May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works,
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke!
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the Lord.
Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more!
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
Praise the Lord! Psalm 104:31-35 ESV
Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” Exodus 20:18-20 ESV
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. . . . But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Revelation 21:22-23, 27 ESV
Some farms use electric fences to surround the areas where the animals are kept. An electric fence gives any person or animal that touches it a shock. It’s not meant to kill the animal, but only to give it an uncomfortable jolt so it doesn’t want to try to escape through the fence. Small animals like chicken or sheep might be kept safely in their pens or yards by an electric netting. This electric netting can do two things. It can keep the chickens or sheep from trying to get out, but it also keeps predators like foxes or coyotes from getting in. If a coyote tried to get into a sheepfold, it would get a jolt and go away and leave the sheep alone.
Psalm 104, a beautiful psalm about God’s creation, ends with praises to God, but also with words about the law. It talks about God making the earth tremble and touching the mountains so that they smoke. These words remind us of when God gave his people Israel the Ten Commandments at Mt. Sinai. The earth shook and the mountain smoked as God spoke his law to the people. God’s law is meant to show his people the way they should live and how to avoid sin. It’s like an electric fence that keeps people safe in God’s will and ways. When our first parents broke God’s law and fell into sin, it hurt his whole creation. Psalm 104 says that sin must be kept out of God’s world in order for it to be new and good. When God makes a new world, people who sin will not be allowed to come in, because if sin comes into his new world, it will be spoiled.
This is a scary thought for us. We want to live in God’s beautiful new world, but we know that we are sinners. The law is like an electric fence that keeps us away from being God’s people. But God opened the way for us to be his people and live in his new world by sending Jesus to be our Savior. Jesus took all our sins on himself and died for them on the cross. He forgives our sins every day and gives us a new life in him. Because of Jesus, we can be sure that we are written in his book of life, and that we will live in God’s paradise when he makes everything new. We can be happy to know that God won’t let anything come in to hurt us in his new world, and that all our sins will be kept out and forgotten forever.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to take away our sins. We look forward to living in your new world where everything that hurts us is kept out forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.