Wednesday: Psalm 104-105; Isaiah 47; Matthew 17.14-27

From: Sarah Dobrotka

The language used in Psalm 104 speaks of a God who cares deeply for his creation. There’s something comforting in reading the words at the beginning of this psalm: “You (God) are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent.” When I read that last part, I think of those large white tents you can rent for wedding receptions. Friends and family celebrate, eat and dance late into the night, protected from rain and the cold. Joy and love is palpable; in a way, there’s a sacredness to that space. Many of you may have celebrated your own wedding vows under such a tent. What also comes to mind is the presence of a chuppah at Jewish wedding ceremonies. The chuppah represents home and hospitality, but also the presence of God and his covering over a marriage covenant. God is described as being wrapped in light like a garment. Who doesn’t like being wrapped up in blankets and warm sweaters on a cold day? As someone who gets cold easily (and often), there have been days where I’ve felt the tangible love of God in warmth. Verse 28 says that when God opens his hand to his creation, they are filled with good things. This, of course, is preceded by creation seeking God and trusting in his provision.

The original intent of creation was to dwell in this tent, so to speak. To have the kingdom of heaven stretched out, covering God’s people: the creation of a sacred space. I am reminded of this every morning as the sun rises over the city in my sideview mirror on my way to work. The sky is just one small reminder to me that God covers us with his love. He is sovereign over all creation. Isaiah 47 paints a drastically different picture from the one described in Psalm 104. It is one of sin and injustice. This is a wicked and prideful people who trust only in the strength of themselves and who “lounge in security.” The list of grievances against Babylon is quite extensive. Just one verse in Isaiah 47 (v. 11) holds the words disaster, calamity, and catastrophe. Not the kind of words we find in Psalm 104. Babylon is told to sit in silence, to go into darkness. Isaiah describes a fire that provides no warmth. We see the power and strength of God in both texts - God as ruler of all creation and God as just. 

Psalm 105 tells the reader to not only remember his miracles and “the wondrous works that he has done,” but also God’s judgments. “He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever… He brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing. And he gave them the lands of the nations” (v. 7-8, 43-44).

I live in a co-ed Christian community house in Somerville and work with kindergarten students in Brookline. I tie a lot of shoelaces and spend a lot of time phonetically sounding out words. My two favorite hobbies are eating snacks and taking naps.