“Let the sea roar and all within it, the world and those who dwell in it. Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing for joy together before Adonai, for He is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with fairness.” Psalm 98:7-9
God is the only being who deserves the title “awesome.” He is awe-inspiring. When I look at His handiwork in the sky, under a microscope, and within the depths of the deep blue sea, my response is utter amazement.
For instance, did you know there are over 100 octillion stars suspended in the cosmos? That’s a 1 with 29 zeros after it! This number can’t really be quantified inside our human brain. It is just too big of a number. I think when God created the stars, He wanted to inspire us by His brilliance and love and shock us by His almighty power.
Last year, I took a Biology course. Our lab introduced us to different types of organisms, such as: protists, bacteria, and archaea. One fascinating creature we studied was the rotifer.
Rotifers make up a phylum of microscopic pseudocoelomate animals. One feature they have is the ability to sweep particulate organisms into their mouth using a sophisticated motor called the coronal cilia. The cilia produce enough pressure to sweep in the exact food particles it needs to survive, which also helps clean the ecosystem at the same time! What an intricately designed creature.
In this passage, the Psalmist is giving the sea and mountains human attributes like clapping hands and singing for joy. This personification is an expression of how I think humans should view nature’s relationship to its Creator. While mountains, rivers, and the seas do not have emotion or will, they rightfully point us into an attitude of joyful emotion towards the Great Architect.
This passage is also revealing the goodness and righteous judgment of God. The Psalmist uses personification to express a day when the Lord will judge all the Earth and the people with fairness. The author’s intention is to convey how the whole cosmos, including people created in the image of God, will bow down and give honor and glory to the master of the universe.
All creation will rejoice in God’s salvation. As Scripture teaches: “Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is King.” It is my sincere hope that whoever is reading this article will be able to clap and sing more ecstatically than the rivers, seas, and mountains ever could since you have redemption through the sacrificial Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. Amen!