Psalm 29 (May 11, 2011)

[1] Ascribe to the LORD, O 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 holiness. [3] The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, 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; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon. [6] He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox. [7] The voice of the LORD flashes forth 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 all cry, “Glory!” [10] The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever. [11] May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace! (Psalm 29 ESV)

The Weather Channel as a Call to Worship

This Psalm only has 11 verses, and yet the phrase “the voice of the Lord” occurs 18 times! In verses 3-9 the phrase occurs seven times and it is to those verses that we direct our attention this day. The picture is one of a thunderstorm in which every clap of thunder announces that God reigns.

First, in verses 3-4 the storm appears to begin over the surface of the water in the Mediterranean sea. In verses 5-7 it moves through Lebanon (known for its mighty trees), and finally arriving in the wilderness of Kadesh. With each stanza there is a cry of the voice of the Lord. One particular image stands out in verse 7 as flames of fire burst from the earth in response to the Lord’s voice. The idea is of a blacksmith pounding the anvil with his hammer, sending sparks flying into the air as he exercises his authority over his creation. The same is true of the creator God who has made everything and he exercises his authority over what he has made, sending sparks to the sky with every thundering stroke of his mighty hand on the earth.

In verse 9 we see that those in the temple of the Lord cry, “Glory”. This could refer to the angelic hosts previously called upon to ascribe glory, or this could refer to David and his people, standing in the Lord’s temple, watching the storm roll in. Imagine this! You are in the middle of a worship service and the power goes off. All the lights go out and the sound system is silent. You walk outside to the parking lot as huge storm clouds roll in over the sanctuary. What’s your first thought? For David, he acknowledges that the worship continues.

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