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Welcome to Grace!
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD is enthroned as King for ever.
11 The LORD gives streng...
Psalm 29
• Introduction
Psalm 29
• Introduction
Psalm 29
• Introduction
• Appeal, vv. 1-2
“Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strengt...
Psalm 29
• Introduction
• Appeal, vv. 1-2
• Meditation, vv. 3-9
Psalm 29
• Introduction
• Appeal, vv. 1-2
• Meditation, vv. 3-9
– God is over the waters, v. 3
“The voice of the LORD is o...
Psalm 29
• Introduction
• Appeal, vv. 1-2
• Meditation, vv. 3-9
– God is over the waters, v. 3
• ‘The waters in ANE litera...
Psalm 29
• Introduction
• Appeal, vv. 1-2
• Meditation, vv. 3-9
– God is over the waters, v. 3
– God is over the forests, ...
Psalm 29
• Introduction
• Appeal, vv. 1-2
• Meditation, vv. 3-9
– God is over the waters, v. 3
– God is over the forests, ...
Psalm 29
• Introduction
• Appeal, vv. 1-2
• Meditation, vv. 3-9
– God is over the waters, v. 3
– God is over the forests, ...
Psalm 29
• Introduction
• Appeal, vv. 1-2
• Meditation, vv. 3-9
– God is over the waters, v. 3
– God is over the forests, ...
Psalm 29
• Introduction
• Appeal, vv. 1-2
• Meditation, vv. 3-9
– God is over everything, vv. 3-8
– And the exercise of Hi...
Psalm 29
• Introduction
• Appeal, vv. 1-2
• Meditation, vv. 3-9
• Worshipping the Great King, vv. 10-11
“The LORD sits ent...
Psalm 29
• Introduction
• Appeal, vv. 1-2
• Meditation, vv. 3-9
• Worshipping the Great King, vv. 10-11
• Conclusion
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Psalm 29 aw esome song

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Outline of today's sermon on Psalm 29 ...celebrating the awesomeness of the very voice of God!
Check the video on our Grace Rural Chaplaincy YouTube channel here:http://www.youtube.com/user/GraceWalesOnline

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  • Why are there so many scandals in the church?Why is there so much superficiality in evangelicalism, so much nominalism, so much narcissism?Why is there so much inappropriate use of the word ‘awesome’?I want to suggest to you today that there is so much ‘awesome’ often largely because there is so little AWE … so little standing back and appreciating the awesome GLORY of our God.And today’s soul song from the book of Psalms is an AWESOME song, a song of awe.And if you are already thinking ‘I know I should but I don’t FEEL in awe of God’ or ‘I don’t know how to feel the awesomeness of God’ … just hang on a minute, because the Psalmist is about to SHOW you …Now, it is really important to know the context to this Psalm … it is HUGELY the product of its time, so expect references to the hostile pagan world in which it is set, because it is 100% making points against the worldview of the pagan peoples around it.It is 100% about the awesome sovereignty, reign and rule of Israel’s God.There’s a very clear reason for this … that’s because the Psalm is absolutely full of God.You like pictures?
  • The BIG stress there is on the holy name of the covenant-keeping God.All those unfortunate effects inn the life of the Church that we started with can only arise when the Name of the Covenant Keeping God slips away from being large at the centre of the screen.YHWH … big up front centre – crucial … and He IS in this psalm!Next comes the word קול qowlwhich means ‘the voice’ … in this case the voice of GodThen comes the word for ‘to God’ … as in ‘ascribe to the Lord’ … so it’s God being worshipped.Then comes הָבוּhaben… ‘sons of’ … it’s used of people and animals and I’m not clear why it’s numerical proliferation would be significant.Next … perhaps MUCH more significantly comes the word כבוד kabowd … Glory.The Psalm is all about the awesomeness of the voice of God and worshipping Him for that.Glory!It’s a huge word.It’s a Heavenly word, and it’s been a popular, heavily used word at times when people have drawn particularly close to the awesome God of Scripture.So, the Psalm begins … most commentators reckon most probably in a worship setting … with a full on appeal to the heart …
