The Treasury of David

The Treasury of David is one of several C.H. Spurgeon books that are in the public domain. If you propose to study the Psalms, I suggest you download this as a companion for your other references.

Psalm 29

Title. A Psalm of David. The title affords us no information beyond the fact that David is the author of this sublime song.

Subject. It seems to be the general opinion of modern annotators, that this Psalm is meant to express the glory of God as heard in the pealing thunder, and seen in the equinoctial tornado. Just as the eighth Psalm is to be read by moonlight, when the stars are bright, as the nineteenth needs the rays of the rising sun to bring out its beauty, so this can be best rehearsed beneath the black wing of tempest, by the glare of the lightning, or amid that dubious dusk which heralds the war of elements. The verses march to the tune of thunderbolts. God is everywhere conspicuous, and all the earth is hushed by the majesty of his presence. The word of God in the law and gospel is here also depicted in its majesty of power. True ministers are sons of thunder, and the voice of God in Christ Jesus is full of majesty. Thus we have God’s works and God’s word joined together: let no man put them asunder by a false idea that theology and science can by any possibility oppose each other. We may, perhaps, by a prophetic glance, behold in this Psalm the dread tempests of the latter days, and the security of the elect people.

Division. The first two verses are a call to adoration. From Psalms 29:3-10 the path of the tempest is traced, the attributes of God’s word are rehearsed, and God magnified in all the terrible grandeur of his power; and the last verse sweetly closes the scene with the assurance that the omnipotent Jehovah will give both strength and peace to his people. Let heaven and earth pass away, the Lord will surely bless his people.
The Treasury of David.

Psalm 29:1-11 (KJV)
1  Give unto the LORD, O ye mighty, give unto the LORD glory and strength.
2  Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
3  The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the LORD is upon many waters.
4  The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
5  The voice of the LORD breaketh the cedars; yea, the LORD breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.
6  He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
7  The voice of the LORD divideth the flames of fire.
8  The voice of the LORD shaketh the wilderness; the LORD shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.
9  The voice of the LORD maketh the hinds to calve, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.
10  The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever.
11  The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

Psalm 29:2

Exposition

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name. A third time the admonition is given, for men are backward in glorifying God, and especially great men, who are often too much swollen with their own glory to spare time to give God his rightful praise, although nothing more is asked of them than is most just and right. Surely men should not need so much pressing to give what is due, especially when the payment is so pleasant. Unbelief and distrust, complaining and murmuring, rob God of his honour; in this respect, even the saints fail to give due glory to their King. Worship the Lord, bow before him with devout homage and sacred awe, and let your worship be such as he appoints. Of old, worship was cumbered with ceremonial, and men gathered around one dedicated building, whose solemn pomp was emblematic of the beauty of holiness; but now our worship is spiritual, and the architecture of the house and the garments of the worshippers are matters of no importance; the spiritual beauty of inward purity and outward holiness being far more precious in the eyes of our thrice holy God. O for grace ever to worship with holy motives and in a holy manner, as becometh saints! The call to worship in these two verses chimes in with the loud pealing thunder, which is the church bell of the universe ringing kings and angels, and all the sons of earth to their devotions.

Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings

Ver. 1-2. See Psalms on “Psalms 29:1 for further information.

Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name. Which yet you cannot do, for his name is above all praise! Psalms 148:13; but you must aim at it. The Rabbins observe that God’s holy name is mentioned eighteen several times in this Psalm; that great men especially may give him the honour of his name, that they may stand in awe and not sin, that they may bring presents to him who ought to be feared, and those also the very best of the best, since he is a great king, and standeth much upon his seniority. Malachi 1:14. John Trapp.

Worship the Lord. If any should ask, Why is the Lord to be worshipped? Why must he have such high honours from those that are high? What doth he in the world that calls for such adoration? David answereth meteorologically as well as theologically, he answers from the clouds Psalms 29:3-4, “The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord is upon many waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty; “as if he had said, Although the Lord Jesus Christ will not set up an outward, pompous, political kingdom, such as that of Cyrus, Alexander, etc., yet by the ministry of the gospel he will erect a spiritual kingdom, and gather to himself a church that shall abide for ever, out of all the nations of the earth; for the gospel shall be carried and preached, to not only the people of Israel, the Jews, but to the Gentiles, all the world over, that the minds of men may be enlightened, awakened, and moved with that unheard of doctrine of salvation by Christ, which had been hid from ages and generations. Joseph Caryl.

Hints to the Village Preacher

(first clause). Royal dues, the royal treasury, loyal subjects paying their dues, the king receiving them. Smugglers and preventive men.

(second clause). Inspired ritualism. What to do? Worship. Whom? The Lord. How? In the beauty of holiness. Absence of all allusions to place, time, order, words, form, vestments, etc.
The Treasury of David.

Singing psalms

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