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 29:11

Exposition

Power was displayed in the hurricane whose course this Psalm so grandly pictures; and now, in the cool calm after the storm, that power is promised to be the strength of the chosen. He who wings the unerring bolt, will give to his redeemed the wings of eagles; he who shakes the earth with his voice, will terrify the enemies of his saints, and give his children peace. Why are we weak when we have divine strength to flee to? Why are we troubled when the Lord’s own peace is ours? Jesus the mighty God is our peace—what a blessing is this today! What a blessing it will be to us in that day of the Lord which will be in darkness and not light to the ungodly! Dear reader, is not this a noble Psalm to be sung in stormy weather? Can you sing amid the thunder? Will you be able to sing when the last thunders are let loose, and Jesus judges quick and dead? If you are a believer, the last verse is your heritage, and surely that will set you singing.

Explanatory Notes and Quaint Sayings

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

The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace; i.e., he is in war their strength, and their felicity in peace; in war he is the Author of all that power wherewith they are enabled to oppose and overcome potent enemies; and in peace, he is their truly felicitating good, and makes them, by his own vouchsafed presence, a truly blessed people. John Howe.

The Lord will bless his people with peace. Though some precious souls that have closed with Christ, and embraced the gospel, be not at present brought to rest in their own consciences, but continue for awhile under some dissatisfaction and trouble in their own spirits, yet even then they have peace of conscience in a threefold respect; in pretio, in promisso, in semine. First, every true believer hath peace of conscience in pretio; the gospel puts that price into his hand, which will assuredly purchase it, and that is the blood of Christ. We say that is gold which is worth gold, which we may anywhere exchange for gold; such is the blood of Christ; it is peace of conscience, because the soul that hath this may exchange it for this. God himself cannot deny the poor creature that prays on these terms: Lord, give me peace of conscience; here is Christ’s blood, the price of it. That which could pay the debt, surely can procure the receipt. Peace of conscience is but a discharge under God’s hand, that the debt due to divine justice is fully paid. The blood of Christ hath done that the greater for the believer, it shall therefore do this the less. If there were such a rare potion that did infallibly procure health to every one that takes it, we might safely say, as soon as the sick man hath drunk it down, that he hath drunk his health, it is in him, though at present he doth not feel himself to have it: in time it will appear. Secondly, In promisso. Every true believer hath peace of conscience in the promise, and that we count as good as ready money in the purse, which we have sure bond for. The Lord will bless his people with peace. He is resolved on it, and then who shall hinder it? It is worth your reading the whole Psalm, to see what weight the Lord gives to this sweet promise, for the encouragement of our faith in expecting the performance thereof. Nothing more hard to enter into the heart of a poor creature (when all is in an uproar in his bosom, and his conscience threatening nothing but fire and sword, wrath, vengeance, from God for his sins), than thoughts or hopes of peace and comfort. Now the psalm is spent in showing what great things God can do, and that with no more trouble to himself than a word speaking, “The voice of the Lord is full of majesty” Psalms 29:4, “It breaks the cedars, it divides the flames, it shakes the wilderness, it makes the hinds to calve.” This God that does all this, promises to bless his people with peace, outward and inward; for without this inward peace, though he might give them peace, yet could he never bless them with peace as he there undertakes. A sad peace, were it not, to have quiet streets, but cutting of throats in our houses? yet infinitely more sad to have peace both in our streets and houses, but war and blood in our guilty consciences. What peace can a poor creature taste or relish while the sword of God’s wrath lies at the throat of conscience? not peace with God himself. Therefore Christ purchased peace of pardon, to obtain peace of conscience for his pardoned ones, and accordingly hath bequeathed it in the promise to them, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” John 14:27. Where you see he is both the testator to leave, and the executor of his own will, to give out with his own hands what his love hath left believers; so that there is no fear but his will shall be performed to the full, seeing himself lives to see it done. Thirdly, In semine. Every believer hath this untoward peace in the seed. “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.” Psalms 97:11. Where sown, but in the believer’s own bosom, when principles of grace and holiness were cast into it by the Spirit of God? Hence it is called “the peaceable fruit of righteousness.” Hebrews 12:11. It shoots as naturally from holiness, as any fruit in its kind doth from the seed proper to it. It is, indeed, most true, that the seed runs and ripens into this fruit sooner in some than it doth in others. This spiritual harvest comes not alike soon to all, no more than the other that is outward doth; but here is the comfort—whoever hath a seed time of grace pass over his soul, shall have his harvest time also of joy. William Gurnall.

Peace. There is a threefold “peace, “externa, interna, aeterna; temporal, spiritual, celestial peace. There is outward peace, the blessing; inward peace, the grace; and everlasting peace, of glory. And as in a stately palace there is a lodge or court that leads into the inmost goodly rooms, so external peace is the entrance or introduction to the inward lodgings of the sweet peace of conscience and of that external rest in which our peace in heaven shall be happy, inasmuch as external peace affords us many accommodations and helps to the gaining and obtaining both the one and the other. Ephraim Udall, 1642.

Hints to the Village Preacher

The twin blessings from the same source; their connection, and their consummation.

The two wills, the two blessings, the one people, the one Lord.
The Treasury of David.

Singing psalms

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