One of the outstanding features of the whole Bible is that it is prophetic. It not only reveals past events but also future events. It foretold the first coming of the Messiah. It foretells His Second Coming and the millennial kingdom to follow this present age and about the final and perfect state following the Millennium. The Psalms themselves in many places are prophetic in nature. This Psalm of David is one of them. With this aspect in view let’s now look at this Psalm.
(Vs.1-2) “Ascribe to the Lord, O mighty ones, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendour of His holiness.
The psalm opens with the heavenly beings ascribing to God glory and strength. These are beings in the heavenly courts surrounding the throne of God and worshipping the Lamb of God the Messiah our Lord Jesus, who as God the Son, also sits at the centre of the throne of God, being himself God and equal with God His heavenly Father and with God the Holy Spirit.
In Revelation Chapter 5:6 we see the Lamb who had been slain, the Messiah God’s eternal Son standing at the centre of the throne of God being Himself also God the Son and equal with God, and also we see the seven fold Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit Himself also mentioned. It is a picture of the Triune nature of God also called the Trinity. The whole host of heavens courts, both spirit beings and the spirits of justified saints made perfect by the Messiah’s atoning blood, are together surrounding the throne continuously worshipping the Triune God. At the very centre of the worship is the Passover Lamb of God Himself, the Messiah our Lord Jesus who has redeemed His saints by His blood. (Revelation 7:9-17) (Revelation 1:4-6) See also; (Hebrews 12:22-24).
When the apostle John received the Book of Revelation from the Lord Jesus all of the apostles were now dead, the Body of Messiah throughout the whole Roman Empire were experiencing severe persecution, and so they needed a further revelation from the Lord Jesus concerning His absolute sovereignty over all that was happening on earth and in the unseens spiritual realm, and that despite all that was happening He still had everything under His control. He also wanted His bride to see what the end of their perseverance in tribulation would be, ultimately the rapture, the resurrection and the co-reigning with Him in His Messianic kingdom on earth in the age to come! Added to this, He also wanted to reassure His bride, the Body of Messiah, that After the Millennial reign they would experience the final and eternal state (Revelation 21:1-4).
And then David adds that we, as blood redeemed saints, need to ascribe to God the glory due His name. His name is beyond our human understanding because there is no other being in the universe that can do what He does. He Himself has said; “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). In the Bible we see names attributed to God describing the things He does as God and He is given names that describe the divine attributes of His character (Isaiah 9:6-7). But to know His name in its entirety and perfect fullness in all of its glory is far beyond human comprehension.
We see this when the Triune God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush; “Then Moses said to God, “Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you.’ Now they may say to me, ‘What is His name?’ What shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you’” (Exodus 3:13-14). He was saying to Moses “I AM all that you need Me to be and to do, and this is sufficient.”
Seven times in the Gospel of John the Lord Jesus Himself said that He was the “I AM” declaring Himself God and equal with God. (John (6:35; 8:12; 10:7; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1). He was also saying that He was the one who before His incarnation; spoke to Moses out of the burning bush. While we cannot know God’s name we can certainly worship Him in the splendour of His holiness. He is a holy God, one who is separate from all things and high above all things on earth in the heavens including the entire universe and the unseen spiritual realm.
When we come into his presence to worship Him we should come with reverence. There will be joy, praise and music and singing in His presence on earth in worship as there is in His heavenly courts, but also a sense of reverence, awe and respect as well, something that is sadly missing in many so called worship services today within wider Christendom.
So we have seen that the Triune God Himself is sovereign over all He has created. He is to be worshipped for His glory, His strength, for the glory due to His name which is beyond human comprehension, and as the one worshipped in the presence of His holiness leaving no room for frivolity, lightness, flippancy or casual and even careless behaviour when in His presence. Having established God’s absolute sovereignty, splendour, glory, holiness and strength, we now come to the prophetic part of this Psalm.
(Vs.3-4) “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.
In the Bible the waters can represent peoples, languages and nations (Revelation 17:1, 15). The fact that His voice thunders over the waters tells us that His voice is supreme over all other voices clamouring for attention and recognition in this world. His word is final and He always does what He wants, when He wants, in the way He wants, with whomsoever He wants, wherever He wants and asks no man’s permission. Even though there are mighty nations on earth that are opposed to God and whose leaders do not care for God or man, when the God of glory thunders it is powerful and majestic and at His command nations and their leaders fall and crumble. The day is coming when His voice will thunder and every level of society shaken. (Isaiah 24:1-3).
