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104. Psalm 104

Bless the Lord, O my soul. O Lord my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

2Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:

3Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:

4Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

5Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

6Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.

7At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.

8They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.

9Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.

10He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.

11They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.

12By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.

13He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.

14He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

15And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.

16The trees of the Lord are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;

17Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.

18The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.

19He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.

20Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.

21The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.

22The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.

23Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.

24O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.

25So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.

26There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.

27These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.

28That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.

29Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.

30Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.

31The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.

32He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.

33I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

34My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.

35Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise ye the Lord.

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The Divine Bounty.

31 The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever: the Lord shall rejoice in his works.   32 He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.   33 I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.   34 My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord.   35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the Lord, O my soul. Praise ye the Lord.

The psalmist concludes this meditation with speaking,

I. Praise to God, which is chiefly intended in the psalm.

1. He is to be praised, (1.) As a great God, and a God of matchless perfection: The glory of the Lord shall endure for ever, v. 31. It shall endure to the end of time in his works of creation and providence; it shall endure to eternity in the felicity and adorations of saints and angels. Man's glory is fading; God's glory is everlasting. Creatures change, but with the Creator there is no variableness. (2.) As a gracious God: The Lord shall rejoice in his works. He continues that complacency in the products of his own wisdom and goodness which he had when he saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good, and rested the seventh day. We often do that which, upon the review, we cannot rejoice in, but are displeased at, and wish undone again, blaming our own management. But God always rejoices in his works, because they are all done in wisdom. We regret our bounty and beneficence, but God never does; he rejoices in the works of his grace: his gifts and callings are without repentance. (3.) As a God of almighty power (v. 32): He looks on the earth, and it trembles, as unable to bear his frowns—trembles, as Sinai did, at the presence of the Lord. He touches the hills, and they smoke. The volcanoes, or burning mountains, such as Ætna, are emblems of the power of God's wrath fastening upon proud unhumbled sinners. If an angry look and a touch have such effects, what will the weight of his heavy hand do and the operations of his outstretched arm? Who knows the power of his anger? Who then dares set it at defiance? God rejoices in his works because they are all so observant of him; and he will in like manner take pleasure in those that fear him and that tremble at his word.

2. The psalmist will himself be much in praising him (v. 33): "I will sing unto the Lord, unto my God, will praise him as Jehovah, the Creator, and as my God, a God in covenant with me, and this not now only, but as long as I live, and while I have my being." Because we have our being from God, and depend upon him for the support and continuance of it, as long as we live and have our being we must continue to praise God; and when we have no life, no being, on earth, we hope to have a better life and better being in a better world and there to be doing this work in a better manner and in better company.

II. Joy to himself (v. 34): My meditation of him shall be sweet; it shall be fixed and close; it shall be affecting and influencing; and therefore it shall be sweet. Thoughts of God will then be most pleasing, when they are most powerful. Note, Divine meditation is a very sweet duty to all that are sanctified: "I will be glad in the Lord; it shall be a pleasure to me to praise him; I will be glad of all opportunities to set forth his glory; and I will rejoice in the Lord always and in him only." All my joys shall centre in him, and in him they shall be full.

III. Terror to the wicked (v. 35): Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth; and let the wicked be no more. 1. Those that oppose the God of power, and fight against him, will certainly be consumed; none can prosper that harden themselves against the Almighty. 2. Those that rebel against the light of such convincing evidence of God's being, and refuse to serve him whom all the creatures serve, will justly be consumed. Those that make that earth to groan under the burden of their impieties which God thus fills with his riches deserve to be consumed out of it, and that it should spue them out. 3. Those that heartily desire to praise God themselves cannot but have a holy indignation at those that blaspheme and dishonour him, and a holy satisfaction in the prospect of their destruction and the honour that God will get to himself upon them. Even this ought to be the matter of their praise: "While sinners are consumed out of the earth, let my soul bless the Lord that I am not cast away with the workers of iniquity, but distinguished from them by the special grace of God. When the wicked are no more I hope to be praising God world without end; and therefore, Praise you the Lord; let all about me join with me in praising God. Hallelujah; sing praise to Jehovah." This is the first time that we meet with Hallelujah; and it comes in here upon occasion of the destruction of the wicked; and the last time we meet with it is upon a similar occasion. When the New-Testament Babylon is consumed, this is the burden of the song, Hallelujah, Rev. xix. 1, 3, 4, 6.




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