The Psalms are the poetry book of God. These ancient gems express many aspects of the feelings and desires of the heart of mankind toward the Almighty, including comfort, guidance and praise. The Psalms that especially focus on our great God’s creative works may instill in us the tremendous awe that we ought to feel toward Him for His wonderful creation. Let’s look at these Psalms!

By Tom Steere

Psalm 8: The Awesomeness Of His Glory
On the fourth day of creation God set the sun, moon and stars in the sky for signs, seasons, days and years; and to give light upon the earth (Gen. 1:14-19). Our modern, artificial lighting keeps many of us from seeing the full splendor of the night sky, especially around cities. But once we experience the glory of the star-lit sky, the words of the psalmist immediately hit home and we agree as he asks, “What is man?” (Ps. 8:4 KJV). Furthermore, the more we explore the heavens with our telescopes and probes, the more wonders we discover. These views of the glory of the heavens are glimpses of His glory, which is far above the heavens. Hebrews 2:6-9 interprets this psalm for us: The full sight of God’s glory is seen in Jesus (Eph. 4:10; Heb. 1:1-2, 2:6-9).

In the inscription “To the Chief Musician upon Gittith” we recognize Jesus Himself, for Gittith comes from the same root word as “wine press.” Jesus alone endured being trodden down under the wrath of God against sin as He suffered on the cross. Therefore He alone has the authority to tread the wine press of God’s vengeance against unrepentant man, which He will do in a coming day (Isa. 63:3). He was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death and is now exalted and given a name above every name (Phil. 2:5-11). “How excellent is Thy name in all the earth!” (Ps. 8:9), says David. Truly, quiet reflection on the glory of the heavens should cause us to glorify Him who is “made higher than the heavens” (Heb. 7:26). What are we in comparison to His majesty and glory? The Lord applied this psalm at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem: if those children had not praised Him, the stones would have immediately cried out (Mt. 21:15-16; Lk. 19:40). He is Lord of all!

Psalm 19: The Awesomeness Of His Witness 
While Psalm 8 is a psalm for the nighttime, Psalm 19 is one for daybreak – when the sun outshines all other stars as it flashes over the horizon. The shining heavens provide a tent for the true light of the world – the Sun of righteousness (Mal. 4:2). The Lord Jesus Christ will one day be, like the blazing sun, a Bridegroom coming in His strength. The sun’s rising, day after day, reminds us of the coming of Him from whom nothing is hidden. “Their line” – that is the message that the heavens proclaim by their orderly and unstoppable motion, beauty and expansiveness – reaches even to the end of the world, showing us that God desires for all people everywhere to see His glory. This line may even include a message written in the constellations.*

God has His witnesses in every place, so man is without excuse. His first witness is creation: “There is no speech nor language where [its] voice is not heard” (Ps. 19:3). The second witness is the law (v.7), converting, or causing repentance in, the soul. God’s third witness in this psalm is preaching: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight” (v.14). Romans 10 contains these three witnesses as well, in the order of preaching first, then creation and finally the law. Preaching the good tidings of salvation by grace through faith is God’s most efficient witness. The law may bring conviction and repentance, and creation may bring wonder and awe, but gospel preaching brings these all together for it is the power of God unto salvation (rom. 1:16). Preaching may be weak and despised in the world’s sight, but we promote it since that is how multitudes have been saved.

Psalm 29: The Awesomeness Of His Power 
While Psalms 8 and 19 present the quietness of the evening and morning, Psalm 29 displays power –as lightning flashes and thunder peals making us shudder to our very bones. Oh, that we would let the terror of the Lord give us God’s own concern for the souls of men (a preacher once said that true ministers are sons of thunder – as were the disciples James and John)! The voice of God in Christ Jesus is full of majesty, such that even the jealous people of Nazareth marveled at the gracious words that came from His mouth (Lk. 4:22)! We have God’s works and words joined in Psalm 29.

Who are the mighty ones in the first verse if not His worshipers who worship the Father in spirit and in truth (Jn. 4:23-24)? He called the people “gods” to whom the Word of God came (10:35) – so let’s use God’s powerful, majestic Word as He uses His voice to stir the many waters of the nations! His voice can break the cedars of pride and bring to a sinner new life, like the skipping of a newborn calf. His Word divides the flames of judgment so they cannot consume a place that has already been burned. The Lord quenched those flames for us by bearing the fire of God’s wrath in His own body. Can we not use God’s Holy Word to shake up hard-hearted men “in the wilderness,” that the wilderness can be holy (the meaning of kadesh)? His voice gives life to those who truly hear His message and receive Him, but the stiff-necked will be like the forests laid bare. oh, to be in that temple of the new Jerusalem where all will be glory! The Lord will give strength to His people – strength to accomplish His will in bringing many sons unto glory.

