These notes are based on the NASB text.
What is the background of Psalm 29?
In Psalm 8 and 19 David expressed his awareness of the presence of God in nature. In Psalm 8, David was inspired by the calm night sky to write of the person and work of God. In Psalm 19, he was moved by the testimony of the sun and the heavens. In Psalm 29, David saw and acknowledged God’s presence, power, and majesty in a great storm.
29:1 Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty,
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
29:2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in holy array.
This vivid and majestic Psalm of praise to the awesome power of God begins with a call to worship. David called upon the “sons of the mighty” (either a reference to angels or rulers or devout worshipers of God) to give God the credit he is due and to worship Him. Men should recognize and acknowledge the glory and power of God.
Practical Consideration: Christian men should make it their aim to glorify God.
God is worthy of glory and honor and worship. Christian men should make it their aim to glorify God in all they are and do. Men who give themselves to such a noble end will find themselves with less time to devote to selfish and petty ends.
29:3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
The God of glory thunders,
The Lord is over many waters.
29:4 The voice of the Lord is powerful,
The voice of the Lord is majestic.
29:5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
Yes, the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
29:6 And He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
And Sirion like a young wild ox.
29:7 The voice of the Lord hews out flames of fire.
29:8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
The Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
29:9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer to calve,
And strips the forests bare,
And in His temple everything says, “Glory!”
These verses declare the might and glory of God as displayed in the thunder and storm. God’s voice is indeed powerful and majestic. It is heard out at sea above the roar of the waves, declaring His sovereignty over the sea. The voice of the Lord is heard and His majesty seen in the storm that moves across the land with an awesome display of power. The picture seems to be of a hurricane.
In the beginning of the Psalm, the “sons of the mighty” are called upon to “ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.” At the conclusion of the Psalm, David called upon the inhabitants of the earth to acknowledge the glory and strength of God. All those in heaven and earth should ascribe glory to God. The response of “Glory!” is an acknowledgment that the storm is not just a meaningless or hostile force, but the voice of the Lord and an expression of His majesty.
Practical Consideration: We should live our lives with an awareness of the awesome power of God.
Too often, we live our lives as though God were impotent and without strength or resources to help His people. Too often, we lose sight of God’s omnipotence in the midst of the pressures and stress of daily living. We easily forget that God is more than capable of helping us to deal with anything that we encounter in life. Our God is an awesome God. Jeremiah wrote, “Ah Lord God! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee” (Jeremiah 32:17).
29:10 The Lord sat as King at the flood;
Yes, the Lord sits as King forever.
29:11 The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace.
God’s power is here shown to be an instrument of judgment, as in the flood. He sits enthroned forever. His dominion will know no end. God’s people, however, can know his peace in the midst of the storm.
Practical Consideration: God can help His people cope with any emergency.
God, whose awesome power and majesty is displayed in the fiercest storm, can strengthen His people and bless them with peace in the midst of any storm. God, who is Lord over the elements, can enable His people to cope and deal with the things that come against them.