Lord My God, You Are Very Great

Psalm 104

Bless the Lord, O my soul!
    Lord my God, you are very great!
You are clothed with splendor and majesty,
    covering yourself with light as with a garment,
    stretching out the heavens like a tent.
He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters;
he makes the clouds his chariot;
    he rides on the wings of the wind;
he makes his messengers winds,
    his ministers a flaming fire.

He set the earth on its foundations,
    so that it should never be moved.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
At your rebuke they fled;
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight.
The mountains rose, the valleys sank down
    to the place that you appointed for them.
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
    so that they might not again cover the earth.

10 You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
    they flow between the hills;
11 they give drink to every beast of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
    they sing among the branches.
13 From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
    the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.

14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock
    and plants for man to cultivate,
that he may bring forth food from the earth
15     and wine to gladden the heart of man,
oil to make his face shine
    and bread to strengthen man’s heart.

16 The trees of the Lord are watered abundantly,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 In them the birds build their nests;
    the stork has her home in the fir trees.
18 The high mountains are for the wild goats;
    the rocks are a refuge for the rock badgers.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons;
    the sun knows its time for setting.
20 You make darkness, and it is night,
    when all the beasts of the forest creep about.
21 The young lions roar for their prey,
    seeking their food from God.
22 When the sun rises, they steal away
    and lie down in their dens.
23 Man goes out to his work
    and to his labor until the evening.

24 Lord, how manifold are your works!
    In wisdom have you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 Here is the sea, great and wide,
    which teems with creatures innumerable,
    living things both small and great.
26 There go the ships,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.

27 These all look to you,
    to give them their food in due season.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up;
    when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29 When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
    when you take away their breath, they die
    and return to their dust.
30 When you send forth 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 who looks on the earth and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains and they smoke!
33 I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
    I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    for I rejoice in the Lord.
35 Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
    and let the wicked be no more!
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord! – Psalm 104:1-35

The last few posts I have published have been about the unchangeableness of God. I am continuing with that same theme and applying it to a very controversial subject; climate change or global warming, whichever you prefer. I won’t get into any big discussion about the settledness of the science around the subject. I will only apply the principle I have mentioned before that all of the laws of nature are nothing less than the unwritten word of God that was spoken as a part of his word in Genesis to create this universe. Our God is both creator and sustainer of all things. How he sustains can be understood in part as the “laws of nature” which are really the laws of nature’s God.

One other preliminary statement: the positions that produce the most extreme hysteria around climate change are based on humanly created computer models. I have enough knowledge in the area to be dangerous, but what I do know from my work in modern finance is that the slightest change in a computer model can make a tremendous difference in the results of the calculations. Consequently, I perceive these more extreme models with much skepticism based not on faith but business experience.

Christian thought

With that said, how do we think about the world? As Christians, we are to have our minds renewed to think in conformity with God’s word. God’s revelation of himself and his word about his world are to take precedence over other sources of knowledge. The Enlightenment introduced the competing idea that all knowledge is subject to human reason as the highest standard. In our culture, enlightenment thinking generally rules, that is, human reason trumps God’s word. Apply this to the issue of climate change.

Psalm 104: 5-9 sets some clear parameters around nature. It is a 5 verse summary of the first eight chapters of Genesis from creation to after the flood. God has set a boundary over the waters so that they might not again cover the earth.

God is unchangeable as to his promises.

The extreme fear of island nations disappearing under water as the earth warms and the glaciers melt is incompatible with this promise of God.

Is the earth warming? It appears that it is a little. Is it out of control of the creator and sustainer of the earth? Absolutely not. Are Christians stewards of the earth? Yes. The earth is to be subdued for the glory of God and the good of humanity. It is not to be left to “nature” to do its own thing. The native condition of the earth is not how God wants us to leave it. Stewards work the land and other resources to benefit mankind. There is a segment of the extreme climate change lobby that is putting forth the pagan idea of worshipping the earth. The earth takes precedence over humanity. That is not Biblical.

God is Sovereign

God, who is the creator and sustainer of all creation, is still the Sovereign Lord and is unchangeable regarding his promises. This truth should inform our approach to this topic. Verses 27-30 demonstrate God ordained climate change. It appears that in his infinite wisdom, he arranges for changes in the climate that are ultimately for our good and his glory.

The panic seems to be coming primarily from that part of our culture that does not worship our Sovereign God but instead has exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worship the creation rather than the Creator (Romans 1). We Christians ought not to do the same.