Psalm 29:2, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.”
Let me begin this week’s devotional by asking you a question: “Why do you go to church?” Other than the fact that the Bible tells us to worship (Heb 10:25), why do you walk through the church doors week after week? Perhaps it makes you feel better about yourself? Or perhaps you attend worship simply because it is what you have always done? Well the Bible gives us a fundamentally different reason as to why we should attend church each Lord’s Day. Simply put, to worship God is to meet with God in a unique and special way (Matt 18:20). To worship God is to ‘ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name’ (Psalm 29:2). It is what we were created to do and it is what we are redeemed to do!
Psalm 29 gives us wonderful teaching on this issue of worship; and specifically, on what happens when we gather to worship the Lord in the fellowship of believers. First, let me summarize the Psalm; and secondly, I will apply its teaching to our worship. Psalm 29 is a psalm of praise! The Psalm begins with the psalmist calling the angels to worship God (vv. 1-2). God is glorious in his holiness, thus he is worthy to be praised! In vv. 3-9, the majesty of God is compared to a powerful thunderstorm. Just as a thunderstorm affects all that is in its path, so God’s presence – described in these verses as his voice – affects all that is in his path. And finally, the Psalm closes in vv. 10-11 with the Lord blessing and giving strength to his people.
What can this Psalm teach us about worship? Verse 9 is the key to the Psalm: “The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth and strips the forest bare, and in his temple all cry, ‘Glory.’” God’s presence – God’s voice – is powerful, destructive, and awesome; and the only response of God’s people in his temple is to cry out, “Glory.” Dear reader, as we gather to worship the Lord, we as well are confronted with his presence and his voice. In the preaching of the word, the reading of the word, and the administration of the Sacraments, God is powerfully confronting his people with his glorious presence (1 Cor 14:25; 1 Thess 1:5; 2:13; Rom 1:16; Heb 4:12). The word of God is powerful to change hearts and to transform lives. The word of God is powerful to work in God’s children the putting to death of sin. The word of God is powerfully sweet in its ability to comfort the hurting and to strengthen the weary. Brothers and sisters, this is why we worship! This is what happens when we worship! The presence of God is among us! His voice is among us! The God of glory thunders … the voice of the Lord is powerful (Ps 29:3-4). And like the worshippers of old, how can we not cry out, “Glory.” How can we not ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name!
Brothers and sisters, may this describe our heart as we gather this Lord’s Day to worship!
– Rev. Robert Arendale,