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 PSALM 29

THE THUNDERSTORM PSALM!

A Psalm of David

Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LESSON 1:

Today we begin a series of Bible Lessons based on Psalm 29. It has been nicknamed by many expositors "The Thunderstorm Psalm." And it really does seem to describe one of those Eastern cloud-bursts that occur so often in the Holy Land. This chapter of Scripture is a meteorological marvel!

The heading of the Psalm simply identifies it with David. They say, "It's of Davidic origin." Really of course the Holy Spirit is the Author, all the Bible being inspired of God.

David, an outdoorsman much of his pre-monarchial life, would have been familiar with the weather patterns of Israel.

In our Bibles the Passage simply opens like this: "Psalm 29, A Psalm of David." That noun "Psalm" is spelled "mizmor" and means a "melody." But it is derived from a verb, "zamar," that pictures a person "plucking or striking something with his fingers." What? The strings of an instrument in this context. This "Psalm" is to be set to music and played before the people of God, as an act of worship!

And the name David? What about that? Ironically spelled just as in English, the Hebrew "David" means "beloved one." It's one of their "love" words! But it is born in the womb of a verb that means "to boil!"

David, who so uniquely loved God, adored His Creator and Redeemer with a love that was passionate, fervent, red-hot! Boiling hot love, and that in the very best sense of the term!

That's why God calls the man "one after Mine Own Heart" in Acts 13:22. King David loved God that much! Also as you know David played stringed instruments! He even invented some of them according to Amos 6:5. He certainly enjoyed worshipping God ... with all his heart!

So here we begin:

A Psalm of David

Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

Join us day by day as we travel through these 11 verses. Let's watch the thunderstorm too, God created as it is, rumble through the countryside. And let's glorify God's Power and Majesty as the lightning flashes and the thunder rolls!

                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2:

Three times in its first two verses Psalm 29 gives us a command. It asks us to "give" something unto the Lord!

"Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness."

Sure sounds like mankind is reluctant to "give" glory to God, doesn't it?

The verb "give" as translated here is the Hebrew verb "yahab," meaning "to ascribe." We are not really adding to God's Glory of course. That's impossible. He is Full and Perfect in all His Essence. He needs nothing to be complete.

We are merely being mandated to "talk" of His Glory! To point out His Glory to others! To think upon it!

Truth be told, the noun "might" or "mighty ones" may not at first be addressing us mere humans! The word is "ben," translated normally as "sons" in the King James Bible, nearly three thousand times. But fifty-one times it's rendered as "first," mighty in that sense.

Angles might even be the target audience here.

Or kings.

Or maybe even the gods of this age!

Entities the world already says are "mighty" being told to brag on God's vastly superior "Might!"

Our God is Almighty!

Tomorrow we'll look more at the specific things, qualities, we are to mention about our Heavenly Father.

We plan to stay in Psalm 29 for a few days, the thunderstorm Psalm.

                                    --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3:

The Lord asks three things for Himself in Psalm 29:1-2. Really, He commands these qualities!

And He particularly requires them from the "mighty" ones of heaven and earth. And our God will have this some day, this "glory and strength and worship!" For Paul reminds us that at a future point in history, "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." Philippians 2:9-11

But what are these three desirable responses God so verbally craves? That He so undoubtedly deserves?

Things that are being denied Him today by the mighty ones of earth!

Here's the list, taken from our Text this week. "Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness." Again, Psalm 29:1-2

Let's define "glory," spelled "kabod" in Hebrew. It suggests "honour and splendor." It's from a root word that means "to be heavy!" To be weighty!

How so? Let God know how much He means to you! How very important He is in your life. How "heavy" His Presence is to your heart and soul! That's giving Him "glory" in a literal sense!

Then comes "strength," in Hebrew "oz." This word of "might" is derived from the little verb "azaz." It means "to prevail, to conquer," used of one who has fought a battle or war ... and won! Our God is King for ever, having never lost a single skirmish!

To ascribe Jehovah great "strength" is to thank Him for never being deficient in any way, including the war between right and wrong! He has never failed to be Victorious! It's like Moses said in Exodus 15:3, or sang really: "The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name."

Then last, God yearns for "worship." And "shachah" means "to bow down, to stoop, to crouch," in an act of obeisance.

So in humility of heart, let's all adore him and praise Him and thank Him and "worship" Him for all He is and for all He has done!

God's three desires here in this Psalm!

"Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness."

May they all be granted!

                                         --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

The Psalm 29 Passage we're studying is amazing. It's describing one of nature's miracles, a thunderstorm.

A recurring phrase "the voice of the Lord" is interpreted by most fundamental teachers to be "thunder," one of the storm's main characteristics. The primary "sound" it makes!

Watch carefully.

Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness. The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn. The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire. The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory. The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever. The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

Seven times, "the voice of the Lord" echoes through the countryside! The motif here is unmistakably obvious.

Notice verse three for a proof text. "The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters." Psalm 29:3

The verb "thundereth" is self-interpreting! In Hebrew this verb, "raam," means "to roar!" Indeed thunder does!

Beyond scientific analysis David here sees His God in the elements. In the weather, in tsunamis and tornadoes too.

Maybe we should view meteorology that way too.

We certainly serve that Great a God!

                                             --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

The 29th Psalm has often been called the "thunderstorm" chapter of the Bible. It does describe one of those massive miracles of nature. Today, Psalm 29 in hand, we will follow the "route" of this downpour.

David eyes it as it develops and drifts northward then eastward. And in each peal of "thunder" the Psalmist hears "the voice of the Lord."

In verse three the storm is born over the "waters." That's west of Jerusalem over the Mediterranean Sea. "The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters."

