January 07 2023
Today, Saturday January 07
The Voice of God
Psalm 29:1-11 A Psalm of David
1 Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones, Give unto the LORD glory and strength.
2 Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters; The God of glory thunders; The LORD is over many waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; The voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars, Yes, the LORD splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire.
8 The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; The LORD shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth, And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everyone says, "Glory!"
10 The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood, And the LORD sits as King forever.
11 The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.
The title that I would give to this entire Psalm is “The Voice of God”. I thought it interesting that a couple days ago we talked about the “silence” of God in Psalm 28, where it seems that God is silent. Or it appears that He is not listening to our prayers and isn’t giving us any answers to them or giving us relief in the times of troubles and trials in our life. Now we go from the silence of God in Psalm 28 to the powerful voice of God in Psalm 29. It is almost like David is saying, “It might appear that God is silent at times in our life, but I want to remind you that the God of Glory thunders and speaks with a loud, powerful and mighty voice”!
There are a number of ways in which we can look at this psalm. First, we can see in it a present thunderstorm. David is out in it and feels its fury. He describes the first rumblings of the storm over the Mediterranean (29:3-4): "The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thunders... the voice of the Lord is full of majesty." The storm sweeps eastward, in from the sea. From the west come dark clouds and the rumble of thunder.
He then describes the fierce raging of the storm as it breaks over Lebanon and Hermon (29:5-6), making the mighty cedars break in pieces: "The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars.... He makes them [the very mountains] also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sidon [the old Sidonian name for Hermon] like a young unicorn." He describes the final results of the storm as it bursts over the desert (29:7-9). Sweeping southward, shaking forest and hill, pouring down rain in torrents, it hurries out to the desert in the far south toward Kadesh, toward the borders of Edom (a place famous in the history of Israel's wanderings). The lightning flashes. Even the animals are affected: "The voice of the Lord makes the deer to calve."
Beneath the storm clouds there is a great convulsion of nature, but above, everything is at peace. David hears the voice calling to the angelic hosts to ascribe glory to God: "The Lord sits upon the flood; yea, the Lord sits King forever." Some have graphically rendered verse 9: "In His temple everything saith, Glory!"
But we can come back and look at this psalm another way. We can see in this psalm a powerful throne, for this psalm is clearly a prophecy. David was not only a patient sufferer; he was a perceptive seer, a prophet. The psalm looks ahead to the coming of Christ at the end of the age to rescue Israel. The very cedars are broken—cedars, the noblest and strongest of trees, symbolic of worldly magnificence. The mountains themselves—used symbolically for world powers which are shaken.
Prophetically this psalm looks forward to the day when the Lord Jesus will come as King and sweep His enemies away in a mighty outpouring of His wrath. There will be fearful convulsions on the earth and the powers of the earth and of the heavens will be shaken. Above it all, enthroned in glory, will be the Lord. And the very last word is peace!
There is still another way we can view this psalm, a practical theme, for it clearly pictures the storms of life. Nobody is exempt from them. They sweep in, in their fury and power, and tear at us, breaking, destroying, sweeping away family, fortune, friends.
The godly Israelite saw all the phenomena of nature in a religious mirror. He did not admire the beauty of nature just for its own sake. It mirrored to him the greatness of God's power, beneficence, glory, and wrath. The sun, the storm, the seasons all supplied him with symbols whereby to express God's attributes and ways.
It is appropriate then to see in the thunderstorm a pictorial unfolding of a practical theme. It is a theme which finds its way into many of our hymns:
God would have us dwell in Him, above the storm. In His temple everything and everyone says, "glory!" Things may look very black down here at times, but nothing can disturb the serenity of God's throne and "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28).