A Voice in the Storm
January 10, 2021
Pastor Clint Ziemer
Audio of the sermon preached on January 10, 2021, at Cable Community Church, Sherrard, IL
A Voice in the Storm
Theme: The Majesty of God
Purpose: To show that God is greater than all else.
Text: Psalm 29
We live in challenging times. This week a violent storm crashed into our nation’s capital. In the study of weather, two different air masses collide to form a violent storm. The same sort of thing can happen when opposing political ideas collide. Just as meteorological storms can often be predicted days, sometimes weeks in advance, the situation that erupted this week was long in the making. Now, we cannot go back to undo all that led up to today, but we just might be able to move forward with wisdom. To whom does a nation so deeply divided turn? Where should our focus be as we go forward?
Israel’s King David - an eyewitness of storms both natural and political - is the author of Psalm 29. Perhaps we could find some answers there.
Psalm 29 is a most interesting psalm. Because of its phraseology and imagery, many scholars believe that the 29th Psalm is a Hebrew adaptation of Canaanite poetry honoring Baal. The author's purpose in this hymn is "to demonstrate the superiority of the Lord of Israel over Baal, who was thought to be the lord of the storms." This is a sweeping hymn extolling the majesty of God. As O.T. Scholars,Kiel & Dellick note, "Glory in the highest is its beginning, and peace on earth its conclusion."
Turn in your Bibles please to Psalm 29.
Follow along as I read this and note that the majesty of our God
Requires reverence and
Comforts the chosen
- God's majesty prompts praises: vv. 1-2
- We praise God
- Because we are his children
- Praise involves a declaration (or renewal) of allegiance.
- Because of his name
- By the name of the Lord, Israel had gained victories.
- The name of the Lord, Yahweh, was his seal on the covenantal relationship between the Great King and his people Israel.
- All authorities should praise him
- The congregation who are singing the psalm call upon all authority, literally the “sons of gods”, to join with them in the praise of God.
- Whether “sons of gods” refers to pagan deities, angels, or earthly kings, the point is that Yahweh is at the center of all things, and the repetition of God’s name (eighteen times in eleven verses!) underscores this reality.
- The worship of God has its greatest momentum when God's creatures in heaven and on earth join together to praise him.
- That mere human beings should praise him is not surprising; but when all the authorities join in singing his praises, then indeed God has no equal.
- No doubt that we’re off track when we glorify the deeds and desires of men over those of God. The turmoil of this past week is a result of exalting other authorities over God. This is what results when a nation trusts in politicians and policies more than prayer and providence.
- “… Give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name…”
- God's majesty requires reverence, vv. 3-9
- He is Lord over the waters
- Allusions of creation. The Spirit of God over the confusion of pre-creation.
- His voice speaks
- He is power itself.
- He is strength itself.
- Ever been stuck in a storm at sea?
- Canaanites considered the sea to be the battleground between Yam, the god of the sea, and Baal, the god of thunderstorms.
- He is Lord over the mountains
- Lebanon and Sirion are mountains to the north of Canaan. They raise far above the landscape to an altitude of ten thousand feet above sea level, yet by God's power, - at His command - they are dramatically portrayed as skipping like a calf and like a wild ox.
- The Canaanites believed that these mountains were the abode of the gods.
- The God of Israel shows little respect by shaking the mountains and by felling the trees - the cedars of Lebanon - were noted for their strength. God is greater than anything we exalt or value.
- When the mountains of problems tower over you - when the things once thought unbreakable come crashing down, or the gods of this age exalt themselves over you - The Lord is greater!
- He is Lord over the wilderness
- The voice of the Lord strikes with lightning
- The Canaanite god, Baal was believed to be the god of lightning - often depicted with lightning bolts in his hand.
- Here, the Lord God is the God of lightning - Baal is powerless.
- The wilderness is the wild place, where no one makes permanent residence.
- The Lord's voice is heard even in the wilderness.
