Verse 1 contains a very nice image for what happened, for when David says "you lifted me out of the depths" he chooses a verb which was used of drawing a bucket up out of a well. He is saying that it is as if God reached down and pulled him up out of death's pit when, apart from God, there was no hope for him at all.

From time to time in these studies I have pointed out that there are various types of psalms—the scholars call them genres—and that it is often helpful to remember the type one is dealing with in a specific psalm. Psalm 30 is a thanksgiving psalm. However, it is related to a type of psalm known as a lament, since thanksgiving psalms are usually expressions of praise to God for having heard a lament. In this case, some of the words of the lament are preserved in verses 9 and 10. Thanksgiving psalms are also related to hymns, another genre, since the psalmist's thanksgiving usually takes the form of sung praise.

Elijah’s experience of God’s presence in the gentle whisper is what it is like as we come to the end of Psalm 29. The storm has passed by, and what remains is God himself, as peaceful and as much in control of all things as he has always been. Yet here are two more points.

In looking back over this description of the storm, we notice that its chief feature is "the voice of the LORD," a phrase that occurs seven times. This is not to be overlooked, because it indicates that, although David is describing the majesty of God as it is revealed in a storm, what he is chiefly concerned with is the power of God's voice. And not just thunder. The thunder is only a poetic image for a reality which is infinitely beyond it.

One summer, when my family was young, my wife and I and our children were privileged to spend nearly two months at a chalet partway around the southern edge of Lake Brienz, not far from Interlaken, Switzerland. We were fairly high up the mountainside, so we had a wonderful view over most of Lake Brienz and could even see the edge of Interlaken to our left. The second of the two lakes that meet at Interlaken, the Thunersee, was beyond the city further down the valley.