Exhortation to give glory to God.
- The mighty and honourable of the earth are especially bound to honour and worship him; but, alas, few attempt to worship him in the beauty of holiness. When we come before him as the Redeemer of sinners, in repentance faith, and love, he will accept our defective services, pardon the sin that cleaves to them, and approve of that measure of holiness which the Holy Spirit enables us to exercise. We have here the nature of religious worship; it is giving to the Lord the glory due to his name. We must be holy in all our religious services, devoted to God, and to his will and glory. There is a beauty in holiness, and that puts beauty upon all acts of worship. The psalmist here sets forth God's dominion in the kingdom of nature. In the thunder, and lightning, and storm, we may see and hear his glory. Let our hearts be thereby filled with great, and high, and honourable thoughts of God, in the holy adoring of whom, the power of godliness so much consists. O Lord our God, thou art very great! The power of the lightning equals the terror of the thunder. The fear caused by these effects of the Divine power, should remind us of the mighty power of God, of man's weakness, and of the defenceless and desperate condition of the wicked in the day of judgment. But the effects of the Divine word upon the souls of men, under the power of the Holy Spirit, are far greater than those of thunder storms in the nature world. Thereby the stoutest are made to tremble, the proudest are cast down, the secrets of the heart are brought to light, sinners are converted, the savage, sensual, and unclean, become harmless, gentle, and pure. If we have heard God's voice, and have fled for refuge to the hope set before us, let us remember that children need not fear their Father's voice, when he speaks in anger to his enemies. While those tremble who are without shelter, let those who abide in his appointed refuge bless him for their security, looking forward to the day of judgment without dismay, safe as Noah in the ark.
Psalms 29:1-11 . Trust in God is encouraged by the celebration of His mighty power as illustrated in His dominion over the natural world, in some of its most terrible and wonderful exhibitions.
1. Give--or, "ascribe" ( Deuteronomy 32:3 ).
mighty--or, "sons of the mighty" ( Psalms 89:6 ). Heavenly beings, as angels.
2. name--as ( Psalms 5:11 , 8:1 ).
beauty of holiness--the loveliness of a spiritual worship, of which the perceptible beauty of the sanctuary worship was but a type.
3. The voice of the Lord--audible exhibition of His power in the tempest, of which thunder is a specimen, but not the uniform or sole example.
the waters--the clouds or vapors ( Psalms 18:11 , Jeremiah 10:13 ).
4. powerful . . . majesty--literally, "in power, in majesty."
5, 6. The tall and large cedars, especially of Lebanon, are shivered, utterly broken. The waving of the mountain forests before the wind is expressed by the figure of skipping or leaping.
7. divideth--literally, "hews off." The lightning, like flakes and splinters hewed from stone or wood, flies through the air.
8. the wilderness--especially Kadesh, south of Judea, is selected as another scene of this display of divine power, as a vast and desolate region impresses the mind, like mountains, with images of grandeur.
9. Terror-stricken animals and denuded forests close the illustration. In view of this scene of awful sublimity, God's worshippers respond to the call of Psalms 29:2 , and speak or cry, "Glory!" By "temple," or "palace" (God's residence, Psalms 5:7 ), may here be meant heaven, or the whole frame of nature, as the angels are called on for praise.
10, 11. Over this terrible raging of the elements God is enthroned, directing and restraining by sovereign power; and hence the comfort of His people. "This awful God is ours, our Father and our Love."