Daily in the Psalms : Psalm 29
psalms 29A SONG OF THE VOICE OF GOD IN THE STORM - INTRODUCTION
It seems here that the Psalmist is in the midst of a thunderstorm and hears the voice of God in the thunder, sees the glory of God in the lightening, sees the power of God in the fury, and sees the peace of God in the lull after the storm. In the land of the Bible, these storms are rare. Many times we take the sounds and sights of a storm for granted, but the Psalmist in this rare occasion stops to listen and see the majesty of the Lord.
There are many places in the Bible where thunder is called the voice of God:
Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth. Job 37:2
Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? Job 40:9
The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Psalms 18:13
The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice. 2Samuel 22:14
Thunder is the symbol of Godís power and vengeance:
The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed. 1Samuel 2:10
And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel. 1Samuel 7:10
Intreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer. Exodus 9:28
Thunder was also present when God wanted to make His mighty presence known:
And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. Exodus 19:16
For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Hebrews 12:18-24 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. John 12:29
And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. Revelation 4:5
And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. Revelation 8:5
Job gives a beautiful and magnificent picture of a thunderstorm:
For he maketh small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to the vapour thereof: Which the clouds do drop and distil upon man abundantly. Also can any understand the spreadings of the clouds, or the noise of his tabernacle? Behold, he spreadeth his light upon it, and covereth the bottom of the sea. For by them judgeth he the people; he giveth meat in abundance. With clouds he covereth the light; and commandeth it not to shine by the cloud that cometh betwixt. The noise thereof sheweth concerning it, the cattle also concerning the vapour. Job 36:27-33
At this also my heart trembleth, and is moved out of his place. Hear attentively the noise of his voice, and the sound that goeth out of his mouth. He directeth it under the whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth. After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voice of his excellency; and he will not stay them when his voice is heard. God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend. Job 37:1-5
Ancient and modern poets alike make reference to the thunder. Spiritual and secular poets alike have penned words of wonder and beauty that came from the viewing of a thunderstorm. Below is my feeble attempt:
It seems the earth moves at the sound of thunderís roar The clouds roll and fire flashes from Heavenís door Flashes from our God fix our gaze ever so high To see the dreadful power and to know He is nigh
As the wind rends the trees and the billows rise Confounding the idea that man is so wise The earth and the sky are under His control He speaks and His voice in great fury does roll
The thunder booms from the clouds dark and low Itís a message that He wants every man to know This voice mixed with water and fire speaking clear Reminds us that it is the Lord that we must fear
In a palace so high or a stony cave so low His voice can speak wherever we may go Look to Him and bow in His presence so great And know that in His hand He holds our fate
He never sleeps or ignores our deeds He longs to touch us and meet our needs Listen as He speaks in the stormís great blast That Voice speaks of His hand that holds us fast
There are many parts of Godís Word that should be studied when the sky is bright and the sun is high in the Heavens. But thank God for those precious Words that give us hope and help in the darkness of the stormy night. He can still speak to us in the gloom of the tempest, when the lightening flashes, when the thunder rolls, and when there is terror on every side. If we are still and listen, we can hear His voice that shows us His majesty and beauty and can draw us near to His strong arm. The Spirit of the Lord abides in those that are saved and we are called in these verses to join the mighty throng of Heaven in singing praises to our God. He calls for us to worship Him in the beauty of holiness and there is holiness in the soul of every believer. What we are on the outside is but a reflection of what God has done in and for our soul. It matters not what storm we may face in this world, our soul can still rejoice in the salvation and safety of our God. He says that we are not to cower in fear and close our eyes when the storm comes; we are to look to Him, listen to Him, and see His glory.
GOD CALLS US TO HEAR HIS VOICE IN THE STORM
Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. Psalms 29:1-11
The great truth here is that we are to always listen for the voice of the Lord.
