The glory due his name

“Give unto the Lord glory and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:1-2).

The apartment I live in while at Khulna Bible College in Bangladesh is on the third floor. From it I look out over neighboring buildings and security walls and am almost on the level of the tops of the many coconut palms near the campus. During the monsoon season these often are tossed wildly by strong winds which accompany the frequent rain. Those winds are particularly strong when the rain is from a low pressure system in the nearby Bay of Bengal.

Ancient Israel lay on the western shore of the Mediterranean Sea which also spawned many violent rainstorms. One of my favorite chapters in the Bible is Psalm 29 which describes one of those storms coming inland. The Psalmist’s purpose is to show God’s power and glory as manifested by the natural event of a storm.

One section in particular draws a vivid picture: “The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars, yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon. He makes them also skip like a calf, Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox” (Psalm 29:5-6).

In our modern scientific world, weather is no longer a mystery. Somewhere between the rotation of the earth, the seasonal fluctuations of temperature, the movement of pressure systems, and myriad other phenomena, it all comes together and the wind blows, the lightning flashes, the thunder roars, and rain falls. It’s just nature doing its thing.

Then one looks out and the palms are almost on the ground, the clouds darken, a vivid flash is followed by a deafening rumble, and one wonders, who or what put it all in motion? If a storm is simply the enactment of natural law, who passed those laws? If matter and energy are brought together in purely natural ways, where did the matter and energy come from? Who made them? Somehow the answer, “they are just there” is unsatisfactory.

David had a better answer:  “The Lord sat enthroned at the flood, and the Lord sits as King forever. The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless His people with peace” (Psalm 29:10-11).

In another Psalm, David argued, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork” (Psalm 19:1). The created universe remains one of the strongest arguments for faith. No alternative explanation for its existence does justice to its beauty, its complexity, its scale, or its diversity. The only theory of origin that answers all questions is that it is the product of an all wise, all powerful, and loving Creator. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

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