“God Favored Me “HEZEKIAH WALKER LYRICS
How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24
As an amateur photographer, I enjoy capturing glimpses of God’s creativity with my camera. I see His fingerprints on each delicate flower petal, each vibrant sunrise and sunset, and each cloud-painted and star-speckled sky canvas.
My camera’s powerful zoom option allows me to take photos of the Lord’s creatures too. I’ve snapped shots of a chattering squirrel in a cherry blossom tree, a colorful butterfly flitting from bloom to bloom, and sea turtles sunning on a rocky, black beach. Each one-of-a-kind image prompted me to worship my marvelous Maker.
I’m not the first of God’s people to praise Him while admiring His unique creations. The writer of Psalm 104 sings of the Lord’s many works of art in nature (v. 24). He regards “the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number” (v. 25) and rejoices in God for providing constant and complete care for His masterpieces (vv. 27–31). Considering the majesty of the God-given life around him, the psalmist bursts with worshipful gratitude: “I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live” (v. 33).
While reflecting on the Lord’s magnificent and immense creation, we can look closely at His intentional creativity and attention to detail. And like the psalmist, we can sing to our Creator with thankful praise for how powerful, majestic, and loving He is and always will be. Hallelujah!
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God’s works are marvelous, and so is He.
This remarkable psalm is like an orchestra proclaiming the different sights and sounds of creation. Land and sea; sky and clouds; animal and plant life; light and darkness all point to the ultimate reality of God. It’s easy for the reader to be reminded of the Genesis account of creation that describes the glory of God (Genesis 1–2). Psalm 104 doesn’t read like an objective and dispassionate record of what we see in nature, however. Instead, the psalmist finds in all of creation a marvelous symphony that exalts the Creator. Creation is the signpost pointing to the majesty of God: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made” (Romans 1:20).
Be on the lookout today for something in creation for which you can express praise to God.
Joseph’s life involved much suffering. The young man was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, unjustly imprisoned, and forgotten. But when God’s plan was revealed, Joseph declared that it was good (Gen. 45:7-8).
Scripture tells us that the Lord has many purposes for the pain we experience. One is to develop personal righteousness in us. Desiring that we walk in holiness before Him, God utilizes discipline to direct us away from ungodliness and to increase our fruitfulness. He will use difficult people and circumstances to prune away any “deadwood”—attitudes, behaviors, and relationships that do not fit a child of God (Eph. 4:25; Eph. 4:29, Eph. 4:31). While such pruning is not a pleasant experience, it can effectively train us to lead a godly life.
God also uses suffering to manifest the life of Christ in us. For that to happen, we must learn to depend on Him for both our work and our words. If circumstances did not press in upon us, we would probably go our own way. But we are to be like Jesus, who relied on His Father no matter how easy or hard the situation became. As Christ’s ambassadors, we are to be living examples of His character. This may mean forgiving our enemies, bearing our burdens with patience, or finding joy in the midst of sorrow, just as He did. Our witness will not be a perfect one, but we should display a growing “family resemblance” to the Lord.
Life is full of trouble. But in the hands of a loving God, our suffering is being used for eternal purposes.
“And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” (Revelation 19:13)
This uniquely expressive name assigned to Christ, as He returns to Earth in glory, is used also by John in his gospel (John 1:1, 14) and in his epistle (1 John 1:1), referring both to His primeval work of creation and also to His human incarnation. It is well known that “Word” here is the Greek logos. Six times it is applied by John as a name or title of the Son of God (three times in John 1:1), the second Person of the Trinity. Actually, John used it seven times, assuming that the disputed verse 1 John 5:7 (“the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost”) is really a part of the inspired text.
The Greek word logos is a remarkable word, adaptable to many meanings. It is translated in the King James New Testament by about 30 other words (“speech,” “saying,” “reason,” etc.). The lexicons add still other meanings, and some of the Greek philosophers used it to describe the intelligence behind the universe.
As used by John, it becomes much more specific: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). The Jehovah’s Witnesses, rejecting the deity of Christ, like to translate this as “the Word was a god,” but all knowledgeable Greek scholars agree that the King James rendering is correct. Then, says John, “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us . . . full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Even though “no man hath seen God at any time” (John 1:18), He has become knowable through His Son who has “declared him.” Consequently, John also can declare Him to others. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes . . . and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; . . . That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us” (1 John 1:1, 3). HMM
The spread of the gospel among men of all nations had been the theme of sacred song in the days of the psalmist. We shall read two of the psalms which refer thereto.
Not Israel only, as in the olden times, but all mankind.
Psalm 96:2, 3
This was the business of Pentecost, and is the duty of all the saints at all times.
idols or nothings
Prayers and praises are to be presented by all mankind; the sacrifice of Jesus has ended all other offerings.
The reign of Jesus ends oppression, war, and crime, hence it is the cause of joy to all mankind.
Our Lord’s birth was obscure, and his doctrine was to the world’s judgment mysterious as though wrapt in cloud; yet is it perfect holiness.
The fire of his Spirit destroyed idols and false philosophies.
The truth lit up the nations, and amazed all people.
All difficulties vanished, all enemies were subdued, the gospel triumphed over all.
Under the whole heaven the gospel was published: it was as well known as if written across the skies.
Glad times are in store for us, the seed which shall produce them is already sown and will soon yield its harvest.
Joy is the privilege and the duty of a Christian, and he cannot have too much of it if it be of the right kind. Never let us give way to repining, rather let our holy cheerfulness cause others to inquire, “Whence comes their happiness?”
All that remains for me
Is but to love and sing,
And wait until the angels come
To bear me to the King.
Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar of?… Do not I fill heaven and earth? (Jeremiah 23:24)
I remember the words of a little song I heard when I was young about God’s presence “Far Away Beyond the Star-lit Sky.”
That is really where mankind has placed God. He is far away, out there somewhere beyond the star-lit sky.
As men and women in this world, we are prone to think of God’s presence in terms of space, as we understand it. We think in terms of light years or meters or miles or fathoms. We think of God as dwelling in space—which He does not! God is not contained in heaven and earth as some seem to think.
God in His person and His attributes fills heaven and earth exactly as the ocean fills a bucket which is submerged in the ocean depths.
Why, then, does man say “God is far, far away!”? Because of the complete dissimilarity between the nature of the holy God and the perverted nature of sinful man!
“So that a man shall say, Verily there is a reward for the righteous: verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth.” Ps 58:11
God’s judgments in this life are not always clearly to be seen, for in many cases one event happeneth alike to all. This is the state of probation, not of punishment or reward. Yet at times God works terrible things in righteousness, and even the careless are compelled to own His hand. Even in this life righteousness has that kind of reward which it prefers above all others, namely, the smile of God, which creates a quiet conscience. Sometimes other recompenses follow, for God will be in no man’s debt. But, at the same time, the chief reward of the righteous lies in the hereafter.
Meanwhile, on a large scale, we mark the presence of the great Ruler among the nations. He breaks in pieces oppressive thrones, and punishes guilty peoples. No one can study the history of the rise and fall of empires without perceiving that there is a power which makes for righteousness, and, in the end, brings iniquity before its bar, and condemns it with unsparing justice. Sin shall not go unpunished, and goodness shall not remain unrewarded. The Judge of all the earth must do right. Therefore, let us fear before Him, and no more dread the power of the wicked.