Psalm 29 part 1
by John Lowe
Jesus Rides Upon the Storm
July 7, 2014
Psalm 29 (KJV)
Title: He Rides upon the Storm
A psalm of David.
Psalm 29 (KJV)
1 Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon 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 breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
7 The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
8 The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.
10 The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.
11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
1 Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty
“Give unto the Lord,” that is, give (or, render) to Yahweh; or, recognize that He is entitled to what is ascribed to Him here. The word “give” cannot be understood, as it is commonly with us, to denote the imparting to another, or granting to another what he does NOT now possess—for God is always in possession of what is ascribed to Him here.
“O ye mighty”—there are several opinions concerning the identity of the “mighty” which I will share with you:
(1) The angels. In the Hebrew, this is “ye sons of the mighty.” The Hebrew word used here is Eliym, the plural form of one of the names of God—El. The word means “strong, mighty, a mighty one, a hero;” then, “strength, might, power;” and then it is applied to God as “the Mighty One,” the Almighty. In the plural form, the word means “mighty ones, heroes, gods.” The phrase "sons of the mighty" is used only here and in Psalm 89:6—“For who in the heaven can be compared unto the LORD? who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the LORD?” The allusion is undoubtedly to the angels who are in a sense the sons of God, or of the mighty ones, and they are referred to here under that designation as being themselves endowed with power or strength. “Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word” Psalm 103:20. In view of the wonderful exhibitions of God's power which can be seen in the storm—exhibitions far above the power of the most exalted of His creatures, the psalmist calls upon the angels to acknowledge the existence of power so much beyond their own.
The Targum an Aramaic translation, usually in the form of an expanded paraphrase, of various books or sections of the Old Testament also refers this to the angels; there it says, “Give praise before the Lord, ye companies of angels, sons of the Mighty.” Angels are mighty ones, and excel all other creatures in strength; and are the sons of the Mighty, or of God; it is their duty and their business to glorify and to worship Him and his Son Jesus Christ, as they do continually
(2) The princes and great men of the earth. These are those who receive much honor and glory from man; but because they are apt to seek their own glory, and ascribe too much to themselves, they are particularly called upon to give glory to God. Moreover, they have the ability to involve their subjects by their influence and example, to do the same as they do, so they may be included with them; for this is not to be understood as applying to them exclusive of others, as appears from Psalms 96:7-9: “Give unto the LORD, O ye kindreds of the people, give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.”It is proper that the great men of this world should pay their homage to God, and they are bound to do it, not only because, high as they are, He is infinitely above them, and therefore they must bow to him, but because they have received their power from Him, and are to use it for Him, and they owe this tribute of acknowledgment to Him.
(3) All the saints and people of God may be intended, for they are all princes and kings; and may be said to be mighty, especially those who are strong in faith; and these are those who give the most glory to God
(4) The lightning and storm. The poet calls on the grand forces of nature themselves to offer praise to their Divine Master, for the glory they have been commissioned to reveal. It is they who at the beginning and end of this psalm sing the praises of Him, who summoned them to speak to men in His name and make His voice to be heard. “He makes winds his messengers, flames of fire his servants” (Psalm 104:4). Every object we behold calls on us to bless and praise the Lord, who is great. His eternal power and Godhead are clearly shown by the things which he hath made. God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. The Lord Jesus, the Son of his love, is the Light of the world.
“Give unto the Lord,” is a request that is often heard, but here it implies that the mighty men do not consider it their duty to “give to the Lord” and must, with great difficulty, be persuaded to do so. But it is very important to the wellbeing and prosperity of God’s kingdom among men that the mighty ones “Give unto the Lord” whole-heartedly. Jerusalem flourishes when the “kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it” (Rev. 21:24). They are called to “give unto the Lord,” not because He needs anything, or could be benefited by any gifts of ours, nor do we have anything to give him that is not his own already. He is willing, though, to accept as a gift, the recognition of his glory, and of his dominion over us: Give unto the Lord your own selves, and then give Him your services.
Unto the Lord, and unto him alone, must honor be given. Natural causes, as men call them, are God in action, and we must not ascribe power to them, but to the infinite Invisible who is the true source of all power. “O ye mighty.” Ye great ones of earth and of heaven, kings, and angels, join in rendering worship to the blessed and only Potentate; ye lords among men need to be reminded, for you often fail where humbler men are zealous; but fail no longer, bow your heads at once, and dutifully do homage to the King of kings. How frequently do dignitaries and rulers think it beneath them to show respect to the Lord; but, when they have been led to exalt Jehovah, their piety has been the greatest jewel in their crowns.
Give unto the Lord glory and strength
“Glory and strength”—“Majesty and might.” Acknowledge Him as the God of glory; as endowed with power. That is, learn from the manifestations of the power demonstrated in the storm how great is the power and the glory of God.
Give glory to Jehovah the Father, by celebrating the perfections of His nature; by commending the works of His hands, the works of creation; by submitting to His revealed commands; by returning thanks to Him for mercies received, worldly and spiritual; particularly for salvation by Christ, and, above all, for Christ himself; by exercising faith in Him and in the promises contained in His Word; by living to honor His Gospel and to bring honour of His name.
Give glory to the Son of God, by attributing all divine perfections to Him, by attributing salvation to Him, and by trusting in Him alone for it.
Give glory to the Spirit of God, by declaring His deity, by attributing the work of grace and conversion to Him, and by depending upon Him for the completion of the good work already begun.
Give "strength" to each person—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—by acknowledging that power belongs to them, which is seen in creation, redemption, and the effectual calling of sinners; “Give unto the Lord glory and strength;” acknowledge His glory and strength, and praise Him as a God of infinite majesty and irresistible power, and whatever glory or strength He has by His providence entrusted you with offering it to Him in service, to be used for his honor, in his service. Give Him your crowns; let them be laid at His feet; give Him your scepters, your swords, your keys, put all into His hand, that you, in the use of them, may bring glory and praise to His name. Princes and kings value themselves by their glory and strength; they must ascribe these to God, bearing in mind that He is infinitely more glorious and powerful than they. This demand of homage from the mighty must be looked upon as directed either to the dignitaries of David’s own kingdom, the nobles of the realm, the princes of the tribes (and it is for the purpose of motivating them to be more diligent and consistent in their attendance at God’s altars, for he had observed that they had neglected worship), or to the neighboring kings whom David by his sword had made tributaries to Israel and now would persuade them to become tributaries to the God of Israel. Crowned heads must bow before the King of kings. What is here said to the mighty is said to all: Worship God; it is the sum and substance of the everlasting gospel—“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters” (Rev. 14:6, 7).