Faith · Fatherhood & Faith · Preaching · The Husband

A God of Thunder – He’s Not Silent

Post by the Husband

To watch this message: click  (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcioJyuRrEg)

Psalms 29

29 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,[a]
    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.[b]

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[c]
    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[d] his people with peace!

The Voice

I had a family member lose his voice this year following an operation.

He explained how frustrated he was at work as he couldn’t even make phone calls. His wife was becoming increasingly exasperated with him as he gestured wildly at home and became increasingly frustrated at not being to communicate to her. They were both so grateful when he finally got his voice back. There was a moment in time when he was anxious that he would NEVER get his voice back – it was a frightening prospect.

He was even thinking that he would soon lose his job as he was unable to do a lot of the necessary tasks. 

It is only when you lose your voice that you realise how important it is, how necessary it is for daily existence.

Speech pathologists understand the importance of the voice more than most of us. Your voice is your predominant mode of communication. It also conveys your personality. It is with your voice that you make requests, complain or praise, warn people of danger, express love or hate, or indifference. Your voice is essential part of who you are and with it you are able to interact with the world.

As I read Psalms 29, what was striking was the repetitive use of the words “the voice of the Lord”. It struck me – God has a voice, and he’s using it to communicate to all of us, today.

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The Voice and The Word

As Evangelical Christians, we like to think that we are strong on “the Word”, and perhaps we are to an extent. Many of us will try to memorise passages of Scripture, read parts that are appropriate to our current dilemmas in life and use it to argue with those around us. 

Yet, as Jesus said in Mathew 4:4 when replying Satan – “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God”. Another words, there is the written word, but it came from a voice. Another words, there is an Almighty being that had spoken the word into existence. He is the God of the bible. 

And through the Word of God and by His Spirit, this God is speaking into our world today. 

Psalms 29 is about a God who’s voice is like thunder, and it is considered a “nature psalm”. In those days many of the peoples around Israel were worshipping a “god” called “Baal” who was known as a god of thunder. He was the same “god” that Elijah challenged at Mount Carmel.

When King David wrote this psalm, it was as if to say that the true God is way beyond something like Baal. Unlike Baal God is omnipresent. When the prophets of Baal called out to the “thunder god” – there was no response – so clearly he was not there. In their minds, if there’s no thunder, well, then Baal probably isn’t around. 

Jehovah God, however, is God who creates thunder. Even if there’s no thunder, He is ever present. 

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We may think that Baal isn’t entirely relevant to us these days, after all not many of our friends would worship a statue. But secular society isn’t that far removed from those ancient civilisations. The new “god” now is either the universe itself, or human beings. Another words, creation itself is the creator. Mother nature has taken over from Father God.

It is in this context that the first portion of the Psalm calls out to the “heavenly beings” – to Ascribe glory and strength to God, and to worship in the splendour of his holiness.

The Psalm begins with worship – but not just worship. You see, it’s possible to worship God while folding your laundry or driving your car. That’s all good and necessary too, but what does it mean to worship in the “splendour of his holiness”.

Holiness means “set apart”. If we are to worship God – then there must be times when we are “set apart” too, away from people and things and smart phones! We must be willing to hide away and just meet with the Lord. 

Then the new portion of the Psalms refers to the picture of a storm as it rolls through the Middle East, perhaps past Israel into the Mediterranean sea. 

The voice of the Lord is compared to thunder.

Thunder is powerful. It is unmistakeable. It is loud and everyone around the area can hear it. 

The voice of the Lord is ABOVE the waters. It’s not UNDERWATER – lest we do not hear it. 

The Lord’s voice in this Psalm is an unmistakeable and very easy to hear voice.

Another words, if we would just pay attention – God is speaking – through His word and His Spirit.  

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And yes! God has already spoken on MANY matters. We don’t need to be scratching our heads on many issues that are CLEAR in the bible already. In that sense the voice of God is like thunder that is above many waters. It doesn’t matter what year we are in, which ethnic group you are from, God has spoken clearly on many issues in His word. The word of God is sufficient for living a holy life on the earth. 

What that means is that we do not need to wonder if God has an opinion on moral issues, like marriage, church life, character, the sanctity of life. God’s voice is thunderous if we would only pay attention. 

And unlike human voices and human opinions, God’s voice only speaks what is completely true. Because, by very definition, whatever God says IS TRUE. 

Unlike Humans who can say all sorts of things that are false or that will never happen, God CANNOT lie, and His word is so POWERFUL that it creates things and destroys things. 

 

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