Such will be the lot of those kingdoms that are rising up in opposition to Him at the end of this age in which we are now living. The time will come when at the Second Coming of the Messiah our Lord Jesus He will speak and the earth will shake, its leaders tremble, and strong men will grab their stomachs in sheer terror in abject fear seeking to hide themselves from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb, because the great day of their wrath has come for the unsaved and who can stand? Such will it be when the wrath of the Lamb is poured out upon the unsaved rebellious Messiah hating, Messiah rejecting world (Revelation 6:15-17).
When the Triune God thunders over these mighty waters of the nations they will be immediately plunged into turmoil with no way of escape from their impending doom. The mere command from the mouth of the Messiah on His return will see all and every kingdom on earth that man has built to oppose God and His sovereign rule shattered and broken into fine dust and blown away by the mighty wind and power of the Spirit of God (Daniel 2:32-35, 44-45). The nations will be as the wild sea tossed by a severe storm with leaders in anxiety and perplexing not knowing the way out.
As Luke writes; “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:25-28).
When we see the wholesale breakdown of society, the increase of lawlessness across the globe, wicked and repressive governments with their unbiblical legislation, nations in turmoil with its leaders not knowing the way out, the world racked by war, famine, disease, the apostasy rampant and running wild within Christendom and the constellations in the heavens being shaken, as New Covenant believers we are not to buckle over at the knees with fear as those do who are not saved, but instead, we are to stand up straight, lifting our heads upwards towards the heavens with expectant faith, knowing that our full and complete redemption is about to happen! And then we read…
(Vs.5-6) “The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.”
Today Lebanon is the home of Hezbollah, the Islamic terrorist organization supported by Iran that is fighting its proxy war against Israel through Hezbollah and supplying them with weapons. Hezbollah has thousands of rockets ready to be unleashed upon Israel. Now a cedar tree is a very strong and very tall tree and these ‘cedars’ in this context can be applied prophetically to Hezbollah which we are told will be broken into pieces by the voice of the Lord which will also see the spirit of Islam eliminated in Lebanon. Hezbollah will never succeed in wiping Israel off of the map!
After God has completely destroyed this terrorist organization, the people of Lebanon by and large will be set free from this oppressive wicked spirit or principality controlling Hezbollah that has had sovereignty over the people of Lebanon. Once the Hezbollah regime has been eradicated by the command of the Lord Jesus, the people will skip like a young a newly born calf or as a newly born ox. They will be filled to overflowing with supernatural delight and joy because they will have received the everlasting Gospel and the Messiah our Lord Jesus as their rightful Saviour and Lord! God will have removed not only the burden of Hezbollah with its despotic regime and destroyed the spirit of Islam in Lebanon, but also have removed the burden of sin from the Lebanese people! And then we read…
(Vs.7) “The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning.”
Did you know that flashes of lightning steam forth from the very hand of God As we are told; “He fills His hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark. The thunder declares His presence” (Job 36:32a) and again we read; “His splendour was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his Hand, the hiding place of His power. Plague went before Him; pestilence followed His steps. He stood, and shook the earth; He looked, and made the nations tremble. The ancient mountains (kingdoms) crumbled and the age-old hills (the capital cities of these kingdoms and their leaders) collapsed. His ways are eternal” (Habakkuk 3:4-6).
We also know that when the Lord Jesus comes back that His Second Coming will be “as the lightening that comes from the east and flashes to the west” (Matthew 24:27). It will not be a secret coming but a visible coming that every eye on earth will see (Revelation 1:7). With this great brightness unleashed at His Second Coming, a brightness greater than that of lightening that flashes, the Messiah our Lord Jesus will destroy the man of sin, all wickedness and false religion and every kingdom and ruler that has raised itself up against the kingdom of God! None of them will be spared! None will escape!
As we also read; “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendour of His coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:8). This “brightness” will be greater than a nuclear detonation and will cause the heavens to disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it burned up or laid bare” (2 Peter 3:10). That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire and the very elements will melt in the heat. This indeed will be the wrath of God upon a Messiah hating, Messiah cursing, Messiah rejecting world.
However, those who are the Lord’s will not experience this wrath that will come upon the whole world at the very end of this present age (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9). It is only the blood of the Messiah and by faith in Jesus and in His atoning, cleansing and sanctifying blood that we can be justified before God and saved from the wrath to come (Romans 5:9).
