On running across this section of Ps 103…:
For look how high the heaven is in comparison of the earth; *
so great is his mercy also toward them that fear him.
Look how wide also the east is from the west; *
so far hath he set our sins from us.
Yea, like as a father pitieth his own children; *
even so is the LORD merciful unto them that fear him.
For he knoweth whereof we are made; *
he remembereth that we are but dust.
The days of man are but as grass; *
for he flourisheth as a flower of the field.
For as soon as the wind goeth over it, it is gone; *
and the place thereof shall know it no more.
But the merciful goodness of the LORD endureth for ever and ever upon them that fear him; *
and his righteousness upon children’s children;
…I’m reminded of something I first noticewd when studying the psalms appointed to follow the Gen 1 reading in the Easter Vigil. I was originally puzzled about the selection of the bits of Psalms 33 and 36 when there are other psalms that seem to me more explicitly focused on creation (like, say, Ps 104!). Why these?
In looking over these over, I noticed a feature which appears here as well. These psalms aren’t just about creation and the created world. Rather, they’re using creation as a physical model to give us a sense of the breath, height, and depth of the virtues of God. The vast expanses of creation, the pairings of finitude and infinity are invoked in order to describe the moral characteristics of God and of God’s inordinate love.