Psalm 104

Paducah storm cloudsOne of my favorite psalms is Psalm 104.  If you haven’t read this passage lately I encourage you to do so.  It is one of the most magnificent nature psalms that we have.  Throughout this long psalm the writer praises God for the many ways He reveals Himself through His Creation. 

Psalm 104 opens with the declaration, “Praise the Lord, O my soul.  O Lord my God, you are very great.”  The nature images immediately begin to follow: “You are clothed with splendor and majesty.  He wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent…”  He makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind.”

The idea of God wrapping Himself with light as with a garment has appealed to me for quite some time.  As a nature photographer I am always chasing good light.  Sometimes I encounter great light and in those moments I am invariably moved in the soul.  My heart beats faster; I get chill bumps; I feel humbled.  Since the Bible says “God is light”  (1 John 1:5) is it too much to think that in the presence of great light we can encounter God in a special way?

When the psalmist says God “makes the clouds his chariot and rides on the wings of the wind” I don’t think we are meant to conclude that God literally uses clouds to get from place to place.  It is poetic language.  Some people read such words and feel that if only the biblical writers had lived in our modern scientific age they would have known better.  My guess is that they did know better back then but still chose to see the world around them filled with the glory of God.  We would be wise to do the same.


The image above was taken in my hometown of Paducah, Kentucky.