I spent a lot of time looking at this psalm and tried to contain it in some way, to organize it into a particularly interesting theme and make it palatable to the regular reader. The task became challenging when I realized that this Psalm reads like a stream of consciousness — at least, in the English language. It appears the underlying theme is the greatness of God, but David has difficulty compacting the thought as well, making the psalm both difficult to read and impossible to synthesize.
It makes perfect sense, though, that the immeasurable attributes of God cannot be contained, that David never arrives at a central point, because it is this understanding of God that makes Him worth worshiping. I would have a lot of trouble offering my whole life to a limited God. Illustrations presented in this Psalm only reinforce this sentiment.
Here are some of the ridiculous characteristics of God, all of which require several hundred Psalms a piece to recount:
The entirety of God’s work is done in truth. (v. 4) It’s relieving to know God represents righteousness. This world severely lacks transparency and integrity. Good move.
God created the heavens with words. That’s it. (v. 6) A brain-rending realization, intensified with the understanding that the universe is something like 80 billion light years in size. And that’s sort of a conjecture — that’s the longest we can make measuring tape.
He breathed, and the stars showed up. (v. 6) Sometimes I breathe and food or phlegm makes its way to the surface. Not awesome. God breathes stars. Much more awesome.
The waters upon the earth are like a plaything. (v. 7) Some Bible translations depict God containing water in a cup in His hand. With the previous two observations, I think that’s a fair hyperbole.
He speaks, and things get done. Permanently. (v. 9) The Bible, in nearly its entirety, has endured over 3000 years. This blog will fade into oblivion in a week or two. The longevity of God’s words is astounding. Meanwhile, many of the prophecies proclaimed in it have also come to fruition. Christians still lean on what He has said for inspiration and hope every day. Sturdy stuff.
God’s ideas are superior to ours, and they last. (v. 10-11) Historically, people have come up with some pretty good ideas. The wheel. Fire. Air conditioning. Netflix. God invented people, animals, air, and sunsets, among other essential items. God wins.
He sees everyone on the earth. At the same time. (v. 13) This both encourages and terrifies me. He sees both my every heroic deed and my most horrible thoughts and sins.
There is no comparison to God’s might. (v. 16-17) These verses talk about how countries stockpile arms and military personnel to save themselves. Most high and mighty nations have not been conquered, but instead have been eaten from the inside out. And a sword cannot heal sickness or assuage depression.
I feel like I’m writing a Chuck Norris list, but this is who God is. You’d better recognize, son.