The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders; the LORD is heard over many waters.
Job 26., 28., 38.; Isaiah 40.; Psalm 104., 19., 147., and that in the psalm before us now, which rises to the very noblest heights of Hebrew poetry, in its symmetry and grandeur. Bishop Perowne (who acknowledges his obligations to Ewald therein) has a most interesting introduction to this psalm, in which he points out the beauty of its structure, as in its grand description of a tempest it shows the storm at its height of majesty, and then in its subsidence to comparative calm. And, verily, even on this lower ground of poetic beauty, he would be by no means to be envied who could read it without a strange commingling of rapture, wonder, and awe. We seem to hear the roll of the ocean, to listen to the pealing thunder, to watch the flash of the lightning, the crashing of the trees of the forest, the heaving of the mountains, as if they were loosed from their foundations by an earthquake, Lebanon and Sirion leaping as wild creatures free from all restraint. But while it is to the descriptions of all this grandeur and majesty that some expositors chiefly call our attention, neither nature's grandeur nor majesty is the main topic of the psalm. By no means; but rather the glory of HIM whose dominion extendeth over all! In the eye of the psalmist, all the forces of nature are under one sceptre; that sceptre is wielded by one hand; that hand is moved by one heart, even that of our redeeming God. Such is the theme before us.
I. HERE POWER IN VARIED MANIFESTATIONS IS TRACED TO ONE SOURCE. There are five thoughts which are presented cumulatively.
1. Power in nature's works and wonders specially as shown in storm and tempest, lightning and thunder, earthquake and mountain wave. Note: The larger our knowledge of natural science, the more capable shall we be of discoursing with interest, delight, and profit to others on these "wonderful works of God."
2. Power in providential administration. (Ver. 10.) "The Lord sat enthroned at the flood." This word rendered "flood" is the one applied to the Deluge of Noah, and only so applied. Hence it seems to include the specific thought that over and above all merely natural disclosures of power, there is a moral enthronement, whereby natural phenomena are made subservient to moral ends. Not only is every atom kept in harness, but the collocation of atoms is subsidiary to the discipline of souls.
3. There is gracious loving-kindness towards his own people. (Ver. 11.) "His people." There are those in the world marked off from the rest by tokens known to God alone. They are his, having "made a covenant with him by sacrifice" (Psalm 50:5). And with reference to them, there is a grace marvellous in its tenderness. The same Being who can thunder most loudly can also whisper most sweetly, and can also give out blessings to his own.
(2) Peace. While the fiercest storm is raging without, God can and does give us peace within; a peace which becomes richer and fuller, till it is exceedingly abundant "above all we can ask or think." It is "the peace of God, passing all understanding" (John 14:27; Philippians 4:6, 7; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:14).
4. He who thus rules in nature, providence, grace, is the everlasting King. (Ver. 10.) "King for ever! 'The sceptre of universal power will never drop from his hands, nor will he ever transfer it to another (Psalm 97:1). The hand that upholds all will never become weary. The eye that watches all will never droop with fatigue. The arms that clasp believers in their embrace will never relax their hold. The voice that whispers, "Peace!" will never be stilled in death. The love that enriches with blessing will never be chilled. "King for ever!"
5. He who is this everlasting King is our redeeming God. The usual term for God as the God of nature is "Elohim" (Genesis 1:1). But here we are reminded that the God who thunders in the heavens and controls the swelling seas; that he who guides the forked lightning, is "Jehovah," the "I am that I am," the Lord who has thus revealed himself to his people as their God. And the great Ruler of nature is he who exercises loving-kindness, righteousness, and judgment in the earth, in order that he that glorieth may glory in the Lord.
II. SUCH THOUGHTS OF GOD MAY WELL EVOKE GRATEFUL SONG. They know not how much of gladness and inspiration they lose who cannot see God everywhere. To see law everywhere and God nowhere would be enough to crush us. To see God everywhere working by law inspires rest and joy: our "Father is at the helm." Note: Since we have such disclosures of God, we have:
1. Unity in diversity. The seemingly complicated question of" the origin of force " is settled once for all by the man who sees God. And this privilege is reserved for "the pure in heart" (Matthew 5:8).
2. Since one God is over all, natural phenomena as well as providential incident may be made fuel for the religious life. A thunderstorm may aid worship.
3. Since one Being is the Origin of all kinds of force, prayer for natural blessings and temporal mercies is perfectly reasonable; e.g. prayer for rain. It is quite true that prayer and rain lie in totally distinct spheres. But since the same Being who hears one sends the other, the spheres find their unity at his throne.