  • The major concerns of this appeal are (colour-coded) plain and obvious then, aren’t they?I know that in the NIV the appeal is directed to ‘you heavenly beings’ … but the Hebrew has ‘you sons of God’ … so what’s going on?We’re away into the thought world of the people surrounding Israel … without buying into the pagan articles of faith, their language and their mythology is being plundered.Is that wrong?Well, if we’ve got a problem with relating to the language of pagan people we’ve definitely got a problem with both God and His Word … let’s face it, He is the One Who taught the principle of ‘plundering the Egyptians’ to the Israelites at the birth of their nation on the eve of the Exodus from Egypt!He is CERTAINLY not a God to subscribe to the idea of there being pagan money (because the silver and the gold are actually His anyway!) nor of there being pagan language … but that’s anther story.What’s happening here is that an expression and an idea from Ugaritic texts is being hijacked and filled with Biblical meaning.In Ugarit they referred to their pagan deities belonging to the Divine Council … all sitting around in Heaven advising the great king of Heaven.Now, in the Bible there is no pantheon of deities, because the faith of the Bible is that there is only one God represented in three united but distinct persons, nonetheless what seems to be happening here at the beginning of Ps. 29 is that those who DO stand in the Council of Israel’s God (so we’re talking angels here) are being called upon to ‘ascribe’ greatness to Israel’s one true living God.The ‘who’ in this Ancient Near Eastern (ANE) context is the heavenly beings.What they are to do is to ‘ascribe’ His leading qualities to God … and as the worshippers urge the highest of beings to do this they join in the worship of Israel’s God.Why do they ask the heavenly beings to worship this awesome God?When WE come to worship God using OUR songs we have a tendency to put ourselves in the position of saying what WE want to do in worship … “Take the shackles off my feet so I can danceI just wanna praise youI just wanna praise youYou broke the chains now I can lift my handsAnd I'm gonna praise youI'm gonna praise you …”But here what’s happening is that other superior beings are being called upon to worship this awesome God by those who themselves have the clear intention of drawing near God to worship.Why?It looks as if the reason is implicit from the outset … these heavenly beings are being called upon to worship this awesome God because in the presence of the awesome LORD HUMAN beings sense their inadequacy, insufficiency and SIN!The heavenly beings are the ones who are ABLE to worship the Lord ‘in the splendour of His holiness’ … we are NOT!The Hebrew there is: בְּהַדְרַת־קֹֽדֶשׁbehaderahqodeshIt means ‘in holy array’ or ‘in robes of righteousness’ … or something of that sort.It’s an idea the worshippers using this Psalm up at the Temple might identify with because they put on special ‘cleansed’ garments to go up to the Temple at the end of their dusty, sweaty journey up to Jerusalem to worship.This OT psalmist is aware of two crucial issues here … he is conscious of the inadequacy of sinful, soiled garment humans to adequately represent the excellence of God … but he is also conscious of the imperative of praise being raised to this awesome, splendid God.If the glorious beings of Heaven would only step in!Do you notice two things here?He knows God must be praised because of the greatness of His Glory … if you don’t see that yourself you are really a few bob short of any understanding of the glory of our God.Secondly the Psalmist knows that sin-spotted human beings are simply not up to this job.The only hope is that SOMEONE should act as mediator.And he hasn’t yet – in the unfolding of God’s ultimate plan and purpose – quite worked out just Who it will be!So, should we avoid worshipping God directly because WE are unworthy?NOT so!Because we know that grace, faith and regeneration have clothed us in the righteousness of Christ and fitted us to be able to go to ‘worship direct’ by way of Calvary’s hill and do this deed ourselves!What does the worship he longs to see rendered consist of?It’s this word ‘ascribe’ that crops up here with fierce intensity … three times in Hebrew, three times in NIV … ‘Do it, do it, DO IT!’ THE PSALMIST SEEMS TO SAY!He is PASSIONATE about the urgency of the worship of this thoroughly awesome God Who MUST be praised!In fact, as Derek Kidner points out in his little commentary on Psalms … “Both of the main notes of true adoration are heard here in the words ascribe (or ‘give’) and worship (or ‘bow down’), for the former enlists the mind- indeed ‘hearts and hands and voices’- to declare the greatness of God, while the latter enlists the will to take the humble attitude of a servant.”What is to be ascribed or credited to God in worship on this occasion?Two particular things … a greater concentration on which might also strengthen our prayer and praise lives:GloryStrengthWell, the Glory of His Name refers to the explicit revelation of Who He is, a revelation given to His servants through His words and His works.But in this Psalm there’s a huge concentration on His words … or at least on His voice … which is the big emphasis of the main section, vv. 3- 9.Here it comes … and this is the awe-inspiring bit!
  • Here’s where the mind gets FOCUSSED on the things about God that give rise to an appreciation of His glory.You’ve got to focus!BTW … did anyone see my ‘WelshRev’ blog this week?It’s about lion taming.There was a chap called Clyde Beatty who discovered that the way to stay alive in the cage with the lions was not to wield a big whip … that was just there for the benefit of the paying public!The key to taming the lion is not the whip but the chair, and absolutely not because chairs are big strong objects good at pushing lions away.What Clyde discovered was this: while the audience focused on the whip, the lion tried to focus of the legs of the chair … all four at once … and with its focus divided the lion became confused and unsure. It would freeze and not commit to any clear action. Four legs paralysed him with too many options!What WE need to do is to identify the big issue and focus our gaze there.If your thoughts are never on God and His works … He Himself … then your thoughts are never going to be on His awesomeness.If you are struggling with this thought that we OUGHT to be in awe of Him because we KNOW He is deep down awesome but we don’t ever seem to encounter much of a sense of that, then you need to ask serious questions of quite where it is that your mind is spending time.‘Meditate!’ says this worship leader … fix your mind on something and gaze quietly, attentively, thoughtfully … PONDER!It is NEVER a waste of time to stop, gaze and PONDER on the works of God!But ponder what?
  • So here comes one of those very common words from our Wordle analysis … קֹול־יְהוָה qowl YHWH …It is the ‘mere’ … sheer … VOICE of God that is over it all.Now this is important, as we’ll see in a minute.Yes GOD is over the waters … but not His sweat and effort, but His mere command, His voice, His Word of command, does it all.Man does that get important in the New Testament!But I digress …Let’s be clear what’s going on here.Somebody asked me at the Llandeilo Show last week a deep theological question, to which I gave a slightly evasive answer because it wasn’t the time or the place.It was all to do with the direction in which rainfall occurred before the Fall.I don’t usually side-step theological questions but I didn’t really consider this question was entirely essential to salvation so I tried to get back onto majoring on the importance of emphasising the central issues of the Christian faith and keeping the main thing, the MAIN thing.If the devil can’t deflect you from faith he will try to distract you with irrelevancies – either way he’ll keep you away from being a Gospel man, a Gospel woman.Now, make no mistake, WE are not going to get distracted … but we need to work out what this reference to God’s voice being over the waters is all about here.
  • What is the biblical view of creation? We typically look to Genesis 1-2 to answer this question, but other Old Testament passages have something to say about this, too. Israel’s understanding of creation shows how indebted they were to current notions in the ancient world.One of the ways the Old Testament describes creation is through a conflict between Yahweh and the sea (or “waters” or one of the sea monsters, Leviathan or Rahab). ‘Sea’ is a symbol of chaos, and so Yahweh’s victory in the conflict establishes order. He is the creator, the supreme power. Israel’s proper response is awe and praise.We don’t need to accept that the Israelites believed this stuff … they didn’t need to believe it themselves to adopt tat mtif in their OWN polemic against the people who DID!The “cosmic battle” motif is prominent in the other creation texts from the ancient Near East. For example, in the famous Babylonian creation story EnumaElish, the god Marduk defeats the goddess Tiamat, who represents the sea. He then cuts her carcass in half and makes sky and earth from the pieces. Thus he becomes head god of the Babylonians, which results in praise and homage. But he doesn’t do that without significant physical effort.Likewise, in another creation story, the Canaanite god Baal defeats the sea god Yam (Hebrew yam means sea) with similar results.But again, he does it after significant, strenuous physical effort in battle.The Israelites clearly connected with this way of describing creation. Some examples are the following:Psalm 104:7: “at your rebuke the waters fled.” This is not talking about low tide at the beach. Without raising a hand, the waters scampered away and were defeated.Psalm 89:9-10: Yahweh rules “over the surging sea (yam)” and “crushed Rahab.”Psalm 74:13-14: Yahweh “split open sea (yam)…broke the heads of the monster in the waters (What is the biblical view of creation? We typically look to Genesis 1-2 to answer this question, but other Old Testament passages have something to say about this, too. Israel’s understanding of creation shows how indebted they were to current notions in the ancient world.One of the ways the Old Testament describes creation is through a conflict between Yahweh and the sea (or “waters” or one of the sea monsters, Leviathan or Rahab). Sea is a symbol of chaos, and so Yahweh’s victory in the conflict establishes order. He is the creator, the supreme power. He is the conquering King and Sovereign Lord.Israel’s proper response is awe and praise.For the ancient near eastern PAGAN people, living in ALMOST land-locked Palestine and NOT being a seafaring nation, there are these vast, powerful, AWEsome forces at work in the surging sea … which seems to them so chaotic,malevolent and threatening … and they imagine these forces in their myths to be the work of the Chaos monster deity, let loose in Creation.And the point that is being made here is this … go down to the beach and stare out to sea at the height of a winter’s gale.You see that power, that energy and that destructive force, venting its spume and crashing angrily onto the sands?Not even His little finger, but even the mere VOICE of God is Sovereign over that!How awesome is this God?And as for the puny pagan deities that YOU see as being behind all that?He speaks and they are STILL.
  • Coming inland from the sea over the north western seaboard of Israel the voice of the LORD makes landfall in the forests of Lebanon and moves South down the great rift valley of the Jordan and into the desert … displaying His Glory and Strength everywhere in Creation as the Sovereign Lord of all.What the context describes here on the cedars and the oaks is the effect of very high winds on them … breaking in pieces the cedars of Lebanon and twisting the oaks (a dense timber that tends to twist and rip rather than break into pieces … the Psalmist has LIVED in his environment observed and THOUGHT about it!)Now, there is a word in Hebrew for the wind, breath and Spirit of God.That word is ruach (רוח, literally "breath" or "wind")But it is NOT the word used here.This is not the wind that blows up the windpipe and rattles the chords in the throat.This (it seems to me) is about the voice – the power to COMMUNICATE of the Sovereign God.And He speaks with such power He smashes the mighty cedars of Lebanon (prized, uber-resilient architectural timber)And He speaks with such power that His very voice wrenches and twists the limbs from the mightiest of oaks, and strips bare the forests where His voice runs.These represent the strgnest materials in the whole of creation in that day … the 40 newton concrete, the carbon fibre and the graphe
  • Lebanon is in the North West, up against the sea.It is close to Sirion (where you find Mount Hermon) and it’s a really mountainous area.So there are these great symbols of strength … cedars and oaks, and the mountains of the North West …And those great immobile mountains of Lebanon SKIP like startled calves at the mighty voice of God.The power of an earthquake is something awful to experience … but this is more than an earthquake.Young cattle are jumpy, and their power to weight ratio seems to be very different from that of a grown cow or bull so calves are very much lighter on their feet.They startle a lot easier and being light on their feet they jump about much more dramatically.And these big symbols of stability in ancient near eastern literature, the mountains of Lebanon, skip at the sound of the voice of Israel’s awesome God!
  • OK – more pagan background here:Baal was the ANE’s weather god … they believed that he was the one who hurled the lightning bolts … and he was hailed as the rider of the storm.In fact, Baal is depicted in Ugaritic iconography wielding lightning like a weapon in his hand.But again, it is a big heavy sword that he has to get down and personal with … he has to work and wield it.Without for one moment accepting even the existence of these pagan gods, the Psalmist here picks up that iconography, invades it and declares that by the simple exercise of his voice Israel’s awesome God does not ride but directs and commands this awesome force of nature.
  • This word for desert is a much-discussed word … מדבר midbar which strictly speaking doesn’t denote sandy desert but the unpopulated semi-arid regions around the desert’s edge … Truly, we don’t know a great deal about this desert or Kadesh … it might be a geographical reference to a place, but there’s discussion over whether that’s southern desert (where we normally think of Israel’s deserts being) or northern desert (which is also a possibility).On the other hand,קָדֵֽשׁ – Qadesh – also means ‘holy’ … the holy desert where God drew Israel after times of sin and oppression to be away from worldly distractions to meet once again with Himself and relearn His ways and His precepts.But where there is stuff and where there is ‘not stuff’ … there is nowhere His Sovereign writ doesn’t run!He is Sovereign Lord over all … Who rules and reigns with such authority that His voice is quite simply enough.There has been a tremendously strong emphasis here, hasn’t there, on the sheer Sovereign POWER of the voice of the Lord?!
  • כָּבֹֽוד – GloryIt’s a waw-consecutive construction … but in this context purpose seems to be indicated … it is as the result of all this seeing and hearing God’s rule being exercised over the ‘gods’ of the nations and the mightiest elements in His creation, observing and reflecting and meditating on these things, that all in His Temple cry ‘Glory!’If you never do that, there is no awe, there is no ‘awesome’ because your mind does not consider and your eyes do not see the Glory!Where is that Temple?It is on earth.From despairing at earthly human inability to worship which leads to the appeal to the Heavenly Council to worship Him (because they’re fit for it, being clothed in the beauty of His holiness) the meditation on His awesome, Sovereign, self-revealing voice has effected a fundamental change.That meditation WRINGS worship from previously stagnant, moribund, non-awe-inspired sinful human hearts!In HIS Temple all cry: ‘Glory!’
