It’s interesting what we can learn by paying attention to our surroundings. Even nature reveals much about the Lord and our relationship with Him. In Psalm 104, the psalmist takes an opportunity to reflect on what he can learn from God’s creation, and we can do the same.
In this psalm, we find references to several landforms, plants, and animals, and the psalmist reminds us that God made them all. “O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions” he declares (v. 24). There are at least three big lessons we can learn from the truths revealed about nature.
1 – First of all, this psalm reminds us that God is our source. The psalmist makes it clear that God is in control of nature. Even when the animals search for food, it is ultimately God who provides what they need. “The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their food from God” (v. 21). He continues, “These all wait for You, that You may give them their food in due season. What You give them they gather in; You open Your hand, they are filled with good” (v. 27-28).
We can learn from this truth that God is our source as well, and we should serve Him with humility. When we need something, we should seek Him for help. When we receive a blessing, we should acknowledge that He was the one who truly provided it. When we accomplish something, we must realize that it was not our own ability that brought the achievement. Without God, we are nothing!
2 – Another lesson we can learn from nature is that every creation of God is important. The psalmist specifically mentions so many individual parts of God creation including the sun, moon, cedar trees, cliffs, springs, badgers, donkeys, storks, and cattle just to name a few. Furthermore, he describes their specific function or purpose. For example, “He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the service of man, that he may bring forth food from the earth” (v. 14).
I find it interesting that so many plants and animals are mentioned by name, showing that each one is significant to God’s plans on earth. If badgers, storks, donkeys, and cattle are important to the plan of God, then so are we!
3 – A final lesson we can learn from these writings is that all of God’s created beings are connected. For instance, the psalmist mentions, “The stork has her home in the fir trees. The high hills are for the wild goats; the cliffs are a refuge for the rock badgers” (v. 17-18). Indeed, nothing exists in isolation; all of creation works together to function properly.
From this truth, we can learn that none of us exist in isolation either. We’re all connected to each other and dependent on one another. Our purpose is connected to helping other people. We can’t make it on our own; we need one another!
Part of the reason God made you is to be an integral part of your family, your community, your church, and your workplace. When you don’t follow God’s plan, not only do you short-change yourself from His best, but you short-change others from the blessing you can be to them! Let’s not let that happen to us or those around us. Let’s fulfill our purpose in Him!