Theme: The Voice of God
This week’s lessons teach us how and why to praise God, and what will happen for us as we do.
Scripture: Psalm 29:1-11
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.
This is an important biblical theme. We think of the power of the voice of God in creation, for instance. The Bible begins with God speaking, and as a result of his voice the created order springs into being. God said, “Let there be …,” and it was so.
There is also the power of the voice of God as he calls in grace to draw sinners to himself. Spurgeon liked this application and linked it to each phase of the storm’s description. He read about the voice of God breaking the mighty cedars of Lebanon and wrote, “The gospel of Jesus has… dominion over the most inaccessible of mortals, and when the Lord sends the word, it breaks hearts far stouter than the cedars.” He read about the storm’s effect on the mountains and wrote, “The glorious gospel of the blessed God has more than equal power over the rocky obduracy and mountainous pride of man.” He read about the lightning and observed that “flames of fire attend the voice of God in the gospel, illuminating and melting the hearts of men; by these he consumes our lusts and kindles in us a holy flame of ever-inspiring love and devotion.” He observed the progression of the storm to the desert and noted, “Low lying plains must hear the voice of God as well as lofty mountains; the poor as well as the mighty must acknowledge the glory of the Lord.”5
We may also think of the power of the voice of God in judgment. This is probably explicit in the psalm’s final stanza, as we will see.
In the final two verses the storm has passed but God remains as the enthroned King of the universe. The earth may have been shaken as well as the people who live on it, but God is not shaken. He remains as calmly in control as ever, and there is peace for those who are his.
The tone of these final verses reminds us of God’s appearance to Elijah after he had fled into the desert out of fear of Ahab and Jezebel who had threatened to kill him. Elijah was emotionally drained and exhausted. But God told him, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Elijah did, sheltering himself in a cave. The story continues: “Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard the gentle whisper he pulled his cloak over his face and went out from the cave where he had been hiding and met with God” (1 Kings 19:11-13).
What is the chief feature of David’s description of the storm?
From the lesson, list and describe the three areas where we see this feature displayed?
Reflection: Is there anyone in your family, or perhaps a friend, who is not a Christian? Pray for the voice of the Lord to awaken them to faith. How will you seek to be the channel through whom the Holy Spirit may work?
Key Point: In the final two verses the storm has passed but God remains as the enthroned King of the universe. The earth may have been shaken as well as the people who live on it, but God is not shaken. He remains as calmly in control as ever, and there is peace for those who are his.
For Further Study: For a more detailed study of God as the Creator, download for free and listen to James Boice’s message, “God the Creator.” (Discount will be applied at checkout.)
5C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, vol. 1b, Psalms 27-57 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1968), pp. 31, 32.