Psalms 29:0 ¶ A Psalm of David.
A beautiful psalm of David that praises God. I would assume that David was inspired by a powerful thunderstorm that made him think of the power of the LORD that spoke creation into existence.
Psalms 29:1 ¶ Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
Psalms 29:2 Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
This song begins with a call for the “mighty,” be it in heaven or earth, to praise the LORD for His glory and strength. He reminds us that He deserves our praise and worship. We should praise Him in humility with the honor and reverence He deserves.
Guzik: “ and are not often connected ideas in our popular culture. Yet in reality, there is surpassing allure and attractiveness in true holiness. If a purported type of holiness has little beauty, it may be questioned if it is true holiness.”
Psalms 29:3 The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
Psalms 29:4 The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
Psalms 29:5 The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
Psalms 29:6 He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
Psalms 29:7 The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
Psalms 29:8 The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
Psalms 29:9 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.
It certainly seems that David was awed and inspired by the powerful thunder and lightning of a great storm that reminded him of the great power that the LORD could unleash by the authority of His word.
Interesting note from Guzik: “Scientists calculate that a typical thunderstorm (not even the kind of great or major storm described here by David) releases around 10,000,000 kilowatt-hours of energy – the equivalent of a 20-kiloton nuclear warhead. Storms are examples of the massive power of God.”
I believe the waters are a reference to the waters that are abundant throughout the earth—from great rain, to rivers, lakes, waterfalls, seas, oceans etc.; and the LORD is in control of them all. David uses the thunder to represent God’s word, to picture its great power and majesty.
V5 - With just a word the LORD can break into pieces the mighty cedars of Lebanon. According to Wikipedia, these trees can be up to 130’ high with a trunk as much as 8’2” in diameter. Yet, they are like toothpicks in light of the power of God’s word.
V6 - With just a word the LORD can send the broken pieces of these trees to jump around like a frisky young calf. Lebanon and Sirion reference mountains. With just a word the LORD can make the mountains jump about like a young unicorn (possibly referencing a wild bull).
V7 – With just a word the LORD can issue flames of fire or lightning that appear to divide the sky with the potential to wreak great destruction.
V8 – With just a word the LORD can cause a whirlwind in the desert or open field. Kadesh was the desert in which the Israelites wandered for much of the time before being allowed to enter the Promised Land.
V9 - With just a word the LORD can cause the deer to give birth or strip the forest bare of all foliage. All that dwell in His presence testify of His glory and splendor.
Psalms 29:10 The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.
To sit upon the flood is how David pictures the LORD’s authority and power to control those waters—as He did in the days of Noah. He will rule as King of kings forever!
Psalms 29:11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.
David closes this great song of praise expressing confidence that the LORD will give strength to His people and bless them with peace, health and prosperity (all from the Hebrew).