Verse 30. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. The loss of their breath destroys them, and by Jehovah's breath a new race is created. The works of the Lord are majestically simple, and are performed with royal ease -- a breath creates, and its withdrawal destroys. If we read the word spirit as we have it in our version, it is also instructive, for we see the Divine Spirit going forth to create life in nature even as we see him in the realms of grace. At the flood the world was stripped of almost all life, yet how soon the power of God refilled the desolate places! In winter the earth falls into a sleep which makes her appear worn and old, but how readily does the Lord awaken her with the voice of spring, and make her put on anew the beauty of her youth. Thou, Lord, doest all things, and let glory be unto thy name.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 30. -- Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created. The Spirit of God creates every day: what is it that continueth things in their created being, but providence? That is a true axiom in divinity, Providence is creation continued. Now the Spirit of God who created at first, creates to this day: "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created." The work of creation was finished in the first six days of the world, but the work of creation is renewed every day, and so continued to the end of the world. Successive providential creation as well as original creation is ascribed to the Spirit. "And thou renewest the face of the earth." Thou makest a new world; and thus God makes a new world every year, sending forth his Spirit, or quickening power, in the rain and sun to renew the face of the earth. And as the Lord sends forth his power in providential mercies, so in providential judgments. --Joseph Caryl.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 30. -- The season of Spring and its moral analogies. See John Foster's "Lectures," 1844.