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The Scriptorium

Ordained to Serve

God made creation to serve Him. And us. Psalm 119.90, 91

Psalm 119.89-96 (2)

Pray Psalm 119.90, 91.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
You established the earth, and it abides.
They continue this day according to Your ordinances,
For all are Your servants.

Psalm 119.89-91.
(Finlandia: Be Still, My Soul)
Forever, Lord, Your Word abides in heaven; Your faithfulness to every age is sure.
You made the earth; to us it has been given, and it abides, because Your Word is pure.
All of creation serves Your holy pleasure, thus we, Your servants, by Your grace endure.

Read Psalm 119.89-96; meditate on verses 90, 91.


Preparation
1. How is the faithfulness of God evident?

2. What keeps creation going?

Meditation
From contemplating heaven the psalmist turns to thinking about the earth and all creation. Verses 90 and 91 are a lovely parallelism to encapsulate the psalmist’s meaning. The parallelism takes this form:

A (“faithfulness”)                       B (“established”, v. 90)
B  (“continue” or “stand”)          A (“ordinances”, v. 91)

We call this form of parallelism a chiasmus, “chi-shaped”. Draw lines connecting the same ideas, and you get a Greek Χ, chi. The end of verse 91, “For all things are Your servants”, completes the thought which the parallelism implies.

The word “earth” in verse 90 stands for every created thing: God has established the earth, that is, all creation. We understand this because the verb in verse 91 is plural: “They stand”. It refers to “the earth” in verse 90 and points forward to “all things” in verse 91. All creation is settled in place by God and, by His faithfulness and ordinances, serves His purposes (v. 91). In the beauty, diversity, wonder, precision, continuity, abundance, and usefulness of the creation we are seeing God at work, causing His creation to serve His purpose, which is to serve us (cf. Ps. 104.10-24).

Though the creation groans and travails under the burden of humankind’s sin (Rom 8.19-22), it serves as a witness to God’s grace and power, calling us to look to Him and His Word for all our needs (cf. Acts 14.17). Creation bears witness to God’s faithfulness and points us to His Word (cf. Acts 17.24-28; Heb. 1.3).

When we understand creation this way, as God’s servant and witness, our love for God will increase and our testimony concerning Him will never want for connecting points with the people in our Personal Mission Field.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“…all are Your servants” (Ps. 119.91).

Agur, the composer of Proverbs 30, wrote:
“Who has ascended into heaven, or descended?
Who has gathered the wind in His fists?
Who has bound the waters in a garment?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is His name, and what is His Son’s name,
if you know?” (Prov. 30.4)

And we do know. It is the Triune God.

The disciples echoed this thought after Jesus rebuked the wind and the raging of the water by saying, “Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!” (Lk. 8.25)

And we know the answer to this question as well: It is Jesus, the Son of God.

We need only to look daily at God’s creation to see His utter and complete faithfulness at work.

If creation is a marvel of wonder upon wonder,
how much more should we wonder and marvel at Him
Who “made each creature in turn”?
If creation is to be feared, how much more should He be feared
Who made and rules creation?
No king on earth can protect us from the power of creation
when its dangers overwhelm us.
But the King of mysteries is King even of creation,
and all His works and wonders teach us to know Him
as the One Who by His unfathomable grace
protects His people from all dangers and fears.

  (Crosfigell, 6 September 2022, The Fellowship of Ailbe)

Creation declares the glory of God (Ps. 19.1) and places everything He created in a place of grateful servitude and wonder.

“Ordained to Serve.”

For reflection
1. Why should we expect creation to tell us something about God?

2. Do you spend much time observing creation to discern the Lord there (Prov. 25.2)? How might you begin to do more of this?

3. How can observing God in created things make it so that you will never want for connecting points with the people in your Personal Mission Field?

Let it then be thoroughly impressed upon our minds, that all things are so governed and maintained by the secret operation of God, as that their continuing in the same state is owing to their obeying his commandment or word. We must always remember the point which the prophet aims at; which is, that God’s faithfulness, which shines forth in his external works, may gradually conduct us higher, until we attain such a persuasion of the truth of heavenly doctrine as is entirely free from doubt. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Psalm 119.90, 91

Pray Psalm 119.92-94.
The enemy of our souls will try to distract, disappoint, and defeat you today. Prepare to fight the good fight against him in prayer, seeking the Lord’s reviving kindness and restoring love. What’s before you today for which you will especially need mercy and grace from the Lord?

Psalm 119.92-94.
(Finlandia: Be Still, My Soul)
Unless Your Law had been my great delight, I would have perished when affliction came.
I will Your precepts ever keep in sight, for by them I have life - I praise Your Name!
Lord, I am Yours, deliver me from night! I seek Your precepts for Your praise and fame.

T. M. and Susie Moore

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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