Psalm 29 - Blackstone edge

Psalm 29 – Praise to God in His Holiness and Majesty

David was cheerful when others trembled even in the worst of storms, “though the earth be removed, yet we will not fear.” He calls upon all to give glory to God. To convince them of the goodness of God whom they adore. This Psalm teaches us to think great and high thoughts of God. Praise to God in His Holiness and Majesty.

Psalm 29 – A Psalm of David

Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. Ascribe to the LORD the glory due 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 is heard over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful and majestic. His voice breaks the cedars; the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the LORD strikes with flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the Wilderness 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. He is enthroned as King forever. The LORD gives His people strength; the LORD blesses His people with peace.

Give unto the Lord

Henry says – David here makes a demand to great men to pay homage to the great God. Every clap of thunder David interpreted as a call to give Him glory. They are bound to do it, not only because, high as great men are, He is infinitely above them, and therefore they must bow to Him. Any power they have is from Him, and are to use it for Him. This call is often repeated throughout this Psalm; Give unto the Lord, and again, and a third time, Give unto the Lord. This intimates that mighty men are not always forward in this duty.

They are called to give unto the Lord. Not as if He needs anything or as if we have anything to give Him that He does not already own. But in the recognition of glorying Him and His dominion over us, He is pleased to interpret as a gift: “Give unto the Lord your own selves, in the first place, and then your services. Give unto the Lord glory and strength; acknowledge His glory and strength, and give praise to Him. He is a God of infinite majesty and irresistible power. Whatever glory or strength He has entrusted you with, offer it back to Him, to be used for His honour and in His service.

Give Him our keys

We are to lay our crowns at His feet. Give Him our keys, put all into His hand, that in the use of them they may be to Him for a name and a praise. Princes value themselves by their glory and strength. These they must ascribe to God, raising Him to be infinitely more glorious and powerful than they. Crowned heads must bow before the King of kings. What is here said to the mighty is said to all: Worship God; it is the sum and substance of the everlasting gospel, Rev. 14:6, 7.

It is in the giving to the Lord the glory due to His namePs. 29:2 that we have the true nature of religious worship. It is impossible that we should give Him all the glory due to His name. When we have said and done our best for the honour of God’s name, still we will come infinitely short. But when we respond with suitable adorations to the revelations which He gives of Himself, then we give some of that glory due to His name.

I Am that I Am

We are to Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. The glorious majesty of God is called the beauty of holiness2 Chron. 20:21. In the worship of God we must have an eye to His beauty, and adore Him, not only to be feared above all, but as infinitely loveable and therefore to be delighted in above all. It is the beauty of His holiness that the angels fixed upon in their praises, Rev. 4:8.

Solemn assemblies of Christians are the places where God is to be worshipped. We must be holy and devoted to God, and to His will and glory. We are bound to give glory to God when we consider His all-sufficiency in Himself. His name is JehovahI am that I am, which is repeated here eighteen times in this short psalm. Let the mighty ones of the earth know Him by this name and give Him the glory due. He is sovereign over all things. Let those who rule over men know there is a God who rules over them, and rules over all.

The God of glory thunders

God’s dominion is in the kingdom of nature. It can be witnessed in the wonderful effects of natural causes and the operations of the powers of nature. We ought to take notice of God’s glory and strength, which we are called to ascribe to Him. It is the God of glory that thunders (thunders is the noise of His voiceJob 37:2), and it declares Him to be a God of glory. The sound of thunder and the flash of lightening are fearful. By these alone there is such inexcusable proofs of His glory.

There are particular reasons why thunder should be called the voice of the Lord. Not only because it comes from above, is loud and reaches far, but because God often spoke in thunder, particularly at Mount Sinai. The voice of the God of glory is said to be upon many waters (Ps. 29:3). It reaches over the vast oceans and rattles among the thick clouds. Everyone who hears the thunder can say the voice of the Lord is full of majesty (Ps. 29:4). It is enough to make the most proudest tremble (for none can thunder with a voice like Him). If His voice be so terrible, what about His arm?

O Lord our God, You are very great!

Every time we hear thunder, let our hearts be filled with great, high and honourable thoughts of God. O Lord our God! You are very great. The voice of the Lord is powerful, for it works wonders. Trees have been split by thunderbolts, Ps. 29:5, 6The voice of the Lord, in the thunder, often broke the cedars, even those of Lebanon, the strongest and the stateliest. Earthquakes also shook the ground itself on which the trees grew, and made Lebanon and the wilderness of Kadesh to shake (Ps. 29:8).

The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire (Ps. 29:7) from the thunderbolts. That is, to scatter them upon the earth, as God sees fit to direct them. The terror of thunder has been known to cause proud and stout men to tremble. Horace, the poet, stated that he was converted from atheism by the terror of thunder and lightning. Whenever it thunders let us think of this Psalm. And whenever we read this psalm, let us think of the dreadful thunder-claps we have sometimes heard, which brings God’s Words and His works together. We will then be quickened to give Him the glory due to His name. Let us bless Him that there is the still, small voice as well as another besides this dreadful one, the terror of which we shall not be afraid.

