Daily Worship

The Awe-Inspiring Garden

Jo Black June 16, 2024 0 0
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Psalm 104 (NIVUK)

1 Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
    you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

2 The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
    he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3     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.
4 He makes winds his messengers,
    flames of fire his servants.

5 He set the earth on its foundations;
    it can never be moved.
6 You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
7 But at your rebuke the waters fled,
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
8 they flowed over the mountains,
    they went down into the valleys,
    to the place you assigned for them.
9 You set a boundary they cannot cross;
    never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
    it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
    they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
    the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to cultivate—
    bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
    oil to make their faces shine,
    and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the Lord are well watered,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
    the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
    the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
    and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey
    and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
    they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work,
    to their labor until evening.

24 How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number—
    living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

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

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
    and the wicked be no more.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.

It is estimated that 168,000 people visit the RHS Chelsea Flower Show each year, with 8,000 people needed to make it run. Beautiful gardens draw us in! They are awe inspiring — in their colours, creativity, fragrance and fruit. However, anything like this takes a lot of work as anyone who has ever battled weeds will attest.

The writer of Psalm 104 reimagines the whole world as a breathtaking garden, one planted and lovingly tended by just one gardener who takes delight in making all of creation gasp! Although merely a look from this creator can make the earth tremble (see verse 32), there is no doubt of the hands-on approach and dedication of this Gardener God.

This Gardener is not there merely to trim a lawn but in fact to bring forth all the grass for the creatures that need it. From meadow dwellers to mountain clamberers to soaring birds, this garden is overflowing with all that’s needed or wanted for every level of creation. He nourishes all he has grown with lavish water and brings forth harvests of much more than just stock staples for all who live within it — ‘wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine and bread that sustains their hearts’ (verse 15). This is Father God the Gardener not just delighting in what he can make but making it to delight.

Where have you been where the sight of our Father’s great ‘garden’ has made your soul praise Him? Can you place your heart there as you pray this prayer?

 

Prayer:

 

Father God

Your creation is a work of love.

Love that speaks of beauty, intricacy and connection.

You bring forth, sustain and satisfy life —

Life in abundance, variety and generous plenitude

May I never lose my sense of wonder

Or my desire to shout Your name in joy

When there is a world to be wowed by You

That You yourself made.

 

Amen