Setting the Foundations

Mike Vaal

READ : Psalm 104:1-9

He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. (Psalm 104:5, NIV)

Psalm 104 is one of many psalms that paints a vivid picture of God’s creation. Wendell Berry, the Wisconsin farmer-poet, said the Bible is meant to be read outdoors, and this psalm is one that illustrates what Berry was talking about.

When we read passages like this, we realize that the Bible is not a science textbook. The picture of the heavens as a tent stretched out on beams resting on the foundation of the earth is not an accurate scientific description of the structure of the earth and sky as we know them to be. But it’s wonderful poetry, and poets throughout the ages have sought to express their understanding of the world in imagery that sparks our imagination and touches our hearts. The psalmist does the same and uses these images to show that God gives order and structure to the world he has made. As Paul wrote to the Ephesians, it is Christ’s word of power that upholds the universe (Ephesians 1:15). Our creation hymn reminds us that the order of the world we live in points to the majesty and power of its Creator.

God, all nature sings thy glory

and thy works proclaim thy might;

Ordered vastness in the heavens,

ordered course of day and night.


Thank you, Father, for the order you give your created world.