He sits above the floods

In His Kingdom, God is to be praised as the governor of the world of mankind. He sits upon the flood as King forever. He sits as King on the throne which He has prepared in the heavens (Ps. 103:19). There He takes notice of, and gives orders regarding all the affairs of the children of men. He does all according to the counsel of His will. He sits upon the flood. As He has founded the earth, so He has founded His own throne, upon the floods, Ps. 24:2. The ebbings and flowings of this lower world do not shake the repose or the counsels of the Eternal Mind. The opposition of His enemies is compared to the flood (Ps. 93:3, 4). But the Lord sits upon it. He crushes it, conquers it, and completes His own purposes despite of all the devices that are in men’s hearts.

The word here translated the flood is only used regarding Noah’s flood. God did sit upon that flood as a Judge executing the sentence of His justice upon an ungodly world that was swept away. And He still sits upon the flood, restraining the waters so that they do not cover the earth again according to His promise never to destroy the earth anymore by a floodGen. 9:11; Isa. 54:9.

He sits as King forever

He sits as King forever. No period of time can put an end to His government. The administration of His Kingdom is from eternity and His designs are for eternity. In the Kingdom of grace His glory shines most brightly. He receives adorations from the subjects of that Kingdom (Ps. 29:9). In His temple, where people attend Him with their praises, every one speaks of His glory. In the world every man sees it, or at least may behold it afar off (Job 36:25). But it is only in the temple, in the church, that His glory is spoken of to His honour. All His works do praise Him, but His saints are only those who bless Him, and speak of the glory of His worksPs. 145:10.

Upon the subjects of that Kingdom He bestows great favour, Ps. 29:11First, He qualifies them for His service. He will give strength to His people, to fortify them against every evil work and to furnish them for every good work. Out of weakness He will perfect strength. Secondly, He will encourage them in His service: He will bless His people with peace. Peace is a blessing of inestimable value, which God designs for all His people. The work of righteousness is peace (great peace have those who love Your law). We are offered a crown of righteousness and the end of righteousness is endless peace. When the thunder of God’s wrath shall make sinners tremble, the saints shall lift up their heads with joy.

Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary

  [Slide right to left]
  
 That Tender Voice
  
 Very quietly I speak
 Listen for My Voice.
 Never heed the voices of the world,
 Only that of the Divine One-rejoice.
  
 Listen and you will never be disappointed
 Anxious thoughts will become rested.
 The Divine-Voice in tenderness 
Touches the heart that so willingly protested.
  
 But the tenderness and the restfulness
 Will heal your scars to make you strong
 Let all your power be My power
 To use as I determine when.
  
 Man’s little power is as clay
 Beside the granite rock of My Power.
 You My great care
 I watch over hour by hour.
  
 Never feel at the mercy of the world
 My angels guard you day and night
 Nothing can harm you for
 You are indeed glorious in My sight.
  
 You would indeed thank Me
 If you knew
 The darts of fret and evil
 That turn from you.
  
 By the late Andrew Feakin 
 (passed away 16th March 2019)
  
   

Prayer for the Day

Prayer: Father, I come to You. I offer up my entirety to You and any service I can give to You. Yet I know I can give You nothing that You do not already own. I ascribe to You glory and strength. I praise You for You are a God of infinite majesty and irresistible power. Whatever glory or strength You have entrusted to me I offer it back to You, to be used for Your honour and in Your service.

I give You my keys and put all into Your hand. All that I am physically, mentally and spiritually that can be used by You to give You a Name and a praise. I give You the glory due to Your name. Help me always respond with suitable adorations to the revelations which You give of Yourself to me. That I might in some way give some of the glory due to Your name.

In my worship of You help me have an eye to Your beauty, and to adore You. For You are to be feared above all, but You are infinitely loveable and to be delighted in above all. Convict me to walk the path of holiness and to be wholly devoted to You, to Your will and for Your glory. Your name is Jehovah—I am that I am. You are sovereign over all things. Let all who rule over men know there is a God who rules over them, and rules over all.

Help me to take notice of Your glory

Help me to take notice of Your glory and strength which can be witnessed in the wonderful effects of the powers of nature. I bless You that though Your voice may thunder with terrors yet, there is the still, small voice and I shall not be afraid.

You are the governor of the world of mankind. There You take notice of, and give orders regarding all the affairs of the children of men. You do all according to the counsel of Your will. You sit upon the flood. The ebbings and flowings of this lower world do not shake the counsels of Your Eternal Mind. You crush it, conquer it, and complete Your own purposes despite all the devices that are in men’s hearts.

I will be among those who bless You, and speak of the glory of Your works. You will give strength to Your people, to fortify us against every evil work and to furnish us for every good work. Out of weakness You will perfect strength. You will encourage us in Your service: You will bless Your people with peace. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.

Psalm 29

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