April is poetry month. I’m celebrating by reflecting on a psalm a day. Join me?
A Psalm of David.
1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!
Here’s My Soul Among Lions with their kickstarter video (that means they haven’t yet raised all the money to record an album, but it’s a sweet video with kids), and here’s Karl Kohlhase with a hymn-like melody with words closer to our text.
I’m writing this morning before church starts, so I’m just linking two versions and thinking about a short reflection. The VOICE of the Lord is very much highlighted in this psalm, and it comes right after a psalm asking God to hear, to speak. It might be odd to people who think of God as invisible, ignorable, absent, silent to read this psalm. What’s he talking about?
The psalm starts with a four paralleled call to ascribe to the Lord glory, and then he does so by talking about the voice of the Lord. Obviously this voice of the Lord is not a human voice and yet if humans are made in God’s image there is a likeness. The voice of the Lord is over the waters brings the biblically literate reader to the second verse of Genesis, where the Spirit of the Lord hovered over the waters as the Lord spoke creation into being. From there the psalm continues giving pictures of how God’s voice is powerful. In light of the power of the Lord, the psalm ends with the prayer to give strength to his people, to bless them with peace.
All thanks and praise to God!