Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, June 18th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 29

Ironside's Notes on Selected BooksIronside's Notes

Verses 1-11

In the 29th Psalm we have the majesty of God celebrated. God is looked at here as the Sovereign Ruler of the universe. He has control not only of the hearts of men but also of nature. Everything is subject to Him. I do not know whether there is a finer poem in the Bible than this 29th Psalm. We do not always judge literature aright, but to me this Psalm is one of the loveliest poems that I have ever seen. I wonder whether you have ever noticed what it really is. It starts with an ascription of praise to God and then goes on to a description of a great storm moving in from the Mediterranean Sea and up toward the mountains of Lebanon. David, standing on the porch of his palace, looking out and watching that storm as it rages, realizes that “Jehovah standeth o’er the waterfloods.” “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.” Now you get something that New Testament saints may well enter into, for we cannot get beyond this, “Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.”

As he is contemplating the glory of God, suddenly he hears the thunder roll and sees the lightning flash, and exclaims, “The voice of the Lord is upon the waters.” He is looking out toward the Mediterranean. “The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth.” And now the rain begins to pour down. “The Lord is upon many waters.” And still the thunder rages. “The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.” And now the storm moves on across the plain and up to the mountains of Lebanon, and the great trees crash as the lightning strikes them. “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”-really, a wild ox. As the wind seems to be tearing those great trees and they are swaying back and forth David sees them just like a lot of animals that are driven before the wind. And then as he notes the lightning flashing he cries, “The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire.” Now the storm has moved on to the south and over to the wilderness of Judea, and still he is watching as he cries, “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.” He thinks of the whole universe as a great temple of God. “And in His temple”-in His sanctuary-“doth every one speak of His glory.” That might be rendered, “In His sanctuary everything expresses His glory.” That was true of the tabernacle, and it was true of the temple, these lesser sanctuaries, for everything in them was divinely ordered and every board and every stone and every curtain and every bit of furniture spoke of His glory. As you study the tabernacle or the temple you find that it expresses Christ throughout, for God’s glory is all summed up in Christ.

“The Lord sitteth upon the flood: yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever.” Now the storm is dying away and all nature is quiet again, and David says, “The Lord will give strength unto His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.” What a contrast! The Psalm begins with the rolling thunder, the roaring winds, and the flash of lightning but now all is quiet. It is a wonderful picture of the soul that has gone through its exercises, its stress, its trouble but has learned that God is over all, that He is strong to save. And so the heart rests in Him and is at peace.

Bibliographical Information
Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Psalms 29". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/isn/psalms-29.html. 1914.
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