Reflection on Psalm 29

Reflecting on Psalm 29 with Sarah Callen

What passages of Scripture do you regularly return to for comfort and encouragement? In certain seasons, I find myself returning to particular verses, reviewing them again and again to discover more about who God is and who I am. 

With increasing instability around the world and bad news seemingly everywhere, I’ve found immense comfort in Psalm 29. This wonderful passage is focused on who God is. When I read it, I feel encouraged and comforted. 

Let’s take a few moments to meditate on this passage and see what God wants to share with us.

Give Unto the Lord

Ascribe to the Lord, O 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 holiness.

Psalm 29:1-2

Some translations say “mighty ones” instead of “heavenly beings” in verse one. I think that provides some helpful additional context. It’s not just heavenly beings that are worshiping God. These verses are an invitation to all of us. 

Maybe this is one facet of what it looks like to bring heaven to earth—heaven is filled with worship of God, and we can recreate that posture here in our homes, churches, and communities.

The repeated word “ascribe” simply means to give. These verses encourage us to give to God the glory that His name rightly is due. This is an invitation to take our eyes off ourselves and focus on God. We can focus on His glory and strength. 

Psalm 29 invites us to recognize the reality of who God is and turn our minds and hearts to Him. When we do that, our response is to worship God’s splendor and holiness. God’s holiness is part of what makes Him so splendid, so glorious. His set-apartness is something that we can be in awe of. 

I encourage you to stop reading and take a few moments to respond to these verses in some way. Pray, worship, sing, dance, write, whisper, shout… just respond to the splendor, strength, holiness, and glory of God. 

The Voice of the Lord

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 oaks
   and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

Psalm 29:3-9

This section focuses on the voice of the Lord, the might of God. We have already acknowledged that God is glorious and strong, and in this section, we realize that His voice is how God reveals His power. 

This harkens back to the beauty of creation where all God had to do was speak and matter and life and light were created. The earth and the plants and animals were created by God’s words declared into the void. And humanity has come alive because of God’s voice.

The power and strength of God’s word can’t be ignored. Just like in a thunderstorm, you have to stop and notice the booming and crashing, so it is with God’s powerful and awe-inspiring voice.

This section of the Psalm makes me reflect on how I interact with and respond to God’s voice. Can I hear the booms of God’s voice? And when I hear God speak, do I respond by acknowledging His glory?

I encourage you to stop reading for a few moments and reflect on God’s voice. Make space to hear His voice. Listen for God and then respond as He leads.

The Lord Sits Enthroned

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.

Psalm 29:10-11

These last two verses are my favorite part of this Psalm. They are a beautiful culmination of the previous sections of this passage.

This section begins by reminding us that God sits enthroned, but not where it’s serene and perfect. There’s a flood that He sits over.

Think about what a flood does—it’s massive and powerful in its destructive potential. When water beats against rock over an extended period of time, it will wear that rock down, eroding it and carving new paths. But God’s throne is secure and immovable; God’s reign is forever. Even the most torrential flood (the biblical flood comes to mind) can’t wear down God’s eternal reign. 

But God isn’t just a strong eternal God. He is also a shepherd.

The Lord, who is awesome, mighty, holy, glorious, and eternal, is also aware of us. He knows our suffering and struggles. God doesn’t leave us alone to fend for ourselves but gives us strength and peace. 

I encourage you to stop reading for a few moments and reflect on who God is: eternal king and caring shepherd. Praise God for who He is and the ways He has shown up in your life. If you are in need of strength or peace today, open yourself up to receive. 

Psalm 29 is a precious reminder of who God is. Our God is worthy of all of our praise and glory. He’s also with us wherever we find ourselves. And we can trust that His powerful, strong word will never return void. When we are in need, we can turn to God, our eternal king and loving shepherd.

May this short Psalm be an encouragement to you as you go about your day. 

Spending Time with Jesus

If you liked this devotional, we encourage you to check out Sarah’s newest book, Behold. It’s an invitation to just sit with God. Spend time with Him. Enjoy His presence. Filled with open-ended prompts and lots of blank space to write, every devotional shines a spotlight on His goodness so you can just sit in the palm of His hand. Available on Amazon.

Behold by Sarah Callen

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