You might imagine that with a website called At Water’s Edge, I love anything that has to do with water. When we purchased our house on a small island on the Outer Banks I was immediately attracted to the listing description that boasted “water views from every room.” I had a hard time imagining this!!!!!! But on the point of land where I live, surrounded by canals on two sides and a harbor at the front, it turned out to be true. Water, water everywhere! There is something quite calming and peaceful about water. Unless it’s hurricane season. Or Nor’easter season. Or January.
Our beautiful Psalm today takes place at the water’s edge. The psalmist calls us “yonder to the sea,” and contemplates the innumerable creeping things that reside there. I find it more peaceful to NOT contemplate the innumerable creepy things that are in the water with me, but to each his own.
Psalm 104 (New Revised Standard Version)
24O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
25Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great.
The reference to ships in the next section is so ancient and yet modern at the same time. Those who live on the coast know that ships are always present in our communities. Indeed, the Outer Banks is a community full of boats and ships. Many people here make their living on the sea.
26There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
27These all look to you to give them their food in due season;
28when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
The psalmist correctly points out that the inhabitants of the water depend on God for their sustenance. Without God, all of creation would simply return to dust.
29When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
30When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.
From the sea we now turn our attention to the land and the mountains, which also rely on God’s goodness.
31May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.
35Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord!
May the meditation of our hearts and the rejoicing from our lips be pleasing to the God on high today! Let us praise the Lord.