YOU GIVE / GOD GIVES
"We hear the breeze in its rustling, the rain in its pattering, the hail in its rattling, the wind in its hollow howlings, the cataract in its dash, the bull in his bellowing, the lion in his roar; but we hear God, the Almighty, the Omnipresent, in the continuous peal of Thunder! This sound, and this sound only, becomes the majesty of Jehovah." - Adam Clarke
"Where the word of a king is, there is power, but what imperial voice shall be likened unto the majestic thunder of the Lord?" - Charles Spurgeon
"Experience, too, tells us that those who are most daring in their contempt of God are most afraid of thunderings, storms, and such like violent commotions." - John Calvin
Psalm 29 opens up with a word that is commonly heard among us. It is the word - "give."
When you hear the word - "give" - what initially comes to mind?
Is it not that you are being asked to give a monetary gift for a present need?
In Psalm 29, however, David was not referring to "giving" to a certain need of your fellowman. He was talking about "ascribing" something that is rightfully due to the Lord. His design was to lead all men to worship and reverence Him. Hence, this was an invitation or call to the adoration of the Living God.
It is important to note that David was especially addressing the "princes" - mighty men of the earth, lords among men, those who were intoxicated with their pride...swollen with their own glory...apt to seek their own glory... full of haughtiness...had a false opinion of their own strength...and who were normally backward to this duty.
When men rightfully fulfilled their duty to "give" or ascribe to the Lord His due worship or "glory," then He "gave" something in return. Psalm 29:11 explains - "The LORD will give strength unto His people; the LORD will bless His people with peace." In secular affairs, He would bring prosperity...in enterprises, He would bring success...in the battles of life, He would fortify against every evil work and give victory over all enemies...and in the tempests of life, He would bless with peace.
When God is given His rightful place in men's hearts and lives - when He is given the worship and adoration due His Name - then society as a whole is blessed with "strength" and "peace" - prosperity in affairs and safety from all harm and evil.
What is it exactly that men - especially the mighty men of the earth - are asked to "give" to the LORD?
Psalm 29:1-2 says - "Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto His name..."
Three times - kings, rulers, and leaders are called upon to "give" or ascribe to the LORD all excellence, majesty, and might...to glorify Him as He deserves...to give Him the honor of His Name - which is taken for Himself or His Person.
On what account?
On account of His mighty works - as displayed through the storm.
Psalm 29:3-9 describes - "The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty. 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. The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire. 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..."
Here the mighty men come face-to-face with the "LORD" - Jehovah - the "I AM THAT I AM." Eighteen times, He is addressed in this way - displaying His rulership over the entire world. The "government" is upon His shoulders. All power and dominion stems from Him.
Psalm 29:10 says - "The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever." He is enthroned over the terrible raging of the elements. He governs universal nature. He directs the storm. He rules the most unstable and boisterous of created things. By His sovereign power, He restrains and brings order to all. Every phenomenon is under His control. He presides over all.
"The voice of the LORD" - mentioned seven times - refers to thunder. It peals from on high, surpasses all other sounds, and inspires awe.
"...the God of glory thundereth" - Indeed, it is "powerful" and "full of majesty." Animate nature is terrified by it. There is no sound in nature as tremendous and majestic as thunder. Hence, it is most fitting to represent the voice of God. It is enough to make the highest humble and the proudest tremble.
Job 37:4-5 says - "After it a voice roareth: He thundereth with the voice of His excellency...God thundereth marvellously with His voice..." The clap of thunder is like the roaring of a lion. By it, the Almighty proclaims His transcendent glory, power, terror, greatness, and grandeur.
Psalm 29 delineates the effects of this thunderous "voice" on nature itself -
"breaks the cedars of Lebanon" into shivers - The "cedars" are the loftiest forest trees and the ones of Lebanon are the loftiest of their species. These tall, noble trees fall prostrate or are torn to pieces in the storm.
"maketh them also to skip like a calf" - The aspiring tops and the branches - broken off and torn by the roots - are tossed about by the violent winds.
"divideth the flames of fire" - The clouds are cleared or opened for the passage of the lightning. The forked, zigzag lightning - which is the cause of the thunder - smites houses, trees, cattle, towers, and men.
"shaketh the wilderness" - This vast and desolate region becomes the scene of the display of Divine Power whereby are found terror-stricken animals and a denuded forest.
"maketh the hinds to calve" - This storm brings such consternation insomuch that it strikes terror in the animals - causing them to cast their young.
"discovereth the forests" - The violence of the storm makes trees bare - while beating off its leaves and branches.
After reading all this, is it any wonder that David called for the mighty men to ascribe excellence, majesty, and might to God - "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"?
Bow before Him in the loveliness of spiritual worship...in the beautiful garments of holiness...in the spiritual beauty of inward purity...in holy motives and in a holy manner...in the beautiful sanctuary with holy reverence - bringing no dishonor whatsoever to Divine Majesty.
"...and in His temple doth every one speak of His glory" (Psalm 29:9) - The world is God's residence. Psalm 24:1 confirms - "The earth is the Lord's, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." God's "voice" or thunder fills the whole world - proclaiming His glory and majesty.
All mankind - especially those swollen with their own glory - are invited to "give" to God His due - "the glory due unto His Name" or Person. The result? He - in turn - will give "strength" and "peace" - prosperity, success, victory, and protection.
If men "give" to God His due, then He "gives" His blessing.
Look upon the nations of the world...your country, state, or city...or your church, ministry, home, marriage, or family. Are all involved in "giving" God His due worship?
David aptly pointed out for us the greatness, excellence, majesty, and power of Jehovah - using the thunder storm as an illustration.
Could it be that so many hearts are filled with fear nowadays because they are not ascribing to the LORD what is due Him? Could this be the reason for all the confusion and unrest in the world today?
For when God is rightfully worshipped, it is not hard to see Him as the "LORD sitting upon the flood" or the"LORD sitting King forever" - the One Who has the government upon His shoulders eternally - the One Who has everything under control!
On a personal scale, how are things in your life, home, marriage, family, ministry, church, or business?
Are you "giving" God the "glory" due His Name? Or are you like the rulers - seeking after your own glory or intoxicated with your own pride?
That may be the reason why you have no "strength" or "peace."
God "gives strength" to and "blesses with peace" all those who "speak of His glory" - not their own!
In closing, Calvin is quoted as saying - "It is worse than irrational, it is monstrous, that men are not moved at God's voice, when it has such power and influence on wild beasts."
"Give unto the LORD"
"Give unto the LORD"
"Give unto the LORD"
To all those who "give," He "gives strength" and "blesses with peace."
May God Bless His Word,
© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved
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