The Book of Psalms Bible Study Psalm 29

We kick off this week with Psalm 29

Sometimes there is a disconnect between what we say we believe and how we behave. If we

say we believe the Word of G-d we need to take it seriously. 

This psalm is simply a psalm of worship. It outlines for us the mindset/behaviour that we should

have in order to worship G-d properly. This psalm is read every Friday night by observant Jews and is a psalm that welcomes in the Shabbat (the Sabbath day begins on Friday evening) – a psalm of welcoming G-d’s Presence into our lives. 

v1: The word translated “give’ here is the word which means ‘to approach, to draw near’. When we draw near to G-d, enter into His Presence, we do not do so empty handed (eg when we go to dinner at someone’s house we take a little gift with us – same concept here). 

  • Mighty ones – many see these as the heavenly hosts, the angels of G-d. They too need to approach G-d with great adoration, with praise, with thanksgiving.
  • Glory/honour – when we come before the L-rd we need to treat Him with proper respect. 

v2: We need to give G-d the honour due His name – His character (ie because of who He is)

  • This word translated ‘worship’ is a word which means to fall prostrate (to bow) before Him. It is a posture of worship. 
  • Beauty – something glorious, splendid. There is something spectacular about G-d’s holiness (holiness is related to the purposes of G-d). We worship G-d because His purposes (His will) are glorious – only good comes from it. 

v3: Gen 1:2 – G-d’s voice (His Word/His Presence) was over the waters at creation – bringing order from chaos. In Revelation ‘waters’ speak of a multitude of people – Rev 17:15. G-d brings order (sets things right) into the lives of His people. 

  • Thunders – reveals the power of G-d’s speech. 

v4: The message here is that G-d’s powerful Word produces that which is splendid, majestic, glorious. 

v5: Cedars were seen as strong, powerful trees. This is another reference to G-d’s superhuman power. 

v6: When we submit to G-d’s power (we acknowledge His authority) it’s like the joyful jumping of a calf. G-d’s Word brings joy. 

  • Lebanon and Sirion were two places that reflected splendour and glory.

v7: Divides – splits in half. This is not something man can do. 

v8: This verse is continuing to talk about G-d’s Word – His Word is associated with revelation. His revelation reveals His purposes/will. The children of Israel spent a significant amount of time in the Wilderness of Kadesh – on the border of Egypt and Israel (Nums 13:26) When G-d’s people are moving towards the fulfilment of the will of G-d there is going to be a result/outcome – G-d will shake things. 

v9: There are a couple of different traditions for interpreting this verse. The word translated ‘deer’ (mountain goat) can also be translated as a type of tree (eg oak tree). The word translated ‘birth’ (a revealing) is also a word that can be translated as a shaking (see for the different translations). In keeping with the context – the incredible power and force of G-d – it is more likely that David intended this verse to speak of oak trees being stripped, divided and laid bare. 

  • Temple – sanctuary. Holy place. 
  • Everyone says: “Glory” – The implication is that as G-d moves He brings about change – glorious, splendid change. G-d’s movement reveals His glory. 

v10: The same word used for the flood in Noah’s day is used here. Even the judgement of G-d reveals His glory. 

  • Sit as King forever – He will rule and reign

v11: The strength that the L-rd gives us (His people) is the strength to participate in His will, to follow His purposes.

  • There is a correlation between the L-rd giving to His people and the L-rd blessing His people. This is used in the context of peace – as has been mentioned so often throughout these studies: peace is what we experience as an outcome of doing G-d’s will. There is no peace until the will of G-d is complete. G-d gives us His power and His blessing in order that we can be peacemakers – that we can do His will in this world.

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