Monday, March 9, 2015

The God Enthroned Over The Flood

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.

May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace
Psalm 29

Reflection – Here we have a wonderful psalm that simply praises the majesty and power of God. In this Monday Psalter of the blog, we haven’t seen too many like this just yet—the early part of the book of psalms is much taken up with psalms of entreaty and cries for help.

Here, all of that subsides for the moment, and there is simply praise of God’s greatness and glory. And this is rather important, wouldn’t you say? We can, in our lives and in our prayers, become excessively wrapped up in our own problems. We can even make our prayer time just one more place where we stew and worry and fret about whatever situations are causing us grief. In that, we can easily lose this deeper sense of life that is vouchsafed to us in the act of praise and worship of God.

Meanwhile, the Lord sits enthroned over the flood. The world today has many ‘floods’, be it jihadist terror sweeping the Middle East, the culture of death once again pushing the boundaries of who we’re allowed to kill in Canada (“Progressivism: Because There’s Always Someone Else Who Needs Killing!”), gloomy economic forecasts blighting the lives of the young, or simply personal floods of pain and sorrow and grief.

There are always floods, but one of the great breakthroughs we make spiritually is to know the God who is enthroned over those floods. He is not so enthroned as to make him distant and inaccessible—some remote deity unconcerned with our sorrows. Rather, the God who is triumphant, whose voice is full of majesty, whose voice strips the forest bare, is the very God who suffered and died with us and for us, and whose life is our life in His gift of the Spirit flowing through His Body on earth, the Church, into its members.

It seems to me that praise and thanksgiving, honor and glory and exaltation of this God, is among the primary and necessary means by which we come to know this God, not as an abstract concept or some nice idea, but as a living and true God, and come in that knowledge to see that all the floods are in the end just water—they come, they go, they may sweep us away with them, but in the end they don’t matter—He does.

And so to praise and thank God and to be vigilant that our prayer lives rest on a solid foundation of praise and glorification, not just complaint and entreaty, is vital. Basic faith, and in that basic faith, peace and joy, flows from such a prayer. And in this Lenten time, when many things are so troubling in our world, we need to find that peace and joy, don’t we?

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