April 28, 2021
Thank you for your commitment to pray each Wednesday for our prodigals and for revival. As we turn to our God, as we seek His face, and as we focus on Him, something miraculous occurs inside us: we cannot help but praise!
The psalmist David knew what it was to focus on God and praise Him. He wrote these words, Psalm twenty-nine:
"Honor the LORD, you heavenly beings; honor the LORD for his glory and strength. Honor the LORD for the glory of his name.
Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. The LORD thunders over the mighty sea.
The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic.
The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars; the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon’s mountains skip like a calf; he makes Mount Hermon leap like a young wild ox.
The voice of the LORD strikes with bolts of lightning.
The voice of the LORD makes the barren wilderness quake; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD twists mighty oaks and strips the forests bare. In his Temple everyone shouts, 'Glory!'
The LORD rules over the floodwaters. The LORD reigns as king forever. The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace."
This psalm likens the approach of the Lord to a spectacular storm. Thunder crashes. Lightning flashes. The ground trembles. Cedars split apart. Forests burn. Floodwaters surge. And animals flee.
Through the cacophony and chaos, the voices of praise sound forth. Praises ring out in the heavenly realm as they view God’s greatness from above. And praises from the hearts of God’s people as they experience the power and strength of the Lord.
What is notable throughout the whole psalm is the voice of the Lord. His voice is in the storm. His voice is over the storm. His voice is a part of the storm. The language of verse three caught my attention, “The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea. The God of glory thunders. The LORD thunders over the mighty sea.” The mighty waters, literally, “the many waters,” is an expression that refers to what is unruly in creation. “In the Baal-Cycle, the enemy sea-god may also be called ‘god of many waters’” (NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible). It is the epitome of chaotic and demonic forces.
The Lord’s voice has authority over the angry waters! We see this in Mark four - the dark storm, the sudden tempest, the large waves, the near swamping of the boat, and then the voice of Jesus rebuking the wind and speaking to the waves, “Quiet! Be still! Then the wind died down and it was completely calm” (Mk. 4:39). His voice has ultimate power!
This story in Mark four can be seen as an illustration of the sea of life, the storms of life, and the reality that His presence is with us through it all. Through every trial, every sickness, and every storm, He is present and can speak peace into your situation. Sometimes He chooses to stop the storm, like He did with His disciples, but other times, He speaks peace into our hearts while the storm continues to rage.
Psalm twenty-nine closes by saying, “The LORD gives his people strength. The LORD blesses them with peace” (Ps. 29:11). Having the strength to endure hardship and having peace in the midst of adversities are blessings that come alone from God. May they be your portion today.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel