By Henry Law
Jehovah's voice is mighty. It sounds in the storms of nature, in the outgoings of grace, in the terrors of the dissolving world. May our listening ears be ever open!
1, 2. "Give unto the Lord, O you mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness."
The high ones of the earth are called to wisdom. They are counseled to estimate rightly their real state; to lie in lowliness before Jehovah's majesty; to acknowledge His high supremacy; to see in Him the source of all their earthly greatness; to ascribe due glory to His all-glorious name. Especially they are called to Gospel-worship, adoring Christ in the sanctuary, where all is beauty, and all the beauty is pure holiness. Would that each crown were placed at Jesus' feet!
3. "The voice of the Lord is upon the waters; the God of glory thunders; the Lord is upon many waters."
The rising of a storm is vividly portrayed. The eye of the spectator rests upon the sea. From its waters a distant rumbling is heard. The sound becomes exceeding loud. The thunder roars. The God of glory speaks in dreadful tone. The God of glory still speaks terribly when the roar of thunder proclaims the Gospel truth. The terrified conscience hears and quakes. It was so on the day of Pentecost. It is so still in the recesses of many hearts. The full consummation draws near. Then, in the Prophet's words, "The Lord shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake."
4. "The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty."
As the storm thickens, the majestic power of the Lord is more appalling. When the Gospel-voice goes forth to subdue the heart, the might is irresistible. It rides forth terrible in majesty. They who now yield will calmly smile when this voice shakes terribly the earth.
5, 6. "The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars; the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon's mountains skip like a calf and Mount Hermon to leap like a young bull."
The storm moves onward towards the north. It thickens over the vast forests of Lebanon. It shatters the strong cedars of those hills. The mountains seem to tremble in frightened agitation. The nimble boundings of the calf and bull are figures of their trembling motion. Thus the Gospel, working with power, lays low all lofty thoughts. Then the heart trembles, and the conscience quakes. These emblems are weak to show the terrors of the great day, when the earth shall reel to and fro, and its deep foundations tremble in affright.
7. "The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire."
The forked lightning now flares. Divided flashes dart fire on the earth. It is the voice of the Lord which sends them forth. Let Jehovah's power be adored. Here the wonders of the day of Pentecost are clearly seen. The Spirit comes in tongues of fire, and rests on the Apostles' heads. Thus His rays penetrate the heart, give light, and purify. May the Spirit enlighten all our darkness! May we be kept watching, for the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth, also, and the works in it shall be burned up.
8. "The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh."
The storm envelops the whole heavens from north to south. It rages through the wilderness below Judea. There are no limits to its fury. The voice of the Gospel has no boundaries. It goes forth into all the earth. By the Spirit's power it will gather in converts from all lands. Universal, also, will be the wonders of the great and terrible day of the Lord.
9. "The voice of the Lord makes the hinds to calve, and discovers the forests; and in His temple everyone speaks of His glory."
The effects of the storm are mighty. The frightened hinds produce their young. The leaves fall thick, and show the stripped branches. These, indeed, are glorious works. The storm proclaims God's glory. But the Church is God's glory in the highest. All who are thus called, with one loud voice, speak of the glories of His grace, His love, His righteousness, His truth. Oh, may the Lord be ever glorified in us!
10. "The Lord sits upon the flood; yes, the Lord sits King forever."
After the storm, torrents descend. The waters of Noah seem to drown the earth. As in the deluge, the Lord sat in calm majesty upon His throne in serenity surveying the scene; so now He reigns forever King of kings and Lord of lords.
11. "The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace."
Amid all storms of nature now, and troubles within, and in the final crash of worlds, God's people are undismayed. Strength for all trials is their portion. His blessing, which conveys all joy, is on them. Christ's legacy is peace. "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you."