Chapter 104

It is very probable that this psalm was penned by the same hand, and at the same time, as the former; for as that ended this begins, with “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” and concludes with it too. The style indeed is somewhat different, because the matter is so: the scope of the foregoing psalm was to celebrate the goodness of God and his tender mercy and compassion, to which a soft and sweet style was most agreeable; the scope of this is to celebrate his greatness, and majesty, and sovereign dominion, which ought to be done in the most stately lofty strains of poetry. David, in the former psalm, gave God the glory of his covenant-mercy and love to his own people; in this he gives him the glory of his works of creation and providence, his dominion over, and his bounty to, all the creatures. God is there praised as the God of grace, here as the God of nature. And this psalm is wholly bestowed on that subject; not as Ps. 19:1-14, which begins with it, but passes from it to the consideration of the divine law; nor as Ps. 8:1-9, which speaks of this but prophetically, and with an eye to Christ. This noble poem is thought by very competent judges greatly to excel, not only for piety and devotion (that is past dispute), but for flight of fancy, brightness of ideas, surprising turns, and all the beauties and ornaments of expression, the Greek and Latin poets upon any subject of this nature. Many great things the psalmist here gives God the glory of I. The splendour of his majesty in the upper world, Ps. 104:1-4. II. The creation of the sea and the dry land, Ps. 104:5-9. III. The provision he makes for the maintenance of all the creatures according to their nature, Ps. 104:10-18, 27, 28. IV. The regular course of the sun and moon, Ps. 104:19-24. V. The furniture of the sea, Ps. 104:25, 26. IV. God’s sovereign power over all the creatures, Ps. 104:29-32. And, lastly, he concludes with a pleasant and firm resolution to continue praising God (Ps. 104:33-35), with which we should heartily join in singing this psalm.