On occasion the creatures of the sea are visible from the deck of our condo. At the right time of day dolphin can be seen as they swim and frolic a hundred or so yards off the shore. Last year we counted seven small sharks foraging for food in the shallows of Garden City beach. Yesterday we viewed sharks circling the fishing pier, robbing fishermen of their bait. Smaller marine animals, a variety of the jelly family, and other smaller inhabitants of the ocean are common along this coastline. The Bible books of Job, Psalms, Isaiah, and Amos also mention Leviathan, a monster fish in Jewish lore. They all affirm what King David wrote in the Psalms---
Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things
both great and small. Psalm 104:25, ESV
Psalm 104 is a hymn extolling the glories of our Creator God. The splendor and majesty of God are exemplified in the totality of his creation---mountains, valleys, rivers and streams, the grass and plant life, trees, sun and moon, and the animals of prey. Humans are mentioned, sailing ships, and, of course, the seas. The King stood in wonder that "These all look to you, to give them food in due season" (Psalm 104:27, ESV). He marveled at God's creative power and the linkage that exists to order his world system so intricately. Imagining them from the deck of our unit, or from my little chair on the beach, draws me deeper into King David's assessment and God's heavenly guidance.
Scientists estimate that there are 228,450 known varieties of sea creatures, with as many as 2,000,000 unclassified species. My morning perch, viewing the ocean's movements, and hearing the pounding waves, can hardly imagine the organisms that inhabit our world's oceans and seas. King David was inspired to speak of them as "innumerable", beyond our ability to quantify them. They are yet another reminder that we humans don't know everything, what the historian wrote in Deuteronomy 29:29 (ESV)---"The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law". It is left to us to treasure these mysteries, and glorify the one who engineered them, even when they are beyond our scientific classification and numbering.
His thoughts about creation led King David to add, "I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being" (Psalm 104:33, ESV), closing his thoughts with "Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord" (Psalm 104:35, ESV). Watching the ocean each day always propels me past the calm it generates in me. Yes, it is somewhat of an escape from the rigors of life in this frantic, broken world. More than anything, however, David's Psalm and the thought of "creatures innumerable" should be my call to worship and revere our Heavenly Father, with prayer that Leviathan doesn't emerge from the waves to gobble me up.
Creatures innumerable? Bless the lord O my soul.
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