If any psalm could be claimed as belonging in Texas, it would be Psalm 29. In that psalm, David described a storm that was sweeping through the land around Jerusalem – a West Texas thunderstorm by today’s standards.
The storm must have been truly awesome. There was lightning, thunder, and flooding. Cedar and oak trees were destroyed and forests were stripped bare. The cedars of Lebanon must have been enormous. They may have rivaled the redwood forests of California. Yet they were easily destroyed.
The storm may have occurred in conjunction with an earthquake, because David wrote, “He makes Lebanon skip like a calf”. He also wrote, “The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh”. No wonder David wrote, “And in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!'”
As was so typical of David, everything he saw and experienced channeled his thinking upon the Lord God. For David, that certainly made sense because, as God’s creation, everything in nature reflected the nature and attributes of God.
In the case of the storm, David’s thoughts turned to the great power of God. In comparison to God’s power and glory, the efforts of mankind were puny. Through a storm, the ground shook, flood waters raged and forests were stripped bare. All of the armies and power of humanity could do nothing to stop it.
Even today, with all the advances in technology, mankind stands helpless before the power of nature. Storms batter coast lines, earthquakes demolish cities and infrastructure, winter storms paralyze the transportation systems of a nation. It is so easy to look in amazement at monuments built by mankind. And yes, the abilities to visualize and then create are wonderful. But the source of that ability is God; and when ability turns to arrogance, then the power of God reflected in His creation will demonstrate very quickly the value of arrogance.
David also acknowledged the power of God’s voice. Seven times he wrote, “The voice of the Lord…” The first chapter of Genesis states, “And God said, ‘Let there be light’, and there was light.” The writer of Hebrews wrote, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” Today, a person can speak, and a door will open, a phone call can be made, and a computer will function. All of these examples are merely a pale reflection of the real source of power.
The storm also demonstrated the nature of God’s law. The power of the storm occurred through the action of certain laws of nature. The lightning, thunder, wind, turbulence and all the rest happened as a result of the workings of God’s laws.
What does the law of nature show about God and His law? It shows that if the laws of nature are broken, there are always consequences. If a car tries to turn too fast, the laws of inertia and centrifugal force will cause that car to skid, spin, roll over, crash, or; any combination. If a housing development is built in a flood plain, then there is a very high probability that the area will be flooded. If a person climbs a rose trestle up the side of a house, and he weighs more than the trestle can support, then he will fall.
In nature, there is no compromise or negotiation. God’s spiritual laws are equally binding. If we sin, the price of that sin is death – period. If we face God in our sins, there will be no discussion or excuses – only death. The revelation that is shown in nature can show the power and divine nature of God. Nature shows the uncompromising results for those that choose to violate natural laws. That’s what David saw in the storm.
However, in the Word of God, a complete picture of God’s nature is revealed. With power is grace, with judgment is love and with the penalty for sin is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Only the Bible can reveal the love, grace, compassion, and Plan of God. Oh yes! What a joy to be able to echo Paul’s words, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift”.
A final point is revealed in Psalm 29. Verses one through nine described the full of the impact and significance of the storm. However, the mood abruptly changed in verse ten and eleven. It was almost like feeling the abrupt calm and silence as the storm quickly moved on. The violence, the noise, and the blinding light were gone. All that was left was what it represented. The storm was both a warning and a hope for David and all of God’s people. “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.”
Today, within every storm of nature and storm of life, is the same warning and hope. No matter what happens, the Lord is King forever. For those still in sin – the warning is power and judgment. But for those joined to God through Jesus Christ, “The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace”.