Reading the Word
Psalm 104:1–4 (ESV)
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, 2 covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. 3 He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; 4 he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire.
Understanding and Applying the Word
This psalm begins much the same as Psalm 103. It begins with the writer calling himself to worship (“Bless the Lord, O my soul!”). He then speaks to God directly and declares the Lord’s splendor and majesty. He is a great God who clothes himself in light and rides the clouds and the wind. His messengers (i.e. angels) are sent out as winds and fire (cf. Hebrews 1:7).
This is an amazing picture of God’s glory. He is far above all things, but he is also a God who is active in his creation. He is both transcendent and immanent. One of our most well-known hymns comes from this psalm: “O Worship the King” by Robert Grant.
O worship the King all-glorious above,
O gratefully sing his power and his love:
our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
O tell of his might and sing of his grace,
whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
and dark is his path on the wings of the storm.
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