  • So now, by the time he’s reflected on the awesome power of the very voice of God unleashed in the most powerful things in Creation, the psalmist can’t help himself.The worship he urges on ‘the holiness-arrayed sons of God’ now bursts from his own soul as he himself ascribes to the Lord glory and strength and at least attempts to express the Glory of His Name.Here are the great attributes of the (victorious) great and glorious SOVEREIGN LORD!He has spoken and therefore He sits enthroned over the defeated forces of cosmic chaos, enthroned over the flood … the wordלמַּבּוּל – lamabbuwlis mainly used in Genesis of Noah’s Flood.He presides as the great King over judgement on sin and idolatry and is enthroned for ever … no future conflict between presumed deities is ever going to bring HIM down, because on the scene of ANE’n deities, Israel’s God is Something completely different.And as the Great King, here’s what He does.He doesn’t behave like these tin pot little ANE’n deities … or monarchs for that matter!He rules and reigns like a faithful King, giving His people not problems but strength, not trouble but peace.
  • This God is an awesome God.Failure to feed the mind on His awesome splendour breeds spiritually stagnant, non-worshipping, moribund ‘followers’ … followers who aren’t following at all.And that’s a matter of feeding your mind on His splendour AS OPPOSED TO THE ALTERNATIVES!Finally … I’ve laboured this … please notice the absolute importance of hearing the Voice of the Lord.Here’s how HE gets things done.In all our business with outreach methods appropriate t our culture, time and situation which is right and proper and good - let’s never frget how our God gets things done.It’s His voice.HE is the One Who speaks and it is DONE!
  • Transcript of "Psalm 29 aw esome song"

    1. 1. Welcome to Grace! The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King for ever. 11 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:10-11
    2. 2. Psalm 29 • Introduction
    3. 3. Psalm 29 • Introduction
    4. 4. Psalm 29 • Introduction • Appeal, vv. 1-2 “Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due to his name; worship the LORD in the splendour of his holiness.”
    5. 5. Psalm 29 • Introduction • Appeal, vv. 1-2 • Meditation, vv. 3-9
    6. 6. Psalm 29 • Introduction • Appeal, vv. 1-2 • Meditation, vv. 3-9 – God is over the waters, v. 3 “The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.”
    7. 7. Psalm 29 • Introduction • Appeal, vv. 1-2 • Meditation, vv. 3-9 – God is over the waters, v. 3 • ‘The waters in ANE literature -
    8. 8. Psalm 29 • Introduction • Appeal, vv. 1-2 • Meditation, vv. 3-9 – God is over the waters, v. 3 – God is over the forests, vv. 5 (& 9) “The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. … The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare.”
    9. 9. Psalm 29 • Introduction • Appeal, vv. 1-2 • Meditation, vv. 3-9 – God is over the waters, v. 3 – God is over the forests, v. 5 – God is over the land mass, v. 6 “He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.”
    10. 10. Psalm 29 • Introduction • Appeal, vv. 1-2 • Meditation, vv. 3-9 – God is over the waters, v. 3 – God is over the forests, v. 5 – God is over the land mass, v. 6 – God is over the storm, v. 7 “The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.”
    11. 11. Psalm 29 • Introduction • Appeal, vv. 1-2 • Meditation, vv. 3-9 – God is over the waters, v. 3 – God is over the forests, v. 5 – God is over the land mass, v. 6 – God is over the storm, v. 7 – God is over the desert/ Wilderness, v. 8 “The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.”
    12. 12. Psalm 29 • Introduction • Appeal, vv. 1-2 • Meditation, vv. 3-9 – God is over everything, vv. 3-8 – And the exercise of His power prompts WORSHIP, v. 9 “And in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’”
    13. 13. Psalm 29 • Introduction • Appeal, vv. 1-2 • Meditation, vv. 3-9 • Worshipping the Great King, vv. 10-11 “The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King for ever. 11 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”
    14. 14. Psalm 29 • Introduction • Appeal, vv. 1-2 • Meditation, vv. 3-9 • Worshipping the Great King, vv. 10-11 • Conclusion
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