Psalm 29 – Hymn of Thunder

Psalm 29 (The Message)

A David Psalm

1-2 Bravo, God, bravo! Gods and all angels shout, “Encore!”
In awe before the glory,
in awe before God’s visible power.
Stand at attention!
Dress your best to honor him!
3 God thunders across the waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness—
God, across the flood waters.
4 God‘s thunder tympanic,
God‘s thunder symphonic.
5 God‘s thunder smashes cedars,
God topples the northern cedars.
6 The mountain ranges skip like spring colts,
The high ridges jump like wild kid goats.
7-8 God‘s thunder spits fire.
God thunders, the wilderness quakes;
He makes the desert of Kadesh shake.
9 God‘s thunder sets the oak trees dancing
A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches.
We fall to our knees—we call out, “Glory!”
10 Above the floodwaters is God‘s throne
from which his power flows,
from which he rules the world.
11 God makes his people strong.
God gives his people peace.

This is a scary Psalm. It looks like a normal hymn that we might sing that glorifies the power and majesty of our God, and it is, but there is something beneath the surface that we miss in our English translation. We see mountains running and trees dancing . . . this isn’t like a happy party or occurrence, this is a raging storm of God who is trying to bring His lost people back to Him. The mountains aren’t running like we run they are tumbling from the power of God, they are falling into the valley’s and oceans, and these trees are performing a glorious ballet for us or God, the storm is ripping these trees from the ground. Now if you know a bit about trees you know that they have roots that are as deep in the ground as the tree is tall, and they are as wide as the tree is wide, so . . . deep and wide for some big trees, at any rate it takes a lot of power to rip a tree from the ground, like a tornado or hurricane, or a typhoon if you are in the southern hemisphere. And to get mountains to fall over, I would assume an even larger amount of power. Basically God although he loves us is also angry with the way things are going in the world. We don’t always see this God on Sunday mornings, not to say that our preachers are not doing a great job at giving us the word, it’s just ‘God’s Wrath’ isn’t generally a subject of a message in our modern day church, I have never talked about it before, except in this blog now. The nice closing thought though in this Psalm is this (look at the last two lines) God is still looking out for us, he protects us, and wants to care for us, he makes us strong . . . strong for what? Maybe to endure the storms and power that he rages on the earth in this Psalm, or maybe strong to get through life.

Questions for review:
1. Read the Psalm again, now that you know that God is raging over his creation, what does this aspect of God make you think of, what emotions does it bring up?
2. How does it feel knowing that God is putting forth such an effort in order to bring you back to him?
3. What kind of strength or protection do you need from God?
4. Do you feel God’s peace in the midst of the storms of life?

*Feel free to comment ask questions or even post your answers on this blog.


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