Most of David’s Psalm has three parts. The first part describes his helpless situation, the second talks about his approach to God, and the third is all about praising God because of the answers he received. Praising God comes out of our hearts when we enjoy His presence and protection. Unlike other Psalms, this Psalm is only about praising God in totality. There is no mention of the act of generosity that made the Psalmist praise God as it teaches us to praise God not only when we receive our answers but at all times because there is no one else worthy of our praise.
Ascribing Praises to God
Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings,Psalms 29:1-2
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
The Psalmist prompted all heavenly beings to give honour to God, their creator. The heavens, seas, sun, stars, planets and everything on the earth praise his Creator. The Psalmist would have thought of the angels and the fallen lucifer and prompted them to also give glory to God. He brought out the supremacy of God, who created all things and controls them. This Psalm implies that God bestows honour to the kings and gives strength to all people. Hence, this Psalm indicates that the glory belongs to the name of God, and He is jealous of it (Isaiah 42:8). God gives all His belongings to us but spares His glory. God even gave His Son Jesus to us as a ransom for our salvation. Jesus sanctifies Himself to make us holy like His Father (John 17:17-19) and worthy to worship the Lord in the splendour of His holiness.
The Word Becomes His Voice
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;Psalms 29:3-4
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.
While the scripture tells us how God created the universe, it mentions that the spirit of the Lord hovered over the waters (Genesis 1:2). In creation, God articulated His word that is inscribed in His heart into voice, and the universe came into existence. None can fathom the intensity of the voice of God that created the universe as no decibel unit can measure it.
Jesus reminded His soul of the purpose of His coming to this earth when troubled by foreseeing His sufferings. Then He prayed to His Father to glorify His name. When God responded, people took the voice of God for thunder (John 12:28-29), while some said that an angel spoke to Jesus. That is the nature of His voice, so powerful and majestic. During creation, God articulated His word into voice, and for redeeming His people, God transformed His Word into Flesh. Have we ever heard His powerful redemptive voice? Or do we hear the feeble and deceptive voice of the evil one, masquerading as our saviour constantly?
The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.2 Thessalonians 2:9-10
The Voice That Brakes The Cedar
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;Psalms 29:5-8
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.
In the scripture, the cedar trees are mentioned in many places to represent flourishment and prosperity (Psalm 92:12). In ancient days, people used cedar wood for healing, purification (Leviticus 14:4), and even spiritual protection. Moreover, the cedars of Lebanon are known throughout ancient art and literature as symbols of power and longevity.
Sirion is the place that surrounds Mount Hermon (Deuteronomy 3:9), the alleged location where the fallen angels descended to the earth. Over the years, these cedars, the “glory of Lebanon,” suppressed Lebanon with their mythical values. The Cedars became the pride of Lebanon, and God hates the proud (1 Peter 5:5).
This Psalm reveals the power of the voice of God that destroyed the cedar trees and delivered the land of Lebanon from the darkness. The voice of God will break everything that is valued more than God.
Open your doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour your cedars!Zechariah 11:1-2
Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen, for the glorious trees are ruined!
Wail, oaks of Bashan, for the thick forest has been felled!
Similar to the cedars, the name Kadesh is mentioned in several passages of the Bible, and in Hebrew, Kadesh means holy. Holiness belongs to God but on the contrary, places and people had this name, and because of the sanctity attached to the name Kadesh, those places and people earned popularity as people assumed them as holy. This Psalm captures the picturesque act of Holy God destroying the alleged sacredness attached to the name Kadesh to bring glory to His name. The voice of the Lord travels fast to the ends of the earth like lightning. When we seek God diligently, His voice reaches us within a nanosecond.
The voice of the LORD twists the oaksPsalms 29:9
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
The voice of the Lord destroys all the places when people sheltered themselves to hide from Him. He sweeps the sin of the people that hinders them from coming to God. Adam and Eve sinned against God and hid behind the bushes. The God who called them out to clothe them to cover their shame is all-powerful to destroy their hiding place and bring their shame to the light. For people have made lies their refuge, and in falsehood, they have taken shelter (Isaiah 28:15).
For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.Luke 8:17
The Voice that Silences the Voices
Some translations add that the voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth when conceived female deer searches for a silent and safe place to deliver its calf. This illustration shows the power of the voice of the Lord that silences the commotions so that people can yield the fruits of the Spirit peacefully.
We live in a noisy world where we cannot discern the voice of the Lord. Every morning when we wake up, we wake up to many kinds of voices that threaten us. Some voices remind us of our sins and make us feel guilty. These voices lead us to forget that we are the forgiven children of God. Some voices make us feel unworthy of living in this world and lure people toward eternal death. Some other voices snatch away our confidence in God, and we like to live in bondage forever.
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;Psalms 29:10-11
the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
May the LORD give strength to his people!
May the LORD bless his people with peace!
Because of the mess created by these unwanted voices, we feel like sinking into the flood and forget that God sits enthroned over the flood. Jesus saved Peter from drowning in the sea by walking on it. Our God is mighty enough to control everything that is threatening us. He is the one who gives strength to the people who realize that their success comes from God.
The Psalmist understood that his strength was the strength of God, and whenever he explained his strength, it addressed the strength of God. We should cultivate the habit of attributing our success to God and learn to praise Him all the time. This understanding will give us peace entirely different from the temporary peace provided by this world.
Take notice, O senseless among the people! O fools, when will you be wise?Psalm 94:8
The above verse warns us not to ignore the voice of God audible through His word, His people, and the Holy Spirit. It urges us to take notice of His voice and obey to acquire the required knowledge one should have about God and His ways.
We have come to share in Christ if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”Hebrews 3:14-15
Later in the New Testament, Holy Spirit reminds us of the destiny of people who did not heed His voice. Every believer in Jesus must hear His Voice to be saved or to remember the voice of conviction that led towards salvation. This knowledge opens us the avenue to share His body.
Father God, silence the voices that lead us away from you and help us hear your voice with clarity by not mistaking it for thunder. Lord be the shepherd of our soul that we may listen to your voice and follow you forever.