Jan 25 2012

A Drop in the Bucket

In Psalm 104 the Psalmist declares “How many are your works, O Lord!  In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” (v. 24)  Elsewhere in this psalm the biblical writer mentions a number of creatures.  He refers to “wild donkeys,”  “birds of the air,”  “the cattle,” “the stork,”  “wild goats,” “the coneys,” “the beasts of the forest,” “lions,” and “leviathan.”  He also mentions other aspects of God’s Creation: the clouds, the wind, the mountains, springs, grass, trees, the moon, the sun, the forest, and the sea.  Without a doubt, the Psalmist recognized all of Creation to be God’s wonderful handiwork and a manifestation of His wisdom.  God’s Creation is seen as a reason for joyful praise.

I find the many references in Psalm 104 to different parts of Creation to be interesting.  It is obvious this writer was a student of nature and an astute observer of the world around him.  The Psalmist was overwhelmed by the wonder and vastness of God’s works.  What he didn’t realize when he wrote these words was that what he had observed was just a “drop in the bucket.”  He could only write about what he had seen in what we call the Middle East.  If he was overwhelmed by what he saw in his own small part of the world, just imagine what he would have thought if he could have known about all the other creatures and wonders of God’s Creation he could not see or know about.

Recently I purchased a copy of Smithsonian Natural History: The Ultimate Visual Guide to Everything on Earth.  In this large 648 page book the editors seek to introduce the reader to “everything on Earth—from rocks to redwoods, microbes to mammals.”  The book features over 5,000 beautiful illustrations and photographs.  It truly is a feast for the eyes and contains a wealth of information.  The price of the book is a bit steep, $50, but I discovered you can purchase it on Amazon.com for almost half of that.  It is a book I highly recommend to all lovers of nature.

If you purchase the book or check it out at the library I’m certain you will find yourself saying with the Psalmist, “How many are your works, O Lord!”  I have been blessed to do a good bit of traveling in my life and have certainly seen a lot, but this book has reminded me that like the Psalmist, what I have seen is only a drop in the bucket.  Being made aware of the vastness and variety of God’s Creation I stand in awe of the Creator and join the Psalmist in offering my joyful praise to Him.  Our God truly is an awesome God!  Just look around you…

–Chuck

(I photographed the Olympic marmot at Olympic National Park, the chukar at Haleakala National Park, and the butterfly and milkweed at Shenandoah National Park.)