Creation in Psalms

Part 2: The Everlasting God Is My Creator

By David Anderson

Psalm 90: God Eternal; Man Transient 
God as Creator is closely linked to His eternality. Moses composed this prayer for Israel to lament their wilderness wanderings after God’s judgment came upon them (compare verses 7-9 with numbers 14:20-35). As Moses contemplated the long years ahead for that generation of the nation, he was comforted by the fact that the Lord (v.1, Adonai means “the Sovereign, the Owner”) has authority over every generation.

But the ultimate answer to the nation’s wanderings and homelessness was that He had been the saints’ dwelling place [“refuge,” SEPTUAGINT] from the very beginning of time (Dt. 33:27). Unlike us, God is not limited by the time and space He created. From eternity to eternity He is God (v.2, El means “the Mighty one”), who had revealed Himself to Moses as the everlasting I AM (Ex. 3:14). However, Moses can only trace back to the first days of creation. God precedes the birth of the mountains on day three of creation (Gen. 1:9-10) as He also, of course, pre-dates day one!

Perhaps Psalm 90:3 alludes to Genesis 3:19 and is filled out in verses 7-12 where God’s wrath regarding man’s sins has determined his expected lifespan. Yes, man is soon swept [flooded] away – his life no more than a passing dream or grass that quickly grows and soon withers (vv.5-6). Biblically, a thousand years is a very long time on man’s timescale (see revelation 20:2-4), but it merely registers with God as a day or a night watch (v.4, 2 Pet. 3:8). What is our lifespan (v.10) compared to God’s eternality? To God, time is nothing (v.2) – He lives in eternity (Isa. 57:15)! Moses recognized man’s transience: “the years of our life … are soon gone, and we fly away” (v.10 ESV). In these days when men increasingly think that they are in control of the length of their lives, we do well to pray, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (v.12).

Psalm 102: The One Who Abides Forever And Is “The Same” 
The psalmist’s own experience of human frailty sharpened his sense of God’s eternality. verses 1-11 elaborate on his distress (see title of the psalm). Just when his life was ebbing away (v.11), he turned from self-occupation to his God and exclaimed, “But You, O LORD, are enthroned for ever; You are remembered throughout all generations” (v.12). His cry became more intense as death drew ever nearer: “[God] has broken my strength in midcourse; He has shortened my days. ‘O my God,’ I say, ‘take me not away in the midst of my days’” (vv.23-24). Mid-sentence, the psalmist changed to addressing God as Creator: “You whose years endure throughout all generations” (v.24)! He now saw his own transience from the perspective of God’s overall plan for the entire creation (see vv.25-27).

Darby renders verse 27: “Thou art the Same,” 1 “a name of God meaning ‘The existing one, who does not change’” (JND footnote). Hebrews 1:10-12 applies verses 25-27 directly to Christ, the Son, as one of the proof-texts of His essential deity. The whole psalm is messianic and gives an insight into the Lord’s prayers in Gethsemane.2 The title together with verses 1-11 and 23 express the extremity of His grief. Verse 10 gives the reason: “because of Your indignation and anger.” His prayer in verse 24 is interrupted by the Father’s ready response, reminding Him, “thou art the Same” (vv.24-27 JND). Darby comments, “The Christ, the despised and rejected Jesus, is Jehovah the Creator … This contrast of the extreme humiliation and isolation of Christ, and His divine nature [that is, as the Creator], is incomparably striking.” 3

Psalm 104: Celebration Of The Creator And All His Works 
The psalmist’s own personal celebration arose from his consideration of God manifest [displayed] in His many acts at creation and in His ongoing involvement with it. In musing over the Genesis account of creation, the psalmist composed poetry by which his soul could bless the LorD. The praise exhibits a striking, if general, correspondence to the days of the creation week:

  • Verses 1-4 introduce the Creator in all His divine majesty and awesome power.
  • Verse 2 mentions light, which came on day one (Gen. 1:3-5). The verse then extends light to include the formation of the starry universe, created on day four (Gen. 1:16).
  • Verses 3-4 explain how God operates in the heavens He formed on day two (Gen. 1:6-8).
  • Verse 5 introduces the earth, which is the focus of the remainder of the psalm and indicates God’s special interest in it.
  • Verses 6-9 recall how the Creator separated the land from the seas on day three (Gen. 1:9-10) so the earth could be inhabited.
  • Verses 10-18 laud the provision of water for the earth to allow vegetation, plants and trees to spring forth so there is food and drink for all creatures, including man. This also commenced on day three (Gen. 1:11-13).
  • Verses 19-23 recall, as happened on day four, the divine appointment and design of the sun and the moon to govern the seasons, days and nights, and years (Gen. 1:14-19).
  • Verses 24-26 rejoice in the profusion of creatures on the land and in the seas, which were created on days five and six (Gen. 1:20-25). The description is prefaced by a special note of praise: “O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom have You made them all” (v.24 ESV).
  • Verses 27-30 give poetic voice to Genesis 1:29-31, extolling the dependence of all creatures, terrestrial and aquatic, upon the Creator for life and death, sustenance and safety. (This theme is taken up again in Psalm 107 with the appropriate response of verse 31: “Let them thank the LORD for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works [including the storms of vv.23-30] to the children of men!”)
  • Psalm 104:31-35 provides a fitting finale of glory and praise from the psalmist (and from us also!) to the Creator, and these verses correspond to day seven, the Sabbath (Gen. 2:1-3).

