Thursday, January 17, 2008

I came across a beautiful Psalm this afternoon in my study and just thought that I would post it for all. There are some things in Scripture which "are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction..." but not everything is hard to understand. This is a plain as day...enjoy...

"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 ESV

4 comments:

Zac said...

Excellent! I think that you're right about the “clarity” of it, but that even with the “clear” parts of Scripture, as with a clear sea, there may be untold hidden depths. I want to excerpt a little bit from Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon's book, Christ in the Psalms which you can buy here.

[one quick note of mine: the translation is different for him-- i think literally the Hebrew says "sons of God" instead of "heavenly beings")

Here's Fr. Patrick's thoughts:

"Because its literary style includes some sonorous features dependent on specific Hebrew words, Pslam 28 (Hebrew 29) tends to suffer more in translation than is the case with many other psalms. For example, the Hebrew noun found most frequently in this psalm is qol, meaning ‘voice.’ Pronounced with the full glottal shock of the letter ‘q,’ the word mimics the sound of thunder, which is, in fact, what the noun refers to in this psalm. (This rhetorical device, in which a word imitates the thing to which it refers, is called onomatopoeia. Words like ‘crash’ and ‘bump’ and ‘scream’ are examples in English.) The expression qol Adonai, found seven times in this psalm, conveys the impression of a repeated thunder roll, not entirely expressed in the softer English equivalent, ‘the voice of the Lord.’ Nor perhaps does even the canonical Greek phone Kyriou do the thing full justice, though the Latin version, vox Domini may come closer.”

“The same sort of guttural sonority is likewise exemplified in another Hebrew word in this psalm, kavod, ‘glory,’ which occurs twice near the beginning and then again close to the end. Psalm 28 features several additional examples of this technique, for it is a poem describing a thunderstorm, and in the original Hebrew it really does sound like a thunderstorm…”

“The setting of this tempest is a giant cedar forest, whose overarching branches assume the contours of a vaulted temple, and through this lofty sylvan shrine the booming voice of God comes pounding and roaring with a terrifying majesty, accompanied by the swishing of the wind and rain, while flashing bolts of lightning split the very trunks of the towering tress: ‘In His temple everything speaks glory.’” [my note: verse 9]

“This is a psalm about God’s ‘glory’ (kavod) and ‘holiness’ (with a couple of plays on the corresponding Hebrew root qodesh-- note, for instance, the ‘wilderness of Kadesh’). In any language, this is most certainly a psalm to be prayed out loud, allowing its words to come rumbling through the soul. Recited properly, it becomes a literary extension and re-living of that ancient storm which was the psalmist’s original inspiration.”

“This is a very active piece of poetry. After calling on the sons of God to bring Him glory and honor, the psalmist begins to describe that glory as it is revealed in the storm. Calling all God’s sons to ‘give glory to His name,’ the psalmist immediately speaks of ‘the voiceof the Lord upon the waters. The God of glory thunders.’ This is the same thunderous voice that in the Gospel of John tells of the glory of God’s name: “’Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.’ Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered” (John 12:28,29).”

“This divine and thunderous voice is heard exactly seven times in our psalm, seven being the number of fullness and perfection. These seven thunders of God represent the summation of unspeakable mysteries heard by the Apostle John: “I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud… and [he] cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars. When he cried out, seven thunders uttered their voices. Now when the seven thunders uttered their voices, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, ‘Seal up the things which the seven thunders uttered, and do not write them’” (Rev. 10:1-4). Such too was the awesome experience of the Apostle Paul when he “was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words which it is not lawful for a man to utter”(2 Cor.12:4).”

“If most of this psalm is rather loud and active, however, its ending is decidedly peaceful, for it closes with God serene upon His throne, reigning eternally over His Church: ‘The Lord puts away the storm (kataklysmon in Greek)... The Lord will given strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people in peace.’ This people blessed with strength and peace at the ending of the psalm are those very ‘sons of God’ summoned to worship Him back at its beginning. The thunderstorm now come to an end, there remains in the temple of the cedar forest only the everlasting reign of the heavenly throne.”

irreverend fox said...

hey zac,

unless you believe the EO has plunged to the bottom of those depths then I don't see the relevance of that point.

besides...you are taking the word "clear" out of the context in which I wrote it and using it in a different context to prove your presumption...the same word loaded with different implications.

Zac said...

Hey Gary,

I totally didn't mean to argue-- just to contribute something I thought you'd like. Chill!

irreverend fox said...

hey zac, lol, I can't tell much of the time! I'm sorry...lol