A Davidic psalm. Give the LORD--you heavenly beings--give the LORD glory and strength. Give the LORD the glory due His name; worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness. The voice of the LORD is above the waters. The God of glory thunders--the LORD, above vast waters, the voice of the LORD in power, the voice of the LORD in splendor. - Psalm 29:1-4 HCSB

There is an understandable emphasis in devotional theology on listening for the “soft whispering voice”[1] of the Lord as we meditate upon His word.

However, I am concerned that too much emphasis on one verse is causing us to get a distorted view of a right relationship with God Almighty.

The Psalmist, a man known for his phenomenal personal devotions that have inspired humanity for thousands of years, said we also need to acknowledge God’s glory and strength. We must give the Lord the glory due to His name and worship the splendor of His holiness.

The Psalmist said that the voice of God could be heard over the sounds of the crashing waves, above vast waters. The voice of God thunders with power. It can break cedars – even shatter them. He has the ability to make the ground under entire nations skip like a calf. His voice shakes the wilderness. It makes deer give premature birth and strips the woodlands bare. How can we not respond with the cry of the angels “Glory!”?[2]

Solomon, the wisest of us all,[3] agreed with this view of God. He said that God’s wisdom “calls out in the street; she raises her voice in the public squares. She cries out above the commotion; she speaks at the entrance of the city gates: ‘How long, foolish ones, will you love ignorance? How long will you mockers enjoy mocking and you fools hate knowledge? If you turn to my discipline, then I will pour out my spirit on you and teach you my words.’”[4]

"Is not My word like fire"--the LORD's declaration--"and like a sledgehammer that pulverizes rock?”[5] By emphasizing God’s gentleness to the point of emasculation, we have created a God that we can easily ignore. We can say, “Oh! Was that Your voice? I didn’t realize.” Like recalcitrant children we can petulantly respond to His rebuke with, “I didn’t hear You.”

Hashem leaves us no such possibility. His presence surrounds us “for in Him we live and move and exist.”[6] His voice roars truth into our ears, shouts out wisdom and demands the unconditional surrender of our spirits.[7]

Only when we acknowledge this aspect of God; when we bow the knee to the Lord who sits enthroned, King forever; only when we dip our banner to His sovereignty and obey what we know will we be granted much needed strength and blessed at last with His peace.[8]


[1] 1 Kings 19:12

[2] Psalm 29:5-9

[3] 1 Kings 4:29-34

[4] Proverbs 1:20-23

[5] Jeremiah 23:29

[6] Acts 17:28

[7] Philippians 2:9-11

[8] Psalm 29:10-11