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The Lord, The Lord Almighty

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
October 19, 2021 8:00 am

The Lord, The Lord Almighty

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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October 19, 2021 8:00 am

Even the mountains quake in His presence. Today on The Bible Study Hour, we’ll take a closer look at the poetic imagery of Psalm 29. In this psalm of praise, David experiences God’s power through creation, and he calls on the heavenly hosts to join him in worship of our powerful Creator

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Even the mountains quake in his presence today on the Bible study our will take a closer look at the poetic imagery of Psalm 29 in this Psalm of praise. David experiences God's power through creation and he calls him a heavenly host to join him in worship of our powerful creator and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically. David is witnessing a literal storm and rather than fearing the thundering cowering from the lightning. He acknowledges the power and presence of God throughout all creation.

If you have your Bible turn to Psalm 29 now were going to be talking about Psalm 29 and I invite you to open your Bible to it. If you've not already done so. This is a wonderful Psalm.

I am impressed as I work my way through the book of Psalms. How wonderfully diverse like our I don't think that there is a portion of Scripture that requires more of the expositor or preacher than the book of Psalms have to have a certain amount of knowledge even understand what they're talking about requires a certain depth of experience because the Psalms reach down to the very heart of the experience of God in all kinds of diverse situations and then an additional laughter presented in a bewildering variety of poetic form. So you have to have knowledge of doctorate as a whole which includes knowledge of the Bible, you have to have a knowledge of Christian experience and you have to understand something about poetry.

I think for that reason, it is very hard to go consistently through the book of Psalms's and teach them in the most edifying of ways. One thing that we find when we go through the Psalms is that we are always being surprised and that certainly what happens when we come to this Psalm. The Psalm is unlike anything we've seen before, is I happen to be on like everything we've seen before Psalm. After all, and it's there in the software and it uses the words we've seen before orgasm. All that is true, and yet it's remarkably different in the number of ways. First of all, this is entirely a Psalm of praise to God. To say it is exclusively.

Psalm pressure say, well, our goal of this loan Psalms of praise.

Yes, they are in most cases, but not exclusively, usually they mix other things with worshiper will say I'm in great distress not help me and then he says I know God is going to help me and I praise his name or oriole recite something that's happened to him. He says I was in great distress. And God came to me and delivered me praise his name. Join me as I praise him sometimes they'll speak about sin in the need to confess it and they will be Psalms of confession and some times they'll speak in ways that glorify the king and point ahead to the coming of Jesus Christ was the great anointed one about all those different things occur in the Psalms, along with the praise. There's a song that is exclusively praise talks about God and his glory from verse one verse 11 and secondly it sure poetry I would again you're going to say will learn all of the Psalms poetry SAR when you read this one and study at you sense that it is almost in a category by itself. What are the characteristics of Hebrew verse while there are two chiefly on his repetition on the second is parallelism characteristics of our verse for meter and rhyme that's not true of Hebrew verse, and these characteristics are repetition and parallelism of the repetition is obvious we give you rest. The chief examples chief. Two examples never repetition of the word Jehovah throughout the song translated the Lord and upper and small caps and you find it in virtually every verse altogether.

It occurs 18 times in the 11 verses of the song. Each of these verses with a few exceptions, has two lines of about 22 lines there while 18 of them have the name of the Lord Jehovah in the notice of right at the beginning ascribe to the Lord describe the Lord ascribed to the Lord. Worship the Lord. So the first four line Psalm have the word Jehovah and then there's a special combination of the word Jehovah and something else that you find in the middle portion verses three through nine that's in the phrase the voice of the Lord where Jehovah occurs there as well.

But in the phrase the voice of the Lord and that occurs seven-time. Here you have this remarkable set of repetitions of the name of God in those two combinations. Parallelism is obvious as well. Very striking is verses one to a already gave a slight indication of how that happens, there you have three absolutely parallel lines followed by 1/4, which is also parallel, but varies somewhat away Hebrew verses written ascribe to the Lord Almighty.

Once ascribe to the Lord glory and strength ascribed to the Lord the glory due his name three lines that are almost directly parallel and then the fourth comes on, which is parallel and thought, but varies in words worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness the same thing in the middle portion of the Psalm there most of the verses contain two lines except the first and the last, and almost all of those verses containing the two lines are parallel first simply amplifies it a bit. It sets off the voice of the Lord is over the waters. God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters see how that works. You have the voice of the Lord didn't first line being over the waters you have the glory of God thundering in the second line in the third line combines the two ideas all the rest.

