[Ed. note: This article is part of our weekly series of resources for churches and families called Cultivating Community published on Thursdays.]
God’s creation fills the Bible; you cannot read his word without encountering his world. It is the backdrop against which God tells his story. Think of the symphony of creation in the first two chapters of Genesis, or the first garden which contained the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. There was a hill where a father was asked to give up his son, a sea split open, a wide, fertile promised land and another hill with three crosses on it. Then, at the end, there is another promised land with another tree. The story of redemption unfolds among God’s rocks and trees, his places, the world he imagined and then spoke into being by his power.
The book of Psalms is a collection of songs and poems, many of which were written by King David. The poetry in the Psalms contains the whole realm of human experience: joy as well as sorrow and fear, worship for God’s mercies as well as prayers for deliverance. The Psalms are full of nature imagery and language. They speak the same message the whole Bible speaks: God made the world and loves it and it demonstrates his character and attributes.
The Psalms are full of nature imagery and language. They speak the same message the whole Bible speaks: God made the world and loves it and we have a calling to worship him by caring for it.
Below is a collection of verses from the Psalms that speak of creation. The verses are excerpted from the English Standard Version and grouped thematically. Copy the notations down in your Bible and then read them all in the context of the psalms they are found in. Work them into your personal Bible reading plan. Discuss them with your Bible study group. Take time with each Psalm and let the words soak into your head and heart. As the psalmist wrote, “Blessed is the man who … meditates on the law day and night.”
Creation Speaks of God’s Glory
8:1; 19:1; 29:9; 57:5; 76:4; 104:2-4; 107:24; 108:5; 111:2; 113:4-6
Psalm 19:1,2—The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech and night to night reveals knowledge.
Psalm 57:5—Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
Creation Speaks of God’s Power
33:6 and 9; 50:1-4; 65:6-8; 68:34; 74:13-17; 77:16-19; 78:12-16; 97:1-6
Psalm 68:34—Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies.
Psalm 65:6-8—The one who by his strength established the mountains, being girded with might; who stills the roaring of the seas, the roaring of their waves, the tumult of the peoples, so that those who dwell at the ends of the earth are in awe at your signs.You make the going out of the morning and the evening to shout for joy.
Creation Speaks of God’s Other Attributes
36:6 and 9; 50:6; 71:3 and 19; 97:6; 108:4; 139:8-12
Psalm 50:6—The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge!
Psalm 108:4—For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Creation Glorifies God
8:3-4, 19:1-4, 29:3, 93:3, 96:11-13, 98:7-9, 148:3-11
Psalm 96:11-13—Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
God Rules Creation
24:1; 50:9-15; 89:11; 95:4-5
Psalm 24:1—The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.
Psalm 95:4-5—In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
God is the Creator
24:1-2; 33:6; 65:6; 89:11; 90:2; 134:3; 136:4-9; 146:6
Psalm 33:6—By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
Psalm 90:2—Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Nature Imagery Used to Speak of God
33:13; 42:1; 43:3; 46:1-3; 62:2; 76:4; 84:11; 103:11-12
Psalm 84:11—For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 103:11-12—For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him.
Nature Imagery Used to Speak of Mankind
32:9; 34:10; 37:35; 52:8; 55:6; 72:3-7; 74:1; 90:5-6; 92:12-13; 102:6-8; 103:15; 129:6; 140:3
Psalm 52:8—But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
Psalm 103:15—As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field…
God Maintains Creation and is Involved in its Details
33:6-7; 50:1; 65:5-13; 84:3; 89:9; 104; 135:7; 136:4-9; 147:4-17
Psalm 135:7—He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
Psalm 89:9—You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them.
The Effects of the Fall Can Be Seen in Creation
7:2; 18:7-8; 57:4; 58:4; 59:14; 78:44-49; 83:13-16; 105:28-36; 106:17; 135:8
Psalm 135:8—He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and of beast…
Psalm 18:7-8—Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry. Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him.
God’s Blessing Can Come to Us through Creation
18:33; 23:3-4; 30:2; 65:5-13; 67:6-7; 68:8-10; 72:16; 78:13-16; 78:23-27; 80:15; 81:16; 84:3; 85:12; 91:4 and 13; 95:7; 104; 107:28-33; 121:5-6; 124:1-8; 125:2; 128:3; 132:15; 144:5-7; 144:13; 145:15
Psalm 67:6-7—The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
Psalm 81:16—But he would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.