How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number – living things both large and small. There the ships go to and fro, and the Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there… When you send your Spirit they are created, and you renew the face of the ground… the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work. (Psalm 104:24-26, 30, 13 NIV)
The word pictures in Psalm 104 are food for the imagination. (Really, the entire psalm is fascinating, but I’ve only included a small portion of it here.) It is a psalm of thanks; a psalm of praise; a psalm of a person sitting between the mountains and the sea and writing of the wonders he sees.
The psalmist writes of the wonders of God’s hand, of God’s intricate care of all the creatures on the earth. Between descriptions of God’s faithfulness, he uses words to paint the picture he sees: the rivers from the mountains, the fields of grass, the creatures of all shapes and kinds that walk and crawl and swim across the earth.
He even describes God’s faithfulness in the creation of the creatures – “you formed [the Leviathan] to frolic there (in the sea)”. Each creature is perfectly suited to live and play and survive in the places God made for them.
But it is interesting that they are created – birthed, really, from the context – by the Spirit of God. We tend to think of God’s Spirit in a New Testament context; the comforter, the helper, sent by Jesus after He ascended back into heaven (see Acts 1-2).
Some versions of the Bible would translate “Spirit” as “Breath”. So they would say that every creature is bought into being by the Breath of God. And that Breath “renews the face of the ground” (Psalm 104:30).