As I say our couplets the exception of verse seven which is a conflict, but doesn't involve a repetition in verse nine, which adds a final line in his temple. All cry glory, and then finally at the very end. You have a set of parallels again. The Lord sits enthroned with a flood Lord is enthroned as King forever Lord give strength to his people.

The Lord blesses people with grace, so poetically that's the way it operates. I am I say at that point and you have all of that repetition.

Now the name of God being repeated 18 times.

All other names for God introduced here. This Jehovah Jehovah Jehovah the voice of the Lord repeated seven times.

You have all these ideas and parallel what is it that keeps the problem from being or doll. You and I would write a poem and say the same thing over and over again. Well, nobody would want to read it. How this poem is not like that of disabled what is it that keeps it from being that way and does it is the emotion that you have in the poem have two kinds of motion, verses three through nine are describing the storm right look at that moment come back to look at it in some detail. That storm begins out over the Mediterranean toward the north and it moves inland and down the whole coastal range and finally it extends itself out over the desert. So although you have this repetition of the voice of the Lord, going on again and again and again in those verses the storm itself is moving and that keeps them from being doll and then bracketing that going back to the first two verses which precede the description of the storm in the last two verses that follow it. You have a second kind of movement which is a movement from heaven to earth of the very beginning.

As David begins to praise God he calls upon the mighty ones of heaven that is the angels of God to join him in his praise.

Gloria set up in heaven and you have the storm finally get to the very end of the poem you have peace on earth. No wonder I decide who like this a lot called it possibly one of the greatest poems in the Bible and he said perhaps his favorite poem in all of literature, you have to approach it that way if you don't approach it politically if you stand back and say well we we all know that the voice of God is not the same thing as thunder. Thunder is caused by colliding oppositely charged electronic particles and so forth. You're going to miss all is Ray.

It's not scientific writing will approach it politically, as we are called upon to do a David obviously was a great poet, then it will speak to speak to you of the glory of God and will speak to your heart in a moving way.

Just as we are often greatly moved when we experience some great turmoil in the habit such as we see in the storm.

Spurgeon said something interesting about this. He compared this song that has this magnificent description of the storm with Psalm eight and Psalm 19.

You know what soulmate says that's the one that talks about man being made a little lower than the heavenly beings of the reason Spurgeon said we have to compare it with that is that that Psalm talks about the heavens and the moon and the star. Recall that verse, I consider your heavens work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you set in place. Spurgeon said not only that Psalm by moonlight and come to the 19 Psalm that has that great description of the sun begins the heavens declare the glory of God, and is evident what he's talking about because you get on and verses four and five in the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, he says, got a study that's all my daybreak and then he comes to this when he says you really need to understand the context of some Great Stories Way, Spurgeon puts that just as the eighth Psalm is to be read by moonlight. When the stars are bright and is the 19th needs the rays of the rising Sun to bring out its beauty. So this can best be rehearsed beneath the black wing of Tempest by the glare of the lightning or amid that dubious dusk, which heralds the war developments obvious that Spurgeon himself is poetic and a love that kind of passage you wrote the verses marks to the tune of thunderbolts, God is everywhere conspicuous of all the earth is touched by the majesty of his presence. Let's look at it that way.

Let's start with verses one and two David here addresses himself to the heavenly beings which is what that phrase, oh mighty ones refers to an unusual phrase. Many Aleem in Hebrew, and the reason it's unusual is that the normal way of describing the heavenly beings along those lines is by the words than a Elohim that usually translated the sons of God, you find Job and in other places and obviously refers to angels, they Aleem really means sons of God's and literally taken.

I would seem to suggest a lower level of divine beings there is God, and then the dogs and the sons of the God that is so foreign anything in Hebrew theology is rightly rejected and probably we simply have a variation of the other idea here say why do you have that strange kind of double plural.

We really don't know might just be an unusual form or it might be a way of accentuating the number might be a way of saying angels of angels of Angel and that's probably the case. At any rate, that's what David seems to be doing. He directs his eyes heavenward, and he calls upon the angels of God to join him in describing glorying of the one whose glory is being revealed so powerfully in the storm that is about to describe IC have to be partake at this point because if you find yourself being too rationalistic. You're going to miss it. You're going to say things like this. Why should David be calling upon the angels to praise God. After all, that's what the angels do all the time. That's their job to praise God and that what he really should be doing is calling upon human beings to praise God because we're the ones who don't praise you don't have to say that seraphim who surround the throne of God.

