Psalm 74:16 (ESV)
Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
Like many of the Psalms, Psalm 74 is a prayer of deep need. The psalmist has experienced hardships, and he is asking God to intervene for the glory of God’s own name.
Verse 16 caught my attention this morning because of its contrast. God owns the day. God owns the night. The surrounding verses show God’s sovereignty over land and sea, over beasts and men.
The reason that this verse grabs me is related to how men have often imagined deities. Read ancient myths or even modern fantasy fiction. False gods often have very clearly circumscribed powers. There are gods of the hills and gods of the valleys. There are gods of the seas and gods of the mountains. There are gods who are strong in the day and gods who are strong in the night. Only the true God of the Bible, however, is God over all.
Consider how great it is to know that God is unlimited by any boundaries. He is God over the day. He is God over the night. He is God over the sea. He is God over the land. He is God in the mountains. He is God in the valleys. He is God in the first and third worlds. He is God when we are sick and God when we are healthy. He is God when we are rich and God when we are poor. He is God over summer and winter, over heat and cold, over light and ark. There is nothing that stands as a limiting factor before our God.
The God of the Bible would not have been imagined by men of old, because men could not handle imagining a God sovereign over all. God is bigger than human imagination. God is greater than our greatest dreams. As Anselm’s Ontological Argument tells us in a simple paraphrase, a being that is the greatest possible being, one upon whom no improvement can be made, must exist, because existence is part of the perfection of the being. Anselm aside, the fact that we see here a description of a God beyond any human imagining, a God over day and night, heat and cold, is a picture of the true God over all, the real God who made us.
How encouraging this all is. God is over all. My life does not limit him. My will, my weakness, my failures do not limit him. Neither does my strength, my power, my rightness improve upon him. He is perfect. He is over all. How great it is that he would allow me to be called his servant and that he would call himself my God. How much greater still that he would call himself my Father and call me his child. Truly, to know him is an honor and a joy. And even when life is hard, God is still over all, perfect and right.