Psalm 29 (TLB)
Praise the Lord, you angels of his; praise his glory and his strength. Praise him for his majestic glory, the glory of his name. Come before him clothed in sacred garments.
The voice of the Lord echoes from the clouds. The God of glory thunders through the skies. So powerful is his voice; so full of majesty. It breaks down the cedars. It splits the giant trees of Lebanon. It shakes Mount Lebanon and Mount Sirion. They leap and skip before him like young calves! The voice of the Lord thunders through the lightning. It resounds through the deserts and shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord spins and topples the mighty oaks. It strips the forests bare. They whirl and sway beneath the blast. But in his Temple all are praising, “Glory, glory to the Lord.”
At the Flood the Lord showed his control of all creation. Now he continues to unveil his power. He will give his people strength. He will bless them with peace.
Psalm 6 (TLB)
No, Lord! Don’t punish me in the heat of your anger. Pity me, O Lord, for I am weak. Heal me, for my body is sick, and I am upset and disturbed. My mind is filled with apprehension and with gloom. Oh, restore me soon.
Come, O Lord, and make me well. In your kindness save me. For if I die, I cannot give you glory by praising you before my friends. I am worn out with pain; every night my pillow is wet with tears. My eyes are growing old and dim with grief because of all my enemies.
Go, leave me now, you men of evil deeds, for the Lord has heard my weeping and my pleading. He will answer all my prayers. All my enemies shall be suddenly dishonored, terror-stricken, and disgraced. God will turn them back in shame.
I find truth and wisdom in the Psalms, but the path leading to truth and wisdom for me is twisty and can be distracting. For example, in Psalm 29, much of the passage describes the power of God in a physical way, the power to topple a mighty oak, to strip a forest bare, to hear His voice in thunder. At the end of the Psalm, it is written that His people will be given strength and then finally, He will bless them with peace. Ultimately, peace is what is really offered. But to obtain that peace, it is necessary to have faith in God and not be fearful.
The passage states that His people will be given strength, which is an indirect way of encouraging people not to be fearful. This notion of encouraging people not to be fearful is found in the prayers of Psalm 6. The supplicant expects his prayers to be answered, his enemies suddenly dishonored, terror stricken, and disgraced. If this happens, the supplicant’s fears will disappear as a result of his faith. The supplicant fully understands the enormous power of God and the supplicant expects to tap into it by glorifying God through his prayers. I don’t think the supplicant has it right. Rather than worrying about smiting his enemies, he should be asking directly to be freed from his fears.
I pray that we all lose our fears so that we may find peace. Amen.