Recognizing Yahweh—the Hebrew name for God used throughout the Psalms—as Creator and King over all creation is central to the understanding of the Psalms, the entire Bible, and life today. The entire Psalter is constructed upon the assumption that creation has been created with order and that all stability is dependent on God. The beauty and order in creation sing the praises of Yahweh, who is good and stable like a rock:
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of God’s hands.
- Psalm 19:1
Not all aspects of nature are presented positively in the Psalms. Chaotic waters often seem to threaten the order and harmony of creation. Because the psalmists believe that God has the power to control the chaos as reflected in the Scriptures from Genesis 1 onwards, however, they can cry out to Yahweh for help. There is an underlying recognition that life can only be given and sustained by Yahweh (Ps. 104:24-30) and comes when one is rightly related to Yahweh. As Leslie Allen explains in her book Psalms, “For the psalmists nothing in this world has an innate stability but only a derived, God-given one.”
Today we like to imagine that we are the centers of the universe, and to maintain this lie we must always remain in control or at least sustain the illusion that we are in control. Recognizing that, in fact, Yahweh is the Creator and King of the Universe frees us to, first, face the chaotic waters without rationalizing them away, and, second, to turn to Yahweh in seeking order. When we realize that Creation is ordered, we come to understand our place of harmony in it. Finally, we will acknowledge that our life without God’s sustaining presence cannot stand against the chaos.