God and nature are inseparable in Psalms. We're talking peanut butter and jelly, popcorn and movies, Barry White and singing about love inseparable. God was originally considered a storm god, so it's no wonder he's in tune with nature.
What does God do with this connection? He puts on a show. If the Israelites needed an enemy destroyed, he would rain down a storm of fire and water. And it's a two-way street: God demanded sacrifices from nature in the form of animal offerings.
If God's domain was the sky, what do humans get? Well, according to Psalm 147, we get earth. Oh, and God.
King David was the bomb dot com. They probably called him that before the Internet—that's how much people loved him. So it makes sense that there was an enormous literary and artistic effort to glorify David and his descendants.
Because David's rule is always connected with the might of God, scholars speculate that the writers of Psalms, and much of the Bible, worked in David's court. Why not make your boss sound awesome? Much of Psalms is even attributed directly to David, and the Bible in general works hard to craft an image of a good king who was a writer and a warrior.
Sure, David reigned three thousand years ago, but we know a good Golden Age when we see one.
God as fire-breathing monster is a cool image—there's no doubt about it. But he's not always a cosmic avenger out to destroy his enemies. Sometimes he's actually kind of cuddly. Sure, this is in part due to the writer's state of mind—sometimes sad, sometime euphoric—but it also creates a much richer picture of the relationship between God and man. Should we love him or fear him? Or both?
We know that "Destruction" is a big deal in Psalms. But it's not just God who's causing the mess. It sounds like the enemies of the Israelites are actually destroying themselves—with their not-so-nice words and their praise of other gods.
Life expectancy in ancient Israel wasn't exactly 100. Death was a constant, and often unknown, threat. After all, the ancients didn't have explanations for disease, weather, or other fatal phenomena that we now think about in scientific terms. The Psalmists took this and ran with it, talking about death in naturalistic terms. And don't forget, when you die, you go silent, meaning you can no longer praise God.
"Everlasting ruins." "Coals of fire and sulphur." "Blood of the wicked." It's no question that Psalms is filled with destruction. And in the ancient world, this wasn't uncommon. When you bring God into the mix (he breathes fire, remember?), this elimination is violent, smoky, and irreversible. Gulp.