Summary: Sunday After Epiphany Year B
Psalm 29 / The Voice Of The Lord
Intro: . Recently, I saw a commercial for computer software that types whatever the person says into a microphone. That commercial got me to thinking about voice recognition. Personally, I’m not very good at recognizing voices over the phone. Thank goodness for caller ID because it is the only way I can tell the difference between Richard and Jonathan, my 2 oldest sons. --- At times when the name is blocked on caller ID, I recognize the voice; but, I can’t put a name with it. What do you do in such a situation? Also, I have lost count of the number of times I have been called “mame” on the phone. I’ve decided that recognizing voices is a definite gift!
I. The dominant image in this psalm is that of the mighty voice of God.
A. The Hebrew noun qôl here translated as “voice,” is sometimes translated “thunder”. It is repeated 7 times in this psalm with the number 7 symbolizing fullness or completion.
B. The phrase “the voice of God” rolls through the psalm like thunderclaps over the landscape.
C. VS. 3 – 9 “the voice of the Lord” as seen in the storm: thunders (3), is powerful (4), is majestic (4), splits might trees (5), causes trembling ( 6), strikes like lightening that destroys (7), shakes the wilderness (8), and strips the forests bare (9).
II. Do we hear “the voice of the Lord” in worship? Do we not hear the voice of the Lord because God isn’t speaking?
A. Believers often come to worship no expecting anything to happen. We approach worship casually, almost nonchalantly, hoping only to hear some practical piece of advice or to escape the problems of the world for and hour.
B. Every church has at least one person who is known for sleeping in church. I was once asked if it bothered me for people to sleep in worship. My answer is usually, “I’m glad I can provide them security and quiet enough to find rest from the troubles of the world.”
C. One must begin to realize that the psalm is not about the storm; it is about God. It is about “glory,” God’s glory. A feeling of awe sweeps over the psalmist as he or she reflects on the mighty power of God and calls on everyone to break forth in praise.
III. None of us is a stranger to the thunderstorms that shake the foundation of our lives and blow away our illusions of security.
A. The psalmist invites us to trust that the God of shalom is Lord alone over all the forces that threaten to “blow us away.”
B. In the midst of chaos we may experience the presence and power of Christ Jesus whom the voice of God acknowledges in the waters of the Jordan saying, “This is my Son, the Beloved.”(MK 1:11)
C. Amid the storms of life, we too are invited to ask and exclaim with Jesus’ storm-tossed disciples in a boat: ”Who is this that even wind and sea obey him.”(MK 4:41)
Conclu: God is the unavoidable power at the center of everything, the source and end of all existence. Have we heard the voice of God in this day? Have we beheld God’s glory, not alone in nature’s power, but also in a cradle in Bethlehem, a cross on Golgotha, and an empty tomb at the dawn of the new creation? Do we continue to hear the “voice of God” proclaim good news to us?
“I have called you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and the the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. . . Do not fear, for I am with you” (Isaiah 43: 1 - 2, 5)
Do we find comfort in the words of the psalmist in verses 10 and 11?
“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.”
. . . and in His temple all cry, “GLORY!”