A psalm of David.
Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to his name;
worship the Lord in the splendour of his holiness.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord strikes
with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;(Ps. 29:1-11 NIV)
the Lord is enthroned as King for ever.
The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Three times the heavenly beings are called upon to ascribe glory to the covenant LORD. Glory and strength belong to the Lord. They are to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. The glory due to His name was the glory due to the covenant LORD. This covenant name was the name given to Moses at the burning bush. By this name ‘Yahweh’, Battles were fought for His people. The heavenly beings are the angels in heaven. In Isaiah 6:3 we find the angels singing, Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty, the whole earth is full of His glory.
The glory of the Lord rests on the whole creation: sky, waters, land and desert.
The Psalmist’s focus is on the glory of the voice of the Lord. The voice of the Lord thunders across the mighty waters. The LORD is sovereign over the mighty waters. The Lord Jesus displayed His control over the mighty waters:
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet! Be still!’ Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples, ‘Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?’
They were terrified and asked each other, ‘Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!’(Mk. 4:39-41 NIV)
The Lord’s glory is displayed in the mountains. The Psalmist mentions Mount Lebanon and Mount Hermon (Sirion). Imagine making a mountain skip like a calf or a young wild ox. The glory of the Lord is so awesome that the mountains tremble. This is poetic imagery that the Psalmist is using to help us grasp how mighty and glorious the Lord is. Mighty waters and mighty mountains all yield before Him. The powerful majestic voice of the Lord shatters the mighty cedar trees, they are blasted into splinters.
Surrounding neighbours believed that their gods lived on the sea and the mountains. The presence of God’s glory displays His rule over the seas and the mountains. These false gods are shown no regard by God, but He displays that only the LORD God rules the sea and the mountains. There is only one God and He rules over all.
The voice of the Lord flashes like lightning, with power and speed to wherever the Lord sends it. One of the false gods was associated with lightning but no false god will borrow the lightning, this too belongs to God.
In the desert wastelands the voice of the Lord is heard. There is no place on earth, or on sea where you can escape the voice of the Lord. The voice of the Lord twists the oak trees and strips the leaves of the forest like a mighty storm. V10 is most likely a reference to the flood in Genesis. While the flood covered the trees and the mountains and the deserts, the Lord remained enthroned over the floods. Whatever devastation was caused on earth, God was still on the throne. The mighty virus may be wreaking havoc, but God is still on the throne. That God sent the flood, demonstrates that he is Sovereign over all nature. The Lord is sovereign king and ruler for ever.
It is this Lord with his mighty voice that speaks strength and peace to the blessing of His people. Every time you read the Word of God and find a promise, an encouragement or a rebuke, remember the power of the voice of the Lord who has spoken. The One who speaks has the power to deliver on every promise.
Lord we thank You for the promise You have made us, that You will never leave us or forsake us. As we think of the power, strength and majesty of Your voice we are encouraged because You speak this promise with power and authority, and You have the might to deliver us from all harm. Lord bless us so that we might know peace in our hearts, for we pray in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen