Reading: Psalm 139
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you (NIV).
Psalm 139 is a psalm of incredible intimacy—divine intimacy. God knows us; sees us; loves us like the LORD only can. He has known us and cared for us from the moment of conception. We need to make that statement personal, because it is personal. The Almighty has known me, and cared for me from the moment of my conception.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
Last week, I had lens replacement surgery on my left eye. The same surgery was done on my right eye three weeks earlier. This highly skilled tinkering with my eyes has left me in awe of the gift of sight. What a miracle! Yes, the surgeon worked wonders. My sight has been restored without the need for eyeglasses—something I have needed and have worn since the age of eight. Now for first time in 58 years, I can roll out of bed and not reach for my glasses.
What I truly appreciate is the original miracle—the gift of sight itself; a gift we are born with. Because the miracle of sight is so universal, we take it for granted. But when that precious gift is lost or threatened we appreciate it again with new eyes. I join with the psalmist in making this declaration: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
God took the time to knit you together in your mother’s womb. You can be sure He didn’t miss a stitch. You were formed according to His plan to live for His purpose. Wow! What an awesome privilege. And all the days ordained for [you and] me were written in [God’s] book before one of them came to be.
Response: LORD God, thank you for the gift of life, for sight, sound and touch. You thought of me. What joy that brings! Help me to live the days assigned to me with gladness and gratitude. Amen.
Your Turn: Do we take our physical gifts for granted? How do you cultivate an attitude of gratitude?
Reading: Psalm 104
He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.
The trees of the LORD are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
There the birds make their nests;
the stork has its home in the junipers.
The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
the crags are a refuge for the hyrax (NIV).
Psalm 104 is a poetic ode in praise of God’s creation. In yesterday’s reading, God lay down the foundations of the earth, and set the boundaries of the oceans. Today we see how He waters the land and covers it with vegetation. He populates it with a vast variety of animals and birds.
He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate—bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts.
In this psalm we see a God of teeming abundance. He is an extravagant God of infinite variety. Consider for a moment the various kinds of birds from the soaring eagle to the tiny hummingbird. Our God cares for them all. Jesus gives us these words of assurance concerning the humble sparrow, “not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care” (Matthew 10:29). In reality, all of today’s reading is about the Father’s care and His rich provision for all His creatures.
Have your eyes been opened to the LORD’s rich provision for you? He’s not a stingy God. Those who call on Him will have their needs met. Perhaps David said it best: The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing (Psalm 23:1).
Response: Father God, you created such a wonderful world! I marvel at your handiwork. I thank you for the great variety of lifeforms on this planet—the plants, the birds, the animals. Help us appreciate and safeguard your creation. Amen.
Your Turn: How can we go beyond words of thanks and demonstrate our thanks for God’s creation?
Reading: Psalm 55
As for me, I call to God, and the LORD saves me.
Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress,
and he hears my voice.
He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me,
even though many oppose me.
God, who is enthroned from of old,
who does not change—
he will hear them and humble them,
because they have no fear of God.
My companion attacks his friends;
he violates his covenant.
His talk is smooth as butter, yet war is in his heart;
his words are more soothing than oil,
yet they are drawn swords.
Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you;
he will never let the righteous be shaken.
But you, God, will bring down the wicked into the pit of decay;
the bloodthirsty and deceitful will not live out half their days.
But as for me, I trust in you (NIV).
The phone call wasn’t good news. After our 7,000 km trip to western Canada an oil change was in order, and my wife volunteered to take our car to have that service done. She called back with the news that the car needed new tires and there was a leak in the front end suspension system. Suddenly a routine oil change turned into a major expense, and this all comes so soon after the costs for our trip. Consequently, these words from Psalm 55 have added meaning for me this morning: Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you.
These are minor troubles in the sight of God. He is more than willing to carry them. Speaking prophetically David invites us to cast our cares on the LORD. That includes unexpected bills, injuries or medical emergencies.
One of my favorite leisure time activities is skipping rocks across the water. There’s something so unnatural about a stone dancing across the water. Stones are supposed to sink, not hop across the waves. But when they are cast with enough force and with the right technique they do the impossible. They skip across the water.
Notice there is a promise attached to those cares that we cast on the LORD. This is the LORD’s promise: He will sustain you. He will sustain us—sustain us in the midst of the impossible. Until like that dancing rock, we safely reach the other side.
Response: LORD God, I cast my worries and cares on you. I am so thankful that you care about the details of my life. With the psalmist, David, I can say, “But as for me, I trust in you.” Amen.
Your Turn: Do you have cares that you need to cast onto the LORD today?