Psalm 29 (NIV)
1 Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes
with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.
This psalm celebrates the power and grandeur of the voice of the Lord. Seven is the number of perfection, and so Psalm 29 portrays the sevenfold glory of the voice of the Lord. The psalmist surveys the whole of creation—land, sea, and sky—and wherever he turns he witnesses the power of God’s word. The voice of the Lord is over the waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful. The voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars. The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the Lord shakes the desert. The voice of the Lord twists the oaks. What a powerful and poetic celebration of God’s word!
This is why we can sing with the psalmist, “Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength” (v. 1). This is why all in his temple cry, “Glory!” (v. 9). We capture glimpses of this glory as Jesus walks on the water, and as he stills the angry sea. We hear this voice afresh when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead and cast out demons. We hear it again when the risen and ascended Lord declares, “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades” (Rev. 1:17–18). Indeed, the full weight of the glory of God’s voice is heard in the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. His voice became enfleshed in Jesus Christ. In him, God’s voice is fully revealed and heard.