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God's glory in Psalm 29 (Part 1)

Updated on December 9, 2019

29 Ascribe to the Lord, O 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 holiness.

3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!

What is it about God that you love?

We sing about the glory of God but what is it about God that makes Him glorious? What is it about God that brings you to church this morning?

We all have different ideas of what we think makes God glorious. We come to church expecting different things from God and everything is good when God delivers, we think He’s glorious. But if He doesn’t deliver, then maybe He’s not as good as we make him out to be.

Psalm 29

What we have in this psalm is a picture of the glory of God.

The psalm starts in verse 1 and 2:

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

I had to look this up the dictionary myself. But to ascribe means to see, or to regard. To get it into our heads that God is glorious. But what is glory? Is that soccer team in Perth?

What is the glory of God? What makes God glorious? Answer: His voice. 7 times throughout the Psalm we are told of the voice of the Lord. It’s clear what the Psalm is telling us: God’s glory is in His voice.

God's glory is in His voice

Let’s look at it together from verse 3.

3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

You might remember the last time the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. It was in Genesis 1, at the creation of the world. There, the Spirit of God hovered over the waters, and God said let there be light. The voice of the Lord thundered, and the world exploded into being. God’s glory is in His voice.

Imagine everything happening at the sound of your voice. It’s like my children, they just go MILK, and a glass of milk just appears in their hand. I’m like wow! If I go PIZZA, or SLIPPERS, nothing happens. I can’t figure it out. I even asked my wife about it and she’d just roll her eyes. Clearly, she doesn’t know either.

At the sound of God’s voice, everything we see came into existence.

But the voice of the Lord doesn’t just create, it destroys. Have a look at verse 5-6.

5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

Cedar trees in Lebanon were renowned for their massive size and strength. My second most favourite place in WA after Mt Barker is Pemberton where there are these huge trees that serve as a fire watch. Yes, I would like everyone to know that I made it all the way up.

Now imagine standing at the foot of the Gloucester tree and someone comes and shushes you saying keep your voice down, you might break the tree. That’s crazy.

Well, this psalm is telling us that the voice of the Lord breaks the cedars. God’s voice makes a 60m tree just as fragile as a sleeping baby. Anyone with little kids will know, when they’re sleeping you better be as quiet as possible. Well, God’s voice can erase a mountain just as easily as we can wake up a baby. God’s glory is in His voice.

But there’s more. Verse 7:

7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

Kadesh is the place where Israel camped after Mt Sinai. It’s where they grumbled about being thirsty. We were slaves in Egypt, but at least we had water to drink. It’s where Israel stood looking into the promised land and said, too hard, I quit.

And this was after God led them through the wilderness with a pillar of fire. Remember? The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire. It lit up the night sky and led Israel through the wilderness.

Over and over again, people complain, grumble, we doubt God, and we sin. But God speaks into our life and He shakes the wilderness like you shake someone awake and say LISTEN. Can’t you hear it? God’s glory is in His voice.


7 times we are told about the voice of the Lord in this psalm. But if we look closely, we notice something even more astonishing.

Verse 3 – the voice of the Lord is over the waters; the Lord, over many waters.

Verse 5 – the voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

Verse 8 – the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

Notice how the Psalm switches back and forth between the voice of the Lord and the Lord himself? It’s almost as if they are one and the same. It’s almost as if the Word was God. What’s the point?

The point is that God does His Work through His Word.


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