You own the day and the night.
Sunlight and starlight call you Creator. (Psalms 74:16, Passion Translation)

From the moment God’s voice sounded out into the emptiness of what would become the universe “let there be light,” God has been the creator and sustainer of all that he brought into being.  He owns the day and the night because he made the two great lights, the one to rule the day and the other to rule the night. (Gen 1.16) The sun and moon obey the voice of God just as every other created thing obeys.  They rise and fall and go about their circuits according to the laws that God set in motion and that continue to this day.

Sunlight and starlight call God Creator because he created. Ironically enough they understand this better than some of mankind who seem to think that all that what we see came about by self-generation and time and chance; laughable.

When God brings history to and end and sums up all things, then he will call in the sunlight and starlight, the moon and stars and sun because they have accomplished the purpose for which they were created. They spoke silently to all men every day: The One who created us is great and greatly to be praised! (Ps 19.1)

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He will care for the needy and neglected
When they cry to him for help.
The humble and helpless will know his kindness,
For with a father’s compassion he will save their souls. (Psalms 72:12, Passion Translation)

This King that we worship is an odd king because he seems to care about others more than he does himself, which is quite un-king-like.  In addition, this King seems to care about the weakest and most vulnerable members of society the most.  He will care for the needy and neglected. Most kings care for themselves and neglect the needy, this King is just the opposite.

This King has a father’s compassion, most kings are compassionate only as it suits them to be so.  The humble and helpless will know his kindness, he pays them special attention, he makes sure that they are cared for and have peace and rest.

Spurgeon writes here: “A child’s cry touches a father’s heart, and our King is the Father of his people…The proverb says, “God helps those that help themselves; “but it is yet more true that Jesus helps those who cannot help themselves, nor find help in others.”

For your glorious righteousness
Reaches up to the high heavens.
No one could ever be compared to you!
Who is your equal, O God of marvels and wonders? (Psalms 71:19, Passion Translation)

We can feel David reaching for words and metaphors to describe God and his character, trying to find some human words that adequately describe God and his glory.  God’s glorious righteousness, that aspect of him that is right and accomplishes right in all that he does, reaches up to the high heavens. This is a way of saying that there is no place in which God’s righteousness is not present and available.

Our God is a God of marvels and wonder. Since he rules and reigns over all of his creation, he is free to do what he wants in it and with it.  He can command the waters of the Red Sea to divide up as two walls of water so that his people can pass through; he can stand up in a little boat on the Seas of Galilee and command the waves and wind to cease, and they obey; he can destroy the earth with water and then rebuild it afterwards; he can take wicked men who have evil in their heart and turn them into God-worshippers; he can begin and end history and sum up all things in himself.  This is the God of marvels and wonder.

Spurgeon writes here: “A traveller among the high Alps often feels overwhelmed with awe, amid their amazing sublimities; much more is this the case when we survey the heights and depths of the mercy and holiness of the Lord.”

Let all the universe praise him!
The high heavens and everyone on earth praise him!
Let the oceans deep with everything in them, keep it up! Psalms 69:34, Passion Translation)

David references here the “high heavens” and the “ocean deeps” to metaphorically bracket all that exists and call all of it, every star and comet and planet, to everything that swims beneath the surface of the deepest oceans, to praise the Lord.

Verses like these which run throughout the Old Testament always fascinate me because its as if the Hebrews believed that everything both animate and inanimate had an ability to praise the Lord, as if rocks could actually cry out in praise.  Ironically enough, Jesus seems to have believed this as well:“He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out [In praise of Jesus].”” (Luke 19:40, ESV)

When history is summed up and finished and the age of eternity begins, I guess we will find out whether or not David and Jesus were speaking metaphorically.  I think somehow we will be surprised at the truth. Louis Giglio wonders if this isn’t true also:

 

To the fatherless he is a Father,
To the widow he is a Champion Friend.
To the lonely, he gives a family.
To the prisoner, he leads into prosperity
Until they each sing for joy.
This is our Holy God in his Holy Place! (Psalms 68:5, Passion Translation)

Here David lists some characteristics of our God.  What strikes me about them is that they are focused on the weakest and most vulnerable members of society: Orphans, widows, prisoners, and the lonely.  The broader cultural conception of “gods” at the time David wrote was that they were mainly interested in themselves and in their own desires, thus men had to appease them or seek their favor.  Gods generally weren’t interested in the unfortunate, neither were men.  It’s just the way things were.

David upends all of this.  The God of Israel was interested in people and specifically he was interested in protecting the most vulnerable members of society, those who had no one to champion their interests!  Indeed, what God appears to be doing is reversing the fortune (or rather lack therof) of the people in society who had the worst “luck.”  He would be a father to orphans, he would be a “Champion Friend” to widows, he would grant a family to those who did not have one, and the prisoner would go from poverty to prosperity.  About none of this was the culture concerned at all, but God was concerned, he knew.

The end result: The least cared for members of society would sing for joy.  This is God’s heart and it ought to be our heart also.

Spurgeon writes here: “This was a great cause for joy to Israel, that they were ruled by the ONE who would not suffer the poor and needy to be oppressed. To this day and for ever, God is, and will be, the peculiar guardian of the defenceless.”

You muzzle the roar of the mighty seas,
And the rage of mobs with their noisy riots. (Psalms 65:7, Passion Translation)

Here David is in the midst of a series of praise about God and his character.  This is Hebrew poetry which uses parallelism, or thought for thought comparison and/or contrast.  The common theme between these two lines is noise: roaring seas and riotous crowds.  God is sovereign over both.

What in all of nature, indeed in all that we know, is more terrifying than being on the ocean in a ship during mighty seas?  Sailors who have experienced this speak with one voice about the sheer power of the ocean, nothing can stop it, nothing can stand in its way.  That power?  The Lord can muzzle it whenever and wherever he wants.  Indeed the Son of Man will stand up in a storm on Galilee and command the wind and waves to “Peace!  Be still.” And they obey him.

When a crowd begins to riot, chaos and noise and clamor reign supreme.  Riots are riots because they are out of control and cannot be controlled, except by the Lord who can muzzle riots as easily as he can muzzle the roaring seas.

Our God is the God of nature and the God of man.  He is sovereign over both, even at their wildest and most extreme.

Join me, everyone! Trust only in God every moment!
Tell him all your troubles and
Pour out your heart-longings to him.
Believe me when I tell you–he will help you! (Psalms 62:8, Passion Translation)

Here David’s praise of God bursts forth to such a degree that he calls everyone to join with him in praise.  C. S. Lewis has an interesting insight into praise, he writes:

I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.

God has created us in such a way that we must praise, that our joy in something isn’t complete until we do praise, and of course we praise God over and above everything because he is greater than and created all that exists.

It is this God of which David pens the words: Believe me when I tell you-he will help you!  The God of our praise is the God of our help.