In this setting David speaks of the “operation of the hand of God in nature.
Here amidst the terrors of a thunderstorm, he speaks of the voice of the Lord.
The Psalmist does not confound nature with the personality of God. He “gives unto the Lord the glory due unto His Name” (v.2).
The voice of the Lord is not a mere noise, it is a message, (1.Ki.19:11) “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
This voice we hear in all the riches of its majesty and glory is in the person of Jesus Christ, “God hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son.”
This voice of the Lord, in its “breaking, ” “making, ” “dividing, ” “shaking, ” and “discovering” power may prefigure the influence and effects of the voice or Word of Jesus Christ.
It is a universal power. “The voice of the Lord is upon the waters“ (v.3).
Figurative, these waters may represent the nations of the earth.
The voice of God’s word is for all people, tribe, and tongue. “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
The Word of God is also for, (II.Tim 3:16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: ( Note) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”
A preacher of the Gospel should be a man of the soundest sense, the most cultivated mind, the most extensive experience,
One who is deeply taught of God, and who has deeply studied man; one who has prayed much, read much, and studied much;
One who takes up his work as from God, does it as before God, and refers all to the glory of God;
One who abides under the inspiration of the Almighty, and who has hidden the word of God in his heart, that he might not sin against him. The apostle Paul reminds us not to become a castway after preaching to many others.
It is a majestic power, “The voice of the Lord is full of majesty” (v.4).
There is a God-like dignity about the Bible which belongs to no other book, it is full of majesty.
The Gospel of Christ is the power of God to every one that believeth according to (Rom.1:156). And let us note (Jh.14:10) “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.” (Jh.1:1 declares “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”
The word of God affirms its own majestic character, (Heb 4:12) tell us “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
It has all the nobility of “Spirit and life. (Eze 37:3) “And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord GOD, thou knowest.”
It is a breaking power. “The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars” (v. 5). The strongest of nature’s growths are bowed and broken by its pressure, (Jer. 23:29) Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?“
Saul in Jerusalem, was like a cedar in Lebanon, but on the way to Damascus he was broken down, (Ac.9:4) And he fell to the earth…Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”
These words, “What wilt thou have me to do indicates a subdued soul; a humbled spirit.
Just before Saul had sought only to do his own will; now he inquired what was the will of the Saviour.
Just before he was acting under a commission from the sanhedrim; now he renounced their supreme authority, and asked what the Lord Jesus would have him to do.
Just before Saul had been engaged in a career of opposition to the Lord Jesus; now he sought at once to do his will.
It is a separating Power , “He maketh them (cedar branches) to skip like a calf” (v.6,). His Word can not only break down, but can also break into pieces separating branch from branch, tearing them away from their roots (II.Pt.3:5), “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men….But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”
A storm of Divine truth makes havoc with old associations and conservative habits and manners, (Lk.15:16) And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him…. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!”
The voice of God is a dividing power, “The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire” (v.7). Every word of God is a flame of fire, and He can divide them as the lightning flashes are divided (Lk.24:32) “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
He can make His tongue of flame to rest upon every holy head “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.” (Acts 2: 3).
God’s Word makes great distinctions. It is a divider of soul and spirit, of sinners and saints. The voice of the Lord is a terror to some, (Rev. 6:16) “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:”
The voice of the Lord is heavenly music to others, (Re 4:10) “The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne,”
It was Jesus who stated in, (Rev. 1:8 ) I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty….I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
The voice of God is a shaking power. “The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness” (v. 8). Yes, the wilderness, in all its desolation, barrenness and hopelessness; whether that wilderness is our heart, our home, or our city, the power of the Word of God can shake it, and make it to tremble into a transformation, not the earthly only, as he did at Mount Sinai,
Heaven and earth was literally emotional at Jesus’ death and resurrection ( Mt 27:51).
At the heavens also by his star, (Mt 2:2) ,a light to the shepherds (Lk. 2:9). At baptism his voice heard (Mt 3:17), At the transfiguration (Mt 17:5), At his prayer (Jh.12:28,30), at his passion (Lk. 23:44,45) at the outpouring of the Holy Ghost in (Ac.2:1,4).
This shaking is also a powerful moral shaking, so as to change and remove that heavenly church frame pitched in the Jewish tabernacle; that he might create a tabernacle himself more heavenly and spiritual, a place where Jesus shall be the High Priest and Ruler, as well as Minister (Isa. 35: 1:7).