“These all look to you, to give them their food in due season. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground. May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works.” – Psalm 104:27-31
Psalm 104 begins with these words: “Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great!” (Psalm 104:1). It is known as a psalm of praise; thus, the psalmists calls all those who revere the name of the Lord to join him in this song of adoration and gratitude. All throughout the psalm, we are reminded of God’s faithful and abundant care and provision for his creation.
In these verses for today, the psalmist speaks of how all living creatures must look to the Lord for their food. In our advanced world today, we may laugh at such an idea. Our food is provided through grocery stores. We use our hard-earned money to buy what we need. Yet, the psalmist would ask if we water the earth or bring out the sun and the moon? Do we keep the earth circling around the sun? Are we responsible for the creation of the seas, the mountains, the prairies, and the hills? Unless we are terribly self-deceived, it is easy to recognize our limitations and to remember that God is the creator of all that is. He is the very one who has given us breath in our lungs, and the one who knows our day to die and return to the dust.
God alone creates and sends forth his Spirit. We are dependent beings, and we are called to live in awareness of that dependence and with gratitude and praise for God’s perfect care of us. Praise transforms us from self-focused people to God-focused people. That change in orientation is also a gift of his Spirit working in our lives. The psalmist says it this way: “When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground” (v. 30). The Spirit gives life and renews life.
As we come into the season of Pentecost, it is an opportune time to consider how the Holy Spirit is giving us life and renewing our lives. It is also an ideal time to consider how we are participating in the work of the Spirit. If we find our lives lacking in joy, purpose, and passion, it may be that we are disconnected from this source of life and renewal. God’s Spirit never leaves us; however, we can become disconnected from his power and conviction.
The Lord longs to renew us through his Spirit, to direct us into his perfect will, and to empower us for every good work. May we heed to his presence and power today.
Reflect & Respond:
Do you recognize the provision of God in your life and are you living in gratitude for his care and provision? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Let's face it, the Christian life is hard. Relationships take work. Christians forget. Sometimes it is tempting to go back to the days when God was not the center of our lives - to backslide. We are all faced with tremendous pressures to drift away from intimacy with Jesus and the community of the Church. However, the Lord invites us to pay attention, to move forward, to draw near, and to live lives of worship. Draw Near: Hebrews on Christian Worship is a Bible study on the Book of Hebrews intended to lead participants into a deeper intimacy with the Living God in the context of New Testament worship. Draw nearer to God in authentic worship today!
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