A reflection on Psalm 29, dedicated to our beloved friends who have lost their family and friends in the flood and to the community of Corpus Christi and beyond who have joined together to share the burden in love.
“The voice of the Lord is over the waters.” – Psalm 29:3
Th first time I remember reading this verse, I was 30,000 feet over the waters. I looked through the small, oval glass, through splintered beams of sunlight, over the great, vast expanse of waters- remote, sparkling, endless. Wave upon wave, that rolled with no clear shore. Water, water everywhere, I thought. I had come on this transatlantic journey for one reason- to hear the Lord speak. I was looking for a sign. Psalm 29 affirmed me. If I listened for it, if I inclined my heart, the Lord would speak, not just in a 747, but over the turbulent waters in my life. “Speak Lord, for your servant longs to hear your voice.” (1 Samuel 3:9) Say something – say something powerful to me to show me you are here. My prayer was something more like a command. I think that is ok.
We do that, you know. We stand in our own strength, and we shake what we can shake with our own power. We work and we strive and we do not give up. And when we tire, we pray. But we pray with force and grit. We are like that – we “mighty ones”- to whom Psalm 29 is addressed (verse 1). We pray with an urgency to know what the waters mean, and where they will take us. But God doesn’t tell us the answer, nor does Psalm 29. The Psalmist only tells us about the One who is over the waters. His power is greater than even the forces of nature that He has made, and His strength exceeds all elements that move and shape our lives. It is a psalm about God’s authority and rightful place above his creation. “The Lord sits enthroned over the flood”. He is still in charge. And we need to know that.
There is something else we need to know to about this God of authority and power. He is the God who says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.” (Isaiah 43:2) He is the One who never leaves us or forsakes us, even in the midst of the flood. In fact, He comes to us in the midst of it, in power and authority, but especially オンラインカジノ日本 in love. He is Jesus who walks on the water, when it is dark, and a strong wind is blowing, and the waters have grown rough. He is the One who says “It is I; do not be afraid.” And immediately they get to where they are going. (John 6:16-21) We need to know He is in the waters with us, as much as we need to He is over them.
When we are in the waters, we do not really feel like “mighty ones”. And that is ok. There is peace for us to get to the end of our own strength and discover God’s. We need to know about His kind of power. A power that is greater than any in all the earth – a power that is like the working of his mighty strength which He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead. (Ephesians 1:19). We need to know about his resurrection power – how God’s glory rules over our pain and even destruction, and brings life and peace. The psalmist leads us there.
It is only in understanding this (even just a little bit) that we can have the peace and strength He talks about. “The Lord is enthroned as king forever. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” (Psalm 29:10-11). Our peace and strength come not in understanding the waters, but God in them and over them. What if we saw, even in our pain, something so beautiful about God that we wanted to worship him in his splendor and his glory? (Psalm 29:1-3, and 9)
I pray this for each one of us. May his voice speak strength and peace. And may we “ascribe glory to his name – to the God of glory that thunders over the mighty waters.” (Psalm 29:1-3)
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” (Genesis 1:1-2)