Psalm 29 ~ The Lord Thunders Over the Mighty Waters

29

Recite the first two verses of this psalm out loud, the first time in a whisper and the second time in full voice using the full power of your diaphragm.

Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty one, 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. (vv 1-2)

This psalm, in its structure and prose, demands to be fully voiced. The call to worship and praise found in these introductory verses practically rings the kind of praise that we feel in our hearts but rarely have the courage to voice. Compare it to the tepid “Good morning, how’s everybody doin’” that serves as the call to worship in so many churches and it leads you to wonder what would happen if someone got up and belted this out.

In fact, continue to read and you’ll find your blood rising and heart beating harder as the volume and power rise in your head.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; 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.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. (vv 3-4)

Why not also close the service with the closing affirmation:

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. (vv 10 – 11)

Amen

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The Shock of Gideon’s Turn

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Reading the Gideon cycle in Judges we find ourselves at an unexpected turn after his victory in war. Rather than the hero we are led to expect who transcends his fearfulness and forges forward in trust, we find instead a normal person.

Maybe, a person more like ourselves than we are willing to admit.

What catches us off guard is how quickly Gideon forgets his Yahweh ordained purpose. God did not call on him to destroy parts of Pineil or administer the whipping that the men of Succoth endured; he performed both of these actions out of his own desire for revenge. The Israelites will respond in much the same way as we turn the page. Rather than turning to the Lord in their desire for leadership, they cry out for Gideon to lead them as their ruler. Is there hope for Gideon?

We can benefit today by meditating on the words of a later leader.

Psalm 3

O Lord, how many are my foes!

How many rise up against me!

Many are saying of me,

“God will not deliver him.” Selah

But you are a shield around me, O Lord;

you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.

To the Lord I cry aloud,

and he answers me from his holy hill. Selah

I lie down and sleep;

I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.

I will not fear the tens of thousands

drawn up against me on every side.

Arise, O Lord!

Deliver me, O my God!

Strike all my enemies on the jaw;

break the teeth of the wicked.

From the Lord comes deliverance.

May your blessing be on your people.