Now, be sure you say, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty and don't forget to keep it up that would be obnoxious on our part is what they're doing a lot to do it far better than we do as a way you're thinking. You're missing it is David saying that he knows perfectly well the Angels are praising God what he saying is this, he saying the glory of God is so wonderful that we've seen it in such a glorious way in this form. No possible human voice can do God or eight we got all the people of all know I'm all assembled in the Temple praising God would begin to do it justice.

Angels come out. Join us as we say see what he's doing is calling upon all the created order to ascribe glory to the one who sits upon the throne and maybe he's doing something else to uses two words there when he calls upon the angels one is aware describe repeats of three times in the second word is worship. Others have particular connotations and what they suggest is how we should glorify God ascribe to the Lord glory and strength has to do with the mind see it involves content.

You say God is glorious and so recognizing that he is glorious. You give him glory.

The mental activity and its reminder that worship is mental worship is not just having a good time is getting a kick out of singing a hymn or some sort of songs they go away and say when that neat.

That's not worship. Worship is recognizing the attributes of God and praising it for him so he says that in that word worship.

This particular word worship has the idea of bowing down, and that involves the will. In other words, a surrender of our will to him putting us together and what worship really is recognizing the glory of God with our minds and then bowing before it is, I suppose there's a sense in which the devils recognize the glory of God and ascribe glory to him. They hated him for it, but they recognize that I just don't bow before God's people do you say get well or the Angels failing to do that, no, no, David is doing as he addresses himself to the Angels is reminding human beings. It is the Angels ascribe glory to God, and bow down before insulting human being one in the heart of worship.

That's how we come in verses three through nine to the heart of this and the heart of it is this great description of the storm really have to experience some great storm have a feeling for what David is doing here. I'm sure you have different times in your life if you think back over it sometime you actually exposing the fury of the elements I read this, particularly the motion of the storm as it goes from north to south.

I think of something that I believe I mentioned on other occasions. One summer my family and I had the privilege of spending some time on leg brilliance in central Switzerland not far from Interlochen Interlochen between the lakes to likes of the tutors on one side leg brilliance. On the other, and we were on lately and switches the lease occupied, sparsely occupied of the two lakes we were on the south shore that like is not a great deal of building their rather high up so we had a wonderful vantage point to look out over the whole of lately hands and then down to our our left from the balcony of the chalet which we were staying. We can see the edge of interlocutor. Beyond that, although we couldn't see it further down the valley rose now. We were there. One hot August afternoon, a storm came by the likes of which I have never seen we sought gathering down the light cloudy down there.

We saw rain being driven before it as it passed its way over interlocutor began to make its way up the lake.

It was likes staring at the snake we were fascinated by we were in bright sunshine and yet down there are all those dark clouds. We watch that at first we didn't even know what it was. What is going on down there we stood on the balcony. Once this thing is. It came toward us and I got bigger and darker and fiercer and over time it was like nothing if that's possible that we were bright sunshine. Everything was called. The flowers were blooming. It was like afternoon in the pages of Heidi and then suddenly the storm hit, and that we recognize that we have been treating far too likely, it was like a candle when one of our children was on the balcony barely got ready in time and we finally got inside me batten down the hatches and we saw that storm go by move on up the valley and finally faded out in the mountains to our right. That's the kind of storm have here actually have three motions of the storm interrupted by a description of the lightning verse seven of the gathering of the storm in the North, verses three and four have it moving down the land in verses five and six in the lightning and finally have a passing out with the desert south verses three and four were interesting because they describe the voice of the Lord which means the thunder gathering over the waters was that meme of the two things it could mean it could mean gathering out over the Mediterranean Sea. Or it could mean waters in the heaven. That is the thunderclaps that contain the water ladder is a biblical idea because if you go back to Genesis. You know, in the creation account. The Lord makes a firmament that is the sky separating from the water above the firmament and the water below the firmament, the water below water you find in ponds and streams and rivers of the ocean water above is the water in the atmosphere so that's a biblical idea. I think personally it's describing the storm as it begins out over the Mediterranean. At any rate, wherever it is under is beginning to shake the land and warn the people that the storm is coming. Begins in the north. As I said, verses five and six. Make that clear up over Lebanon which is mentioned twice in Syria on which is named for Mount Herman ancient name for Mount Herman and then begins to move down the land. Here's this great storm passing down a great mountainous ridge that marks the holy land I described earlier how you have all these wonderful parallel statements in the repetitions of the repetitions you read it, particularly in the Hebrew suggest the sound of the storm. The sound of the thunder verse seven doesn't it has a different tone in the Hebrew and you can pick up something of it in the English translation, the voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning, that's exactly the way it's written say in the midst of all this rolling thunder and repetition that you have in the earlier verses lightning now is flashing and then finally the storm having passed down through the land of Israel to get verses eight and mine describe how it moves on out into the southern desert. The desert of K voice of the Lord shakes the desert to the Lord shakes the desert of K the voice of the Lord twist the yokes and scripts for forest bear. One of the people of God doing all this time bro find it in that line the Davis tacked on in his temple. All cry glory.

