Psalm 29 (May 12, 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)

Flood Warning as Judgment Warning

The story of Noah’s Ark is familiar to most believers. God judges the earth by a global flood, killing everyone and everything but Noah and his family, who are safe in a gigantic boat filled with animals (Genesis 6-9). After the flood, God promised not to judge the earth by flooding it again. The sign of the rainbow points to that covenant that God made with his people. Like a warrior hangs his bow on the wall when he has finished the battle, so God has hung his bow of war in the sky for us to see that this rain we endure is not an act of war.

Water, in the Old Testament and throughout history has always been seen as an ominous thing, attached to judgment. That’s why Jonah was thrown overboard into water (judgment) as a substitutionary sacrifice for the other men on the boat. Jesus even warns about judgment using a water motif.

And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:26-27)

Psalm 29:10 reminds us that the Lord is enthroned over the flood.  He is king forever. While God has promised not to judge the earth with water, he will still judge the earth as king over creation. Where will you stand in that day? Is your life built on the rock of Christ Jesus (Matthew 7: 24-25), or on some sandy foundation you’ve managed to slop together? Run to Christ and find refuge, salvation and hope.

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