In that day no one will be protected by church attendance, good works, self-reformation, religious ceremonies and traditions, other religions, by the psychology and philosophy of fallen man, or by ecumenical or interfaith unity or by human government. It is only by the blood of the Messiah and by faith sheltering under its power to atone for our sin, to cleanse us from sin, to sanctify us and to make us fit to go to heaven that we can be saved from the coming wrath.
If the blood of the Messiah our Lord Jesus has been applied by faith to the doorposts of our heart by the Holy Spirit of God, and that blood having purged our conscience from dead works to serve the Living God, then the destroying angel will pass over us because when God sees the blood of His Son sprinkled by faith on the altar of our heart He will pass over us (Exodus 12:13) (Romans 5:9) (1 Corinthians 5:7) (Hebrews 9:14).
Remember that grand Hymn which is eternal in its truth. As the first verse and chorus goes “Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? Are you washed in the blood, in the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb? Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow? Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?”
Without the protection of the blood of the Messiah there is no salvation, there is no deliverance from the devil’s clutches or from the lake of fire! Salvation is found only in the Messiah our Lord Jesus alone (John 14:6) (Acts 4:12). It is only the power of His blood that can release us from the power and penalty of sin (Revelation 1:5) and by that same blood be set free from its very presence in us at the rapture and resurrection of all the saints at the end of this present age (1 Corinthians 15:51-57).
In light of the coming wrath how are we to live? We are to live a life separated to God from the lifestyle of the unsaved world and to be godly in our thoughts, our speech and in our personal conduct and actions towards others, looking forward to and anticipating the Second Coming of the Messiah our Lord Jesus who will save us from the coming wrath, and to hasten His Second Coming by being involved in preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, being the final sign that will bring about the end of this present age (2 Peter 3:11-12a) (Matthew 24:14). And then we read…
(Vs.8-9) “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!”
Ancient Kadesh today is a geographical area in the Middle East that is part of the Muslim Arab world. God’s Word clearly reveals that when the Messiah returns He will fight Islam and destroy its power (Isaiah 34:5-10) (Isaiah 63:1-6). Edom is mentioned in these texts as the area that will experience these judgements and geographically Edom not only includes Southern Jordan but sweeps down into Saudi Arabia (Ezekiel 25:12-14). Ezekiel mentions Teman and Dedan which on ancient maps of the Middle-East are located in Saudi Arabia, the heart of the Muslim world.
Now an oak tree is a very solid tree, a very strong and sturdy tree like no other trees except possibly the cedars of Lebanon. However, metaphorically and in a prophetic context and application, these ‘oaks’ can represent the Islamic despotic regimes that have a strangle hold on the people in the Muslim world, as we see in Islamic enclaves such as Lebanon, Gaza, Pakistan and especially in Iran. The Islamic ‘voice’ is being heard all over the globe. However, when the voice of the Messiah is heard resounding over the earth and thundering at His Second Coming with the armies of heaven, these strong ‘oaks’ will be twisted out of shape and discarded having no further use and ultimately cast alive into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. The whole Islamic world will be shaken!
The ‘forests’ metaphorically speaking and in their prophetic context and application can be applied to the armies of Islam, those remorseless killers for Allah that today are shedding the blood of God’s saints and are drunk with their blood, and with the blood of all who are living on the earth (Revelation 17:6; 18:24). These ‘forests’ will be stripped bare, of no further use, incapable of destroying any longer and go down into the pit in wholesale lots, all of them being Islamic armies whose countries are mentioned by name in the Word of God (Ezekiel 32:17-32). When this happens all who are God’s temple on earth, being the corporate body of the Messiah and His redeemed bride, will cry “Glory!” because the Kingdom of God and his Messiah our Lord Jesus will have been inaugurated on earth after all resistance to it has been fully destroyed!
When that seventh and last trumpet is sounded there will be loud voices in heaven declaring: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and He will reign forever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). The redeemed saints of all the ages in their resurrected and glorified bodies will give the victory shout and praise to the glory of God who has given them the victory over Satan, over the man of sin with the mark of his beast empire and the whole unseen demonic realm incarcerated in the depths of the earth! Indeed all in God’s Living Temple will shout “Glory!” Finally we read…
(Vs.10-11) “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.”
As it is written in God’s Word; “So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in, like a flood the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a battle standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19). Satan’s floods of persecution and opposition to God and to His redeemed saints cannot be compared to the mighty flood unleashed against him and his cohorts from hell by the power of the Spirit of God! In that day they will acknowledge that He is the king who is reigning forever!
