Relax and listen. Consciously prepare to hear God’s Word. Clear your mind of the worries and tasks that lie before you. Open your heart and allow it to refresh.
Psalm 29 (NRSV)
Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name;
worship the LORD in holy splendor.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD causes the oaks to whirl,
and strips the forest bare;
and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
May the LORD give strength to his people!
May the LORD bless his people with peace!
My father was once caught outside in an electrical storm. In a hurry to reach shelter, he ran too close to a fence, and when a bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree, he definitely felt the shock. He suffered no permanent injury, but he steadfastly refused to allow me and my brother to venture near a window or an open door during a thunderstorm.
Eugene Peterson has described the Psalms as a “prayer book that gives us a language adequate for responding to the God who speaks to us.” And Psalm 29 is David’s prayerful response to God during a stormy time. What is “the voice of the Lord” mentioned five times in this psalm? Surely it is the thunder reverberating across the dark sky. The lightning has struck, the storm clouds are flushing flood waters, yet all the time “the Lord sits enthroned” over the universe.
The psalmist, and the storm in the sky outside or in our souls, call us to join the heavenly beings and “ascribe to the Lord” all praise and honor. When the storms of life assail, let us seek shelter, strength, and peace in the God who is ever faithful.
Master of the ever-recurring storms of life, you use every means of nature to get our attention. Show us again your power; reveal your faithfulness to your people. Grant that we may place our fears and hopes in your keeping always. Amen.
Go with God.