Now that could refer to heaven course. He began by calling upon the Angels to praise God. It could be the temple of God in heaven but probably not. There is nothing explicit in the text, but indicate what is thinking about is heaven is probably thinking about the temple in Jerusalem. The storm is passing over while it's passing over daughter.

There there saying, glory, glory we had an experience like that here some years ago in one of the Philadelphia conferences on reformed theology and all those conferences you may remember it. Joe leader was preaching on that occasion and he was preaching on the judgment of God is one of those thunderstorms come in the spring began to pass over the city.

I was just like that we could hear the thunder off in the distance. We knew it was coming here was human. He began to preach on the judgment of God and the more he talked about the judgment of God, the louder the thunder became. Finally, in descending on his a tremendous crash of lightning was flashing and the rain was pouring and he was preaching judgment judgment judgment is that we were all here together saying, glory, glory, glory as a that's what David is describing the place in Jerusalem and that I asked questions only is doing here is talking about storm would be worthwhile to do that glory of God is seen in his creation see it in the sunset.

You can see it in the storm probably doing more than that reason I say that is his emphasis upon the voice of the Lord voice of the Lord is referring to the thunder but no Jew would read that the voice of the Lord and say well that's all it's referring to Jew would think of the voice of God.

The voice of Jehovah you would be aware of how powerful that voice is would conjure up all kinds of associations likely to Jew, but that should be true of us as well. Jew and Gentile.

What you think of when you think of the voice of the Lord, you know your Bible. It's hard to think of the voice of the Lord without thinking of creation first chapter of Genesis.

How does all of the created order come in the being well, God speaks doesn't God says, let there be light is light, God says not to be a heaven and there's a heaven and got to be as silent as the sun God said, let there be a moon and stars in the earth and the things on the earth, the plants, the animals, all those things follow up on the voice of God, the creator voice of God. I think that's not missing here. Hard to think of God speaking in the storm without thinking about also speaking in creation about the voice of God and calling sinners to himself. I don't think that is here. At least I don't find it here somebody and tell me afterwards that they find it somewhere but nevertheless you can hardly read that without thinking that it is the voice of God that brings spiritual life and spiritual death on the part from which there is no spiritual life. Jesus calls his own when he calls them his voice creates life in them and they come Spurgeon like that.

This is one of the points of which Spurgeon is better poet than he is in expositor but what he does this find the effect of the voice of God of all these different things that are mentioned here as David describes the storm is of a dozen hearings about those mighty cedars of Lebanon. Those great symbols of strength and power in the ancient near East like our redwood trees in California and then Spurgeon says this is pure Spurgeon the gospel of Jesus has dominion over the most inaccessible immortals in when the Lord sends the word it breaks hearts far stronger than the cedars and then he reached out a little bit further and the discovers the effect of the voice of God upon the mountains to see it says there even the mountains shake and he writes this the glorious gospel of the blessed God is more than equal power over the rocky obduracy and mountainous pride of man is a poetic way of handling it and then he gets to verse seven, the talked about the lightning and he says this flames of fire attend the voice of God in the gospel, illuminating and letting the hearts of men by these. He consumes our lusts and kindles in his holy flame of every inspiring love and devotion, and he reached down a little bit further in this description of the Solomon guest of the desert and he says low-lying planes must hear the voice of God as well as the lofty mountain. The poor as well as the mighty must acknowledge the glory of the Lord.

Now I have to say that better poetry than exegesis. I don't think that's what the text is saying at all.

