Lord, I stand in awe of You.
Read PSALM 29
A psalm of David.
1 Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion[b] like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes
with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists the oaks[c]
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
a Psalm 29:2 Or Lord with the splendor of
b Psalm 29:6 That is, Mount Hermon
c Psalm 29:9 Or Lord makes the deer give birth
New International Version (NIV)
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“Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness” (Psa. 29:2).
In Psalm 29’s introduction (1,2) the “heavenly beings” are urged to recognize the Lord’s “glory”: i.e., whom God has revealed himself to be. In the body of the psalm (3–9), God is revealed by means of a storm which appears from the Mediterranean Sea in the west (“the mighty waters,” 3). It proves more powerful than the most majestic trees (5,9) and moves eastward to the desert of Kadesh, causing even the earth itself to shake (6,8). This demonstration of God’s awesome power is designed to provoke a humble response in both angels and humans.
We may be reluctant to equate the voice of the Lord with the sound of thunder, being only too aware of the destruction caused by extreme weather. Three observations may help. First, the language of the psalms is usually poetic rather than literal, and we are not to suppose that thunder is literally the Lord’s voice any more than we should take literally references to God’s “breath,” “fingers” and “hands.” Second, it is clear from Elijah’s experience in 1 Kings 19 that the sound of the storm is not always the voice of the Lord. Third, “raw, untamed power” is only one aspect of the Lord’s glory and needs to be featured alongside other attributes also described in the psalm such as his love, mercy and faithfulness. In fact, these relational aspects appear in the concluding verses of this psalm.
In verses 10 and 11, God’s people are reassured that he reigns supreme over the destructive forces of nature and that, as the violence of the storm gives way to the stillness which follows, the Lord’s purpose for his people is that we should experience his peace. Putting our trust in God’s power and faithfulness, we join with the “heavenly beings” (1) in wonder and worship.
Call to mind a powerful force of nature which you have experienced. Use this as a stimulus to worship.
Lord, when I consider the glory of nature, I think of the glory of its creator.