HIS VOICE SPOKE IN THE GARDEN:
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the dayÖ Genesis 3:8
HIS VOICE SPOKE ON SINAI:
And the LORD spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice. Deuteronomy 4:12
His voice spoke all through the Bible as He sounded out the Gospel and the warnings of transgressing His Word. Those that God inspired and used to write our Bible heard His voice. They not only heard Him speak in an audible voice, but the heard that voice in nature as well. In this chapter we see seven references to the thundering voice of God. These references are to both the audible and the voices of nature. The lost man may see nothing in the storm but the law and force of nature. The trembling heathen may only see a dreadful power that his darkened soul could never comprehend. But God is teaching His children to open their eyes and see the presence and work of our God, even in the storm. The law that the lost eye sees is the will of God. The force that the lost eye sees is the strength of God. Both of these are seen by the redeemed eye as the manifestation of His glory. As we behold the forces of nature, we are to think of Him. Nature is more than Godís influence, it is God personally speaking to us, showing us His works, His might, and His will.
When Godís people realize His presence, we are to behold His strength and glory, even when it is reflected in the tempest. As the Psalmist hears the distant sound of the thunder upon the waters in verse three, he instantly recognizes it as the voice of the Lord. And as it grows to the sound of upon many waters, that voice grows more intense. In verse four it is as though there is a pause in the storm to allow him to be aware of the power and majesty of the Lord. In verse five the storm renews its fury and moves nearer to the trees. Again, this is not seen as judgment, but as the revelation of our God. In the following verses the storm grows even more intense as it bursts upon the mountains and they tremble under His great power. The Lord adds the flames of fire, or lightening, to the thunder. One loud burst after another and one bright flash after another keeps the attention of the Psalmist upon the Lord. It is the voice of the Lord that makes the mountains and the wilderness to tremble. As he looks upon the destruction as though a hurricane has passed through and tore and laid bear the land, the thundering voice of God is stilled and is replaced by the music and songs of the Heavenly host. Thank God that the One that sends the storm also sends His peace after the storm.
GOD CALLS US TO TRUST HIM IN THE STORM
The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace. Psalms 29:10-11
The tempest has a mission. Once it is past, the air is purer and the sun shines with a brighter radiance. In the midst of the destruction is a sweet tranquility and God gives His words of comfort: He strengthens our faith and hope with His voice.
WE ARE TO CONFIDE IN HIM AS OUR MIGHTY KING
As His glory floods the scene, we are able to see Him as the upright and mighty king; He is in absolute control of everything. He is revealed as our King to defend right and defeat wrong Ė FOREVER! His kingdom has no beginning and has no end.
WE ARE TO SEE HIM AS BLESSING HIS PEOPLE WITH STRENGTH AND PEACE
These are the two great blessings of salvation. As Christians, as New Creatures, we receive from Him the inheritance of sons. That forever distinguishes us from this wicked world that has rejected His offer of grace. We are forever blessed and they are forever damned.
This Psalm has a beautiful conclusion. If those in that Heavenly Temple are singing, praising, and ascribing glory to God, then we too have that same obligation. He may have to send the very forces of nature to remind us of His might and presence, but when He does, we can see Him forever on His throne and the Everlasting King. He has saved us from sin and death and now He watches over us. He gives us strength in the storm and lets us know that He is able to hush the thunder, clear the sky, calm the sea, and give us His sweet peace. He that is seen in the tempest is also seen as he gives us His strength and peace. He is strong and mighty in the storm and He is the Prince of Peace. It is the will of God that we see Him in nature. That is the great mistake of the modern environmental movement. They deny God and then try to honor His earth. This earth is not an empty framework that just happened by accident. It is the handiwork of God! He not only created it; He is everywhere in it. Those that cannot find God in His works are not likely to find Him in His Word. Those that do not regard the earth as sacred are in great danger of treating Heaven as profane. The wicked of this world want to worship the earth and deny the God that made it. The simple way to get man to take care of this earth is to see God in every part of it. Then we will not pollute and liter it. It is not the duty of the lost world to promote, respect, and care for Godís creation; it is the duty of the saved. When we glorify God in His works as well as His Word, everyone will see God and the earth as He wants us to. This world is not a cathedral to worship the earth or man; it is the cathedral to worship God. It is a testimony of His boundless love and endless wonder. He has given us the earth and itís ability to reproduce and repair itself
He has given us the unquenchable light of the sun and moon
He has given us the choir of the winds and waves of the sea
He has given us the drama of the thunder and lightening
He has given us the color of the meadows, the sunset and the sky
He has give us all of that and more that we might stop and think of Him
By listening to Him in the storm and beholding Him after the storm, we are taught the following: To see the sanctity of nature To see the divine intention of nature And to see that nature is subject to Him
Danny "Preacher" Bezet