Then the storm drifts northward to the Country of Lebanon. There the elements make splinters of the mighty cedars for which the area is known. This is verse five. "The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon."

Next the deluge has blown westward. To the wilderness, the desert, where it is subsequently forced south to Kadesh. "The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh."

Then in sort of a grand finale the weather event shifts back north again. To Jerusalem, where God's people have gathered for worship! There they hear the thunder and see the lightning and glorify the Creator and Redeemer of mankind. "The voice of the LORD ... discovereth the forests: and in His Temple doth every one speak of his glory." Psalm 29:9

The full circuit of a thunderstorm!

Followed every mile by David's trained eye!

And both the cloud and the writer are praising God all the way!

Let's join them next time it thunders!

                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6:

The thunderstorm continues! As described by David in Psalm 29. It is being personified, that cyclone of God's Power.

A deluge of rain and a gale of wind and a plethora of lightning and thunder, all praising the Lord!

The Psalm began, if you remember, with God asking for Glory! And seeking words of adoration, particularly regarding His almighty Strength! God here craves worship too!

From the "mighty ones" of heaven and earth!

"Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness." Psalm 29:1-2

But there's a problem, a note of rebellion.

The "mighty" of earth will not obey the Lord. They refuse to worship Him! So do the demonic powers of the air, including Satan apparently.

So God looks elsewhere to find the Respect due His Name.

And a little at first but huge in the end thunderstorm obeys its Creator! The winds and rain and lightning and particularly the "thunder" ascribe to God Glory and Power and Praise!

Look at two or three verbs please.

As the tornado or whatever traverses the Holy Land, trees and animals and other facets of nature "skip" and enjoy the refreshing effects of the storm! They are not afraid! They in fact delight in God's Presence in the turmoil, organized turmoil from the Hand of the Lord!

That verb "skip" is "raqad" in Hebrew and means "to leap and jump" a few times in the Bible, but is primarily translated "dance" in the King James Bible!

Creation dancing in praise to God!

Isaiah has the trees doing this when Jesus comes again. "For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12

Then another verb used twice in Psalm 29 carries the same idea. "Chul" means "to twist, whirl, glide, dance," poetic movement in worship of God the thunderstorm Maker! I'll underline the occasion where "chul" is used, "swaying" in Glory to God! "The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory." Psalm 29:8-9

Now the storm is dancing!

Hebrew is an emotional, picturesque language. The Jews are sweetly emotive people as well.

This fact is evident in Psalm 29.

Everything should praise the Lord!

Weather patterns too!

And just maybe they still do!

Psalm 150:5 says it best as far as we humans are concerned: "Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD."

Amen!

                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

After the thunderstorm has run its course, the one described minutely in Psalm 29, David makes an observation about the Lord.

After all that rain, a deluge apparently: "The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever." Psalm 29:10

God is still in charge!

Nothing has happened through this whole cyclonic event that has changed God's ability to control His universe.

The verb "sitteth" is "yashab" and means "to remain" somewhere, literally "to dwell" there. As King, forever!

God sitting over the flood and reigning reminds me of some Old Testament typology too. Here it is briefly.

The Flood in Noah's Day is a picture of the coming world-wide Tribulation that will engulf the whole earth. At least many of the godly old preachers and teachers of the past believed so.

And a man named Enoch who closely "walked" with God was taken to Heaven, without dying, just before the Flood began! "And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." Genesis 5:24, before the Flood occurs in Genesis 6:17. Just like the Church will be raptured to Heaven, without dying, before the Tribulation begins!

Then God sealed and protected a handful of Jews, Noah and his seven relatives, through the entire Flood! Just like He will seal and protect the Jewish Nation from extinction as they endure the terrors of anti-Christ! In fact, the major purpose of the Tribulation is to prepare Israel to meet her Messiah! To see Jesus and believe on Him! Of course they will survive that seven-year Ordeal and be saved by the Grace of God! "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." Zechariah 12:10 in conjunction with Isaiah 66:8. "Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children."

Yes, God sitteth upon the Flood, for sure!

Think about this little word picture today and praise our great God in Heaven!

                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, CONCLUSION:

As the 29th Psalm comes to an end, it gets sweeter than ever! Its conclusion is far better than its introduction.

At first the Lord is asking the "mighty ones" of heaven and earth, almost for sure all unsaved entities of various kinds, to give Him glory and power and worship! But they refuse, to the last one!

Then comes a middle eastern thunderstorm, praising God with every peal of thunder and flash of lightning, swaying joyfully in the Face of its Creator as it travels the countryside.

God's people, including the Psalmist David of course, join the obedient choir, magnifying the Lord God Almighty.

Then God determines to do something great for His people. For those who are not "mighty" by worldly standards, but are saved by Grace.

"The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace." Psalm 29:11

What God seeks in verses one and two, He gives away in verse eleven!

The verb "give" is "nathan" in Hebrew, meaning "to bestow, to grant, to hand deliver!" And the word is built in such a way as to imply God's constant giving in this manner!

The noun "strength" is "oz" as well, meaning "power to prevail," assured victory over one's enemies!

Then subsequently comes the beautiful move of God translated "will bless." Yes, "barak" means "to kneel down." God actually comes down to our level, us mere humans, and shares with us part of His very Essence. His Goodness and Mercy!

Last, "peace" translates "shalom." It basically means "completeness," lacking nothing! Add now these shades of meaning too: "welfare, soundness, safety, health," and even "prosperity!"

Wow!

What God gives us if we praise and glorify and honor Him!

And worship Him too!

"Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness."

Then: "The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace."

Amen!

                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

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