God’s Footprints – Our Daily Bread ODB Devotional + Insight: 20 January 2021
By James Banks for ODB
How many are your works, Lord! Popular Songs
Read: Psalm 104:24–35
Bible in a Year: Genesis 49–50; Matthew 13:31–58
“I know where God lives,” our four-year-old grandson told my wife, Cari. “Where is that?” she asked, her curiosity piqued. “He lives in the woods beside your house,” he answered.
When Cari told me about their conversation, she wondered what prompted his thinking. “I know,” I responded. “When we went for a walk in the woods during his last visit, I told him that even though we can’t see God, we can see the things He’s done.” “Do you see the footprints I’m making?” I had asked my grandson as we stepped through a sandy place by a river. “The animals and the trees and the river are like God’s footprints. We know that He’s been here because we can see the things He’s made.”
The writer of Psalm 104 also pointed to the evidence for God in creation, exclaiming “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures” (v. 24). The Hebrew word for wisdom found here is often used in the Bible to describe skillful craftsmanship. God’s handiwork in nature proclaims His presence and makes us want to praise Him.
Psalm 104 begins and ends with the words: “Praise the Lord” (vv. 1, 35). From a baby’s hand to an eagle’s eye, our Creator’s artistry all around us speaks of His consummate skill. May we take it all in with wonder today—and praise Him for it!
Where do you see God’s handiwork in creation? How might you point someone to it—and to Him—today?
Psalm 104 displays some striking similarities to the Egyptian Akhenaten’s great Hymn to the Sun (fourteenth century bc), including depictions of creatures of night and day, provision for beasts and birds, descriptions of the sea and its ships, and the dependence of all creatures on their Creator. But Psalm 104 is structured by the sequence of creation found in Genesis 1: light is produced on day one (Psalm 104:2), the “vault” or “firmament” on day two (vv. 2–4), land and water are separated on day three (vv. 5–9), and so on. The psalm’s connection to Genesis 1 highlights the Creator’s role in creation. While the Egyptian hymn calls for worship of the sun, Psalm 104 calls for worship of the sun’s Maker. It seems the psalmist deliberately alludes to the Egyptian hymn in order to critique it and to make this very point: true worship is offered to the Creator, not the creation.
Please help spread the gospel. Share our posts on social media using the share buttons. He who wins a soul is wise. God bless you abundantly!