Scripture reading – Psalm 29
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(*As noted in earlier devotions, I have amplified word meanings and definitions in brackets amid today’s Scripture.)
Give That Which Only You Can Give (Psalm 29:1-2)
What do you give someone who has everything? What can we, mere mortals with failings and shortcomings, give to the LORD, the Creator and Sovereign of the universe?
Psalm 29:1-2 – 1 Give unto the LORD [Jehovah; Self-Existent, Eternal God], O ye mighty [strong; mighty ones], give unto the LORD glory [honor] and strength [acknowledge His power; might]. 2 Give unto the LORD the glory [honor] due unto his name [i.e., His character; reputation]; worship [bow; reverence] the LORD in the beauty [glory; splendor] of holiness [hallowed; consecrated; sacredness].”
To “give” is to bring and assign to the LORD what is rightfully due Him. The “mighty,” perhaps the mightiest among humanity, or the angels of heaven (i.e., the sons of God, Job 1:6; 2:1; 38:7), owe their being to the LORD. Like the angels, we were created to glorify and serve the LORD. Our Creator is due our praise!
Worship and adoration are “due unto His name,” for His names define the LORD’s divine character and attributes (29:2). When we worship the LORD, we acknowledge He is Creator, Jehovah, Eternal, and Self-Existent God.
The Power and Presence of the LORD in the Storm (Psalm 29:3-9)
(Rather than attempt a lengthy commentary, I hope my word amplifications will not distract from the beauty and God’s revelation pictured as sweeping over the mountains of Canaan.)
The presence and majesty of the LORD in His creation is explained in Psalm 29:3-9. If you have lived through a hurricane, tornado, or a natural cataclysmic event, you can appreciate the portrait the psalmist drew upon in the following verses. Imagine with me the loudest, most powerful storm you have ever experienced, and how the thunder was so loud it shook the house, and the lighting so bright it was blinding.
Psalm 29:3-9 – The voice [sound; noise; thunder] of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth [roars]: the LORD is upon many [great] waters.
4 The voice [sound; noise; thunder] of the LORD is powerful [mighty; strength]; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty [glory; honor].
5 The voice [sound; noise; thunder] of the LORD breaketh [destroys; crushes; abolishes] the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh [destroys; crushes; abolishes] the cedars of Lebanon [known for their beauty and strength].
6 He [the LORD] maketh them also to skip like a calf [leap or frolic like a young calf]; Lebanon and Sirion [a mountain peak in Lebanon] like a young unicorn [perhaps a one-horned antelope].
7 The voice [sound; noise; thunder] of the LORD divideth [cuts in pieces; engraved] the flames of fire.
8 The voice [sound; noise; thunder] of the LORD shaketh [trembles] the wilderness [desert]; the LORDshaketh the wilderness of Kadesh [i.e., southern Palestine].
9 The voice [sound; noise; thunder] of the LORD maketh the hinds [doe or female deer] to calve [give birth], and discovereth [make bare; uncover] the forests: and in his temple [heavenly palace; His sanctuary] doth every one speak of his glory [honor; reputation].
The LORD is Sovereign of Creation (Psalm 29:10-11)
Psalm 29:10-11 – 10 The LORD sitteth [dwells; abides] upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth [dwells; abides]King for ever [everlasting]. 11 The LORD will give [grant; deliver] strength [power; might] unto his people [nation]; the LORD will bless his people with peace [shalom; health; prosperity].”
Psalm 29 concluded by assuring God’s people that when storms rage, we can take comfort in remembering the LORD our God is sovereign over Creation. To Him, the floodwaters, though powerful and frightening, are His footstool, and He is the everlasting King (29:10). The LORD is the source of strength and peace for His people!
Closing thought –
Storms come in various forms. Some are natural occurrences (as portrayed in Psalm 29). Other storms are profoundly personal and bring emotional upheavals, physical suffering, and paralyzing fear. Those storms come in waves that rush over us and remind us even the strongest are vulnerable.
Yet, storms in life (natural and personal) urge us to look to the God of heaven and remember, “the LORD sitteth King for ever…[and] will bless His people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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