Our Place in Creation

Mike Vaal

READ : Psalm 8:1-9 What is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? (Psalm 8:4, NIV) One thing I love about northern Michigan is the starlit sky on a clear night. In the sky over a city you may be able to pick out a few stars. In the black sky of the rural north thousands, perhaps millions of stars, are visible. There are more constellations than I can name and …

The Lord Reigns

Mike Vaal

READ : Psalm 93 Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea—the Lord on high is mighty. (Psalm 93:4, NIV) Perhaps you have stood on the shore as huge pounding waves crashed on to the beach. The roaring breakers can be loud enough to drown out conversation. Psalm 93 draws our attention to that experience of nature’s awesome power. Sometimes such power can be destructive. At the end of 2004 the “breakers of …

Wisdom at Creation

Mike Vaal

READ : Proverbs 8:22-31 I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. (Proverbs 8:23, NIV) In Psalm 104 we are told that the Lord made all his works “in wisdom.” Here we get a vivid picture of that process. In Proverbs 8 wisdom is personified as a woman, and in these verses she describes her place at the very beginning of creation. Before all other things were made, wisdom was present—the first born of the Lord’s …

Sing Praise to the Lord

Mike Vaal

READ : Psalm 104:31-35 I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. (Psalm 104:33, NIV) Psalm 104 concludes with the words, “Praise the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord.” Those who know and love God are often moved to praise God when they stand in some especially beautiful spot. The psalmist’s meditation on the Lord’s creative and sustaining work leads him to do the same. But …

The Works of the Lord

Mike Vaal

READ : Psalm 104:19-30 How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. (Psalm 104:24, NIV) As I continued to reflect on this psalm in Mexico, I was reminded that the sea is truly vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number. In this part of God’s creation there are colorful fish that dart among the rocks, sea turtles and dolphins, marlin and swordfish. We even got a glimpse …

Care for All Creatures

Mike Vaal

READ : Psalm 104:10-18 He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. (Psalm 104:10) Hiking with my wife along the Pacific coast of Mexico on a recent vacation made Psalm 104 come alive in new ways. One day we walked up a mountain path to a waterfall—a stream tumbling through a ravine where water “flows between the mountains,” as our verse says. As we climbed I saw storks flying overhead, and in the distance the …