May 26

Psalm 29

“Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.” vss. 1, 3

As this psalmist contemplated the wonder and the power of God, it was completely natural for him to use the imagery of a thunderstorm, a violent hurricane-like storm blowing in from the Mediterranean, ravaging the forests of Lebanon, and pouring vast amounts of rain in the wilderness. As people cowered in the presence of wind, thunder, and lightning, they heard the voice of the Lord, and ascribed to God glory and strength. Of course our faith ancestors knew that God was different from the storm gods worshipped by the Canaanites, and the psalmist knew that too, but he couldn’t pass up the chance to use the metaphor. In his estimation it was the best way to describe the power of God. We do the same thing, but with different metaphors. Our conception of the creation has expanded with the advent of rockets and space telescopes–we have many more astonishing ways to imagine our God. Some folks have even begun to use the word “universe” as a synonym for God–in their estimation it does a better job of bringing the concept of God into line with modern science. Others still like the image of a storm and the raw energy we experience with rain, wind, thunder, and lighting all around. In the end, no metaphor is completely adequate–God is beyond even our most poetic imagination.

Thought for the Day: What image do I use for the power of God?

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