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Bible Commentaries

Smith's Writings

Psalms 29

Verses 1-11

PSALM 29

Encouragement for the godly when opposed by the great ones of the earth. The One who cares for them is mightier than the mighty ones of this world.

The 29th Psalm is not a prayer of the faithful, nor an unfolding of their distress, nor the expression of their exercises. It is a definite testimony to the strength and glory of the Lord, for the encouragement of His people when they find themselves oppressed by the mighty powers of this world in the last days.

(vv. 1-2) The psalm opens with a summons to the mighty ones of the earth to acknowledge the Lord: to give Him “glory” and “strength,” and to worship Him “in the beauty of holiness.”

The literal meaning of the word used for the “mighty” is “gods,” a word, we are told, never by itself meaning “God,” but always “the gods” ( Exo_15:11 ; Dan_11:36 ). It refers not to angelic beings, but to those mighty men who are responsible to God as His representatives in government upon the earth ( Joh_10:34-35 ). Such have invariably failed, first by seeking to rule in their own strength, and secondly by using their place of power for the advancement of their own glory. Thus Nebuchadnezzar, the first head of the Gentile powers, boasts of the might of his power and the glory of his majesty, to his own ruin ( Dan_4:30-31 ). So, in the near future, the last Gentile power, trusting in his own strength and glory, will be called upon “to worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” In spite of the judgment that will fall upon the nations, we know that men will not repent to give God glory ( Rev_14:6-7 ; Rev_16:9 ). This refusal to give God glory will lead to the final overwhelming judgment of the living nations at Armageddon.

(vv. 3-9 A.) This great and overwhelming judgment of the day of the Lord is presented under the figure of a storm that sweeps through the land of Israel from North to South. It brings before us the irresistible power of the Lord in judgment. We hear the voice of the Lord in the roar of the waters and the thunder of the waves as the storm breaks upon the shore and bursts in all its fury upon the mountains of Lebanon and Hermon, breaking in pieces the mighty cedars. The forked lightning is followed by the roar of the thunder as it rolls away into the wilderness of Kedar. Behind these destructive forces of nature there is the mighty power of God that will overwhelm the nations in the coming storm of judgment. Isaiah in describing the judgment that ushers in the day of the Lord, uses like figures. He speaks of the cedars of Lebanon as representative of the great ones of the earth. He too, says the Lord will “shake terribly the earth” in the day of His judgment ( Isa_2:12-13 ; Isa_2:19 ).

(v. 9 B) In the latter part of verse 9 we are carried beyond the storm into the perfect calm of the temple of the Lord, there to find that everything says glory (JND). This, however, is the glory of the Lord. In His temple the glory of God is displayed.

(vv. 10-11) The closing verses give the blessed result for those who have been into the temple and worshipped the Lord in the beauty of holiness. Such realize that whatever the storms of this world, the Lord is above them. However great the might of the mighty ones, the Lord is mightier. They may be mighty for a time; Jehovah is “King for ever.”

The One who is mightier than the mighty can give strength to His people and keep them in perfect peace.

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Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 29". "Smith's Writings". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hsw/psalms-29.html. 1832.