- Even in those places of your life where you would not settle - in the wilderness where you are just passing through - The Lord is there. Though the enemy seems to come at you with great power - He is powerless before God.
- God's voice is mentioned seven times
- God has a contemporary voice which continues to give guidance and direction to his people.
- In the OT, this voice was heard through both the written Law and the prophets whom God sent to various generations.
- The NT teaches that God the Holy Spirit is within believers to prompt us toward holiness. God's contemporary voice may be heard by an individual through scripture, as well as in other ways that are in accord with scripture (including prayer and words from fellow believers).
- The voice of the Lord echoes from the waters, to the mountains, to the wilderness.
- He is Lord over all - from North to South
- It’s thought that King David may have been watching a storm roll in as he composed this Psalm.
- From the northern mountains the storm sweeps on towards the south of Palestine in to the Arabian desert.
- All of the nation is caught up in the grips of this storm.
- The true worshippers cry out, "Glory!"
- It makes one wonder why everyone on Earth doesn’t respond the same
- Why do so many seek to glorify that which is not God by putting man on a platform over God?
- God's majesty comforts His people, vv. 10-11
- God is still on the throne.
- Though the storms rage
- Though the mountains quake
- He is the God of forever
- The God of nature
- The God of history
- The God of eternity
- He is the God of The Promise
- Every storm should call to mind the Flood.
- It is the first appearance in history of rain with lightning and thunder,
- and of the bow in the clouds speaking its message of peace.
- There is quietness within the storm for those who belong to the people of God.
- THE MASTER OF THE STORM — By James Rowe
- Out on the ocean of life we sail,
- Battered by many a raging gale,
- Yet we are sure that we shall prevail,
- No storm can His ship over whelm
- Billows may threaten and winds may blow,
- Courage and faith we shall always show;
- Nothing can harm us as on we go,
- For Jesus is at the helm.
- Wrecks we are seeing form day to day.
- Poor broken vessels, along the way;
- No one to pilot their ships have they;
- And so they are sinking fast.
- Jesus would pilot their vessel, too.
- Comfort and give to them courage new;
- If they believed him and would be true,
- Their trials would soon be past.
- True to our Pilot we all shall be,
- Whether a stormy or peaceful sea;
- Always so helpful and sweet is He,
- And blessings us over more.
- Soon we shall meet Him upon the strand.
- Of the eternal and happy land,
- Then we shall praise Him in chorus grand.
- With those who have reached the shore.
- He is the Master of wind and tide;
- Safely the billows His ship will rid;
- Into the harbor at last if will glide,
- Where we shall be wondrously blest,
- And so with our Pilot we sail along,
- Safe from the storm and from all things wrong;
- Soon we shall enter the harbor of song.
- The haven of endless joy and rest.
- The very same God of the Storm is our Lord and Christ today. He is the Lord of the seas, the mountains, and the wilderness. God is still on the throne.
- The world and its system will get worse before it gets better. (See Revelations.)
- The enemies of God are finding their voice everywhere around us and taking up their call against Him. We, His people, need to stand firm with those in the heavens and proclaim His glory. Not just with our speeches and our songs, but in our everyday actions and reactions to this world our message is and should ever be… "God is still on the throne!"
- We are the only people on this earth that should take comfort in that statement. All others should tremble at its implication in relation to their unrepentant lives. But we, His people can praise his majesty. We have His peace and strength to protect us.
- This week as you go out to be salt and light to this world, as you are confronted by its politics and religion, as you are tempted by its perverted morals, remember "God is still on the throne!"
- This week, when the storm clouds of life roll in around you, when the mountains of affliction loom like giant beasts before you, when you find yourself in the wilderness of doubts and fears - where no one wants to stay; remember "God is still on the throne!"
- This is the same God, who destroyed all with the great Flood, yet saved His own through the judgment. This God of history is the God of nature and the God of the future. God is still on the throne. And His strength and peace are sufficient to see you through your times of trouble.
- Let us pray.
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