Psalm 104

Praise the LORD, my soul.
LORD my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.
He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
they went down into the valleys,
to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.
He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.
The trees of the LORD are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the junipers.
The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.
He made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.
You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.
The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.
Then people go out to their work,
to their labor until evening.
How many are your works, LORD!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
There the ships go to and fro,
and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
All creatures look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.
When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever;
may the LORD rejoice in his works —
he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
I will sing to the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the LORD.
But may sinners vanish from the earth
and the wicked be no more.
Praise the LORD, my soul.
Praise the LORD.

In this beautiful psalm, the psalmist paints a vivid picture of the world and its inhabitants, who depend on God for sustenance. Let us consider verses 27-30.

All creatures look to you
to give them their food at the proper time.
When you give it to them,
they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
they are satisfied with good things.
When you hide your face,
they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
they die and return to the dust.
When you send your Spirit,
they are created,
and you renew the face of the ground.

Much of the world may not admit it today, but all creatures rely on God for daily sustenance, and the rhythm of life and death is under his control. 

The mention of God's Spirit (or "breath" in some translations) as the force that creates and renews is a reminder that all life, from the smallest microorganism to the largest mammal, owes its existence to the breath of God.

Here's an interesting thought. Did you know that all of us constantly call upon the name of the Lord, even though we may not realize it? One day Moses asked God his name. God graciously responded by saying his name was YHWH. We spell that YHWH. We added a couple of vowels to it to make it Yahweh, probably to make it easier to pronounce. But if we stuck to the original, it sounds like breathing. YH - out; WH - in. 

So, from the moment we are born to the moment we die, all we're doing, day in and day out, as we breathe, is saying the name of God. Fascinating, yes? 

The breath of God, or the "Spirit," has even more significance for the Christian believer. Paul wrote: "And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you" (Romans 8:11). 

Here, Paul isn't just talking about physical life but spiritual and eternal life. The same Spirit that sustains all living things, as described in Psalm 104, is the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead and gives life to believers.

As we sing this psalm, let us remember the enduring truth that, in every breath we take and every move we make, we are profoundly connected to and sustained by the divine breath of God.

God bless you.  

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