“Ascribe to the LORD, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.
The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is majestic.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the LORD strikes with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the LORD shakes the desert; the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD twists the oaksand strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever.
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”Recently I have been trying to pray through the psalms, encouraged by the thoughts of Tim Keller, in his book, Prayer. This Psalm really jumped out at me as I have been studying David’s words, seeing some of the characteristics of our Lord.
One of the first things we notice is there is a lot of repetition in this psalm. Ascribe is one that pops out in the beginning. What is to ascribe? According to a biblical dictionary, ascribe is “to give, provide, grant, permit.” So we are to give to the Lord- glory and praise to His strength, holiness, splendor, thunderous nature, power, might, majesty. Another repeated word is “voice.” Count them! “Voice” is repeated seven times- seven= completeness. It is proof of His complete majesty!
Another prevalent theme I noticed was imagery about storms. In Ancient Near Eastern culture, storms, thunder, lightning, wind, rain were all attributed to the pagan gods. David’s use of storm terminology was kind of a slap in the face to the gods of other cultures, establishing the True Lord’s authority over all things- storms, other gods, animals, oceans, etc. The Israelites would read this with confidence in our LORD, Yahweh, Supreme, and King over all nature!
Lastly, there is a stark difference between this display of majesty and power, then David’s cry for peace. In my mind, I pictured a raging, whirling, chaotic hurricane, then a peaceful night sky in one of the fields of Lancaster county with crystal stars twinkling above. Our Lord not only controls all the chaos and whims of our physical world, but is the giver of a power peace.
I feel like the only response to all of this is praise and for his people to shout, “GLORY!” to the True King of the universe.