The Almighty Power of God’s Voice in His Word.
A psalm of David, the writing of which may have been occasioned by a terrible thunderstorm, but the description of which goes beyond the natural plane to show the power of the voice of God in overcoming even the mightiest forces and people of the world and making them serve His purposes. V. 1. Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, literally, “sons of gods,” that is, the rulers, the governments of the world, give unto the Lord glory and strength, offering Him this tribute as the King of kings and Lord of lords. V. 2. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name, to the revelation of His divine majesty and power; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, in holy attire, as priests clothed for the ministry and worship of Jehovah, ready to give Him homage and to exalt Him. And now David shows how the Word of God, His mighty voice, works such a feeling of homage and devotion in the hearts of men. V. 3. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters, the voice of Jehovah, thundering mightily, over the vapors of the clouds, with their heavy load of water; the God of glory thundereth; the Lord is upon many waters, the heavy, lowering clouds of the advancing storm being indicated. But David, in the voice of the thunder, always has the Word of the Lord in mind. V. 4. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty, going forth invested with these qualities, Heb. 4, 12. V. 5. The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars; yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon, the mighty giants of the forests being laid low before the storm wind, just as many a wise and mighty person in this world has been overcome by the Word of Jehovah. V. 6. He maketh them also to skip like a calf, the mighty forests waving and bowing in the wind; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn, like the young of the wild oxen or buffaloes, Sirion being Mount Hermon, the loftiest peak in the eastern range of Lebanon. V. 7. The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire, the lightning preceding the thunder cutting through the air like immense sparks of fire; even so does the Word of the Lord burn in the hearts of men with a mighty, devouring, and sustaining flame. V. 8. The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness, the mighty thunder making the mighty wilderness tremble as in an earthquake; the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh, that of the Arabian Desert west of Edom, in whose desolate regions such a storm makes an unusual impression of grandeur. Thus the Word of Jehovah arouses men everywhere, especially when they behold the Desire of the Nations in the Gospel, Hag. 2, 6. V. 9. The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to calve, in a premature delivery, brought on by the terror of the storm, and discovereth the forests, stripping them bare, the very peelings of the bark being taken off by the lightning. And in His Temple, in the great palace of His might, both on earth and in heaven, doth every one speak of His glory, crying out, Glory and majesty to God alone for the revelation of His almighty power and mercy! V. 10. The Lord sitteth upon the flood, He sat upon the throne of His judgment when He condemned the godless world and punished the wicked through the catastrophe of the Flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King forever, and all those who haughtily reject His Word will feel the power of His anger. V. 11. The Lord will give strength unto His people, sustaining His own children, those united with Him in true fellowship, Is. 45, 24; the Lord will bless His people with peace, with the peace of God, which passes all understanding. as given through the glorious Gospel of God’s mercy in Christ Jesus, Phil. 4, 7. “How impressive the closing words of this psalm! They are arched as a rainbow above it. The beginning of the psalm shows us the heavens open and the throne of God in the midst of angelic songs of praise, and the close of the psalm shows us on earth, in the midst of the angry voices of Jehovah shaking all things, His people victorious and blessed with peace. ‘Glory in the highest’ is the beginning, and ‘Peace on earth’ is the end.” (Delitzsch.)