A Psalm of David. Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
I. The form of the expression brings before us the peculiar conception of the universe in the ancient Hebrew mind. Even in the narrative of the Creation in Genesis the waters above the firmament are said to be separated from the waters below the firmament, and many similar passages might be quoted. The idea was that as the shores rose out of the sea, and the rain descended from heaven, so there must be motion below and around the land, as if the earth was standing upon pillars, and there was a reservoir of water above. In this Psalm the idea is that the waters were poured down from this store of waters above the firmament, while above all, beyond all the waters and the firmament, was the throne and habitation of the Eternal, where He was sitting in royal state, ruling in majesty for ever.
II. But what is most instructive for us, and at the same time most important, is not the grandeur of the picture, is not the impressiveness of the language, but the realisation of the presence of God. Though the earth itself seem ready to melt away, the Lord is still above, a sure refuge to those who put their trust in Him. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee." This is the only sure rest, the only consolation that cannot fail. Elijah seemed to be alone faithful to God in Israel; his constancy had its crown and reward. Whatever may befall, whatever darkness and gloom may seem to rest upon our path, and whatever discouragements may seem to attend our efforts, yet each of us at least can strive to live a more faithful, a purer, and truer life; and each can meet his lot, whatever may be appointed for him, in the assurance that the Lord sitteth above the flood and rules the tempest.
R. Scott, Contemporary Pulpit, vol. iii., p. 303.
Psalm 29:11These words are the more remarkable as occurring in a psalm which sounds like a storm, or, to change the figure, they are like the calm sunset of a most tempestuous day.
I. You know what peace is, do you? Few common terms are less understood. Silence is not peace, nor is indifference, nor is insensibility, nor is the quiescence which comes of selfish fear of consequences. There cannot be peace where there cannot be passion. Peace must be understood as a composite term—as an affirmative, not as a negative, condition. Where there is true peace there is of necessity a right relation of forces, nothing preponderant, nothing, conflicting; everything has its due. In the case of the heart there must be life; towards God there must be intelligence, devotion, constancy; towards man there must be justice, modesty, honour.
II. The text indicates specialty of character. A particular class is spoken of, not a world, but a section—"His people." In one sense all people are His; in another sense all people may be His. But the text comprehends all who have exercised repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, all who are sealed by the Holy Ghost, and who direct their walk by the guidance of the Comforter and Sanctifier of redeemed men. In so far as we come under this designation we are inheritors of the blessing of peace.
III. Such a promise should make the Church calm and hopeful under the most distressing circumstances. Two things are clear: out of God there is no peace; in God there is perfect peace. The good man meets every day with a hopeful spirit, and will meet his last day with the most hopeful spirit of all.
Parker, Pulpit Analyst, vol. ii., p. 121.
Psalm 29:11I. "The Lord will give strength unto His people." This implies (1) that He will enable them to come to Him at first, that the sincere desire, the Godward turning of the soul, the almost hopeless glance of penitence toward the far-off heaven, shall receive encouragement, and help, and promise; (2) the communication of the gift of power to be true witnesses and good soldiers of the truth.
II. "The Lord will bless His people with peace." This implies (1) conscious reconciliation with God; (2) the hush and harmony of the once discordant spirit.
W. M. Punshon, Sermons, p. 219.
References: Psalm 29:11.—H. Melvill, Penny Pulpit, No. 1755; G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 96. Psalm 29—A. Maclaren, Life of David, p. 31; P. Thomson, Expositor, 2nd series, vol. i., p. 162.
Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.
The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.
The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.