Psalm 139:13-18: God Made Me! 
For David, life in essence was “God and me.” In verses 1-6 the all-knowing God knew and saw everything in David’s life. Verses 7-12 tell us the everywhere-present God was always there with David, through all of life and even in death (compare Psalm 23:4). And verses 19-24 teach the all righteousness of God. But in verses 13-18 David confessed that his God, the all-powerful one, is the Creator who personally made him as an individual!

Verse 13 declares, “You formed my inward parts; You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.”

  • The design and begetting of a human life (of you and me) is God’s work alone, even though (your and my) parents were used of Him in this process! God is intimately involved with every human being from the very start of his or her existence. Conception, the formation of the fetus of a baby and its ultimate birth are profound mysteries which science does not and cannot explain – either the “How?” or the “Why?” – even with a knowledge of DNA!
  • “Formed my inward parts” is literally “possessed my kidneys.” “Possessed” implies that God is Lord. The NIV reads: “You created my inmost being.” “kidneys” in Scripture represents the seat of our desires and longings, our moral compass, our inner motives and the things which God tests (see Jeremiah 17:10). God is “Lord” of these.
  • “Knitted” means “intricately woven together” as a complex unity. “Your hands have fashioned and made me … like clay … You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews” (Job 10:8-9,11 ESV).
  • “In my mother’s womb” means that a fetus [unborn baby] is a real person from conception!

No wonder David said in verse 14, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.”

  • “Fearfully” means “I am to be in awe of [hold in reverence]” the specialness of my body.
  • “Wonderfully” [marvelously] is a comment upon the complexity of the human anatomy. Each person is made differently – is unique!

David continues in verse 15: “My frame was not hidden from You, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.”

  • “My frame” means “my skeleton.”
  • “In secret … in the depths of the earth” is a Hebrew expression for the deepest concealment and intimacy of the process of procreation.
  • “Intricately woven” is “embroidered” (similar in meaning to verse 13), showing that each part of the human anatomy is curiously fashioned by God. This “fashioning” is the secret behind what we now know is the human genome [all the genetic information contained in our DNA].

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance” (v.16) confirms that the embryo is designed and known by God. In Hebrew, “unformed substance [body]” is “embryo.” The human embryo medically is the first eight weeks after conception. “Unformed” means “unperfect” (KJV) – giving the idea of not fully developed, yet possessing life from God. Fundamentally, my life and your life are sacred because they come from God!

“In Your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (v.16 ESV). How blessed to understand that God has His special plan for the exact number of days for your life and mine (and also for the life of every other person) from conception to death (or to the Lord’s coming)! So, like David, we confess, “How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with You” (vv.17-18).Christ’s By Creation And Redemption!

LORD, we are Thine: our God Thou art; 
Fashioned and made we were, as clay; 
These curious frames, in every part, 
Thy wisdom, power, and love display; 
Each breath we draw, each pulse that beats, 
Each organ formed by skill divine, 
Each precious sense aloud repeats 
Great GOD, that we are only Thine. 

LORD, we are Thine: in Thee we live, 
Supported by Thy tender care: 
Thou dost each hourly mercy give – 
Thine earth we tread, we breathe Thine air; 
Raiment and food Thy hands supply, 
Thy sun’s bright rays around us shine; 
Guarded by Thine all-seeing eye, 
We own that we are wholly Thine.
LORD, we are Thine: bought by Thy blood – 
Once the poor guilty slaves of sin; 
Thou hast redeemed us unto God, 
And made Thy Spirit dwell within; 
Our sinful wanderings Thou hast borne 
With love and patience all divine: 
As brands, then, from the burning torn, 
We own that we are wholly Thine. 

LORD, we are Thine: Thy claims we own – 
Ourselves to Thee would humbly give; 
Reign Thou within our hearts alone, 
And let us to Thy glory live; 
Here may we each Thy mind display, 
In all Thy gracious image shine; 
So shall we hail that looked-for day, 
When Thou shalt own that we are Thine.4

1. In the old Testament, “The Same” is sometimes translated “I am HE” – see Deuteronomy 32:39 (JND) footnote, with its references. 
2. Matthew 26:36-45, Mark 14:32-41 and Luke 22:41-44. 
3. J. N. Darby, Synopsis of the Bible, (Kingston on Thames, London, Stow Hill Bible and Tract Depot, 1943), vol. II, page 161. 
4. “LORD We are Thine,” James G. Deck (1802-84), as printed in Hymns of Light and Love, (Bath, Echoes of Service).