anything that we have known or seen?
When I study His character and nature, I am undone by my own sinfulness and I must fall down in humility and worship Him. The prophet Isaiah was a person just like us. He said of himself the following in Isaiah 6:5 – So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts.”
God, in His Word has made Himself known to us in His awesome act of creation. He made all things, all of time, space and matter. Then secondly, by sending Jesus, His Son to become a human being, who displayed all the fullness of God in human form. In Jesus we see the honor, power and majesty of God and His loving humble character displayed perfectly in one personality.
2Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment, Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain.
God is spirit. He is not a physical, material being like we are. He is not bound by time, space and matter. He transcends all of creation. He can not be clothed in anything of this creation. It would be like traveling to the sun and trying to cover it up with a paper curtain. The sun’s very nature would disintegrate the curtain and us with it before we got anywhere near the sun. God is light (1 Jn. 1:5), the Father of lights (Jam. 1:17); he dwells in light (1 Tim. 6:16); he clothes himself with it. Man can not see God’s face while he remains in his earthly body. One day we will all have glorified bodies like Jesus received at the resurrection, then we will see God face to face.
We also see God’s glory in the visible heavens, the atmosphere He created to sustain life on earth. The sky, clouds and weather systems of our planet declare His majesty and wisdom.
3He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters, Who makes the clouds His chariot, Who walks on the wings of the wind,
The original atmosphere God created formed a canopy of water above the earth. That water created a greenhouse effect for the planet with a constant temperature that was perfect for all life that He had created. This climate also filtered out all radiation that is responsible for many diseases and aging. People lived over 900 years before the flood of Noah’s time. During the flood, God collapsed the canopy of water and it rained for the first time on earth. It rained for 40 days we are told. God gave us the rainbow as a covenant that He would never again destroy the earth with water.
What tremendous, unimaginable power our God displays in his interactions with His creation. To bow down before Him and sing praise to Him is a privilege and our pleasure. He in omnipresent and omnipotent, the beginning and the end. And He wants me and you to sit and talk with Him, learn from Him and fellowship with Him. This is so wonderful, isn’t it?
4Who makes His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire.
God created the mighty angelic host to serve Him and us. When he speaks the angels act. The abilities, strength and power of angels is far above anything we can imagine, yet they can not compare to the awesome nature and essence of our great God. And once we are in Heaven with the Lord, we will be positioned above the angels, ruling and reigning with Christ.
5You who laid the foundations of the earth, So that it should not be moved forever,
Speaking of the creation of the earth in Genesis 1:1-2. God spoke and the earth was created from nothing. This is power only God can manifest.
6You covered it with the deep as with a garment; The waters stood above the mountains.
7At Your rebuke they fled; At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away.
8They went up over the mountains; They went down into the valleys, To the place which You founded for them.
9You have set a boundary that they may not pass over, That they may not return to cover the earth.
God predetermined and established the boundaries of the seas and the land in Gen. 1:9-10. Then again in Gen. 7:17-24 he sends the flood upon the earth and reshapes all the boundaries of the land and seas and lakes and rivers.
10He sends the springs into the valleys; They flow among the hills.
11They give drink to every beast of the field; The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12By them the birds of the heavens have their home; They sing among the branches.
13He waters the hills from His upper chambers; The earth is satisfied with the fruit of Your works.
14He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, And vegetation for the service of man, That he may bring forth food from the earth,
15And wine that makes glad the heart of man, Oil to make his face shine, And bread which strengthens man’s heart.
16The trees of the Lord are full of sap, The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,
17Where the birds make their nests; The stork has her home in the fir trees.
18The high hills are for the wild goats; The cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers.
David tells us here about God’s loving and caring nature that resembles a mother caring for her children. God provides all that is needed for every form of life that He created to thrive and be happy on earth. Gen. 1:26 tells us that He has appointed man to rule over this creation. Mankind is special, and above all the other creatures because they were created in God’s likeness with a capacity to have fellowship with God and become one with God through Jesus Christ.
19He appointed the moon for seasons; The sun knows its going down.
20You make darkness, and it is night, In which all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21The young lions roar after their prey, And seek their food from God.
22When the sun rises, they gather together And lie down in their dens.
23Man goes out to his work And to his labor until the evening.
If you have studied earth science in school you most likely learned that the position of our planet earth in relation to the sun is so precise that even a few degrees difference would make our climate either too hot or too cold to support life. If the moon was closer or farther away it would be devastating to our weather patterns and ocean tides. God designed our planet to be perfect in it’s capacity to support His creation.
The heavens above the atmosphere of earth declare the glory of our God. Gen. 1:14–19 – Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
24O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions
25This great and wide sea, In which are innumerable teeming things, Living things both small and great.
26There the ships sail about; There is that Leviathan Which You have made to play there.
27These all wait for You, That You may give them their food in due season.
28What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good.
29You hide Your face, they are troubled; You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
30You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the earth.
Have you ever contemplated the number of creatures God created to dwell on planet earth? Think about the multitude of microscopic life found in fresh water ponds to the great whales of today and extinct prehistoric land and sea animals of the past and you will begin to see the grandeur and majesty of our God.
The question was asked of scientists, “How Many Kinds of Living Things Are There? The response was shocking. The most widely quoted estimate of the number of living species comes from a study published in 2011. This study estimated the number of species at 8.7 million, give or take a few million. However, only 1.2 million of those species have been identified so far. Furthermore, the figure of 8.7 million only includes the eukaryotes (plants, animals, fungi, and protists). It does not include the prokaryotes (bacteria and archaeans), whose species might outnumber the eukaryotes — we just don’t know, was the response of our scientific community.
All of this life was created with a Word from the lips of our God. Not only created, but He also provided for their sustenance so the species could continue and multiply. How fantastic is that?
Gen. 1:20–23 – Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
31May the glory of the Lord endure forever; May the Lord rejoice in His works.
32He looks on the earth, and it trembles; He touches the hills, and they smoke.
33I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34May my meditation be sweet to Him; I will be glad in the Lord.
When I honestly think about what this psalm says about God, I am undone just like Isaiah in Isaiah 6:5. Who am I to be able to stand before such a great and terribly awesome God? How can I be of value to Him in any way? What do I have to offer Him? My best attempts, in my own strength and wisdom to please Him always end in failure. I can not impress Him, surprise Him, inspire Him, educate Him, encourage Him, or give Him something He needs. He does not need me or anything I could imagine. In spite of my sinfulness and failures He loves me. This is precisely why I choose to love Him so much.
Romans 5:8–10 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
35May sinners be consumed from the earth, And the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!
Friends, we need to pray for those who are presently rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord, Savior and God. Ask the Lord to give you opportunities to speak and He will give you the words that will touch the hearts of the wicked, allowing the Holy Spirit to enter in and convict them of sin and truth. This is the mission of the Lord on earth today for all of His people.
Bless the Lord, O my soul! Praise the Lord!”