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 29:5

Exposition

The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars.

“Black from the stroke above, the smouldering pine

Stands a sad shattered trunk.”

Noble trees fall prostrate beneath the mysterious bolt, or stand in desolation as mementoes of its power. Lebanon itself is not secure, high as it stands, and ancient as are its venerable woods: Yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. The greatest and most venerable of trees or men, may not reckon upon immunity when the Lord is abroad in his wrath. The gospel of Jesus has a like dominion over the most inaccessible of mortals; and when the Lord sends the word, it breaks hearts far stouter than the cedars.

Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings

Ver. 3-10. The Lord, etc. See Psalms on “Psalms 29:3 for further information.

Ver. 3-10. See Psalms on “Psalms 29:3 for further information.

See Psalms on “Psalms 29:3 for further information.

The voice of Jehovah. Philosophers think not that they have reasoned skilfully enough about inferior causes, unless they separate God very far from his works. It is a diabolical science, however, which fixes our contemplations on the works of nature, and turns them away from God. If any one who wished to know a man, should take no notice of his face, but should fix his eyes only on the points of his nails, his folly might justly be derided. But far greater is the folly of those philosophers, who, out of mediate and proximate causes, weave themselves vails lest they should be compelled to acknowledge the hand of God, which manifestly displays itself in his works. John Calvin.

The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars, etc. Like as tempests when they arise, and lightnings, quickly and in a trice, hurl down and overturn mountains and the highest trees; even so doth the Lord bring down with a break neck fall, the proud, haughty, arrogant, and insolent, who set themselves against God, and seek the spoil of those that be quiet and godly. Robert Cawdray.

The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars. The ancient expositors remind us that the breaking of the cedar trees by the wind, is a figure of the laying low of the lofty and proud things of this world, by the rushing mighty wind of the Holy Spirit, given on that day. Confringit cedros Deus, hoc est humiliat superbos. (S. Jerome, and so S. Basil.) Christopher Wordsworth.

The Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. What a shame is it then that our hard hearts break not, yield not, though thunder struck with the dreadful menaces of God’s mouth! John Trapp.

“Breaketh the cedars of Lebanon:”

When high in the air the pine ascends,

To every ruder blast it bends.

The palace falls with heavier weight,

When tumbling from its airy height;

And when from heaven the lightning flies,

It blasts the hills that proudest rise.

Horace, translated by Philip Francis, D.D., 1765.

The cedars of Lebanon. These mighty trees of God, which for ages have stood the force of the tempest, rearing their evergreen colossal boughs in the region of everlasting snow, are the first objects of the fury of the lightning, which is well known to visit first the highest objects.—Robert Murray Macheyne.

Hints to the Village Preacher

The breaking power of the gospel.
The Treasury of David.

Singing psalms

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