Meditations on the Psalms #214

Psalm 104 Part 3

The word for God (Elohim) in 1b is in the plural!  The psalmist states three of Yahweh’s attributes that make Him worthy of praise: He is great, He is clothed with splendour and majesty. Then follows (vs2-5) some of the loveliest poetry in the Bible.  Poetry, of course, conveys images through words, and these verses do that wonderfully well.

“He covers himself with light as with a garment” (v2a).  In the manifestation of God to His people, light has ever been a symbol of His presence and His deity. If light itself is but His garment, what must be the blazing splendour of his own essential being! We are lost in astonishment, and dare not pry into the mystery lest we be blinded by its insufferable glory. On the first day of Creation light shone from darkness. There was a pillar of fire that followed the Israelites through the wilderness. Light was a manifestation of Yahweh at Sinai. At the dedication of Solomon’s temple, the Most Holy Place was filled with the Shekinah Glory of God. On the hills around Bethlehem shone a great light at His birth. When visiting the feast of tabernacles Jesus stood before the giant candelabra in the courtyard and taking the symbol to Himself declared “I am the light of the world.” (John8:12) That’s astonishing! Paul compared the physical and spiritual light in 2Cor4:6. Divine manifestations are usually accompanied by overwhelming glory (see e.g. Ex19:16-18, Deut33:2, Isa33:14, Hab3:3-5, Heb12:29.) God is described as ‘everlasting light’ Isa60:19-20. Paul said He dwells ‘in unapproachable light’ (1Tim6:16). John in his letter said that ‘God is light’ and that we need to walk in the light through fellowship (1John1:5-7).

 “He stretches out the heavens like a curtain” (v2b).  Imagine Yahweh unwinding the fabric of heaven from one horizon to the other––as one might unwind a great bolt of cloth. “He lays the beams of his rooms in the waters” (v3a).  (above the earth see Gen1:7-8) “He makes the clouds his chariot.  He walks on the wings of the wind” (v3b).  “He makes his messengers winds” (v4a).  “his servants are flames of fire” (v4b).

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