Meditations on the Psalms – Week 2: Psalm 29 – Hymn

Stewart Fenters Devotional, Meditations on the Psalms

Welcome to Meditations on the Psalms! If you haven’t done so already, take a look at last week’s blog post that describes what we are doing for the next five weeks. There’s also some practical information about how to best use this time.

Our Psalm for this week is Psalm 29, classified as a hymn. This would be a particularly good example of a psalm that is best experienced read out loud because the poetic quality and repetition. The phrase “the voice of the Lord” is repeated seven times, and we get an awesome glimpse of the power of God’s voice throughout David’s description.

As I read and pray this psalm, I’m reminded of God’s intimate interaction with his created world. David’s language reminds us of tangible and ordinary things: waters, thunder, cedars (trees), fire, wilderness, and wildlife giving birth. It is subtle reminder that God not only has the power to do anything he wants, he engages with us in the most ordinary and common ways. You may ask, “With such a thundering voice, why don’t I hear God like I think I should?” I believe the answer lies in that we don’t spend enough time listening for and to the voice of God. Like anything worthwhile, listening takes practice.

So as you are praying and reflecting on this psalm throughout the week, take some additional time to sit and listen. And as you go throughout the day, keep your ears and heart open to the ways that God make be communicating in quiet ways. And as we listen and spend time with the Lord, we are led further into “ascribing to the Lord the glory due his name.”

 

Psalm 29 (ESV)

Ascribe to the Lord Glory

A Psalm of David.

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,[a]
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.[b]

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
    the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
    and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
    the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth[c]
    and strips the forests bare,
    and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
    the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!
    May the Lord bless[d] his people with peace!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 29:1 Hebrew sons of God, or sons of might
  2. Psalm 29:2 Or in holy attire
  3. Psalm 29:9 Revocalization yields makes the oaks to shake
  4. Psalm 29:11 Or The Lord will give… The Lord will bless

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Permanent Text Edition® (2016). Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Read the rest of the Meditations on the Psalms series.