1Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
2Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
3The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD, over many waters.
4The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
5The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire. 8The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;
the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
11May the LORD give strength to his people!
May the LORD bless his people with peace!
Did you see the reports of the recent wind driven fires outside of Denver? Perhaps you were there. If you or a loved one lived through that, I pray for safety. Or perhaps you or someone you love was in Kansas a few days before that when a similar storm scoured the sunflower state and caused fires and a great deal of damage. Kentucky and bordering states are still digging out from the freakish December tornados which struck there. The Sierra Nevada mountains got 17 feet of snow in December. Here in Portland, we hit the unprecedented temperature of 116 degrees last summer.
Many attribute these aberrant weather events to global warming and climactic change. That might work as efficient and proximate causes, but what if God is trying to get our attention? Some people claim to worship nature, I suppose if they are serious this is a god getting in touch with us. But what if all this wild weather, volcanoes, earthquakes, etc., are God telling us something?
The psalm says that God’s voice thunders over the waters. Have you ever heard a tornado? It really does sound like a freight train. That voice breaks the mighty cedar trees and causes Lebanon and Sirion to skip like a calf and a bull. He flashes forth in the flames of fire and makes the wilderness of Kadesh to shake. That sounds like an earthquake and maybe a volcano. It is God who sends the deer into labor who strips the leaves from the forest. In verse 11 the psalmist asks God to give strength and peace to the people. When God speaks, we need them both. Strength to withstand the blast of His voice and the peace which comes only from Christ, who is our peace (Eph. 2:14) and who as reconciled us to God (Eph. 2:16).