As New Covenant believer right now you may be experiencing Satan’s deluge of affliction, a trial, heaviness of spirit through manifold temptations, bouts of depression, facing hostility in the work place or at school, facing rejection and persecution for the name of Jesus and even feeling a sense of drowning mentally, emotionally and spiritually, but what you need to realise afresh is that the Lord sits enthroned above that flood of affliction enthroned as the supreme king over the whole universe.
He sees and understands all things that are happening, He plans all things and provides all things because He knows the end from the beginning, being Himself the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, and the eternal one who inhabits eternity itself!. Nothing takes Him by surprise! (Psalm 139:1-16). Whatever “the flood” you are facing dear brother or sister the Lord, the Triune God sits enthroned over that flood and in His perfect timing will raise a battle standard by the power of the Holy Spirit and drive off the enemy of our souls. God still has everything under control including the nations and their politicians with their ungodly legislation.
As it is written…
“Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against His Anointed One (the Messiah). “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
Then He rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in His wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, My holy hill. I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of Me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
You will rule them with an iron sceptre you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him” (Psalm 2).
God sets up kings and deposes them. (Daniel 2:21) In His wise judgement and perception of all things we are also told in His Word that He brings down one but exalts another (Psalm 75:7).
In all tribulation and especially in the time of Great Tribulation that is coming upon Israel, upon the Body of the Messiah, upon apostate Christendom, upon all religions and upon the whole world, the Lord at this time will impart supernatural strength to His blood purchased, blood redeemed, blood washed, blood sanctified people and bless them with His peace that passes all human comprehension and garrison their hearts and minds in the Messiah Jesus (Philippians 4:7). As it is also written; “For the eyes of the LORD roam to and fro over all the earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are fully devoted to Him” (2 Chronicles 16:9).
It may be that you are reading this psalm and you are a saved believer but in your struggle with the world the flesh and the devil your heart is not fully devoted to the Lord and your affections have been misplaced. Other things have come in and captivated your desires and waylaid your will to resist the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life.
You cannot overcome this in your own strength or by the power of your will. It will take the mighty enabling power of the Holy Spirit, the blood of the Messiah and the Word of God to make that inward change that you are longing for but it seems to elude you. You think it is for others but not for you because you feel spiritually weak and vulnerable, being conscious of the depravity of your own heart (Jeremiah 17:9). However, God has not abandoned you as He has promised “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). The Greek text says; “I will never, no never, leave you or forsake you.”
It is a challenge all of us face every day as New Covenant believers in the Messiah Jesus including myself. Remember dear brothers and sisters that the Lord gives strength to His people and blesses His people with peace (shalom)! We must keep asking God for a clean heart and that He would renew a steadfast spirit deep down on the inside of us. Spiritual change is not an overnight ‘fix’ but a change that will come when there is a deep desire to do His will and to have a clean heart producing in us that holiness without which no one shall see God (Psalm 51:10) (Hebrews 12:14).
A holy heart is a happy heart filled with the love of God activated by faith (Galatians 5:6). It is a deep spiritual work that the Holy Spirit does in us. All God asks is the surrender of our will to His will and He will change us from the inside out (2 Corinthians 5:17). Even if you are not willing, are you willing to be made willing? What is impossible with man is possible with God because with God all things are possible including the spiritual work of a clean heart and a steadfast spirit.
If we desire to be like the Lord Jesus and conformed to His image, to which we have been predestined to by God in His foreknowledge, then He who is faithful in His character and to His Word will do this deep spiritual work and give us a clean heart deep down on the inside of us, and that by His supernatural power. As we continue to work out our salvation moment by moment and day by day with reverent fear and trembling let us remember that it is God who works in us to will and to act on behalf of His good purpose and pleasure (Romans 8:28-30) (Philippians 2:12b-13).
Jeremiah the prophet put it this way; “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 29:11-14a).
Psalm 29 is one that is prophetic in nature, as are many of the psalms, and can be applied to the time it was written by David and applicable to his circumstances, but also with a prophetic perspective. The time will come when once more the voice of the Lord will thunder and the whole earth will be shaken to its very core and the systems and empires that man has created will crumble and topple over never to rise again. Only what God has established will not be moved in this shaking that is coming upon all of humanity at the end of this present age when the voice of the Lord will be heard, when the Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for His people, a stronghold for the people of Israel and for all of the redeemed saints of the Living God (Joel 3:16).