“The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them. His work is honorable and glorious, and His righteousness endures forever. He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and full of compassion” (Psalm 111:2-4).
Have you ever marveled at a beautiful sunrise to begin the day? Have you felt overwhelmed as you stare out at the vastness of the ocean when you have walked along the beach? Have you gazed in wonder as you saw an eagle soar? Have you stopped to behold the beauty of a flower blossoming?
As the opening verses above indicate, it is good to be filled with awe as you behold the beauty and majesty of all that God has created. God’s works are great and we should want to “study” them to learn just how great God’s power is in creating them (Psalm 111:2). A failure to take the time to observe the hand of God in creation can lead one to depart from God and the darkening of one’s heart: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:20-21).
As the psalmist beheld God’s creation he observed a number of things. First, he noticed God’s work is honorable (Psalm 111:2). Everything in God’s creation serves a purpose for which God intended it whether it is the bee that can sting us, but also pollinates the fruit trees or whether it is the river that can flood its banks and damage our homes, but also provides the water to nourish the crops of which we eat. Second, the author observed God’s creation is glorious (Psalm 111:2). God designed His creation in such a way it would fill our hearts with a sense of His majesty as we behold it: “He has made His wonderful works to be remembered; The Lord is gracious and full of compassion” (Psalm 111:4). Third, God’s creation reminds us of God’s faithfulness to His promises: “He has given food to those who fear Him; He will ever be mindful of His covenant” (Psalm 111:5). “The works of His hands are verity and justice; all His precepts are sure. They stand fast forever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness.” (Psalm 111:7-8). As we behold the change in seasons from year to year and see the rainbow in the sky, we are reminded God’s faithfulness to continue to uphold His precepts and to keep His promises (cf. Genesis 9:12-17). Fourth, the writer states that the works of God testify of His great power: “He has declared to His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations” (Psalm 111:6). Who can behold a hurricane or a tornado and not be filled with a sense of the incredible power of God?
Observing God’s awesome creation caused the psalmist to say, “Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, in the assembly of the upright and in the congregation” (Psalm 111:1). It filled His heart with reverence for God and prompted Him to want to keep God’s commandments (Psalm 111:10). He rejoiced that such an awesome God had reached out to a sinful people to save them from their sins: “He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant forever: Holy and awesome is His name” (Psalm 111:9).
Today, I will stop to “smell the roses” and behold the Hand of God in His awesome creation. I will face this day as “This is the day which the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!”
“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day” (Genesis 1:31).