4. Since the God who governs all is One whom we know, we may read and sing of glory under all circumstances and everywhere. (Ver. 9.) "In his temple every whir of it uttereth glory; "or, "In his temple every one says, Glory!" Yes; we may triumph everywhere since our God is "King for ever!"
5. Holy awe may well combine with triumph, and loyalty with praise. For God "sits enthroned" - such is the sublime figure suggested here. And "his people" though we are by grace, his absolute sovereignty must never be forgotten by us (ver. 2); ever must we give unto the Lord "the glory due unto his Name," and "worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness" - in holy attire, even in the "fine linen which is the righteousness of saints" (Revelation 19:8), "having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22).
6. Amid all natural convulsions and national upheavings, let confidence and hope remain undisturbed. "King for ever!" Then, however gloomy the outlook of events, nothing can happen beyond the bounds of Divine control, nothing which he cannot make subservient to the inbringing of his everlasting kingdom. "Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea" (Psalm 46:2). - C.
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters.
I. AFFLICTIONS ARE COMPARED TO "WATERS," "billows, .... deep waters." And these may come upon the Church at large through hatred of the truth by Papists, Arminians and Socinians and others. And upon private persons, through temporal trials and persecutions. But these are other waters, blessed ones, such as told of in Ezekiel 47.
II. THE LORD'S VOICE ON THESE WATERS. It is an overruling and comforting voice, in waters of affliction: of conviction, comfort and direction, in the waters of the sanctuary.
III. THE ATTENTION DEMANDED TO SUCH A VOICE. Listen for it more than to any other whether persecutor or preacher. Supernatural joy comes from listening to the Lord's voice. Have you all heard it? If not, may it awaken you now.
The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
I. ESSENTIALLY; it must be so. Think whose voice it is. How God's voice is full of majesty because —
1. It is true.
3. Very powerful. "Let there be light, and there was light."
4. And because God's voice is His Word, and His Word was His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. ALWAYS. God's voice, like man's, has various tones, but it is always full of majesty.
1. Let the tone be what it may, whether harsh as in threatening, or sweet as when consoling, or august as when commanding. "Speak to the children of Israel, that they go forward." And at the Resurrection of the dead, and at the Judgment Day.
2. And in all the different degrees of its loudness. Some calls of God are loud, others gentle but all majestic.
3. And in all its mediums. The meanness of a speaker for God does not hinder this.
III. IN ITS EFFECTS.
1. It is a breaking voice. "The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars." The proudest and most stubborn sinner is broken before Him.
2. Moving. "He maketh them (the mountains) also to skip like a calf." No mountain of error, falsity, or sin can stand unmoved when He speaks.
3. Dividing. "Divideth the flames of fire." Where God's Word is faithfully preached it is ever a dividing power.
4. Shaking "shaketh the wilderness." God's Word does this in men's hearts.
5. Bringing forth — "maketh the hinds to calve." So God's Word makes the soul bring forth holy desire and joy, and whatever a man has in him it has to come forth.
6. Discovering — "discovereth the forests." Hypocrites hide, but God discovers them. Oh, listen to His voice bidding you believe and be saved.
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
I. CONSIDER THE MODES IN WHICH GOD SPEAKS TO MAN.
1. Through Nature — see this psalm,
2. Through the dispensations and in the government of Providence.
3. Through His revealed truth, and —
4. Chief of all, through His Son.
II. THE ATTRIBUTES BY WHICH THESE COMMUNICATIONS ARE PROMINENTLY DISTINGUISHED — Power and Majesty. Consider —
1. The glory of His nature from whom they proceed.
2. The contents of the communications themselves. They speak of the Divine perfections and chiefly of God's method of redeeming sinful man.
3. The issues in which attention to, or neglect of, these communications is to terminate. They are identified with the destinies of man's deathless soul.
III. THE TRIBUTE WHICH THESE COMMUNICATIONS MADE BY GOD TO MAN IMPERATIVELY REQUIRE.
3. Prayer for ourselves and for our fellow-men. How, then, shall you who are despising these communications of God answer it in the great day of Judgment? Oh, come to Jesus now.
LinksPsalm 29:3 NIV
Psalm 29:3 NLT
Psalm 29:3 ESV
Psalm 29:3 NASB
Psalm 29:3 KJV
Psalm 29:3 Bible Apps
Psalm 29:3 Parallel
Psalm 29:3 Biblia Paralela
Psalm 29:3 Chinese Bible
Psalm 29:3 French Bible
Psalm 29:3 German Bible
Psalm 29:3 Commentaries