And yet if you are a child of God, and I heard the voice of God.

You know the truth of what Spurgeon said you know that in God's voice is not broken through the hardness of your heart you would never come to the voice of God had not watered the parched desert of your soul.

You would never experience the reality of spiritual life.does that only thing about the voice of God we think about the voice of God in the physical creation, but we think about the voice of God and the spiritual creation to miss one other thing about the voice of God we think about the voice of God, judgment lacks year see the first is here and the third is here you find it at the end we backup a minute versus three through nine. Describe the passing of the storm and get to verses 10 and 11. The storm is passed. Lord sits enthroned over the flood orders enthroned as king forever, and so on little bit like that description of God passing by Elijah. Recall that Elijah was discouraged after his great battle against the priest available on God told him to go stand on the mountain he would pass by Elijah. Did he hit McKay God came I came by as a fire came by as a woman when and by as an earthquake, and yet it said Ward was not in any of those things and when they had passed. That was a gentle whisper and Elijah went forth covering his face in order to meet with God.

That's what it's like here you see you've had the earthquake in the storm everything that the fire less lightning counts. Cisplatin finally Marianne disquiet God is there and the client just as God was president storm when it's described as significant and this is where we get to the matter of judgment says in verse 10, the Lord sits enthroned over the flood. This is the only place in the Old Testament that particular word occurs, except in the flood narrative of Genesis 6 through nine. You understand words any Jewish reader would thought would immediately run back to that seen a great judgment.

I would stroke that you can understand this in the physical way. Had this great storm with all the water of the thunder clouds unleashed upon the mountains of water is run down and the ravines and flash flooding in the low-lying areas. That's what Jesus was talking about when he talked about the storm coming and washing away the house of the man would build in the Valley are not built upon a rock. All that is very literal to see if this is a word that is reminiscent of the flood of Genesis 6 through nine. It's a way of saying that God is the God of judgment is even something else. Although it's not evident in our translation. They made all present tense in the Hebrew. The first part of that is actually past tense. The Lord's side, enthroned over the flood is what it says and seems to be a very direct reference back to Genesis and then it passes on to the present. The Lord is enthroned as king forever.

In other words, God signed judgment once and God continues to sit enthroned, God is going to come in judgment once again see that's the way it ends voice of God in creation voice of God in regeneration on the voice of God, judgment meant to be sobering. Certainly that was the purpose of the storm is the way David saw. Although this is a great description of the glory of God.

Christians can redesign and praise him for his glory in nature. It is in a far deeper level warning against any who continue in sin, somehow oblivious of the knowledge of the judgment of God will certainly come when the judgment comes is going to be far worse than any mere thunderstorm or Jesus Christ talking about it, said it will be so terrible in that day that men and women will call upon the mountains to fall upon them and cover them to hide them from the fury of Almighty God in the amount will not do it because they obey the voice of God and not the voice of my see what it calls upon us to do is find our refuge in the Lord Jesus Christ.

While there is still time to day grace. I don't think that's really much into it either because the very end you say after you've handled all of the turmoil Psalm ends with peace. Lord give strength to his people and blesses his people with peace where you find peace, you find peace at the cross of Jesus Christ go back to the very end of verse nine and you find the word glory. Go back to the beginning you find the word glory, there you have glory in the highest, don't you. So as you think of that you think of Luke 214 and the announcement of the birth of Jesus Christ by the Angels.

Glory to God in the highest glory.

I asked Chelsea's and what and on earth and Terra pox peace those upon whom his favor rests favor of God rests upon us in Jesus Christ, so we have a proper census. I trust we do the glory of God in nature of the glory of God, our God in nature, will be unleashed in judgments except we find ourselves in Christ spray father, we thank you for the song a great one. Where's your study and that we have not exhausted.

It's a song that goes far beyond the understanding that any of us have yet what we find there is more than enough to stir us through adoration and worship causing us to bow down and that we haven't done that lead us to flee Jesus Christ where alone we might find refuge from that final storm of judgment.

Thank you that you may peace the cross of Christ blesses granted by your grace. Many might through this all men through the teaching of your words throughout find peace in him say thank you for listening to this message from the Bible study our listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars and churchmen who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church. To learn more about the alliance visit alliance and while you're there, visit our online store reformed resources. You can find messages and books from Dr. Boyce and other outstanding teachers and theologians or vascular free reformed resources catalog by calling 1-800-488-1888.

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