Peace in Tumultuous Times

Psalm 29

A Psalm of David

Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord strikes
with flashes of lightning.
The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord is enthroned as King forever.
The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.

—–

I read this Psalm this morning looking out the window able to see the power of the wind – as shown by the dust of snow being swept around every which way. Snowstorms can be inconvenient – the roads get dangerous, stores close up, meetings get cancelled, we might feel stuck. Yet the LORD sits enthroned over it all.

As I sat and prayed, my heart was heavy for the people on the opposite coastline in our country – the Thomas Fire keeps growing and forcing people out of their homes. Natural disasters like these are terrible and scary and although we may be thousands of miles away, the LORD hears our prayers and we must hope and pray for the people who are going through the traumatic experience of not knowing what will happen to their homes. Yet the LORD sits enthroned over it all.

David proclaims, “The LORD sits enthroned over the flood…” We recall the greatest natural disaster to ever take place where the entire earth was covered with water.

How terrible and yet how amazing that God spared and continues his creation thereafter. God’s covenant promise then that he will never again destroy the earth by floodwaters (Gen. 9).

And while the truth of God’s rule and reign over everything – even flood and fire, may not be exactly the most reassuring truth. We also know that,

“The Lord gives strength to his people;
the Lord blesses his people with peace.”

This strength, this comfort, this peace, we can have in our Lord Jesus. During Advent, we reaffirm our faith in Jesus as Lord, the prince of peace. The one who the heavenly hosts ascribe glory to!

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”                Luke 2.8-14

In the middle of the storms, Jesus sits enthroned as King over all. Jesus strengthens and gives peace to his disciples. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”   In the middle of snowstorm, or fire, or cultural and societal “storms” – in this dark world, we have peace and strength in our Lord, Jesus Christ. May this season be a time of being fortified in the strength and peace of our Lord and may we then be channels of peace and blessing to the world in which we find ourselves.

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