The God of Glory Thunders (Psalm 29:3)


“The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.” (Ps. 29:3-4)

It was a thunderstorm that drove Martin Luther to his knees and set him on a path to discovering the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. The psalmist likens the awesome majesty of God’s voice to a thunderstorm at sea and alludes to the lightning that attends it: “The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire” (Ps. 29:7); “The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning” (NIV). Oh, that we would be driven to our knees in light of such a majestic description of our God!

God invites us to see him in his works as well as his Word. Jonah would have heard similar descriptions of Jehovah’s majesty, but it was not until after a deafening crash of thunder and a blinding flash of lightning split the skies over the Mediterranean that God had his attention.

God the Omnipotent! King, who ordainest
Thunder Thy clarion, lightning Thy sword;
Show forth Thy pity on high where Thou reignest:
Give to us peace in our time, O Lord. (Chorley)

The Lord is a warrior, and the thunder is his battle trumpet! The Lord is a warrior, and the lightning is his sword! Psalms such as this are meant to affect us. The Psalmist impresses on our minds truth about God’s sovereignty over the whole realm of nature and invites us to worship him from the heart, but he does so with language that engages our emotions. We will never cultivate proper religious affections by hurrying through a Psalm such as this and on to our busy day. We must “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). “Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps” (Ps. 135:6). We are altogether at his mercy.

God speaks and hundred-foot tall cedars splinter into a thousand pieces (Ps. 29:5). God speaks and even the desert regions hear and quake (Ps. 29:8). Is God speaking to you? Does it cause you to tremble? “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name” (Ps. 29:2).