Psalm 65: The Awesomeness Of His Grace 
Psalm 65 comes as a soft rain after the tempest has passed. What grace is given to a soul made right before Him! This gentle rain of grace produces praise to God – praise that is willing to wait on His moving. If all of nature is attentive to His moving, how much more then should we be?

What is praise to God? It is a sacrifice that He provides (Jer. 33:11; Heb. 13:15). “I create the fruit of the lips; peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, says the LORD; and I will heal him” (Isa. 57:19). Therefore no flesh should glory in His presence when we offer praise to Him. He creates our praise and, in turn, we are satisfied: “a man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled” (Prov. 18:20). Our source is the Word of God for we live not by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Lk. 4:4). and our praise must align with His Word. our blessings come, as this psalm indicates, in being part of the house of God. There we approach unto Him being satisfied with praise (Ps. 65:4). The watering of the earth and the corn prepared speak of God’s Word and of His Christ – so we should speak accordingly, in grace (Eph. 5:26; Jn. 12:24).

Psalm 104: The Awesomeness Of His Wisdom 
In this psalm all nature brings its tribute of praise to swell the anthem of redemption, for all of creation is waiting for the redemption of those who claim Him as redeemer. no one here sees Him now, but He is clothed with honor and majesty. Since He dons [wears] light itself He could say, “Let there be light” (Gen. 1:3). He is the true light of the world (Jn. 1:9). He gives “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).

The language of the psalmist may appear metaphorical, but how can one separate the Divine Governor of all heavenly bodies from their movements as if they were on their own? By Him all things consist or hold together, and He appeals to our rational natures for recognition. Sadly, the earth, the nation of Israel and even His own people did not receive Him (Jn. 1:11). But today we can receive Him, honor Him, sing of Him, sing psalms to Him, meditate on Him and bless Him – Hallelujah! How lacking we are if we only recognize Him as a disinterested Creator who has left the scene for everything to find its own way. So it is if we believe this universe is merely a product of physical forces without acknowledging His power and direction.

His rejoicing is “in the habitable part of His earth” (Prov. 8:31). Therefore the waters of the deluge of Noah’s day could not remain over the land. In fact the mountains ascended as the waters descended through the valleys, and those waters can never completely cover the earth again (Ps. 104:8-9). But there’s more! The earth and all living creatures are dependent upon heaven from which the distilled rainwaters come. Water from heaven is infinitely better than water from under the earth for groundwater is full of salts and minerals which eventually choke life. So also are the broken cisterns of religion that men make for themselves. The heavenly waters give drink to every beast – even rebellious mankind whom the Lord desires to tame and dwell among (Job 11:12; Ps. 68:18). His desire is toward man, and the whole creation is for the service of man (Ps. 104:14). Man is thus His crowning creature and the master over all other creatures.

To back up this goodness of God to man, the psalmist recounts other goodness found in nature: the fruitful trees, the moon and sun in their operation, the earth full of God’s riches including the animals, birds and innumerable sea creatures, as well as mankind. All are filled with good (Ps. 104:16-28). Truly His works are many and varied! He rejoices in them as seen in that the resources of nature do not grow or exist for themselves, but they minister to the needs of the creatures (Ps. 104:24,31).

We naturally labor in the daytime, unlike the other creatures. Man’s toil is often tedious and tiresome because of sin (Gen. 3:23), but satisfaction in the results of our toil is also God’s gift to man (Eccl. 3:13). In contrast, God’s spiritual gift is that of eternal life through His work alone – a work done in the day (Jn. 9:4)! now, we who trust Him are to walk in the light of His Word (1 Jn. 1:7).

All this emphasizes His full mastery of things. Every one of His works is full of His wisdom (Ps. 104:24). In a future day, if He decides to re-create the now-extinct plants and animals, they will then be created anew (Ps. 104:30).

Psalm 139: The Awesomeness Of His Understanding 
With all that has gone before, this psalm reminds us that He knows absolutely everything there is to know about us. There is no hiding, no muffling of our voices, no escaping from His Spirit; He possesses our lives. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation” (Heb. 2:3)? His thoughts of life and not death are toward everyone. He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come into life. our very bodies, formed miraculously in the womb, attest to God’s being for us – not against us. all His thoughts towards us are precious. How great is the sum of them! If all the possible books were written concerning His wonderful works for man, the world could not contain them.

Alas, man has made himself God’s enemy and uses His name in vain. Do we feel for that name – are we not grieved when we hear our precious Savior’s name used as a curse? Perfect hatred would be toward sin and not the sinner for we are but dust ourselves and are capable of such sin. Oh, search us, O God, and drive from us any wicked thing. Lead us in the way everlasting, and we will be in awe of Your glory, witness, power, grace, wisdom and understanding!

* Seiss, Joseph, The Gospel in the Stars, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI, 1972.