Aug 19 2009

How Many Are Your Works, O Lord!

whale fluke 078Today my thoughts are still on that wonderful nature psalm, Psalm 104.  In verse 24 the Psalmist says, “How many are your works, O Lord!  In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.”   The Psalmist realized that there was an amazing diversity of life on this planet but could not have begun to imagine just how diverse and numerous that life actually is.  Scientists have identified between 1.5 and 1.8 million different species.  They believe, however, that there are many more that have yet to be identified.  Some estimate there may be as many as 50 million different species in existence!  Hearing numbers like that we cannot help but echo the Psalmist cry, “How many are your works, O Lord!”

The Psalmist declared that God made all of these creatures “in wisdom.”  He believed that all of God’s Creation was made for a reason and served a useful purpose.  Interestingly enough, the Psalmist realized that it was not just the land that was full of life, so was “the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number—living things both large and small.”   Scientists today would concur with the Psalmist concerning the oceans being filled “with creatures beyond number.”   We have only begun to scratch beneath the surface in discovering all that lies under the waters.

In verse 26 the Psalmist mentions one particular sea creature, “leviathan.” This creature is mentioned several times in the Scriptures, usually with negative connotations.  Here, however, it is simply identified as one of God’s many creations and that God formed it to “frolic” in the seas.  Some speculate that leviathan was actually a whale.

In the next verse the Psalmist notes how all of the creatures God made look to Him “to give them their food at the proper time.”  The God who made all the earth’s many creatures also provides for them.  I think this indicates that not only did God make them “in wisdom,” He also made them in love and cares for every species He made.  It would seem only appropriate that we care for each species as well.


(A number of years ago I had a chance to spend a week on a small boat photographing the Inside Passage of Alaska.  This gave me an opportunity to photograph the humpback whale shown above “frolicing” in the icy waters.)