Devotional Reading: Matthew 6:25-34
Lesson Scripture: Psalm 104:5-9, 24-30
Lesson Aims: To recognize God as the Creator; to acknowledge His balance in everything; and to praise Him always.
Background: The new Sunday School year begins with this lesson. Happy New Year! Our journey promises to be a lively one. “First Things” is the title for the quarter and we will delve into Psalms (first lesson only), Genesis and Exodus. Quite naturally “First Things” begins with creation, but our perspective is based on the psalmist’s view.
Jews refer to this book as Tehillim which means “praise.” The praises can be classified as royal psalms, hymns, laments (complaints), wisdom, liturgical and historical psalms. Psalm 104 is the first in a trilogy (104-106) that focuses on the Creator and His saving works. The unknown pre-exillic author doesn’t use the Genesis 1 account, instead he looks back in awe of all that God did and continues to do.
Lesson: UMI Direction suggests that today’s lesson be divided into three segments – God orders (vs. 5-9), God works (vs. 24-26), and God provides (vs. 27-30). The hymnist praises God for His wonderful creation. He recognizes that the entire creation was/is ordered by God alone. Focusing on the earth that has a sure foundation, he is in awe about all aspects of creation. He sees the order (lack of chaos) in everything as he moves from verses 10-26. Nothing is left to chance because the earth is “the garden of life” (Zondervan’s NIV Study Bible).
The hymnist goes on to identify the balance in creation, both in the heavens (vs. 2-4) and in the sea (vs. 24-26). “Leviathan, a mythical creature, is God’s harmless pet in the sea” (IBD). God also sustains/provides for every cycle on the earth. Whether He looks, opens His hand, hides His face or simply speaks, creation responds! The glory of God is evident in all that is seen.
Application: All creation, including humanity should praise God for who He is; what He’s done and is doing; and for what is to come! God is, and because of that fact, creation is! There is no question about His sovereignty. Too often, our lives get so busy that we miss God’s glory in the simplest things. Take time tomorrow to observe one aspect of God’s work. We will be like the psalmist – we can’t stop praising Him. He created and sustains the creation. What a mighty God we serve.