“The voice of the Lord makes the deer to calve And strips the forests bare; And in His temple everything says, “Glory!”
“The kingdom-idea is the clearest expression of the principle that in the sphere of objective reality, as well as in the sphere of human consciousness, everything is subservient to the glory of God1”
Some years ago, my son and I found ourselves out in the middle of the Pennsylvania forests when a fall storm whipped the air into a maddening frenzy. There were great oaks and maple trees that bent like Gumby under the force of the wind. Then a driving sleet and rain began to pound everything in its path. The temperatures dropped quickly and rain began to freeze on the branches and limbs of these already tormented pillars of the forest. As we worked our way out of the woods, ice had formed on the branches and with the wind and weight of the ice that was forming the limbs of these ancient columns began to snap like twigs. The crack of them echoed like gun shots through these woods. It became a dangerous place to be as the storm unleashed its full fury upon that timberland.
As I read this Psalm, I was reminded of the awesome power of God that is put on display in those moments when He unleashes the stored power of shifting currents and advancing weather. The Psalmist in Psalm 29 colorfully describes the unqualified power of the voice of God that summons the raging winds of the storm that is upon the waters, (v.3) breaks the mighty cedars of Lebanon, (vv.5-6) sets ablaze the forests, and shakes the wilderness. (vv. 7-8) Indeed, we can conclude with the Psalmist that the voice of the Lord is both powerful and majestic.
We may have witnessed or have been victims of the effects of the sovereign providence of God’s hand in His display of His mighty power through severe storms that sweep across the face of the earth in its various forms. And in all of this, you may have marveled at the sheer power that was manifested. But the question that the Psalmist would have us ask of ourselves is; Have you stopped to ponder the fact that this was a manifestation of the glory of God?
Every shift in the wind, every stirring of the waters of the seas, every collecting of the clouds, every flash of lightning and roar of thunder is a grand demonstration of the glory of God. But we might ask how or in what way do these things show the glory of God, and for that matter, what is the glory of God? The Apostle Paul responded to these questions in Romans 1:20; “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” The point of both Paul and the Psalmist is then that God has branded all of creation with the evidence of His attributes, eternal power and divine nature. From His goodness that graces the spring flowers with the gentle rains, to the ferocious march of the forest fire that wipes the face of the mountain clear of vegetation only to rejuvenate it with lush new life; His glory is seen in who He is. He is glorious because His goodness is to all; “The Lord is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.”(Ps. 145:9) His lovingkindness; “To Him who made the heavens with skill, For His lovingkindness is everlasting”(136:5) so all mankind is graced with His glory.
Therefore, man is not left to the corridors of darkness in regard to who God is. His glory is constantly on display in our world. As God had asked Job; “Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, Or a way for the lightning of thunder” (Job 38:25) so also, the Psalmist in the passage cited, reminds us that in heaven, everything says glory! The glory of God is on constant display in the universe and fills the infinite boundlessness of heaven, so that, no one can escape His glory. It may be denied by humanity, but to deny something does not erase its reality. But such attempts of denial are only foolishness as another Psalm relates; “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” (Ps. 14:1) “Everything in His temple says, Glory!”
The Rev. Ray Druckenmiller is the Pastor at Manning Community Church.