“The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders…The voice of the LORD is powerful…is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the cedars of Lebanon…The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire…shakes the wilderness…shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh…and in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’” (Psalm 29:3-9)
Imagine watching a storm arrive, with the sound of the driving rain getting increasingly louder as it comes closer. The sky darkens, the temperature drops and suddenly the skies open up with a deluge of water. The thunder echoes from the clouds filling the air. This is the context of our passage and one aspect of the psalm named “one of the loveliest poems I have ever seen” by Henry Ironside. Charles Spurgeon wrote that “The verses march to the tune of thunderbolts. God is everywhere conspicuous, and all the earth is hushed by the majesty of his presence.” * Perhaps you’ll think of reading Psalm 29 during the next storm.
Psalm 29 opens with a call to the angels to worship God for his glory, strength, name, and the splendor of his holiness. It ends with a powerful statement of God’s sovereignty and omnipotence as a king who is willing to share his strength and peace with his people. In the middle is a majestic description of the Lord’s voice that speaks in all of creation. “The voice of the LORD” appears seven times in seven verses, giving the phrase great importance. God speaks in all creation and through his Word; this is a profound statement of his authority, omnipotence, and creative power to do all that he desires.
Psalm 29 leaves no doubt about the power of God to “speak” to us through his work and his Word. But do we hear him? A friend was sharing with me today about how her pastor teaches the children in church on Sunday mornings with a spontaneous talk based on a random object they bring to him. Sometimes the object is a small toy or action figure. This method must be a real challenge for the teacher, requiring quick thinking. It’s also a good way for children to develop a biblical worldview for everyday use.
I wonder if you and I see the world from God’s point of view and hear his voice over the waters and in the thunder? Do we recognize and appreciate the unique way that Christians know his voice and share with others? We glorify God by reflecting his character. Will we do so today as we go about doing our errands and taking care of our houses and lives? Will you have at least one conversations in which you remember and share the beautiful words of Psalm 29?
* These two quotations were found in Boice Expositional Commentary Series, James Boice, Psalm 29.