Soli Deo Gloria / Knowing Christ in Psalm 29

by M. Todaro

SOLI DEO GLORIA

This phrase is Latin for “Glory to God Alone”.

According to John Piper, “The glory of God is the holiness of God put on display… the beauty and greatness of His manifold perfections.”

When we read the Bible, we encounter true things about who God is and what He is like and what He does. When we realize that we know God, and that there is nothing better than knowing God, we glorify Him!

We shout that Yahweh is better than anything, that one second of knowing Yahweh is better than a lifetime of all the pleasures in the world. That we would gladly lose everything for this—to know God!


Psalm 29:1-2

Give unto Yahweh, O sons of God,
Give unto Yahweh glory and strength.
Give unto Yahweh the glory due to His name;
Worship Yahweh in the beauty of holiness.


Some translations say “ascribe” instead of “give”. To ascribe is to attribute or credit something to someone else. This stresses that God does not need anything from us.

We are called to “give” Him glory, and yet we do not have “glory” to give Him. When we ascribe Him glory, we give Him nothing. Rather we acknowledge that the glory is all His.

God is the author of glory and strength, the cause of His own glorification. So, even the strength we use to give Him glory is also His (see verse 11). This is what it means for God to be “all in all”. He is the subject, verb, and object of all glory.


Psalm 29:3-9

The voice of Yahweh is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders;
Yahweh is over many waters.
The voice of Yahweh is powerful;
The voice of Yahweh is full of majesty.
The voice of Yahweh breaks the cedars,
Yes, Yahweh splinters the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes them also skip like a calf,
Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of Yahweh divides the flames of fire.
The voice of Yahweh shakes the wilderness;
Yahweh shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of Yahweh makes the deer give birth,
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”

 


THE VOICE OF THE LORD

As I was teaching this Psalm to my family this week, I held up a cracker and asked my four-year-old daughter to break the cracker with her voice.

She yelled at the cracker.
My wife yelled at the cracker.
I yelled at the cracker.

The cracker may have laughed at us, but it did not break.

Then I pointed outside to a large tree. “God can break that tree with one whispered word—break.” My daughter got it.

I asked my family to then think of some other times God did something with His voice in the Bible. We came up with the following:


Genesis 12:1

Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.”

John 10:27

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;

John 11:43

After Jesus had said this, He called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”


There are numerous other examples of God’s voice making something happen.

Consider this:


2 Corinthians 4:6

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


The same voice that created the light of the sun and stars, shines light into our dark, dead hearts.

This light shows us that ultimately, God’s glory is found in one place—the face of Jesus Christ. This doesn’t mean we need a vision or icon of Jesus, for it says that this light is knowledge. It is by faith, not by sight, that we see God’s glory displayed in Jesus by believing the gospel.

In the temple, which is Jesus, we cry “Glory!”


Psalm 29:9-11

The voice of Yahweh makes the deer give birth,
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everyone says, “Glory!”

Yahweh sat as King at the flood;
Yes, Yahweh sits as King forever.
Yahweh will give strength to His people;
Yahweh will bless His people with peace.


What response can we give to the majesty of God, revealed by His powerful, majestic voice?

Glory!

The LORD (i.e. “Yahweh”) sat as King over Noah’s flood, and He sits as King now. And with His voice, which can both birth baby deer and snap cedar trees—with this voice He has chosen to give His church strength and peace. He has done this through the Word which was made flesh, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Jesus holds together the cosmos (Colossians 1:17). Jesus sits on the throne (Colossians 3:1). Jesus will destroy His enemies with the breath of His mouth (2 Thessalonians 2:8)—the same breath that created the stars (Psalm 33:6) and breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7).

Beloved, stand in awe of your God.

Hear His voice.

Know Christ.

Cry “Glory!”


In Knowing Christ we offer what are commonly called “devotions”, though we think it is more helpful to call these posts by their purpose—Knowing Christ. The name also serves as a reminder to all of us to stay focused on the Lord Jesus Christ whether reading the Bible or praying or eating a sandwich (1 Cor. 10:31)… He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). All things are through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:9-20). Jesus explains the Scriptures and makes our hearts burn within us (Luke 24). Compared to knowing Christ Jesus our Lord, everything else is garbage (Philippians 3:7-4:1)… We pray these posts are used to stir our affections for Him by His word and His grace.


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1 Comment

  1. The Matt.7:21- has the same caution we can do say what we think and do but If we don’t listen and say and do it we are sliding the wrong way. This is why Jesus told the woman at the well Jn4:24 they that worship must do so in Spirit And Truth. So Prayer is our ear plugs as well as His power to bring glory due to His name the name above all names, Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen!

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