1 Praise the Lord, you mighty angels. Praise the Lord for his glory and strength. 2 Praise the Lord for the glory that belongs to him. Worship the Lord because of his beauty and holiness. 3 The voice of the Lord is heard over the waters. The God of glory thunders. The Lord thunders over the mighty waters. 4 The voice of the Lord is powerful. The voice of the Lord is majestic. 5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees. The Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon into pieces. 6 He makes the mountains of Lebanon skip like a calf. He makes Mount Hermon jump like a young wild ox. 7 The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning. 8 The voice of the Lord shakes the desert. The Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh. 9 The voice of the Lord twists the oak trees. It strips the forests bare. And in his temple everyone cries out, “Glory!” 10 The Lord on his throne rules over the flood. The Lord rules from his throne as King forever. 11 The Lord gives strength to his people. The Lord blesses his people with peace.
The magnificence and power of God strikes me as a key focus of this Psalm. We are called to praise God because He is glorious, and thus high praise is due to him.
David focuses quite specifically on the voice of the Lord – giving a very awesome description of God’s voice. God’s voice thunders, is powerful and is majestic. God’s voice breaks tall cedars; makes nations leap like young nervous calves; strikes like lightning, shakes the desert, twists the oaks, strips forests bare.
How easy it is for me to forget the awesome power of who it is I come before. But this description of the voice of the Lord reminds me that our God is not tame, not weak, and is most certainly worthy of our highest reverence. David knew this, and so ascribed to the Lord in his mind and in his words highest reverence, praise and awe of God.
I am also encouraged by this Psalm to be creative in my praise and reverence. David may well be referring to mighty storms; these stirred in his heart great praise of God. When was the last time I witnessed a mighty natural event, or a wonderful nature moment, and allowed my heart to go to a place of reverence and awe of God? David may well be referring to literal events, but there seems also to be metaphor and imagination in the psalm. What helpful and powerful metaphor and imagination. I am encouraged to keep pushing my praise beyond its natural drift into the mundane and the repetitive, and instead push my praise into the heights of imagination – imagining and declaring what God’s power and majesty can be likened to.
God, help me, through the encouragement of this Psalm, to keep my worship of you rich, imaginative, and inspired. Help me to draw upon the world around me, and the thoughts that this inspires within me, to lift up soaring praise and adoration of you, for you are worthy of my highest praises.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh