3435.) Psalm 29

Psalm 29 (New International Version)

In eleven verses, the name of the LORD (Yahweh) occurs 18 times. “The Voice of the Lord” repeats seven times. And over the course of the Psalm, the repetitions have a powerful affect on the reader. I suggest you read this psalm out loud to get the full effect!

From the drumbeat of the Lord’s name and voice, the Psalm follows the storm of the Lord. Ripping through the coastland cedars of Lebanon (v. 5), on to Sirion (or Hermon) in the center of Israel (v. 6), to the wilderness east of Canaan (v. 8), Psalm 29 follows the path of God’s thunderous voice like storm trackers would follow a tornado.

Capturing the effect of Psalm 29’s words, Konrad Schaeffer in his book Psalms comments, “The [Psalmist] reproduces auditory and visual effects: the echoing crash of the thunder (‘the voice of the Lord’), the flames of fire, and the quaking earth and twisting trees” (Psalms, 72). As it often happens in the Psalms, the literary devices are meant to do more than explain truth; they make you feel God’s truth.

And the truth in this Psalm is that the God who sits enthroned over all his creation has power to do as he pleases. With the breath of his mouth he subdues the massive trees of Lebanon, shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh, and strips bare the forests. In the presence of such a God, all of creation is reduced to one word: “Glory!”

–David S. Schrock

1 Ascribe to the LORD, O mighty ones,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of his  holiness.

3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.

Water is the most abundant compound on Earth's surface, constituting about 70% of the planet's surface.  These still waters are off the coast of Tahiti.

Water is the most abundant compound on Earth’s surface, constituting about 70% of the planet’s surface. These still waters are off the coast of Tahiti.

4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.

5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.

Cedars from Lebanon were used by King Solomon in the construction of the Temple.

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
Sirion (Mount Hermon) like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the LORD strikes
with flashes of lightning.

Lightning rapidly heats the air in its immediate vicinity to about 36,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is about three times the temperature of the surface of the sun.

8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.

9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The LORD sits  enthroned over the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as King forever.

11 The LORD gives strength to his people;
the LORD blesses his people with peace.

This closing word with peace is like a rainbow arch over the Psalm. The beginning of the Psalm shows us heaven open while its close shows us his victorious people upon earth, blessed with peace in the midst of the terrible utterance of his wrath. Gloria in excelsis (glory in the highest) is the beginning, and in terra pax (peace on earth) the close. 

–Derek Kidner



HERE  is Matt Redman and “All Glory.”


New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica

Images courtesy of:
Psalm 29:2.   https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/ascribetothelordthegloryduehisname.jpg
water of Tahiti.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/ps29-water.jpg
cedar of Lebanon.    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/41/100083847_9de945d7d7.jpg
lightning.    https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/29-lightning.jpg

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