Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Indian Head, MD
There is peace in the thunder
January 10, 2021

There is peace in the thunder

January 10, 2021

Psalm 29

NIV

A psalm of David.

Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
    the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
    Sirion[b] like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes
    with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
    the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists the oaks[c]
    and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
    the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
11 The Lord gives strength to his people;
    the Lord blesses his people with peace.

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Background

Commentary

Psalm 29 is often considered to be the oldest of the psalms, due in part to what seems to be an archaic pattern of repetition (see vv. 1–2), but due primarily to the observation that it seems to be an Israelite adaptation of an ancient Canaanite hymn to Baal, a god of weather and fertility. Following the opening invitation to praise (vv. 1–2), vv. 3–9 consist of a poetic description of a thunderstorm, responsibility for which the Canaanites attributed to Baal. Psalm 29 is fundamentally polemical, for it clearly attributes all power to Yahweh (Lord), who is enthroned in v. 9 with the exclamation, “Glory!” That enthronement is indeed the effect of v. 9 is indicated by the affirmation of Yahweh’s kingship in v. 10, followed by the appeal for Yahweh to fulfill the royal role of blessing the people.[1]

Point 1 

Notes from Point 1

Point 2 

Notes from Point 2

Point 3

Notes from Point 3

Summary

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[1] J. Clinton Mccann Jr., “The Book of Psalms,” in New Interpreter’s Bible, ed. Leander E. Keck, vol. 4 (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994–2004), 792.

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